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Chicago Manual of Style 17th Edition
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This section contains information on The Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) method of document formatting and citation. These resources follow the seventeenth edition of The Chicago Manual of Style (17t h e dition), which was issued in 2017.
Please note that although these resources reflect the most recent updates in the The Chicago Manual of Style (17 th edition) concerning documentation practices, you can review a full list of updates concerning usage, technology, professional practice, etc. at The Chicago Manual of Style Online .
The Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) covers a variety of topics from manuscript preparation and publication to grammar, usage, and documentation, and as such, it has been lovingly dubbed the “editor's bible.”
The material on this page focuses primarily on one of the two CMOS documentation styles: the Notes-Bibliography System (NB) , which is used by those working in literature, history, and the arts. The other documentation style, the Author-Date System, is nearly identical in content but slightly different in form and is preferred by those working in the social sciences.
Though the two systems both convey all of the important information about each source, they differ not only in terms of the way they direct readers to these sources, but also in terms of their formatting (e.g., the position of dates in citation entries). For examples of how these citation styles work in research papers, consult our sample papers:
Author-Date Sample Paper
NB Sample Paper
In addition to consulting The Chicago Manual of Style (17th edition) for more information, students may also find it useful to consult Kate L. Turabian's Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations (8th edition). This manual, which presents what is commonly known as the "Turabian" citation style, follows the two CMOS patterns of documentation but offers slight modifications suited to student texts.
Notes and Bibliography (NB) in Chicago style
The Chicago Notes and Bibliography (NB) system is often used in the humanities to provide writers with a system for referencing their sources through the use of footnotes, endnotes, and through the use of a bibliography. This offers writers a flexible option for citation and provides an outlet for commenting on those sources, if needed. Proper use of the Notes and Bibliography system builds a writer’s credibility by demonstrating their accountability to source material. In addition, it can protect writers from accusations of plagiarism, which is the intentional or accidental uncredited use of source material created by others.
Introduction to Notes
In the Notes and Bibliography system, you should include a note (endnote or footnote) each time you use a source, whether through a direct quote, paraphrase, or summary. Footnotes are added at the end of the page on which the source is referenced, while endnotes are compiled at the end of each chapter or at the end of the entire document.
In either case, a superscript number corresponding to a note, along with the bibliographic information for that source, should be placed in the text following the end of the sentence or clause in which the source is referenced.
If a work includes a bibliography, which is typically preferred, then it is not necessary to provide full publication details in notes. However, if a bibliography is not included with a work, the first note for each source should include all relevant information about the source: author’s full name, source title, and facts of publication. If you cite the same source again, or if a bibliography is included in the work, the note only needs to include the surname of the author, a shortened form of the title (if more than four words), and the page number(s). However, in a work that does not include a bibliography, it is recommended that the full citation be repeated when it is first used in a new chapter.
In contrast to earlier editions of CMOS, if you cite the same source two or more times consecutively, CMOS recommends using shortened citations. In a work with a bibliography, the first reference should use a shortened citation which includes the author’s name, the source title, and the page number(s), and consecutive references to the same work may omit the source title and simply include the author and page number. Although discouraged by CMOS, if you cite the same source and page number(s) from a single source two or more times consecutively, it is also possible to utilize the word “Ibid.,” ( from the Latin ibidem, which means “in the same place,”) as the corresponding note. If you use the same source but a draw from different new page, the corresponding note should use “Ibid.” followed by a comma and the new page number(s).
In the NB system, the footnote or endnote itself begins with the appropriate full-sized number, followed by a period and then a space.
Introduction to Bibliographies
In the NB system, the bibliography provides an alphabetical list of all sources used in a given work. This page, most often titled Bibliography, is usually placed at the end of the work preceding the index. It should include all sources cited within the work and may sometimes include other relevant sources that were not cited but provide further reading.
Although bibliographic entries for various sources may be formatted differently, all included sources (books, articles, websites, etc.) are arranged alphabetically by author’s last name. If no author or editor is listed, the title or, as a last resort, a descriptive phrase may be used.
Though useful, a bibliography is not required in works that provide full bibliographic information in the notes.
All entries in the bibliography will include the author (or editor, compiler, translator), title, and publication information.
The author’s name is inverted in the bibliography, placing the last name first and separating the last name and first name with a comma; for example, John Smith becomes Smith, John.
Titles of books and journals are italicized. Titles of articles, chapters, poems, etc. are placed in quotation marks .
The year of publication is listed after the publisher or journal name .
In a bibliography, all major elements are separated by periods.
For more information and specific examples, see the sections on Books and Periodicals .
Please note that this OWL resource provides basic information regarding the formatting of entries used in the bibliography. For more information about Selected Bibliographies, Annotated Bibliographies, and Bibliographic Essays, please consult Chapter 14.61 of The Chicago Manual of Style (17th edition).
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Online APA Citation Resources
- Official APA Homepage An American Psychology Association hosted website with information on APA citation and related resources.
- Multiple Authors Double-check that you've formatted author names correctly and have listed the authors appropriately with these examples.
- Missing Reference Information The APA website provides tips on adapting the basic structure of a reference to a published work that has missing information, along with the corresponding in-text citations.
- In-Text Citations Without Page Numbers From APA: For written material that does not contain page numbers (e.g. websites, some ebooks), provide readers with another way...
- Clip Art or Stock Image References There are special requirements for using clip art and stock images in APA Style papers.
- Purdue Writing Lab Online writing lab with formatting tips and sample papers. The "Cite your source automatically" feature on Purdue Owl pages is part of another website, and not recommended.
- Excelsior Writing Lab Citation examples, videos, and formatting guides for MLA, APA, and Chicago styles.
APA 7th Citation Examples
Most of these examples came from the Reference Examples page on the APA website. Use the same format for print books and ebooks. For ebooks, the format or device (e.g., Kindle) is not included in the reference.
Books on APA Citing
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Consider your source's credibility. ask these questions:, contributor/author.
- Has the author written several articles on the topic, and do they have the credentials to be an expert in their field?
- Can you contact them? Do they have social media profiles?
- Have other credible individuals referenced this source or author?
- Book: What have reviews said about it?
- What do you know about the publisher/sponsor? Are they well-respected?
- Do they take responsibility for the content? Are they selective about what they publish?
- Take a look at their other content. Do these other articles generally appear credible?
- Does the author or the organization have a bias? Does bias make sense in relation to your argument?
- Is the purpose of the content to inform, entertain, or to spread an agenda? Is there commercial intent?
- Are there ads?
- When was the source published or updated? Is there a date shown?
- Does the publication date make sense in relation to the information presented to your argument?
- Does the source even have a date?
- Was it reproduced? If so, from where?
- If it was reproduced, was it done so with permission? Copyright/disclaimer included?
MLA Format: Everything You Need to Know and More
Filled with a wide variety of examples and visuals, our Citation Machine® MLA guide will help you master the citation process. Learn how to cite websites, books, journal articles, magazines, newspapers, films, social media, and more!
MLA Citation Generator | Website | Books | Journal Articles | YouTube | Images | Movies | Interview | PDFs
Comprehensive Guide to APA Format
Our Citation Machine® APA guide is a one-stop shop for learning how to cite in APA format. Read up on what APA is, or use our citing tools and APA examples to create citations for websites, books, journals, and more!
APA Citation Generator | Website | Books | Journal Articles | YouTube | Images | Movies | Interview | PDFs
Everything You Need to Know About Chicago Style
Creating citations in Chicago style has never been easier thanks to our extensive Citation Machine® Chicago style guide and tools. Learn about footnotes, endnotes, and everything in between, or easily create citations for websites, books, journal articles, and more!
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Citing Sources (APA, MLA, ...): Chicago Style (Seventeenth Edition)
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Chicago Manual of Style
Chicago style (notes and bibliography system) is frequently used in the Arts and Humanities, as its use of footnotes/endnotes in addition a bibliography allows the writer to provide precise source origins and present additional commentary.
The basic format consists of a number that is assigned to a particular part of the text, and a footnote with the corresponding number appears at the bottom of the same page, listing the source of the fact/opinion presented in the text. At the end of the paper, there is a bibliography (in alphabetical order by author's family name) detailing all the sources that have been cited in the paper, along with other works that were consulted but not directly cited.
To learn more:
- Check out sample citations from the official Chicago style website
- Consult this detailed guide by the Purdue Online Writing Lab
- Refer to the complete online manual of the Chicago Manual of Style available via the Library's subscription
- Visit the section on citing sources in the Library's Visual Arts Subject Guide for examples relating to artwork
- A very brief illustration of Chicago style basics can be found below:
Notes vs Bibliographies
More information on the differences between notes and bibliographies:.
- In bibliographies, no page numbers are given for books; for easier location of journal articles or chapters or other sections of a book, the beginning and ending page numbers of that entire article or chapter are given. Electronic sources do not always include page numbers. For such unpaginated works, it may be appropriate in a note to include a chapter or paragraph number (if available), a section heading, or a descriptive phrase that follows the organizational divisions of the work. In citations of shorter electronic works presented as a single, searchable document, such locators may be unnecessary.
- Elements are separated by commas in a footnote, whereas elements are separated by periods in a bibliography.
(Adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style 17th Edition )
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Other useful links.
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- About Citation
About APA 7th ed.
In-text citations, formatting your apa paper.
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- MLA 9th Ed.
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More Style Tips
APA is more than just citation and referencing! It's a whole style of writing designed to refer to people in research with dignity and respect and present research results in a standard style so that others can easily evaluate your work and replicate it.
- APA inclusive writing guidelines
- Bias free language for sexual orientation
- Bias free language for racial and ethnic identities
- Citing Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers
This guide is a quick introduction to the American Psychological Association (APA) Style for references and citations. Be sure to consult the Publication Manual of the APA or the APA Style website for detailed standards and procedures.
- APA Style Comprehensive style and grammar guidelines from APA.
- A Quick Guide to APA Citation 7th Edition CSUDH Library
When you reference another source use an in-text citation in the body of your paper.
Basic Format: (Author's Last Name(s) or Organization, Year).
Summarizing or Paraphrasing
Paraphrasing or summarizing the main findings or takeaways from a research article is the preferred method of citing sources in an APA paper. Always include the last name of the author(s) and the year of the publication, so your reader can find the full citation in the reference list.
According to Shavers (2007), limitations of studying socioeconomic status in research on health disparities include difficulties in collecting data on socioeconomic status and the complications of classifying women, children, and employment status.
If you're quoting the exact words of someone else, introduce the quote with an in-text citation in parentheses. Any sentence punctuation goes after the closing parenthesis.
- According to Brown (2019), "Direct quote" (p. 1021).
- Brown (2019) found that "Direct quote" (p. 1021).
- [Some other introduction] "Direct quote" (Brown, 2019, p. 1021).
If you're directly quoting more than 40 words, use a blockquote . Block quotes don't need quotation marks. Instead, indent the text 1/2" as a visual cue that you are citing. The in-text citation in parentheses goes after the punctuation of the quote.
Shavers (2007) study found the following:
While research studies have established that socioeconomic status influences disease incidence, severity and access to healthcare, there has been relatively less study of the specific manner in which low SES influences receipt of quality care and consequent morbidity and mortality among patients with similar disease characteristics, particularly among those who have gained access to the healthcare system. (p. 1021)
Toro Tip: Use direct quotes sparingly! Focus on summarizing the findings from multiple research studies. In the sciences and social sciences, only use the exact phrasing or argument of an individual when necessary.
In-text citations differ depending on the number of authors listed for a work, and if there is a group author .
I'm citing a work with...
You only need the author's last name comma year in parentheses.
Connect both authors' last names with & (ampersand) comma and the year.
(Wegener & Petty, 1994)
3 or More Authors
If there are 3 or more authors use et al., which means "and others," comma and the year.
(Harris et al., 2018)
First time with an abbreviation:
(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2019)
Then all subsequent citations: (CDC, 2019)
Include the complete citation at the end of your paper in a references section. References are organized by the author's last name in alphabetic (A-Z) order. Use an hanging indent to separate each list item.
Basic Format: Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date). Title of the work. Source where you can retrieve the work . URL or DOI if available
I'm citing a...
- Author(s). Note: List each author's last name and initial as Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. Use an ampersand (&) before the final author's name. Read more from the APA Style website if there are 21 or more authors.
- Title of the article. Note: For works that are part of a greater whole (e.g. articles, chapter), use sentence case. Only the first word of the title and subtitle and proper nouns are capitalized.
- Title of the Journal , Note: Italicize and capitalize each word in the journal.
- Volume Note: Italicize the journal volume. If there is no issue, include a comma before the page range.
- (Issue), Note: If there is a issue number in addition to a volume number, include it in parentheses.
- Page range. Note: If there is no page range within the journal volume/issue, this can be excluded.
- DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Read more about DOIs from the APA Style wesbite.
Ashing‐Giwa, K. T., Padilla, G., Tejero, J., Kraemer, J., Wright, K., Coscarelli, A., Clayton, S., Williams, I., & Hills, D. (2004). Understanding the breast cancer experience of women: A qualitative study of African American, Asian American, Latina and Caucasian cancer survivors. Psycho‐Oncology , 13 (6), 408-428. https://doi.org/10.1002/pon.750
Online News/Magazine Article
- Author(s). Note: List each author's last name and initials as Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. Use an ampersand (&) before the final author's name.
- (Year, Month Date). Note: You do not need to abbreviate the month.
- Title of the online newspaper or publication . Note: Capitalize each word in the publication and italicize. If the publication has an associated newly newspaper in print, use the newspaper article reference example .
Rogers, O. (2021, July 9). Why naming race is necessary to undo racism. Psychology Today . https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/who-am-i-who-are-we/202107/why-naming-race-is-necessary-undo-racism
- Title of the book. Note: For works that stand alone (e.g. books, reports), italicize the title. Only capitalize the first word of the title and subtitle and any proper nouns.
- (Edition). Note: If there is an edition or volume, include it in parentheses and use abbreviations of ed. or vol.
- Publisher. Note: You do not need to include the publisher location or databases where you retrieved it.
Schmidt, N. A., & Brown, J. M. (2017). Evidence-based practice for nurses: Appraisal and application of research (4th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning, LLC.
Book Chapter with Editor(s)
- Author(s). Note: List each chapter author's last name and initials as Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. Use an ampersand (&) before the final author's name.
- Title of the chapter. Note: For works that are part of a greater whole (e.g. articles, chapter), use sentence case. Only the first word of the title and subtitle and proper nouns are capitalized.
- In Editor(s), Note: List each editor's last name and initials as A. A. Editor, B. B. Editor, & C. C. Editors, include (Ed.) or (Eds.) in parentheses, and end with a comma.
- Title of the book Note: For works that stand alone (e.g. books, reports), italicize the title. Only capitalize the first word of the title and subtitle and any proper nouns.
McCormack, B., McCance, T., & Maben, J. (2013). Outcome evaluation in the development of person-centred practice. In B. McCormack, K. Manley, & A. Titchen (Eds.), Practice development in nursing and healthcare (pp. 190-211). John Wiley & Sons.
- Author(s). Note: List each author's last name and initials as Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. If there is no author, spell out the name of the organization or site.
- (Year, Month Date). Note: Read more about date formats from the APA Style website . Provide as specific a date as is available. Use the date last updated, but not the date last reviewed or copyright date. If there is no date, use (n.d.).
- Title of page or section. Note: Italicize the title of the page.
- Source. Note: Usually the official name of the website. If the source would be the same as the author, you can omit the source to avoid repetition.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). Preventing HPV-associated cancers . https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/hpv/basic_info/prevention.htm/
- Author(s). Note: List each author's last name and initials as Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. If there is no author, spell out the name of the organization that published the report.
- (Year, Month Date). Note: Provide as specific a date as is available.
- Title of the report or document. Note: For works that stand alone (e.g. books, reports), italicize the title. Only capitalize the first word of the title and subtitle and any proper nouns.
- Source. Includes the names of parent agencies or other organizations not listed in the group author name here.
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. (2017, January). Key indicators of health by service planning area . http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/ha/
Dissertation or Thesis
- Author. Note: List the author's last name and initials as Author, A. A. There is usually only one author for a thesis or dissertation, you don't need to include any faculty advisers.
- Title of the dissertation or thesis [Doctoral dissertation or Master's thesis, Name of University]. Note: For works that stand alone (e.g. books, dissertations, theses), italicize the title. Only capitalize the first word of the title and subtitle and any proper nouns. The title page will indicate whether it's a Doctoral dissertation or Master's thesis and list the name of the university granting the degree.
- Source. Note: Include the name of the database or institutional repository where you can access the work (e.g. ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global, PQDT Open, CSU ScholarWorks) here.
- URL Note: If available it's available.
Valentin, E. R. (2019, Summer). Narcissism predicted by Snapchat selfie sharing, filter usage, and editing [Master's thesis, California State University Dominguez Hills]. CSU ScholarWorks. https://scholarworks.calstate.edu/concern/theses/3197xm925?locale=en
Check out more examples for citing dissertations and theses on the APA Style site .
Citing a letter, photograph, text document, graphic material, or ephemera? Consult the Gerth Archives APA Citation Guide for Archival Materials .
What does an example APA paper look like?
APA Style offers sample student and professional paper s, including a free annotated student sample paper .
- Sample Student Paper (APA 7th edition) Download and use this Word document as a template for your paper!
How do I make a hanging indent in Word?
1. Highlight the citaiton with your cursor.
2. Right click.
3. Select Paragraph .
4. Under Indentation, select Special and Hanging .
How can I save time formatting my paper?
Microsoft Word and Google Docs have a Format Painter tool that will copy and apply basic formatting to any text!
1. Highlight the formatting you want to apply.
2. Select Format Painter .
3. Highlight the text you want to change.
Note: If using the Format Painter on the Reference List, you'll need to go back and add italics.
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- APA Style 7th edition
- APA 7th edition: The most notable changes
APA 7th Edition (2020) | The 17 Most Notable Changes
Published on October 11, 2019 by Raimo Streefkerk . Revised on December 5, 2022.
In that time a lot of things have changed. Citing online material has become more common, the use of inclusive and bias-free language is increasingly important, and the technology used by researchers and students has changed.
