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APA Sample Paper
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Note: This page reflects the latest version of the APA Publication Manual (i.e., APA 7), which released in October 2019. The equivalent resource for the older APA 6 style can be found here .
Media Files: APA Sample Student Paper , APA Sample Professional Paper
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Note: The APA Publication Manual, 7 th Edition specifies different formatting conventions for student and professional papers (i.e., papers written for credit in a course and papers intended for scholarly publication). These differences mostly extend to the title page and running head. Crucially, citation practices do not differ between the two styles of paper.
However, for your convenience, we have provided two versions of our APA 7 sample paper below: one in student style and one in professional style.
Note: For accessibility purposes, we have used "Track Changes" to make comments along the margins of these samples. Those authored by [AF] denote explanations of formatting and [AWC] denote directions for writing and citing in APA 7.
APA 7 Student Paper:
Apa 7 professional paper:.
This page contains sample papers formatted in seventh edition APA Style. The sample papers show the format that authors should use to submit a manuscript for publication in a professional journal and that students should use to submit a paper to an instructor for a course assignment. You can download the Word files to use as templates and edit them as needed for the purposes of your own papers.
Most guidelines in the Publication Manual apply to both professional manuscripts and student papers. However, there are specific guidelines for professional papers versus student papers, including professional and student title page formats. All authors should check with the person or entity to whom they are submitting their paper (e.g., publisher or instructor) for guidelines that are different from or in addition to those specified by APA Style.
Sample papers from the Publication Manual
The following two sample papers were published in annotated form in the Publication Manual and are reproduced here as PDFs for your ease of use. The annotations draw attention to content and formatting and provide the relevant sections of the Publication Manual (7th ed.) to consult for more information.
- Student sample paper with annotations (PDF, 4.95MB)
- Professional sample paper with annotations (PDF, 3MB)
We also offer these sample papers in Microsoft Word (.docx) format with the annotations as comments to the text.
- Student sample paper with annotations as comments (DOCX, 42KB)
- Professional sample paper with annotations as comments (DOCX, 103KB)
Finally, we offer these sample papers in Microsoft Word (.docx) format without the annotations.
- Student sample paper without annotations (DOCX, 36KB)
- Professional sample paper without annotations (DOCX, 96KB)
Sample professional paper templates by paper type
These sample papers demonstrate APA Style formatting standards for different professional paper types. Professional papers can contain many different elements depending on the nature of the work. Authors seeking publication should refer to the journal’s instructions for authors or manuscript submission guidelines for specific requirements and/or sections to include.
- Literature review professional paper template (DOCX, 47KB)
- Mixed methods professional paper template (DOCX, 68KB)
- Qualitative professional paper template (DOCX, 72KB)
- Quantitative professional paper template (DOCX, 77KB)
- Review professional paper template (DOCX, 112KB)
This guidance is new to the 7th edition.
- Heading Levels Template: Student Paper (PDF, 257KB)
- Heading Levels Template: Professional Paper (PDF, 213KB)
Other instructional aids
- Journal Article Reporting Standards
- APA Style Tutorials and Webinars
- Handouts and Guides
- Paper Format
Sample student paper templates by paper type
These sample papers demonstrate APA Style formatting standards for different student paper types. Students may write the same types of papers as professional authors (e.g., quantitative studies, literature reviews) or other types of papers for course assignments (e.g., reaction or response papers, discussion posts), dissertations, and theses.
APA does not set formal requirements for the nature or contents of an APA Style student paper. Students should follow the guidelines and requirements of their instructor, department, and/or institution when writing papers. For instance, an abstract and keywords are not required for APA Style student papers, although an instructor may request them in student papers that are longer or more complex. Specific questions about a paper being written for a course assignment should be directed to the instructor or institution assigning the paper.
- Discussion post student paper template (DOCX, 31KB)
- Literature review student paper template (DOCX, 37KB)
- Quantitative study student paper template (DOCX, 53KB)
Sample papers in real life
Although published articles differ in format from manuscripts submitted for publication or student papers (e.g., different line spacing, font, margins, and column format), articles published in APA journals provide excellent demonstrations of APA Style in action.
