APA Style Guide

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APA Style Guide 1

APA Style Guide

It has been said that format is most effective when it does not call attention to itself. The
purpose of style systems is to organize a document so effectively that the reader follows the organization
almost unconsciously, yet understands and distinguishes points of major emphasis from supporting

Daniels College of Business uses APA format because it is an accepted, easy to follow style
system for business documents. Some courses require this format; others only suggest using it. If you
master the simple heading and citation system, you will be assured of having an easy-to-follow, reader-
friendly document.

What is “APA”?

APA stands for the “American Psychological Association.” The APA has developed a
publication style system, i.e., a way of indicating the organization of the paper and citing sources. When
you use materials written by others, you must state who the author(s) is (are) as well as some other
relevant information, and the way you acknowledge these sources should be consistent throughout the

Because APA style is frequently used in business publications, it is often the preferred style for
reports and papers with Daniels. The reference examples and in-text citation examples given below
follow APA style but have been created for these illustrations. The strict form of APA heading style has
been modified somewhat by using boldface rather than underlining.

Page Setup

The title page. The title page should summarize the main idea of the paper. A title should be
fully explanatory when standing alone. A good title should easily be shortened for editorial purposes and
the running head. Running head should be less than 50 characters, counting letters, punctuation, and
spaces between words. Author’s name and institutional affiliation should be included on the title page
after the full title. An example of a title page is attached at the end of these guidelines. The title page will
inevitable include the header which consists of the first two or three words from the title in the upper
right-hand corner above or five spaces to the left of the page number. The purpose of the header is that in
the event that pages are separated, the pages can be easily reunited.

Page format. All pages of text should have at least one-inch margins at the top, bottom, left and
right of every page. This is the minimum margin for writing instructions and queries. Double space after
every line in the title, headings, quotations, references, figure captions and all parts of tables. The order of
pages should be, title page, text, references, appendixes, tables, figure captions, and figures.

Headings & Layout

Headings help guide the reader and show the organization of the paper. Daniels students are
encouraged to limit headings to three levels. Use cap and lower case as shown, in boldface. These
examples are double-spaced because most student papers at Daniels are double-spaced. Note that the
right margin is not justified.

When you use headings, at least two lines of text should appear below the heading before a
page break; a heading should not appear by itself at the bottom of the page. Also, a new section should
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APA Style Guide 2
follow on directly after the previous section ends – that is, do not leave a big blank gap on a page and go
to a new page just because a new section of the paper starts.

First-Level Heading

Your first-level heading should be a subject heading, not the title of your paper. The text
should be centered on the paper, with bold formatting. The first letter of each word in the heading should
be a capital letter. There should be a space between the heading and the text.
Second-Level Heading

The second-level heading is in italics, but is left-justified instead of being centered. Instead of
having a line space in between the heading and the text, the text appears on the line immediately
following the heading.

Third-level heading. The third-level heading, the lowest level recommended for Daniels students,
is indented and italicized. Only the first word of the heading is capitalized.

In-Text Citations

When you paraphrase, you must document the source, using an “in-text citation” as shown below:

• Johnson (1995) hypothesized...
• A detailed analysis (Smith, 1990) of the effects of elements.
• A detailed analysis (Smith & Forrest, 1990) of the effects…
• Johnson and Smith (1995) hypothesized…

In-text citations must include the last name(s) of the author(s) as well as the year of the publication. First
names are never included in citations.
First initials may be used if citing sources by authors with the
same last name. For example:

• R.J. Smith (2002) and M.T. Smith (1999) discovered that…

If there is no author associated with a source, you would use the first few words of the reference list entry
(usually the title) as well as the year.

• The study showed (“Business Communications…,” 2000) that effective writers…

When you quote directly, you must use quotation marks to indicate the words or lines that you are
quoting, and you also need to include the page number on which the quoted material appears:

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APA Style Guide 3
• Johnson (1995), writing in the Harvard Business Review, commented that “integration of
strategic aspects of all functional areas is an important task of business education” (p. 15).

As shown above, APA style requires you to include the author’s last name and the year of the publication
– not to use raised numbers or footnotes. The “References” page supplies the full and specific
information about a source you have used.

Note how in the example above, only a portion of the sentence is made up of the quotation – the rest is in
the writer’s own words. Resist the temptation to let quotations take the place of your own sentences.
Quotations should aid your analysis and add credibility to your ideas, but should not replace them.

Interviews used for data gathering are personal communications, and are cited only in the text, NOT in
the References page.
An example with proper formatting is shown below:

• K. W. Schale (personal communication, October 17, 2002) reported that…

Other examples of personal communications that are cited only in the text are letter, memos, e-mail
messages, telephone conversations
, and so on. For specific formatting, please refer to the APA Style
Manual that is available at the Saeman Center.