The 7th edition addresses these changes by providing better and more extensive guidelines. This article outlines the biggest changes that you should know about.
Table of contents
References and in-text citations in apa style, inclusive and bias-free language, apa paper format, mechanics of style, apa 7th edition citation generator, free lecture slides, buying the new 7th edition apa manual, frequently asked questions.
When it comes to citing sources, more guidelines have been added that make citing online sources easier and clearer.
In total, 114 examples are provided, ranging from books and periodicals to audiovisuals and social media. For each reference category, an easy template is provided to help you understand and apply the citation guidelines. The biggest changes in the 7th edition are:
- Covey, S. R. (2013). The 7 habits of highly effective people: Powerful lessons in personal change . New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.
- Covey, S. R. (2013). The 7 habits of highly effective people: Powerful lessons in personal change . Simon & Schuster.
- (Taylor, Kotler, Johnson, & Parker, 2018)
- (Taylor et al., 2018)
- Miller, T. C., Brown, M. J., Wilson, G. L., Evans, B. B., Kelly, R. S., Turner, S. T., . . . Lee, L. H. (2018).
- Miller, T. C., Brown, M. J., Wilson, G. L., Evans, B. B., Kelly, R. S., Turner, S. T., Lewis, F., Nelson, T. P., Cox, G., Harris, H. L., Martin, P., Gonzalez, W. L., Hughes, W., Carter, D., Campbell, C., Baker, A. B., Flores, T., Gray, W. E., Green, G., . . . Lee, L. H. (2018).
- doi: 10.1080/02626667.2018.1560449
- Streefkerk, R. (2019, October 11). APA 7th edition: The most notable changes [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://www.scribbr.com/apa-style/apa-seventh-edition-changes/
- Streefkerk, R. (2019, October 11). APA 7th edition: The most notable changes. Scribbr . https://www.scribbr.com/apa-style/apa-seventh-edition-changes/
- Brück, M. (2009). Women in early British and Irish astronomy: Stars and satellites [Kindle version]. https:/doi.org/10.1007/978-90-481-2473-2
- Brück, M. (2009). Women in early British and Irish astronomy: Stars and satellites . Springer Nature. https:/doi.org/10.1007/978-90-481-2473-2
- Clear guidelines are provided for including contributors other than authors and editors. For example, when citing a podcast episode , the host of the episode should be included; for a TV series episode , the writer and director of that episode are cited.
- Dozens of examples are included for online source types such as podcast episodes , social media posts , and YouTube videos . The use of emojis and hashtags is also explained.
Writing inclusively and without bias is the new standard, and APA’s new publication manual contains a separate chapter on this topic.
The guidelines provided by APA help authors reduce bias around topics such as gender, age, disability, racial and ethnic identity, and sexual orientation, as well as being sensitive to labels and describing individuals at the appropriate level of specificity. Some examples include:
- A researcher’s career depends on how often he or she is cited.
- A researcher’s career depends on how often they are cited.
- People living in poverty
- People over 65 years old
- People in the age range of 65 to 75 years old
In the 7th edition, APA decided to provide different paper format guidelines for professional and student papers . For both types, a sample paper is included. Some notable changes include:
- Increased flexibility regarding fonts: options include Calibri 11, Arial 11, Lucida Sans Unicode 10, Times New Roman 12, and Georgia 11.
- Running head: THE EFFECT OF GOOGLE ON THE INTERNET
- THE EFFECT OF GOOGLE ON THE INTERNET
- The running head is omitted in student papers (unless your instructor tells you otherwise).
- Heading levels 3-5 are updated to improve readability.
In terms of style, not much has changed in the 7th edition. In addition to some updated and better explained guidelines, there are two notable changes:
- Use only one space after a period at the end of a sentence.
- APA endorses the use of the singular pronoun they
- APA endorses the use of the singular pronoun “they”
Are you a teacher or professor who would like to educate your students about the APA 7th edition changes? Great! You can download our free lecture slides, available for Google Slides and Microsoft PowerPoint.
Open Google Slides Download PowerPoint
The American Psychological Association anticipates that most people will start using the 7th edition in the spring of 2020 or thereafter.
It’s best to ask your supervisor or check the website of the journal you want to publish in to see which APA guidelines you should follow.
The APA Manual 7th edition can be purchased at Amazon as a hardcover, paperback or spiral-bound version. You can also buy an ebook version at RedShelf .
The 7th edition APA Manual , published in October 2019, is the most current edition. However, the 6th edition, published in 2009, is still used by many universities and journals.
Cite this Scribbr article
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Streefkerk, R. (2022, December 05). APA 7th Edition (2020) | The 17 Most Notable Changes. Scribbr. Retrieved November 30, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/apa-style/apa-seventh-edition-changes/
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APA Format for Students & Researchers
In this guide, students and researchers can learn the basics of creating a properly formatted research paper according to APA guidelines.
It includes information on how to conceptualize, outline, and format the basic structure of your paper, as well as practical tips on spelling, abbreviation, punctuation, and more. The guide concludes with a complete sample paper as well as a final checklist that writers can use to prepare their work for submission.
APA Paper Formatting Basics
- All text should be double-spaced
- Use one-inch margins on all sides
- All paragraphs in the body are indented
- Make sure that the title is centered on the page with your name and school/institution underneath
- Use 12-point font throughout
- All pages should be numbered in the upper right hand corner
- The manual recommends using one space after most punctuation marks
- A shortened version of the title (“running head”) should be placed in the upper left hand corner
Table of Contents
Here’s a quick rundown of the contents of this guide on how to do APA format.
Information related to writing and organizing your paper:
- Paper and essay categories
General paper length
- Margin sizes
- Title pages
- Running Heads
- APA Outline
- APA Abstract
- The body of papers
- APA headings and subheadings
- Use of graphics (tables and figures)
Writing style tips:
- Reducing bias and labels
- Abbreviation do’s and don’ts
- Number rules
Citing Your Sources:
- Citing Sources
- In-text Citations
- Reference Page
Proofing Your Paper:
- Final checklist
- Submitting your project
- What is APA
- APA 7 Updates
What you won’t find in this guide: This guide provides information related to the formatting of your paper, as in guidelines related to spacing, margins, word choice, etc. While it provides a general overview of APA references, it does not provide instructions for how to cite in APA format.
For step-by-step instructions for citing books, journals, how to cite a website in APA format, information on an APA format bibliography, and more, refer to these other EasyBib guides:
- APA citation (general reference guide)
- APA In-text citation
- APA article citation
- APA book citation
- APA citation website
Or, you can use our automatic generator. Our APA formatter helps to build your references for you. Yep, you read that correctly.
Writing and Organizing Your APA Paper in an Effective Way
This section of our guide focuses on proper paper length, how to format headings, spacing, and more! This information can be found in Chapter 2 of the official manual (American Psychological Association, 2020, pp. 29-67).
Categories of papers
Before getting into the nitty-gritty details related to APA research paper format, first determine the type of paper you’re about to embark on creating:
Empirical studies take data from observations and experiments to generate research reports. It is different from other types of studies in that it isn’t based on theories or ideas, but on actual data.
These papers analyze another individual’s work or a group of works. The purpose is to gather information about a current issue or problem and to communicate where we are today. It sheds light on issues and attempts to fill those gaps with suggestions for future research and methods.
These papers are somewhat similar to a literature reviews in that the author collects, examines, and shares information about a current issue or problem, by using others’ research. It is different from literature reviews in that it attempts to explain or solve a problem by coming up with a new theory. This theory is justified with valid evidence.
These articles showcase new advances, or modifications to an existing practice, in a scientific method or procedure. The author has data or documentation to prove that their new method, or improvement to a method, is valid. Plenty of evidence is included in this type of article. In addition, the author explains the current method being used in addition to their own findings, in order to allow the reader to understand and modify their own current practices.
Case studies present information related an individual, group, or larger set of individuals. These subjects are analyzed for a specific reason and the author reports on the method and conclusions from their study. The author may also make suggestions for future research, create possible theories, and/or determine a solution to a problem.
Since APA style format is used often in science fields, the belief is “less is more.” Make sure you’re able to get your points across in a clear and brief way. Be direct, clear, and professional. Try not to add fluff and unnecessary details into your paper or writing. This will keep the paper length shorter and more concise.
Margin sizes in APA Format
When it comes to margins, keep them consistent across the left, right, top, and bottom of the page. All four sides should be the same distance from the edge of the paper. It’s recommended to use at least one-inch margins around each side. It’s acceptable to use larger margins, but the margins should never be smaller than an inch.
Title pages in APA Format
The title page, or APA format cover page, is the first page of a paper or essay. Some teachers and professors do not require a title page, but some do. If you’re not sure if you should include one or not, ask your teacher. Some appreciate the page, which clearly displays the writer’s name and the title of the paper.
The APA format title page for student papers includes six main components:
- the title of the APA format paper
- names of all authors
- institutional affiliation
- course number and title
- instructor’s name
Title pages for professional papers also require a running head; student papers do not.
Some instructors and professional publications also ask for an author’s note. If you’re required or would like to include an author’s note, place it below the institutional affiliation. Examples of information included in an author’s note include an ORCID iD number, a disclosure, and an acknowledgement.
