APA rules

APA rules

There are several kinds of rules that have as regular functionality the presentation and exhibition of academic documents. One of those are the APA standards that were created by the American Psychological Association (APA) founded in 1892.

This association is governed by ethics, valuing very important intellectual property and protecting the authors of various texts so that their research be respected.

What are APA standards?
The APA standards that stand for (American Psychological Association) are a series of standards with which all works of international type must be presented. They can be used for any type of document, however it is recommended for those works related to research, thesis and other academic texts.

It is of vital importance to bear in mind that citing the documents consulted is mandatory, since in case of not doing so, the text could be taken as plagiarism.

Format to develop works under the APA Standards

In this article you will find important information to produce a document using these standards. Throughout the text, the reader will find the correct format to start writing, the title structure, the abbreviations that can be used in its execution, the appropriate way to quote according to the type that is needed, how to reference and other informative topics. that will help you to achieve your report.

Next, the structure to be followed by a work governed by the APA Standards will be developed:

  • Paper: The size should be 21.59 x 27.94 centimeters, which equals 8½ x 11 inches. For this case, letter or A4 paper can be used.
  • Spacing: The text must be double spaced and the alignment of the paragraphs must be justified. Spaces between paragraphs should not be used.
  • Typeface: The font to be used will be Times New Roman with size 12.
  • Margins: Margins for written work should be left with a space of 2.54 / 1 centimeters.
  • Sangrías: It must be of five spaces in the first line of each paragraph.
  • The tables must not have lines that separate the cells.
  • The writing must be carried out in the third person.
  • The numbering should be located in the upper right.
  • The extensions of the titles may not be greater than thirty words.

If you want to use bullets, you can only use points or lines.

It is worth mentioning that the creation of scientific documents under the standards of the APA standards is very strict in terms of its presentation, referencing, citation, etc. For this reason before performing a job, the writer must know them thoroughly to be able to execute his text in the best possible way.

Titles in APA Standards
Titles should not be capitalized, only the initial letter of the first word will be capitalized.


This is the way in which the text should be executed:

  • Level 1: The header must be in bold and centered
  • Level 2: Must be written with heading aligned to the left and in bold.
  • Level 3: This header must have indentation, be written in bold and endpoint.
  • Level 4: The header will have indentation, italics and period at the end of the line.
  • Level 5: Must be with paragraph heading and carry indentation. It can not be written in bold. Use with italics and endpoint.

Abbreviations used
These are some of the most commonly used abbreviations to develop a text governed by APA Standards:

  • chap. Chapter
  • Ed. Edition
  • Vol. Volume
  • Vols. Volumes
  • Trad. Translator (s)
  • No. Number
  • Ed. Rev. Revised edition
  • S.F. Without date
  • Part Part

How to quote using APA Standards

To quote correctly it is important to determine the type of appointment that you want to make, at this point you will develop one by one the types of quotation that the author should take into account when writing a text:

Textual Quotation: This type of quotation refers to cases in which ideas or textual parts of a text are taken. Here the deleted words should be replaced with ellipses in this way (…). In this kind of appointment it is mandatory to include the author’s last name, the year in which the work was published, and the page from which the text was taken.

Quotations of less than 40 words: For this appointment the text must be included in quotation marks, and period after including the information and data of the author.

Quotation based on an author: Here you must include the author’s last name and year of publication. The information on the page from which the information was extracted should go at the end of the appointment.

Example: Education must be of an imperious nature. Keith (1980) states that: “All educators are absolutely dogmatic and authoritarian. Free education can not exist, because if you leave a free child you will not educate him “.

Quotation based on the text: The quotation is included and then the surname, year and page from which it was extracted. It should go in parentheses and followed by a period. In this appointment class you should not use quotation marks or italics if you do not have more than forty words. It should be cited with last name, year and page in a different paragraph.

Quote from paraphrasing: In this kind of quotation the ideas of the author are used but not in a textual way. It is important to include the author’s last name and the year of publication of the work.

Tables and figures

The titles of the tables must be explanatory and short. Lines are used to distinguish the categories (the titles of each of the columns) from the rest. These tables should be numbered with Arabic numerals, and to write them it is advisable to do it in a size of 9 to 10 points.

Rules by authors
Two authors: When dealing with two authors, the surnames must be separated by an.

Three to five authors: When dealing with three to five authors, at the time of citing them, the surnames of each one must be indicated. If you want to re-quote only the first one is named and “et” is added to the following point as follows: (et al.).

Six or more authors: In this case the surname of the first author is cited followed by “et al.” From the first citation.

Corporate Author: You must put the name of the organization instead of the author’s last name.

No name or anonymous: For this appointment class instead of the surname the word “anonymous” should be placed taking into account all the rules cited above.

Quote from an appointment: It is necessary to make this type of appointment when you come to secondary sources of information. This is done when an author quotes another in his text.

Notes: If a paragraph is carried out whose purpose is to expand the information, they must be marked with an index (1).


The references are a group of information and data from each of the sources that was consulted to carry out a work.

Difference between reference and bibliography: The bibliography cites works that help a later reading or functioned as support, additional includes texts and books that should be read for a better understanding. The references cite texts and information that support a specific article.

The list of references should be done with line spacing of 1.5, all should be French indented and the list of them should be organized alphabetically according to the last name of the authors.

How to quote and reference websites?
The following is a breakdown of the correct structure to reference a website:

“Last name, date (year, month, day). Page title. Publication site Editorial. Link where the information was taken (URL).

How to quote journal articles?
Surname, date (year, month day). Article title. Name of the magazine from which the information was taken. Number or volume Page.

How to quote newspaper texts?
Surname, date (year, month, day). Article title. Name of the newspaper, page.

Thesis: Author, A. (Year). Title of the thesis. Name of the institution, place.

Movie: Last name of the producer, A. & Last name of the director, A. (Year). Name of the film [cinematographic film]. Country: producer.

TV series: Surname of the producer. (Year). Name of the series [television series]. City: Producer.

We finally leave you a link to a generator for the quotes and / or references you need to make.

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