Formatting your paper


 Formatting your paper: Follow APA 6th Style Guidelines

Papers should be formatted according to the APA 6th style guidelines on A4-size paper.

What is APA 6th style? APA 6th style refers to the paper formatting guidelines adopted by the American Psychological Association, which are also used by many leading marketing, management, and business journals. APA 6th style sets standards for formatting typeface; in-text citations; reference lists; page margins; paragraph indents, spacing and margins; table and figure titles, numbering and appearance; use of statistics in tables and text; and other formatting issues.

Obtaining information on APA 6th style. Information about APA 6th style is obtainable from several sources.

  • The American Psychological Association publishes a detailed manual (see the American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington D.C.: Author.)
  • The Purdue University Online Writing Lab provides an excellent online information resource for APA 6th style, including detailed information and sample papers (see
  • Monash University provides a brief overview of APA 6th style online (see

Formatting papers to APA 6th style in practice. Several word processing packages (e.g., Microsoft Word™,™, LibreOffice™) provide special templates to help create new documents using the APA 6th style. Templates help automate choices about typeface, headings, paragraph settings, the appearance of the title page and other sections and other issues. Built-in databases also are provided to help keep track of references, format citations, and produce a reference list. Though helpful, these templates do not always fully comply with APA 6th style. Please be sure to check your final document is correctly formatted.

Citations provide the biggest headache when formatting papers. The best approach is to use one of the several excellent reference manager software packages. Most will output in APA 6th style, greatly reducing the work of formatting in-text citations and reference lists. EndNote™ is a leading package and is available free at many universities or for purchase online. Several free reference software packages are also available, such as Zotero™. Information on packages for most operating systems is available (Wikipedia here).

An important advantage of using a reference manager software package is that the major online academic literature providers (e.g., EBSCO Host, ScienceDirect, GoogleScholar) can be set to allow chosen references to be imported directly, greatly reducing typing and increasing the accuracy of your reference database. Once a source is captured, it can be used again in future documents. We encourage the use of reference management software.