Here are key guidelines to developing your title page:
- The title of the paper should capture the main idea of the essay, but should not contain abbreviations or words that serve no purpose. For example, instead of using the title “A Look at Amphibians From the Past,” title the paper “Amphibians From the Past.” Delete the unnecessary fluff!
- Center the title on the page and place it about 3-4 lines from the top.
- The title should be bolded, in title case, and the same font size as your other page text. Do not underline or italicize the title. Other text on the page should be plain (not bolded , underlined, or italicized ).
- All text on the title page should be double-spaced. The APA format examples paper below displays proper spacing, so go take a look!
- Do not include any titles in the author’s name such as Dr. or Ms. In contrast, for your instructor’s name, use the form they prefer (e.g., Sagar Parekh, PhD; Dr. Minako Asato; Professor Nathan Ian Brown; etc.).
- The institutional affiliation is the school the author attends or the location where the author conducted the research.
In a hurry? Try the EasyBib title page maker to easily create a title page for free.
Sample of an APA format title page for a student paper:
Sample of title page for a professional paper:
Running heads in APA Format
The 7th edition of the American Psychological Association Publication Manual (p. 37) states that running heads are not required for student papers unless requested by the instructor. Student papers still need a page number included in the upper right-hand corner of every page. The 6th edition required a running head for student papers, so be sure to confirm with your instructor which edition you should follow. Of note, this guide follows the 7th edition.
Running heads are required for professional papers (e.g., manuscripts submitted for publication). Read on for instructions on how to create them.
Are you wondering what is a “running head”? It’s basically a page header at the top of every page. To make this process easier, set your word processor to automatically add these components onto each page. You may want to look for “Header” in the features.
A running head/page header includes two pieces:
- the title of the paper
- page numbers.
Insert page numbers justified to the right-hand side of the APA format paper (do not put p. or pg. in front of the page numbers).
For all pages of the paper, including the APA format title page, include the “TITLE OF YOUR PAPER” justified to the left in capital letters (i.e., the running head). If your full title is long (over 50 characters), the running head title should be a shortened version.
Preparing outlines in APA Format
Outlines are extremely beneficial as they help writers stay organized, determine the scope of the research that needs to be included, and establish headings and subheadings.
There isn’t an official or recommended “APA format for outline” structure. It is up to the writer (if they choose to make use of an outline) to determine how to organize it and the characters to include. Some writers use a mix of roman numerals, numbers, and uppercase and lowercase letters.
Even though there isn’t a required or recommended APA format for an outline, we encourage writers to make use of one. Who wouldn’t want to put together a rough outline of their project? We promise you, an outline will help you stay on track.
Here’s our version of how APA format for outlines could look:
Don’t forget, if you’re looking for information on APA citation format and other related topics, check out our other comprehensive guides.
How to form an abstract in APA
An APA format abstract (p. 38) is a summary of a scholarly article or scientific study. Scholarly articles and studies are rather lengthy documents, and abstracts allow readers to first determine if they’d like to read an article in its entirety or not.
You may come across abstracts while researching a topic. Many databases display abstracts in the search results and often display them before showing the full text of an article or scientific study. It is important to create a high quality abstract that accurately communicates the purpose and goal of your paper, as readers will determine if it is worthy to continue reading or not.
Are you wondering if you need to create an abstract for your assignment? Usually, student papers do not require an abstract. Abstracts are not typically seen in class assignments, and are usually only included when submitting a paper for publication. Unless your teacher or professor asked for it, you probably don’t need to have one for your class assignment.
If you’re planning on submitting your paper to a journal for publication, first check the journal’s website to learn about abstract and APA paper format requirements.
Here are some helpful suggestions to create a dynamic abstract:
- Abstracts are found on their own page, directly after the title or cover page.
- Professional papers only (not student papers): Include the running head on the top of the page.
- On the first line of the page, center the word “Abstract” (but do not include quotation marks).
- On the following line, write a summary of the key points of your research. Your abstract summary is a way to introduce readers to your research topic, the questions that will be answered, the process you took, and any findings or conclusions you drew. Use concise, brief, informative language. You only have a few sentences to share the summary of your entire document, so be direct with your wording.
- This summary should not be indented, but should be double-spaced and less than 250 words.
- If applicable, help researchers find your work in databases by listing keywords from your paper after your summary. To do this, indent and type Keywords : in italics. Then list your keywords that stand out in your research. You can also include keyword strings that you think readers will type into the search box.
- Active voice: The subjects reacted to the medication.
- Passive voice: There was a reaction from the subjects taking the medication.
- Instead of evaluating your project in the abstract, simply report what it contains.
- If a large portion of your work includes the extension of someone else’s research, share this in the abstract and include the author’s last name and the year their work was released.
APA format example page:
Here’s an example of an abstract:
Visual design is a critical aspect of any web page or user interface, and its impact on a user’s experience has been studied extensively. Research has shown a positive correlation between a user’s perceived usability and a user’s assessment of visual design. Additionally, perceived web quality, which encompasses visual design, has a positive relationship with both initial and continued consumer purchase intention. However, visual design is often assessed using self-report scale, which are vulnerable to a few pitfalls. Because self-report questionnaires are often reliant on introspection and honesty, it is difficult to confidently rely on self-report questionnaires to make important decisions. This study aims to ensure the validity of a visual design assessment instrument (Visual Aesthetics of Websites Inventory: Short version) by examining its relationship with biometric (variables), like galvanic skin response, pupillometry, and fixation information. Our study looked at participants assessment of a webpage’s visual design, and compared it to their biometric responses while viewing the webpage. Overall, we found that both average fixation duration and pupil dilation differed when participants viewed web pages with lower visual design ratings compared to web pages with a higher visual design rating.
Keywords : usability, visual design, websites, eye tracking, pupillometry, self-report, VisAWI
The body of an APA paper
On the page after the title page (if a student paper) or the abstract (if a professional paper), begin with the body of the paper.
Most papers follow this format:
- At the top of the page, add the page number in the upper right corner of all pages, including the title page.
- On the next line write the title in bold font and center it. Do not underline or italicize it.
- Begin with the introduction and indent the first line of the paragraph. All paragraphs in the body are indented.
Sample body for a student paper:
Most scientific or professional papers have additional sections and guidelines:
- Start with the running head (title + page number). The heading title should be in capital letters. The abstract page should be page 2.
- The introduction presents the problem and premise upon which the research was based. It goes into more detail about this problem than the abstract.
- Begin a new section with the Method and use this word as the subtitle. Bold and center this subtitle. The Method section shows how the study was run and conducted. Be sure to describe the methods through which data was collected.
- Begin a new section with the Results . Bold and center this subtitle. The Results section summarizes your data. Use charts and graphs to display this data.
- Draw conclusions and support how your data led to these conclusions.
- Discuss whether or not your hypothesis was confirmed or not supported by your results.
- Determine the limitations of the study and next steps to improve research for future studies.
Sample body for a professional paper:
Keep in mind, APA citation format is much easier than you think, thanks to EasyBib.com. Try our automatic generator and watch how we create APA citation format references for you in just a few clicks. While you’re at it, take a peek at our other helpful guides, such as our APA reference page guide, to make sure you’re on track with your research papers.
Proper usage of headings & subheadings in APA Format
Headings (p. 47) serve an important purpose in research papers — they organize your paper and make it simple to locate different pieces of information. In addition, headings provide readers with a glimpse to the main idea, or content, they are about to read.
In APA format, there are five levels of headings, each with a different formatting:
- This is the title of your paper
- The title should be centered in the middle of the page
- The title should be bolded
- Use uppercase and lowercase letters where necessary (called title capitalization)
- Place this heading against the left margin
- Use bold letters
- Use uppercase and lowercase letters where necessary
- Place this heading against the left side margin
- End the heading with a period
- Indented in from the left margin
Following general formatting rules, all headings are double spaced and there are no extra lines or spaces between sections.
Here is a visual APA format template for levels of headings:
Use of graphics (tables and figures) in APA Format
If you’re looking to jazz up your project with any charts, tables, drawings, or images, there are certain APA format rules (pp. 195-250) to follow.
First and foremost, the only reason why any graphics should be added is to provide the reader with an easier way to see or read information, rather than typing it all out in the text.
Lots of numbers to discuss? Try organizing your information into a chart or table. Pie charts, bar graphs, coordinate planes, and line graphs are just a few ways to show numerical data, relationships between numbers, and many other types of information.
Instead of typing out long, drawn out descriptions, create a drawing or image. Many visual learners would appreciate the ability to look at an image to make sense of information.
Before you go ahead and place that graphic in your paper, here are a few key guidelines:
- Follow them in the appropriate numerical order in which they appear in the text of your paper. Example : Figure 1, Figure 2, Table 1, Figure 3.
- Example: Figure 1, Figure 2, Table 1, Figure 3
- Only use graphics if they will supplement the material in your text. If they reinstate what you already have in your text, then it is not necessary to include a graphic.
- Include enough wording in the graphic so that the reader is able to understand its meaning, even if it is isolated from the corresponding text. However, do not go overboard with adding a ton of wording in your graphic.
