Do’s And Don’ts of APA Referencing Style

APA referencing style is the most used style in writing research papers. PhD research scholars, students, and assignment writers use this format to develop highly professional and well-formatted documents to defend their research. APA style is also known as the “author-date style”, which is most commonly used for writing books, papers, publications, scholarly journal articles, and other formal writing materials.

The APA style often provides clarity to the papers on complex topics. The format also helps to get a better understanding of the concepts that are explained in the research paper. Its better and professional flow helps the reader to understand the concepts in the right way. The format is mostly used in areas such as social sciences and education.

The full form of APA is American Psychological Association. This is one of the most widely used referencing styles used in developing research papers. The font used in this style of paper is generally Times New Roman or Arial with a font size of 12. Using this style to reference makes the paper look more credible and authentic. The APA style is also well known for its ease of navigation, quality to maintain scientific rigour, and maintaining intellectual integrity.

Writing a research paper using the APA style is not that difficult. However, you must know the do’s and don’t of writing in this style before you really get started.


These are some things that you should keep in mind when citing in APA referencing style:

  • Always give the correct and appropriate credit to all the sources that are used in the article or the paper. To be more precise, it is important that all the sources that are cited in the text must be included in the reference list.
  • The reference list must always be on a separate page. The document must have a page number on the top right corner of the page. Every page must also have a header.
  • The title of the heading must always be centre aligned. Also, make sure that all the entries on the referencing page are in alphabetical order. APA style also uses hanging indent always. Spacing between the words in the entire document should always be double.
  • The titles of the magazines, newspapers, books and journals must always be Italicized.
  • The second name of the author is followed by a comma (,) which is followed by the initials of their first name, which is written with a dot (.).
  • The last name of the author is mentioned after using “&” with the year of the paper in brackets. Then the title of the journal article is mentioned with a point. The name of the journal, its volume number, page numbers, and DOI is mentioned in the reference.
  • Format of APA reference for journals- Author, Initials. (Year). Title of Article. Full Title of Journal, Volume Number (Issue/ Part Number), Page number(s).
  • Format of APA reference for Newspaper articles – Author, Initials. (Year). Title of Article or Column Header. Full Title of Newspaper, Day and month before page numbers and column line.
  • Example for APA 6th Edition: Acampora, J. (2020). Power Query Overview: An Introduction to Excel’s Most Powerful Data Tool – Excel Campus. Retrieved 29 June 2021, from
  • Example for APA 7th Edition: Acampora, J. (2020). Power Query Overview: An Introduction to Excel’s Most Powerful Data Tool – Excel Campus. Retrieved 29 June 2021, from


Here are the things that you should avoid at the time of APA referencing.

  • Do not mix different referencing styles such as APA 6th and APA 7th It is recommended that you confirm which of the styles should be used in developing the paper.
  • The entire document, including the content, referencing page, and title page, all must be in the same font style and size.
  • The APA 7th edition does not include “Running Head”. It is only used in APA 6th
  • The reference list never includes “and”. It is always written as “&”.
  • The hanging indent must not exceed 0.5 inches.
  • Never include a reference for common knowledge, contact numbers, personal communications, and the sources that were only consulted and never used in the content.
  • Avoid making any errors at the time of writing your reference.
  • Avoid mentioning fake references in your reference list.
  • The in-text references never include initials. Rather, only surnames are used.

Overall, it is highly important to understand the correct way of making references while working on academic writing projects. The Do’s and don’t’s, as mentioned above, will help you to a great extent. However, it is important that you pay attention to the commas and dots that are included in the references.

It is also important that the entire content that you develop is plagiarism-free. We hope this article will help you understand some of the crucial factors of the APA referencing style.

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