APA journals began publishing papers in seventh edition APA Style in 2020. Professional authors should check the author submission guidelines for the journal to which they want to submit their paper for any journal-specific style requirements.
Credits for sample professional paper templates
Quantitative professional paper template: Adapted from “Fake News, Fast and Slow: Deliberation Reduces Belief in False (but Not True) News Headlines,” by B. Bago, D. G. Rand, and G. Pennycook, 2020, Journal of Experimental Psychology: General , 149 (8), pp. 1608–1613 ( https://doi.org/10.1037/xge0000729 ). Copyright 2020 by the American Psychological Association.
Qualitative professional paper template: Adapted from “‘My Smartphone Is an Extension of Myself’: A Holistic Qualitative Exploration of the Impact of Using a Smartphone,” by L. J. Harkin and D. Kuss, 2020, Psychology of Popular Media , 10 (1), pp. 28–38 ( https://doi.org/10.1037/ppm0000278 ). Copyright 2020 by the American Psychological Association.
Mixed methods professional paper template: Adapted from “‘I Am a Change Agent’: A Mixed Methods Analysis of Students’ Social Justice Value Orientation in an Undergraduate Community Psychology Course,” by D. X. Henderson, A. T. Majors, and M. Wright, 2019, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology , 7 (1), 68–80. ( https://doi.org/10.1037/stl0000171 ). Copyright 2019 by the American Psychological Association.
Literature review professional paper template: Adapted from “Rethinking Emotions in the Context of Infants’ Prosocial Behavior: The Role of Interest and Positive Emotions,” by S. I. Hammond and J. K. Drummond, 2019, Developmental Psychology , 55 (9), pp. 1882–1888 ( https://doi.org/10.1037/dev0000685 ). Copyright 2019 by the American Psychological Association.
Review professional paper template: Adapted from “Joining the Conversation: Teaching Students to Think and Communicate Like Scholars,” by E. L. Parks, 2022, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology , 8 (1), pp. 70–78 ( https://doi.org/10.1037/stl0000193 ). Copyright 2020 by the American Psychological Association.
Credits for sample student paper templates
These papers came from real students who gave their permission to have them edited and posted by APA.
From the APA Style blog
Who needs an author note? You … maybe
Professional papers intended for submission to a journal must always include an author note. Student papers do not typically include an author note.
Generate accurate APA citations for free
The Scribbr Citation Generator will automatically create a flawless APA citation
- Knowledge Base
- APA Style 7th edition
- APA format for academic papers and essays
APA Formatting and Citation (7th Ed.) | Generator, Template, Examples
Published on November 6, 2020 by Raimo Streefkerk . Revised on August 23, 2022.
The 7th edition of the APA Publication Manual provides guidelines for clear communication , citing sources , and formatting documents. This article focuses on paper formatting.
Generate accurate APA citations with Scribbr
Throughout your paper, you need to apply the following APA format guidelines:
- Set page margins to 1 inch on all sides.
- Double-space all text, including headings.
- Indent the first line of every paragraph 0.5 inches.
- Use an accessible font (e.g., Times New Roman 12pt., Arial 11pt., or Georgia 11pt.).
- Include a page number on every page.
Let an expert format your paper
Our APA formatting experts can help you to format your paper according to APA guidelines. They can help you with:
- Margins, line spacing, and indentation
- Font and headings
- Running head and page numbering
Table of contents
How to set up apa format (with template), apa alphabetization guidelines, apa format template [free download], page header, headings and subheadings, reference page, tables and figures, frequently asked questions about apa format.
References are ordered alphabetically by the first author’s last name. If the author is unknown, order the reference entry by the first meaningful word of the title (ignoring articles: “the”, “a”, or “an”).
Why set up APA format from scratch if you can download Scribbr’s template for free?
Student papers and professional papers have slightly different guidelines regarding the title page, abstract, and running head. Our template is available in Word and Google Docs format for both versions.