- Left align tables and figures
In our APA format sample paper , you’ll find examples of tables after the references. You may also place tables and figures within the text just after it is mentioned.
Is there anything better than seeing a neatly organized data table? We think not! If you have tons of numbers or data to share, consider creating a table instead of typing out a wordy paragraph. Tables are pretty easy to whip up on Google Docs or Microsoft Word.
General format of a table should be:
- Table number
- Choose to type out your data OR create a table. As stated above, in APA format, you shouldn’t have the information typed out in your paper and also have a table showing the same exact information. Choose one or the other.
- If you choose to create a table, discuss it very briefly in the text. Say something along the lines of, “Table 1 displays the amount of money used towards fighting Malaria.” Or, “Stomach cancer rates are displayed in Table 4.”
- If you’re submitting your project for a class, place your table close to the text where it’s mentioned. If you’re submitting it to be published in a journal, most publishers prefer tables to be placed in the back. If you’re unsure where to place your tables, ask!
- Include the table number first and at the top. Table 1 is the first table discussed in the paper. Table 2 is the next table mentioned, and so on. This should be in bold.
- Add a title under the number. Create a brief, descriptive title. Capitalize the first letter for each important word. Italicize the title and place it under the table number.
- Only use horizontal lines.
- Limit use of cell shading.
- Keep the font at 12-point size and use single or double spacing. If you use single spacing in one table, make sure all of the others use single spaces as well. Keep it consistent.
- All headings should be centered.
- In the first column (called the stub), center the heading, left-align the information underneath it (indent 0.15 inches if info is more than one line).
- Information in other columns should be centered.
- General . Information about the whole table.
- Specific . Information targeted for a specific column, row, or cell.
- Probability . Explains what certain table symbols mean. For example, asterisks, p values, etc.
Here’s an APA format example of a table:
We know putting together a table is pretty tricky. That’s why we’ve included not one, but a few tables on this page. Scroll down and look at the additional tables in the essay in APA format example found below.
Figures represent information in a visual way. They differ from tables in that they are visually appealing. Sure, tables, like the one above, can be visually appealing, but it’s the color, circles, arrows, boxes, or icons included that make a figure a “figure.”
There are many commonly used figures in papers. Examples APA Format:
- Hierarchy charts
General format of a figure is the same as tables. This means each should include:
- Figure number
Use the same formatting tables use for the number, title, and note.
Here are some pointers to keep in mind when it comes to APA format for figures:
- Only include a figure if it adds value to your paper. If it will truly help with understanding, include it!
- Either include a figure OR write it all out in the text. Do not include the same information twice.
- If a note is added, it should clearly explain the content of the figure. Include any reference information if it’s reproduced or adapted.
APA format sample of a figure:
We live in a world where we have tons of photographs available at our fingertips.
Photographs found through Google Images, social media, stock photos made available from subscription sites, and tons of other various online sources make obtaining photographs a breeze. We can even pull out our cell phones, and in just a few seconds, take pictures with our cameras.
Photographs are simple to find, and because of this, many students enjoy using them in their papers.
If you have a photograph you would like to include in your project, here are some guidelines from the American Psychological Association.
- Create a reference for the photograph. Follow the guidelines under the table and figure sections above.
- Do not use color photos. It is recommended to use black and white. Colors can change depending on the reader’s screen resolution. Using black and white ensures the reader will be able to view the image clearly. The only time it is recommended to use color photos is if you’re writing about color-specific things. For example, if you’re discussing the various shades of leaf coloration, you may want to include a few photographs of colorful leaves.
- If there are sections of the photograph that are not related to your work, it is acceptable to crop them out. Cropping is also beneficial in that it helps the reader focus on the main item you’re discussing.
- If you choose to include an image of a person you know, it would be respectful if you ask their permission before automatically including their photo in your paper. Some schools and universities post research papers online and some people prefer that their photos and information stay off the Internet.
B. Writing Style Tips
Writing a paper for scientific topics is much different than writing for English, literature, and other composition classes. Science papers are much more direct, clear, and concise. This section includes key suggestions, explains how to write in APA format, and includes other tidbits to keep in mind while formulating your research paper.
Verb usage in APA
Research experiments and observations rely on the creation and analysis of data to test hypotheses and come to conclusions. While sharing and explaining the methods and results of studies, science writers often use verbs.
When using verbs in writing, make sure that you continue to use them in the same tense throughout the section you’re writing. Further details are in the publication manual (p. 117).
Here’s an APA format example:
We tested the solution to identify the possible contaminants.
It wouldn’t make sense to add this sentence after the one above:
We tested the solution to identify the possible contaminants. Researchers often test solutions by placing them under a microscope.
Notice that the first sentence is in the past tense while the second sentence is in the present tense. This can be confusing for readers.
For verbs in scientific papers, the APA manual recommends using:
- Past tense or present perfect tense for the explantation of the procedure
- Past tense for the explanation of the results
- Present tense for the explanation of the conclusion and future implications
If this is all a bit much, and you’re simply looking for help with your references, try the EasyBib.com APA format generator . Our APA formatter creates your references in just a few clicks. APA citation format is easier than you think thanks to our innovative, automatic tool.
Even though your writing will not have the same fluff and detail as other forms of writing, it should not be boring or dull to read. The Publication Manual suggests thinking about who will be the main reader of your work and to write in a way that educates them.
How to reduce bias & labels
The American Psychological Association strongly objects to any bias towards gender, racial groups, ages of individuals or subjects, disabilities, and sexual orientation (pp. 131-149). If you’re unsure whether your writing is free of bias and labels or not, have a few individuals read your work to determine if it’s acceptable.
Here are a few guidelines that the American Psychological Association suggests :
- Only include information about an individual’s orientation or characteristic if it is important to the topic or study. Do not include information about individuals or labels if it is not necessary.
- If writing about an individual’s characteristic or orientation, for essay APA format, make sure to put the person first. Instead of saying, “Diabetic patients,” say, “Patients who are diabetic.”
- Instead of using narrow terms such as, “adolescents,” or “the elderly,” try to use broader terms such as, “participants,” and “subjects.”
- “They” or “their” are acceptable gender-neutral pronouns to use.
- Be mindful when using terms that end with “man” or “men” if they involve subjects who are female. For example, instead of using “Firemen,” use the term, “Firefighter.” In general, avoid ambiguity.
- When referring to someone’s racial or ethnic identity, use the census category terms and capitalize the first letter. Also, avoid using the word, “minority,” as it can be interpreted as meaning less than or deficient. Instead, say “people of color” or “underrepresented groups.”
- When describing subjects in APA format, use the words “girls” and “boys” for children who are under the age of 12. The terms, “young woman,” “young man,” “female adolescent,” and “male adolescent” are appropriate for subjects between 13-17 years old; “Men,” and “women,” for those older than 18. Use the term, “older adults.” for individuals who are older. “Elderly,” and “senior,” are not acceptable if used only as nouns. It is acceptable to use these terms if they’re used as adjectives.
Read through our example essay in APA format, found in section D, to see how we’ve reduced bias and labels.
Spelling in APA Format
- In APA formatting, use the same spelling as words found in Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (American English) (p. 161).
- If the word you’re trying to spell is not found in Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, a second resource is Webster’s Third New International Dictionary .
- If attempting to properly spell words in the psychology field, consult the American Psychological Association’s Dictionary of Psychology
Thanks to helpful tools and features, such as the spell checker, in word processing programs, most of us think we have everything we need right in our document. However, quite a few helpful features are found elsewhere.
Where can you find a full grammar editor? Right here, on EasyBib.com. The EasyBib Plus paper checker scans your paper for spelling, but also for any conjunction , determiner, or adverb out of place. Try it out and unlock the magic of an edited paper.
Abbreviation do’s and don’ts in APA Format
Abbreviations can be tricky. You may be asking yourself, “Do I include periods between the letters?” “Are all letters capitalized?” “Do I need to write out the full name each and every time?” Not to worry, we’re breaking down the publication manual’s abbreviations (p. 172) for you here.
First and foremost, use abbreviations sparingly.
Too many and you’re left with a paper littered with capital letters mashed together. Plus, they don’t lend themselves to smooth and easy reading. Readers need to pause and comprehend the meaning of abbreviations and quite often stumble over them.
- If the abbreviation is used less than three times in the paper, type it out each time. It would be pretty difficult to remember what an abbreviation or acronym stands for if you’re writing a lengthy paper.
- If you decide to sprinkle in abbreviations, it is not necessary to include periods between the letters.
- Example: While it may not affect a patient’s short-term memory (STM), it may affect their ability to comprehend new terms. Patients who experience STM loss while using the medication should discuss it with their doctor.
- Example : AIDS
- The weight in pounds exceeded what we previously thought.
Punctuation in APA Format
One space after most punctuation marks.
The manual recommends using one space after most punctuation marks, including punctuation at the end of a sentence (p. 154). It doesn’t hurt to double check with your teacher or professor to ask their preference since this rule was changed recently (in 2020).
The official APA format book was primarily created to aid individuals with submitting their paper for publication in a professional journal. Many schools adopt certain parts of the handbook and modify sections to match their preference. To see an example of an APA format research paper, with the spacing we believe is most commonly and acceptable to use, scroll down and see section D.
