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Writing Across the Curriculum


General Format

General format for manuscripts written in APA style is covered in the Diana Hacker guide, A Writer’s Reference, pages 381-417.  Remember that the important element is to cite any sources that you refer to, allude to, paraphrase, and/or directly quote.  What follows are some general guidelines for formatting. For more information about how to format a manuscript, see the links listed below in “additional resources.”
Your essay should be typed, double-spaced on standard-sized paper (8.5 X 11 inches) with margins of 1 inch on all sides. Your final essay should include, in the order indicated below, as many of the following sections as are applicable, each of which should begin on a separate page:

  • title page, which includes a running head for publication, title, and byline and affiliation
  • abstract
  • text
  • references
  • appendixes
  • author note
  • footnotes/endnotes
  • tables
  • figure captions
  • figure

The pages of your manuscript should be numbered consecutively, beginning with the title page, as part of the manuscript header in the upper right corner of each page. Your references should begin on a separate page from the text of the essay under the label References (with no quotation marks, underlining, etc.), centered at the top of the page. Appendices and notes should be formatted similarly.
Here is a sample title page in APA format. Note how it includes the running head and page number in the upper right hand corner, defines the running head that will title all manuscript pages, and centers the title in the middle of the page. Always remember to consult your instructor if you are writing a paper for a class; s/he may have different guidelines for how a title page should appear.

Referring to the Works of Others In Your Text

Reference citations in text are covered on pages 390-407 of A Writer’s Reference. For more about in-text references in general, see the University of Wisconsin-Madison Writing Center's page on citations or visit the links in our additional resources section for more information. What follows are some general guidelines for referring to the works of others in your text.
When using APA format, follow the author-date method of in-text citation. This means that the author's last name and the year of publication for the source should appear in the text, and a complete reference should appear in the reference list at the end of the paper.
If you are referring to an idea from another work but NOT directly quoting the material, or making reference to an entire book, article or other work, you only have to make reference to the author and year of publication in your in-text reference.
If you are paraphrasing an idea from another work, you only have to make reference to the author and year of publication in your in-text reference, but APA guidelines encourage you to also provide the page number (although it is not required.)
If you are directly quoting from a work, you will need to include the author, year of publication, and the page number for the reference. See our sections on quotations for more information about this.

Basic Rules

  • Authors' names are inverted (last name first); give the last name and initials for all authors of a particular work unless the work has more than six authors. If the work has more than six authors, list the first six authors and then use et al. after the sixth author's name to indicate the rest of the authors.
  • Reference list entries should be alphabetized by the last names of the first author of each work.
  • If you have more than one article by the same author(s), single-author references or multiple-author references with the exact same authors in the exact same order are listed in order by the year of publication, starting with the earliest.

Additional Resources:

The Diana Hacker companion site.

Wisconsin University Online Handbook to using APA format.

VanGuard University of Southern California APA style essentials.

University of Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) support site.

Specific guidelines and support for using electronic sources—from the APA.


Sample References List

Benjamin, B. J. & Spacek, S. (2001). Multicultural issues in home health care.  
           Journal of Multicultural Nursing & Health, 7(3), 26-28. Retrieved            December 10, 2001,from ProQuest  database.
Beyer, W. N.,  Heinz, G. H.,  Redmon-Norwood., A. W. (Eds.). (1996).  Environmental
           contaminants in wildlife : interpreting tissue concentrations
.  Boca Raton,            Fla : Lewis Publishers.
Borenstein, S. (2000, April 6).  Protective ozone layer at record low: Huge study predicts worse
to come. The Gazette (Montreal), p. B1.  Retrieved Novenber 20, 2001, from Canadian
Newsdisc database. Braintree.  (2000).  In The encyclopedia Americana (Vol. 4, p.433).  Danbury, CT: Grolier. Canada. Health Canada. (1999). A handbook for health and social service professionals
responding  to abuse during pregnancy. Ottawa: Author. Diamond, J. M.(1997).  Guns, gems and steel: The fates of human societies. New York: Norton. Green, A. (n. d.).  Living in harmony with vegetarians. Retrieved December 8, 2001, from            http://www.vegweb.com/articles/harmony.shtml Health Canada. (2001, February). The safety of genetically modified food crops. Retrieved
November 21, 2001 from Health Canada Online: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/english/
archives/Releases/2001/2001_13ebk5.htm The National Clearinghouse on Family Violence. (1995). The parent-teen relationship: Life
           through a teenager's eyes [Facts sheet]. Ottawa, Ontario: Health Canada, Author. Saunders, E. D.  (2000).  Buddha and Buddhism.  In The encyclopedia Americana
(Vol. 4, pp. 687-611). Danbury, CT: Grolier. Smith, S. (2001, July/August). Fighting fat.  Psychology Today, 26.  Retrieved November 19,
2001, from  ProQuest database. Youth Protection Act, c. P-34.1, S.Q. (1999).  Retrieved December 18, 2001, from
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