- Student paper: Word | Google Docs
- Professional paper: Word | Google Docs
In an APA Style paper, every page has a page header. For student papers, the page header usually consists of just a page number in the page’s top-right corner. For professional papers intended for publication, it also includes a running head .
A running head is simply the paper’s title in all capital letters. It is left-aligned and can be up to 50 characters in length. Longer titles are abbreviated .
APA headings have five possible levels. Heading level 1 is used for main sections such as “ Methods ” or “ Results ”. Heading levels 2 to 5 are used for subheadings. Each heading level is formatted differently.
Want to know how many heading levels you should use, when to use which heading level, and how to set up heading styles in Word or Google Docs? Then check out our in-depth article on APA headings .
The title page is the first page of an APA Style paper. There are different guidelines for student and professional papers.
Both versions include the paper title and author’s name and affiliation. The student version includes the course number and name, instructor name, and due date of the assignment. The professional version includes an author note and running head .
For more information on writing a striking title, crediting multiple authors (with different affiliations), and writing the author note, check out our in-depth article on the APA title page .
The abstract is a 150–250 word summary of your paper. An abstract is usually required in professional papers, but it’s rare to include one in student papers (except for longer texts like theses and dissertations).
The abstract is placed on a separate page after the title page . At the top of the page, write the section label “Abstract” (bold and centered). The contents of the abstract appear directly under the label. Unlike regular paragraphs, the first line is not indented. Abstracts are usually written as a single paragraph without headings or blank lines.
Directly below the abstract, you may list three to five relevant keywords . On a new line, write the label “Keywords:” (italicized and indented), followed by the keywords in lowercase letters, separated by commas.
APA Style does not provide guidelines for formatting the table of contents . It’s also not a required paper element in either professional or student papers. If your instructor wants you to include a table of contents, it’s best to follow the general guidelines.
Place the table of contents on a separate page between the abstract and introduction. Write the section label “Contents” at the top (bold and centered), press “Enter” once, and list the important headings with corresponding page numbers.
The APA reference page is placed after the main body of your paper but before any appendices . Here you list all sources that you’ve cited in your paper (through APA in-text citations ). APA provides guidelines for formatting the references as well as the page itself.
Creating APA Style references
Play around with the Scribbr Citation Example Generator below to learn about the APA reference format of the most common source types or generate APA citations for free with Scribbr’s APA Citation Generator .
Formatting the reference page
Write the section label “References” at the top of a new page (bold and centered). Place the reference entries directly under the label in alphabetical order.
Finally, apply a hanging indent , meaning the first line of each reference is left-aligned, and all subsequent lines are indented 0.5 inches.
Tables and figures are presented in a similar format. They’re preceded by a number and title and followed by explanatory notes (if necessary).
Use bold styling for the word “Table” or “Figure” and the number, and place the title on a separate line directly below it (in italics and title case). Try to keep tables clean; don’t use any vertical lines, use as few horizontal lines as possible, and keep row and column labels concise.
Keep the design of figures as simple as possible. Include labels and a legend if needed, and only use color when necessary (not to make it look more appealing).
Check out our in-depth article about table and figure notes to learn when to use notes and how to format them.
The easiest way to set up APA format in Word is to download Scribbr’s free APA format template for student papers or professional papers.
Alternatively, you can watch Scribbr’s 5-minute step-by-step tutorial or check out our APA format guide with examples.
APA Style papers should be written in a font that is legible and widely accessible. For example:
- Times New Roman (12pt.)
- Arial (11pt.)
- Calibri (11pt.)
- Georgia (11pt.)
The same font and font size is used throughout the document, including the running head , page numbers, headings , and the reference page . Text in footnotes and figure images may be smaller and use single line spacing.
You need an APA in-text citation and reference entry . Each source type has its own format; for example, a webpage citation is different from a book citation .
Use Scribbr’s free APA Citation Generator to generate flawless citations in seconds or take a look at our APA citation examples .