For more information related to the handbook, including frequently asked questions, and more, here’s further reading on the style
It’s often a heated debate among writers whether or not to use an Oxford comma (p. 155), but for this style, always use an Oxford comma. This type of comma is placed before the words AND and OR or in a series of three items.
Example of APA format for commas: The medication caused drowsiness, upset stomach, and fatigue.
Here’s another example: The subjects chose between cold, room temperature, or warm water.
When writing a possessive singular noun, you should place the apostrophe before the s. For possessive plural nouns, the apostrophe is placed after the s.
- Singular : Linda Morris’s jacket
- Plural : The Morris’ house
Em dashes (long dash) are used to bring focus to a particular point or an aside. There are no spaces after these dashes (p. 157).
Use en dashes (short dash) in compound adjectives. Do not place a space before or after the dash. Here are a few examples:
Number rules in APA Format
Science papers often include the use of numbers, usually displayed in data, tables, and experiment information. The golden rule to keep in mind is that numbers less than 10 are written out in text. If the number is more than 10, use numerals.
APA format examples:
- 14 kilograms
- seven individuals
- 83 years old
- Fourth grade
The golden rule for numbers has exceptions.
In APA formatting, use numerals if you are:
- Showing numbers in a table or graph
- 4 divided by 2
Use numbers written out as words if you are:
- Ninety-two percent of teachers feel as though….
- Hundred Years’ War
- One-sixth of the students
Other APA formatting number rules to keep in mind:
- World War II
- Super Bowl LII
- It’s 1980s, not 1980’s!
Additional number rules can be found in the publication manual (p. 178)
Need help with other writing topics? Our plagiarism checker is a great resource for anyone looking for writing help. Say goodbye to an out of place noun , preposition , or adjective, and hello to a fully edited paper.
Overview of APA references
While writing a research paper, it is always important to give credit and cite your sources; this lets you acknowledge others’ ideas and research you’ve used in your own work. Not doing so can be considered plagiarism , possibly leading to a failed grade or loss of a job.
APA style is one of the most commonly used citation styles used to prevent plagiarism. Here’s more on crediting sources . Let’s get this statement out of the way before you become confused: An APA format reference and an APA format citation are two different things! We understand that many teachers and professors use the terms as if they’re synonyms, but according to this specific style, they are two separate things, with different purposes, and styled differently.
A reference displays all of the information about the source — the title, the author’s name, the year it was published, the URL, all of it! References are placed on the final page of a research project.
Here’s an example of a reference:
Wynne-Jones, T. (2015). The emperor of any place . Candlewick Press.
An APA format citation is an APA format in-text citation. These are found within your paper, anytime a quote or paraphrase is included. They usually only include the name of the author and the date the source was published.
Here’s an example of one:
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is even discussed in the book, The Emperor of Any Place . The main character, Evan, finds a mysterious diary on his father’s desk (the same desk his father died on, after suffering from a hypertrophic cardiomyopathy attack). Evan unlocks the truth to his father and grandfather’s past (Wynne-Jones, 2015).
Both of the ways to credit another individual’s work — in the text of a paper and also on the final page — are key to preventing plagiarism. A writer must use both types in a paper. If you cite something in the text, it must have a full reference on the final page of the project. Where there is one, there must be the other!
Now that you understand that, here’s some basic info regarding APA format references (pp. 281-309).
- Each reference is organized, or structured, differently. It all depends on the source type. A book reference is structured one way, an APA journal is structured a different way, a newspaper article is another way. Yes, it’s probably frustrating that not all references are created equal and set up the same way. MLA works cited pages are unique in that every source type is formatted the same way. Unfortunately, this style is quite different.
- Most references follow this general format:
Author’s Last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year published). Title of source . URL.
Again, as stated in the above paragraph, you must look up the specific source type you’re using to find out the placement of the title, author’s name, year published, etc.
For more information on APA format for sources and how to reference specific types of sources, use the other guides on EasyBib.com. Here’s another useful site .
Looking for a full visual of a page of references? Scroll down and take a peek at our APA format essay example towards the bottom of this page. You’ll see a list of references and you can gain a sense of how they look.
Bonus: here’s a link to more about the fundamentals related to this particular style. If you want to brush up or catch up on the Modern Language Association’s style, here’s a great resource on how to cite websites in MLA .
In-text APA citation format
Did you find the perfect quote or piece of information to include in your project? Way to go! It’s always a nice feeling when we find that magical piece of data or info to include in our writing. You probably already know that you can’t just copy and paste it into your project, or type it in, without also providing credit to the original author.
Displaying where the original information came from is much easier than you think.Directly next to the quote or information you included, place the author’s name and the year nearby. This allows the reader of your work to see where the information originated.
APA allows for the use of two different forms of in-text citation, parenthetical and narrative Both forms of citation require two elements:
- author’s name
- year of publication
The only difference is the way that this information is presented to the reader.
Parenthetical citations are the more commonly seen form of in-text citations for academic work, in which both required reference elements are presented at the end of the sentence in parentheses. Example:
Harlem had many artists and musicians in the late 1920s (Belafonte, 2008).
Narrative citations allow the author to present one or both of the required reference elements inside of the running sentence, which prevents the text from being too repetitive or burdensome. When only one of the two reference elements is included in the sentence, the other is provided parenthetically. Example:
According to Belafonte (2008), Harlem was full of artists and musicians in the late 1920s.
If there are two authors listed in the source entry, then the parenthetical reference must list them both:
(Smith & Belafonte, 2008)
If there are three or more authors listed in the source entry, then the parenthetical reference can abbreviate with “et al.”, the latin abbreviation for “and others”:
(Smith et al., 2008)
The author’s names are structured differently if there is more than one author. Things will also look different if there isn’t an author at all (which is sometimes the case with website pages). For more information on APA citation format, check out this page on the topic: APA parenthetical citation and APA in-text citation . There is also more information in the official manual in chapter 8.
If it’s MLA in-text and parenthetical citations you’re looking for, we’ve got your covered there too! You might want to also check out his guide on parenthetical citing .
Would you benefit from having a tool that helps you easily generate citations that are in the text? Check out EasyBib Plus!
References page in APA Format
An APA format reference page is easier to create than you probably think. We go into detail on how to create this page on our APA reference page . We also have a guide for how to create an annotated bibliography in APA . But, if you’re simply looking for a brief overview of the reference page, we’ve got you covered here.
Here are some pointers to keep in mind when it comes to the references page in APA format:
- This VIP page has its very own page. Start on a fresh, clean document (p. 303).
- Center and bold the title “References” (do not include quotation marks, underline, or italicize this title).
- Alphabetize and double-space ALL entries.
- Use a readable font, such as Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri, or Lucida (p. 44).
- Every quote or piece of outside information included in the paper should be referenced and have an entry.
- Even though it’s called a “reference page,” it can be longer than one page. If your references flow onto the next page, then that’s a-okay.
- Only include the running head if it is required by your teacher or you’re writing a professional paper.
Sample reference page for a student paper:
Here’s another friendly reminder to use the EasyBib APA format generator (that comes with EasyBib Plus) to quickly and easily develop every single one of your references for you. Try it out! Our APA formatter is easy to use and ready to use 24/7.
Final APA Format Checklist
Prior to submitting your paper, check to make sure you have everything you need and everything in its place:
- Did you credit all of the information and quotes you used in the body of your paper and show a matching full reference at the end of the paper? Remember, you need both! Need more information on how to credit other authors and sources? Check out our other guides, or use the EasyBib APA format generator to credit your sources quickly and easily. EasyBib.com also has more styles than just the one this page focuses on.
- 12-pt. Times New Roman
- 11-pt. Calibri, Arial, Georgia
- 10-pt. Lucida, Sans Unicode, Computer Modern
- If you created an abstract, is it directly after the title page? Some teachers and professors do not require an abstract, so before you go ahead and include it, make sure it’s something he or she is expecting.
- Professional paper — Did you include a running head on every single page of your project?
- Student paper — Did you include page numbers in the upper right-hand corner of all your pages?
- Are all headings, as in section or chapter titles, properly formatted? If you’re not sure, check section number 9.
- Are all tables and figures aligned properly? Did you include notes and other important information directly below the table or figure? Include any information that will help the reader completely understand everything in the table or figure if it were to stand alone.
- Are abbreviations used sparingly? Did you format them properly?
- Is the entire document double spaced?
- Are all numbers formatted properly? Check section 17, which is APA writing format for numbers.
- Did you glance at the sample paper? Is your assignment structured similarly? Are all of the margins uniform?
Submitting Your APA Paper
Congratulations for making it this far! You’ve put a lot of effort into writing your paper and making sure the t’s are crossed and the i’s are dotted. If you’re planning to submit your paper for a school assignment, make sure you review your teacher or professor’s procedures.
If you’re submitting your paper to a journal, you probably need to include a cover letter.
Most cover letters ask you to include:
- The author’s contact information.
- A statement to the editor that the paper is original.
- If a similar paper exists elsewhere, notify the editor in the cover letter.
Once again, review the specific journal’s website for exact specifications for submission.
Okay, so you’re probably thinking you’re ready to hit send or print and submit your assignment. Can we offer one last suggestion? We promise it will only take a minute.
Consider running your paper through our handy dandy paper checker. It’s pretty simple.
Copy and paste or upload your paper into our checker. Within a minute, we’ll provide feedback on your spelling and grammar. If there’s a pronoun , interjection , or verb out of place, we’ll highlight it and offer suggestions for improvement. We’ll even take it a step further and point out any instances of possible plagiarism.
If it sounds too good to be true, then head on over to our innovative tool and give it a whirl. We promise you won’t be disappointed.
What is APA Format?
APA stands for the American Psychological Association . In this guide, you’ll find information related to “What is APA format?” in relation to writing and organizing your paper according to the American Psychological Association’s standards. Information on how to cite sources can be found on our APA citation page. The official American Psychological Association handbook was used as a reference for our guide and we’ve included page numbers from the manual throughout. However, this page is not associated with the association.
You’ll most likely use APA format if your paper is on a scientific topic. Many behavioral and social sciences use this organization’s standards and guidelines.
What are behavioral sciences? Behavioral sciences study human and animal behavior. They can include:
- Cognitive Science
What are social sciences? Social sciences focus on one specific aspect of human behavior, specifically social and cultural relationships. Social sciences can include:
- Political Science
- Human Geography
What’s New in the 7th Edition?
This citation style was created by the American Psychological Association. Its rules and guidelines can be found in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association . The information provided in the guide above follows the 6th edition (2009) of the manual. The 7th edition was published in 2020 and is the most recent version.
The 7th edition of the Publication Manual is in full color and includes 12 sections (compared to 8 sections in the 6th edition). In general, this new edition differentiates between professional and student papers, includes guidance with accessibility in mind, provides new examples to follow, and has updated guidelines.We’ve selected a few notable updates below, but for a full view of all of the 7th edition changes visit the style’s website linked here .
- Paper title
- Student name
- Affiliation (e.g., school, department, etc.)
- Course number and title
- Course instructor
- 6th edition – Running head: SMARTPHONE EFFECTS ON ADOLESCENT SOCIALIZATION
- 7th edition – SMARTPHONE EFFECTS ON ADOLESCENT SOCIALIZATION
- Pronouns . “They” can be used as a gender-neutral pronoun.
- Bias-free language guidelines . There are updated and new sections on guidelines for this section. New sections address participation in research, socioeconomic status, and intersectionality.
- Spacing after sentences. Add only a single space after end punctuation.
- Tables and figures . The citing format is now streamlined so that both tables and figures should include a name and number above the table/figure, and a note underneath the table/figure.
- 6th ed. – (Ikemoto, Richardson, Murphy, Yoshida 2016)
- 7th ed. – (Ikemoto et al., 2016)
- Citing books. The location of the publisher can be omitted. Also, e-books no longer need to mention the format (e.g., Kindle, etc.)
- Example: https://doi.org/10.1038/s42255-019-0153-5
- Using URLs. URLs no longer need to be prefaced by the words “Retrieved from.”
New citing information . There is new guidance on citing classroom or intranet resources, and oral traditions or traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples.
Visit our EasyBib Twitter feed to discover more citing tips, fun grammar facts, and the latest product updates.
American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.) (2020). American Psychological Association. https://doi.org/10.1037/0000165-000
Published October 31, 2011. Updated May 14, 2020.
Written and edited by Michele Kirschenbaum and Elise Barbeau. Michele Kirschenbaum is a school library media specialist and the in-house librarian at EasyBib.com. Elise Barbeau is the Citation Specialist at Chegg. She has worked in digital marketing, libraries, and publishing.
APA Formatting Guide
- Annotated Bibliography
- Block Quotes
- et al Usage
- Multiple Authors
- Page Numbers
- Parenthetical Citations
- Sample Paper
- View APA Guide
- Book Chapter
- Journal Article
- Magazine Article
- Newspaper Article
- Website (no author)
- View all APA Examples
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We should not use “et al.” in APA reference list entries. If the number of authors in the source is up to and including 20, list all author names and use an ampersand (&) before the final author’s name. If the number of authors is more than 20, list the first 19 authors’ names followed by an ellipsis (but no ampersand), and then add the final author’s name. An example of author names in a reference entry having more than 20 authors is given below:
Author Surname1, F. M., Author Surname2, F. M., Author Surname3, F. M., Author Surname4, F. M., Author Surname5, F. M., Author Surname6, F. M., Author Surname7, F. M., Author Surname8, F. M., Author Surname9, F. M., Author Surname10, F. M., Author Surname11, F. M., Author Surname12, F. M., Author Surname13, F. M., Author Surname14, F. M., Author Surname15, F. M., Author Surname16, F. M., Author Surname17, F. M., Author Surname18, F. M., Author Surname19, F. M., . . . Last Author Surname, F. M. (Publication Year).
Alvarez, L. D., Peach, J. L., Rodriguez, J. F., Donald, L., Thomas, M., Aruck, A., Samy, K., Anthony, K., Ajey, M., Rodriguez, K. L., Katherine, K., Vincent, A., Pater, F., Somu, P., Pander, L., Berd, R., Fox, L., Anders, A., Kamala, W., . . . Nicole Jones, K. (2019).
Note that, unlike references with 2 to 20 author names, the symbol “&” is not used here before the last author’s name.
APA 7, released in October 2019, has some new updates. Here is a brief description of the updates made in APA 7.
Different types of papers and best practices are given in detail in Chapter 1.
How to format a student title page is explained in Chapter 2. Examples of a professional paper and a student paper are included.
Chapter 3 provides additional information on qualitative and mixed methods of research.
An update on writing style is included in Chapter 4.
In chapter 5, some best practices for writing with bias-free language are included.
Chapter 6 gives some updates on style elements including using a single space after a period, including a citation with an abbreviation, the treatment of numbers in abstracts, treatment for different types of lists, and the formatting of gene and protein names.
In Chapter 7, additional examples are given for tables and figures for different types of publications.
In Chapter 8, how to format quotations and how to paraphrase text are covered with additional examples. A simplified version of in-text citations is clearly illustrated.
Chapter 9 has many updates: listing all author names up to 20 authors, standardizing DOIs and URLs, and the formatting of an annotated bibliography.
Chapter 10 includes many examples with templates for all reference types. New rules covering the inclusion of the issue number for journals and the omission of publisher location from book references are provided. Explanations of how to cite YouTube videos, power point slides, and TED talks are included.
Chapter 11 includes many legal references for easy understanding.
Chapter 12 provides advice for authors on how to promote their papers.
For more information on some of the changes found in APA 7, check out this EasyBib article .
APA Citation Examples
Other Citation Styles
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- Subject guides
- Referencing and Citation Styles
- Chicago 17th A
Referencing and Citation Styles: Chicago 17th A
Official chicago 17th a referencing manual.
The official published manual for Chicago 17th A is:
- The Chicago manual of style. (17th edition.). (2017). The University of Chicago Press. Available online
Chicago 17th A Style
- Chicago Manual of Style Online: What’s New in the 17th Edition
Some important changes include (2017):
- The use of ibid. for subsequent citations is now discouraged in favor of shortened citations. ( 14.29 )
- Expanded information on personal communications, including texts and posts through social media ( 14.214 )
- Expanded information on the elements of multimedia citations ( 14.261 )
- New information on permalinks ( 14.9)
- New information on the use of short URLs ( 14.10 )
- Citing locations in electronic formats without fixed pages ( 14.160 )
References in the body of your essay
Chicago 17th A (the Notes system) uses a footnotes and bibliography format of referencing. Footnotes require you to mark the in-text citation with a superscript number and provide a reference citation within the footnote. Throughout the document these are numbered in sequential order. Subsequent occurrences of the same citation will have an abbreviated form as indicated below. You are then required to provide the full list of references cited in your document as the bibliography. Please note that the first line of all footnote citations are indented.
Example of a footnote
- ...if film tried to show the complexity of Austen's narrative voice, the final product would be almost impossible to follow. 1
Footnote (at the bottom of the page)
- 1. Olivia Murphy, "Books, Bras and Bridget Jones: Reading Adaptions of Pride and Prejudice ," Sydney Studies in English 31(2005): 29.
Each example illustrates the footnote entry and subsequent appearances of the same reference.
- 1. Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns, The War: An Intimate History, 1941–1945 (New York: Knopf, 2007), 52.
Subsequent footnotes can use a shortened version of the citation
- 2. Ward and Burns, War , 61–64.
1. John D. Kelly, “Seeing Red: Mao Fetishism, Pax Americana, and the Moral Economy of War,” in Anthropology and Global Counterinsurgency , ed. John D. Kelly et al. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010), 77.
3. Kelly, “Seeing Red,” 81–82.
1. Russell Winslow, “On Mimetic Style in Plato’s Republic,” Philosophy & Rhetoric 45, no. 1 (2012): 54.
3. Winslow, “Plato’s Republic,” 52–53.
1. Daniel Mendelsohn, “But Enough about Me,” New Yorker , January 25, 2010, 68.
3. Mendelsohn, “But Enough about Me,” 69.
1. "Abdul Abdullah,” Museum of Contemporary Art, accessed September 14, 2017, https://www.mca.com.au/collection/artist/abdullah-abdul/
2. “Abdul Abdullah,” MCA.