Yes, page numbers are included on all pages, including the title page , table of contents , and reference page . Page numbers should be right-aligned in the page header.
To insert page numbers in Microsoft Word or Google Docs, click ‘Insert’ and then ‘Page number’.
APA format is widely used by professionals, researchers, and students in the social and behavioral sciences, including fields like education, psychology, and business.
Be sure to check the guidelines of your university or the journal you want to be published in to double-check which style you should be using.
Cite this Scribbr article
If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.
Streefkerk, R. (2022, August 23). APA Formatting and Citation (7th Ed.) | Generator, Template, Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved March 4, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/apa-style/format/
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APA In-Text Citations and Sample Essay 7th Edition
This handout focuses on how to format in-text citations in APA.
Proper citation of sources is a two-part process . You must first cite each source in the body of your essay; these citations within the essay are called in-text citations . You MUST cite all quoted, paraphrased, or summarized words, ideas, and facts from sources. Without in-text citations, you are technically in danger of plagiarism, even if you have listed your sources at the end of the essay.
In-text citations point the reader to the sources’ information on the references page. The in-text citation typically includes the author's last name and the year of publication. If you use a direct quote, the page number is also provided.
More information can be found on p. 253 of the 7th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.
Direct quotation with the author named in the text.
Heinze and Lu (2017) stated, “The NFL shifted its responses to institutional change around concussions significantly as the field itself evolved” (p. 509).
Note: The year of publication is listed in parenthesis after the names of the authors, and the page number is listed in parenthesis at the end of the quote.
Direct Quotation without the Author Named in the Text
As the NFL developed as an organization, it “shifted its responses to institutional change around concussions significantly” (Heinze & Lu, 2017, p. 509).
Note: At the end of the quote, the names of the authors, year of publication, and page number are listed in parenthesis.
Paraphrase with 1-2 Authors
As the NFL developed as an organization, its reactions toward concussions also transformed (Heinze & Lu, 2017).
Note: For paraphrases, page numbers are encouraged but not required.
Paraphrase with 3 or More Authors
To work toward solving the issue of violence in prisons begins with determining aspects that might connect with prisoners' violent conduct (Thomson et al., 2019).
Direct Quotation without an Author
The findings were astonishing "in a recent study of parent and adult child relationships" ("Parents and Their Children," 2007, p. 2).
Note: Since the author of the text is not stated, a shortened version of the title is used instead.
When using secondary sources, use the phrase "as cited in" and cite the secondary source on the References page.
In 1936, Keynes said, “governments should run deficits when the economy is slow to avoid unemployment” (as cited in Richardson, 2008, p. 257).
Long (Block) Quotations
When using direct quotations of 40 or more words, indent five spaces from the left margin without using quotation marks. The final period should come before the parenthetical citation.
At Meramec, an English department policy states:
To honor and protect their own work and that of others, all students must give credit to proprietary sources that are used for course work. It is assumed that any information that is not documented is either common knowledge in that field or the original work of that student. (St. Louis Community College, 2001, p. 1)
If citing a specific web document without a page number, include the name of the author, date, title of the section, and paragraph number in parentheses:
In America, “Two out of five deaths among U.S. teens are the result of a motor vehicle crash” (National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, 2004, Overview section, para. 1).
Here is a print-friendly version of this content.
Learn more about the APA References page by reviewing this handout .
For information on STLCC's academic integrity policy, check out this webpage .
For additional information on APA, check out STLCC's LibGuide on APA .
A sample APA essay is available at this link .
Home / Guides / Citation Guides / APA Format / APA Sample Papers
APA Sample Papers
Ever wonder how to format your research paper in APA style? If so, you’re in luck! The team at EasyBib.com has put together an example paper to help guide you through your next assignment. (Actually, looking for MLA? Here’s a page on what is MLA format .)
The featured example is a research paper on the uses of biometrics to inform design decisions in the tech industry, authored by our UX Research Intern Peace Iyiewuare. Like most APA style papers, it includes an APA title page , tables, and several references and APA in-text citations to scholarly journals relevant to its topic. References are an important aspect of scientific research papers, and formatting them correctly is critical to getting a good grade.