Your bibliography should be ordered alphabetically by author family name. When you have multiple bibliographic entries from the same author, arrange by title, see section 14.71 of the style manual. The Chicago 17th A style requires references to have a hanging indent as illustrated below in the examples. For more examples please consult the complete style manual for the Notes system.
- Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. Edited with an introduction and notes by Vivien Jones. London: Penguin, 1996.
- Lau, Beth. “Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice .” In A Companion to Romanticism , edited by Duncan Wu, 219-226. Oxford: Blackwell, 1998.
- Walton, Inga. “Novel Dressing.” Textile Fibre Forum 28, no. 4 (2009): 12-14.
- Frost, Andrew. “William Kentridge: The Refusal of Time – interview.” The Guardian. Last modified February 21, 2014. http://www.theguardian.com/culture/australia-culture-blog/2014/feb/21/william-kentridge-the-refusal-of-time-interview.
- Dali, Salvador. Salvador Dali: Liquid Desire. Curated by Ted Gott. Melbourne: National Gallery of Victoria, 2009. Exhibition catalog.
- Chicago 17th Quick Guide Quick reference guide from Chicago University Press
- SCA Chicago Referencing Guide Guide for students at the Sydney College of the Arts (SCA)
- SCM Chicago Guide Guide for students at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music (SCM)
- Chicago Manual of Style Online 14.235: Citing paintings, photographs, and sculpture
Images are not usually represented in a bibliography, but rather an image list as part of the front matter or directly by the image in the text.
Caption for a Work of Art
Figure 1. Max Dupain, Sunbaker , 1937. Gelatin silver photograph, 38.6 x 43.4cm. National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
Caption for an image, reproduced from the Internet
Vincent Namatjira, Self-portrait on Friday , 2017. Acrylic on linen, 152 x 122 cm. https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/prizes/
For further examples please see the SCA Chicago Referencing Guide above.
Architecture, Design & Planning (ADP) Students
You will find detailed videos on how to use and properly acknowledge images, as well as coding & 3D models in your Academic Skills Portal
- ADP Academic Skills Portal Canvas site for ADP students only
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- Last Updated: Oct 4, 2023 11:23 AM
- URL: https://libguides.library.usyd.edu.au/citation
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are advised that this website may contain images, voices and names of people who have died.
The University of Sydney Library acknowledges that its facilities sit on the ancestral lands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, who have for thousands of generations exchanged knowledge for the benefit of all. Learn more
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Citing tables, figures, and images: Chicago (17th ed) citation guide
On this page.
This guide is based on The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed. It provides examples of citations for commonly-used sources, using Notes and bibliography style only . For more detailed information consult directly The Chicago Manual of Style (17th ed.) [ print ].
For the Author-date style, see the Social sciences/sciences system .
In Chicago Style, the term figure can refer to illustrations or images that are displayed or reproduced separately from the text. Illustrations or images, in this case, can refer to a wide range of visual materials, including photographs, maps, drawings, and charts placed within a text. [ 3.1 ] [ 3.5 ]
Figures can be used to more easily refer to illustrations cited in your writing. This is particularly helpful where there are several cited illustrations. An example of a textual reference to a figure might look like the following: "as figure 2 shows..."; "when comparing figures 3 and 4." The lowercase figure should be used when making references to figures in the text. [ 3.9 ]
Captions are usually included immediately below a figure, and provide a text explanation of the visual. [ 3.9 ] The amount of detail in captions can vary from a few words to several sentences. Caption text should, where appropriate, be formatted as complete sentences with capitalization and punctuation. [ 3.21 ]
The titles of works, such as those from which the figures are taken, should be reproduced according to the standard Chicago Style rules, discussed in Chapter 8 of the manual, for notes and textual references. [ 3.22 ]
A credit line, which includes a statement about the figure's source, should be included. [ 3.29 ] This credit line often appears at the end of a caption. [ 3.30 ]
Figure 4. Frontispiece of Christian Prayers and Meditations (London: John Daye, 1569), showing Queen Elizabeth at prayer in her private chapel. Reproduced by permission of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Trustees of the Lambeth Palace Library.
Figure 3. Detailed stratigraphy and geochronology of the Dubawnt Supergroup.
Citing figures found in other works
When citing a figure, such as an illustration included within another text, you can include the abbreviation fig. to refer to the figure.
1. First Name Last Name of creator, Title of Work (Place of publication: Publisher, Year of publication), page number, figure number.
1. Kate van Orden, Music, Authorship, and the Book in the First Century of Print (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2013), 38, fig. 2.
Images are sometimes referred to as illustrations, artwork, or art in the Chicago Style, and refer to images presented separately from text (as opposed to an embedded chart or figure). Images, or illustrations, can come in a range of forms, including charts, maps, line drawings, paintings, and photographs. [ 3.1 ]
- Information about paintings, photographs, sculptures, or other works of art can usually be presented in the text rather than in a note or bibliography. [ 14.235 ]
- If note or bibliography entry is needed, follow the guidelines below.
1. First Name Last Name of creator, Title of Work, date of creation or completion, medium, Name of Institution, location (if applicable), URL.
As illustrated in Three Planets Dance over La Sill  , the phenomenon of 'syzygy' is when celestial bodies align in the sky.
1. Yuri Beletsky, Three Planets Dance over La Silla , June 3, 2013, photograph, European Southern Observatory, https://www.eso.org/public/images/potw1322a/ .
Incorporating images into the text of your paper
- If you chose to incorporate images into the text of your paper, the image should appear as soon as possible after the first text reference to it. [ 3.8 ]
- Images should bear numbers, and all text references to them should be by the numbers (eg. “as figure 1 shows…”) The word “figure” should be lowercased and fully spelled out, unless in parenthetical references (where “fig” may be used). [ 3.9 ]
- Below the image, the caption will begin with “Figure” or “Fig.” followed by a number and period. (Eg. Figure 1.) [ 3.23 ]
- A caption may consist of a word or two, an incomplete or a complete sentence, several sentences, or a combination. [ 3.21 ]
- Within a caption, most titles (including those for paintings, drawings, photographs, statues, and books) will be capitalized and italicized. [ 3.22 ]
- A brief statement of the source of an illustration, known as a credit line, is usually appropriate and sometimes required by the owner of the illustration.[ 3.29 ]
- A credit line usually appears at the end of a caption, sometimes in parentheses. [ 3.30 ]
- In addition to author, title, publication details, and (occasionally) copyright date, the credit line should include any page or figure number. If the work being credited is listed in the bibliography or reference list, only a shortened form need appear in the credit line [ 3.32 ]
- Illustrations from works in the public domain may be reproduced without permission. For readers’ information, however, a credit line is appropriate. [ 3.35 ]
Chicago in-text citation example
When celestial bodies are in alignment (see fig. 1) it is called syzygy.
*Note: The above formatting is meant as a guideline only. There is no definitive format for a figure caption. For example, see some examples of captions from the Chicago manual:
- Figure 1. Frontispiece of Christian Prayers and Meditations (London: John Daye, 1569), showing Queen Elizabeth at prayer in her private chapel. Reproduced by permission of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Trustees of the Lambeth Palace Library.
- Figure 2. Francis Bedford, Stratford on Avon Church from the Avon, 1860s. Albumen print of collodion negative, 18.8 × 28.0 cm. Rochester, International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House.
- Figure 3. The myth that all children love dinosaurs is contradicted by this nineteenth-century scene of a visit to the monsters at Crystal Palace. (Cartoon by John Leech. “Punch’s Almanack for 1855,” Punch 28 : 8. Photo courtesy of the Newberry Library, Chicago.)
Last name First name. Title of Work. Date of creation or completion. Medium. Name of Institution. Location (if applicable). URL.
Beletsky, Yuri. Three Planets Dance over La Silla. June 3, 2013. Photograph. European Southern Observatory. https://www.eso.org/public/images/potw1322a/ .
In Chicago Style, a table is defined as list presented as an array with horizontal rows and vertical columns. [ 3.2 ]
When more than one table is included, table numbering is recommended. However, this numbering should be separate from figure/illustration numbering (for example, fig. 1, fig 2., table 1, fig 3.). [ 3.50 ]
References to tables in the text should use the lowercase form of the word table. [ 3.50 ] A numbered table should be included as soon as possible after it is first referenced in the text. [ 3.51 ]
Notes to a table come in several types, and are always included directly below a table. These notes should have a separate numbering scheme from the text notes. [ 3.76 ]
For tables taken from another source, acknowledgement needs to be made in an unnumbered footnotes starting with Source: or Sources: [ 3.77 ]
Sources: Data from Richard H. Adams Jr., “Remittances, Investment, and Rural Asset Accumulation in Pakistan,” Economic Development and Cultural Change 47, no. 1 (1998): 155–73; David Bevan, Paul Collier, and Jan Gunning, Peasants and Government: An Economic Analysis (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989), 125–28.
Sources: Data from Adams (1998); Bevan, Collier, and Gunning (1989).