This paper follows the formatting rules specified in the 6th edition of The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (the APA is not directly associated with this guide) . We’ve left comments and tips throughout the document, so you’ll know the specific rules around how to format titles, spacing, and font, as well as the citations on the APA reference page .
The reference list needs special care, as it demonstrates to the reader that you have accurately portrayed your outside sources and have given credit to the appropriate parties. Be sure to check our full APA citation guide for more information on paper formatting and citing sources in APA style. There is also a guide on APA footnotes in case that is your preferred form of citation.
Download the APA Visual Guide
When citations are done, don’t forget to finish your paper off with a proofread—EasyBib Plus’s plagiarism and grammar check can help! Got a misspelled adverb ? Missed capitalizing a proper noun ? Struggling with subject-verb agreement ? These are just a few things our checker could help you spot in your paper.
D. Complete Sample APA Paper
We’ve included a full student paper below to give you an idea of what an essay in APA format looks like, complete with a title page, paper, reference list, and index. If you plan to include an APA abstract in your paper, see the Professional Paper for an example.
If you’re looking for an APA format citation generator, we’ve got you covered. Use EasyBib.com! Our APA format machine can help you create every reference for your paper.
Below is an example of a student APA format essay. We also have PDF versions of both a student paper and a professional paper linked below.
See Student Paper See Professional Paper
Using Biometrics to Evaluate Visual Design
Jane Lisa Dekker
Art Department, Northern California Valley State University
UXAD 272: Strategic Web Design
Professor Juan Liu, PhD
January 29, 2020
A vast amount of research has been conducted regarding the importance of visual design, and its role as a mediator of user’s experience when browsing a site or interacting with an interface. In the literature, visual design is one aspect of website quality. Jones and Kim (2010) define website quality as “the perceived quality of a retail website that involves a [user’s] perceptions of the retailer’s website and comprises consumer reactions towards such attributes as information, entertainment/enjoyment, usability, transaction capabilities, and design aesthetics” (p. 632). They further examined the impact web quality and retail brand trust has on purchase intentions. Additional research examining e-commerce sites has shown web quality has an impact on both initial and continued purchase intention (Kuan, Bock, & Vathanophas, 2008), as well as consumer satisfaction (Lin, 2007). Moreso, research on the relationship between visual design and perceived usability (Stojmenovic, Pilgrim, & Lindgaard, 2014) has revealed a positive correlation between the two. As users’ ratings of visual quality increase, their ratings of perceived usability follows a similar trend. Although this research spans various domains, the reliance on self-report measures to gauge concepts like visual design and web quality is prevalent throughout much of the literature.
Although some self-report scales are validated within the literature, there are still issues with the use of self-report questionnaires. One is the reliance on the honesty of the participant. This tends to be more of an issue in studies related to questionnaires that measure characteristics of the participant, rather than objective stimuli. More relevant to this study is the issue of introspection and memory. Surveys are often distributed after a task is completed, and its accuracy is dependent on the ability of the participant to remember their experience during the study. Multiple research studies have shown that human memory is far from static. This can
be dangerous if a researcher chooses to solely rely on self-report methods to test a hypothesis. We believe these self-report methods in tandem with biometric methods can help ensure the validity of the questionnaires, and provide information beyond the scope of self-report scales.
We know from previous research that the quality of websites mediates many aspects of e-commerce, and provides insight as to how consumers view the webpages in general. However, simply knowing a webpage is perceived as lower quality doesn’t give insight as to what aspects of a page are disliked by a user. Additionally, it’s possible that the user is misremembering aspects of the webpage or being dishonest in their assessment. Using eye tracking metrics, galvanic skin response, and facial expression measures in tandem with a scale aimed at measuring visual design quality has a couple of identifiable benefits. Using both can potentially identify patterns amongst the biometric measures and the questionnaire, which would strengthen the validity of the results. More so, the eye tracking data has the potential to identify patterns amongst websites of lower or higher quality.
If found, these patterns can be used to evaluate particular aspects of a page that are impacting the quality of a webpage. Overall, we are interested in answering two questions:
Research Question 1 : Can attitudinal changes regarding substantial website redesigns be captured using biometric measures?
Research Question 2 : How do biometric measures correlate with self-reported measures of visual appeal?
Answering these questions has the potential to provide a method of justification for design changes, ranging from minor tweak to complete rebrands. There is not an easy way for companies to quantitatively analyze visual design decisions. A method for doing so would help companies evaluate visual designs before implementation in order to cost-justify them. To this end, we hope to demonstrate that biometric measurements can be used with questionnaires to verify and validate potential design changes a company or organization might want to implement.
By examining data from test subjects during a brief exposure to several websites, we hoped to explore the relationship between the self-reported evaluation of visual design quality and key biometric measurements of a subject’s emotional valence and arousal. Subjects were exposed to ten pairs of websites before and after a substantial visual design change and asked to evaluate the website based on their initial impressions of the site’s visual design quality using the VisAWI-S scale, as shown in Table 1.
During this assessment we collected GSR, facial expressions (limited by errors in initial study configuration), pupillary response, and fixation data using iMotions software coupled with a Tobii eye tracker, Shimmer GSR device, and Affdex facial expression analysis toolkit. This data was analyzed, in Table 2, to discover relationships between the independent and dependent variables, as well as relationships between certain dependent variables.
Jones, C., & Kim, S. (2010). Influences of retail brand trust, off-line patronage, clothing involvement and website quality on online apparel shopping intention: Online apparel shopping intention. International Journal of Consumer Studies , 34 (6), 627–637. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1470-6431.2010.00871.x
Kuan, H.-H., Bock, G.-W., & Vathanophas, V. (2008). Comparing the effects of website quality on customer initial purchase and continued purchase at e-commerce websites. Behaviour & Information Technology , 27 (1), 3–16. https://doi.org/10.1080/01449290600801959
Lin, H.-F. (2007). The impact of website quality dimensions on customer satisfaction in the B2C e-commerce context. Total Quality Management & Business Excellence , 18 (4), 363–378. https://doi.org/10.1080/14783360701231302
Stojmenovic, M., Pilgrim, C., & Lindgaard, G. (2014). Perceived and objective usability and visual appeal in a website domain with a less developed mental model. Proceedings of the 26 th Australian Computer-Human Interaction Conference on Designing Futures: The Future of Design , 316–323. https://doi.org/10.1145/2686612.2686660
APA Formatting Guide
- Annotated Bibliography
- Block Quotes
- et al Usage
- In-text Citations
- Multiple Authors
- Page Numbers
- Parenthetical Citations
- Reference Page
- Sample Paper
- APA 7 Updates
- View APA Guide
- Book Chapter
- Journal Article
- Magazine Article
- Newspaper Article
- Website (no author)
- View all APA Examples
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APA Citation Examples
Other Citation Styles
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APA Sample Paper APA Formatting and Style Guide (7th Edition) General Format In-Text Citations: The Basics In-Text Citations: Author/Authors Reference List: Basic Rules Reference List: Author/Authors Reference List: Articles in Periodicals Reference List: Books Reference List: Other Print Sources Reference List: Electronic Sources
This page contains sample papers formatted in seventh edition APA Style. The sample papers show the format that authors should use to submit a manuscript for publication in a professional journal and that students should use to submit a paper to an instructor for a course assignment.
You must first cite each source in the body of your essay; these citations within the essay are called in-text citations. You MUST cite all quoted, paraphrased, or summarized words, ideas, and facts from sources. Without in-text citations, you are technically in danger of plagiarism, even if you have listed your sources at the end of the essay.
Below is an example of a student APA format essay. We also have PDF versions of both a student paper and a professional paper linked below. See Student Paper See Professional Paper 1 Using Biometrics to Evaluate Visual Design Jane Lisa Dekker Art Department, Northern California Valley State University UXAD 272: Strategic Web Design