Quotations that are greater than 40 words, or more than 5 lines of double spaced text, should be set apart
from the body of the paper – indented, single-spaced, without quotation marks. An example is shown

Smith’s (1995) research demonstrated that

the use of headings within the body of a research paper is greatly effective in enhancing the
reader’s understanding of the content. Not only do the headings break the paper into more
manageable and readable sections, but they also provide a quick, one-line summary of what is to
come in the paper. (p. 327)

The References Page

The “References” page is an alphabetized (by author’s last name) list of all of the sources cited in the
paper. Generally, a reference includes all authors’ names, the year of copyright, and the publication name,
with additional information as demonstrated in the examples below.

Book with One Author

Smith, J. (1995). Effective business writing. New York: Random House.

Book with Two Authors

Jones, R. A., & Tipton, F. P. (1992). The executive manager. Chicago: Scribner.

Journal Article

Campbell, T. R. (1993). Living dangerously in the high tech industry. Journal of International
Management Information Systems, 133(2), 52-80.

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APA Style Guide 4
The volume number follows the journal title, and if there is an issue number, that follows the volume
number in parentheses. The final numbers are the pages numbers of the article.

Magazine Article

Da Silva, S. L. (1996, March 25). Managing Brazilian style. Business Week, 32, 70-74.

Newspaper Article

Jenkins, D. G. (2002, August 6). Can Sunbeam recover? The New York Times, p. A1.

Newspaper Article, Unknown Author

Malden Mills files for bankruptcy. (2001, November 5). The Boston Globe, p. A2.

Notice how in newspaper articles a “p.” is used to designate a page number, but not so for journal articles.
If the article goes on for several pages, use “pp.”

Government Report

Department of Defense. (1989). Soviet foreign policy. (DOD Publication No. XYZ 80-8746).
Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.


Interviews are unrecoverable data and are not cited in the Reference list. Instead, they are cited in the text
as personal communication, as shown above under “In-Text Citations.”

Internet & Electronic Sources

More and more research is being done on the Internet, and the APA is trying to keep up with style
guidelines for citing electronic sources. Several basic guidelines are listed below, but more updated
information can be found at http://www.apastyle.org/elecref.html.

At the bare minimum, a citation should include a document title or description, a date (of publication or
retrieval), and the address (the full URL path). A few examples are shown below.

Online Article, with Author

Stephenson, W. J. (2002). Brazilian culture. Retrieved November 11, 2002 from

If author is known in text citations look like:
Stephenson (2002) stated that….

Online Article, no Author

Successful businesses begin with well-developed strategies. (n.d.). Retrieved September 27,
2001 from http://www.businessonline.com.

If author is unknown in text citations look like:
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APA Style Guide 5
Successful businesses are developing at a rapid pace (http://www.businessonline.com)

If you do not know the date of publication, use “n.d.” to signify “no date.”

Legal Citations

In Appendix 3-B of the APA Style Manual, examples of legal citations are given, based on The Bluebook:
A Uniform System of Citation.
The Style Manual is on reserve in the Saeman Center.

A more complete listing of legal citations can be found at http://www2.law.cornell.edu/cgi-
bin/foliocgi.exe/citation/query=*/doc/{t1}, particularly in Section VII, Bluebook coverage.

CD ROM Citations

A CD contains textbooks in electronic format. While the APA manual seems to have no reference for
electronic books, enough guidance is provided for other electronic media so that a book format can be
fabricated. The following formats are suggested for citations to a textbook appearing on CD ROM.

Suggested format for end-of-report reference to CD ROM:

• Kreitner, R., & Kinick, A. (1997). Organizational behavior (Chapter title, Section title,
Subsection title) [CD ROM, Multimedia Business Library, Comprehensive Edition]. Burr Ridge,
IL: Irwin/McGraw-Hill.

Note that the book title is still underlined, but not the chapter, section, or subsection titles.

Suggested format for in-text citations of the CD material (same as referencing a hard-copy book):

• In their discussion of group dynamics, Kreitner and Kinicki (1997) discuss social processes at
• Group dynamics is a complex series of interactions (Kreitner & Kinicki, 1997) that requires
astute observation.

Suggested format for direct quotations:

If you quote directly from the CD, you can specify the chapter, section, and subsection that you are
quoting from, as there are no page numbers to provide. This method is cumbersome but seems to be the
only way to give your reader the information needed for looking up your reference. Here’s an example:

As Kreitner and Kinicki (1997) point out, “a group [is] two or more freely interacting individuals
who share collective norms and goals and have a common identity” (Group and social processes;
Group dynamics; Groups: Definitions, types, and functions).

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APA Style Guide 6

Running Head: Saemen Center: APA Style Guide

The Saemen Center for Professional Excellence:

APA Style Guide

John Doe

University of Denver
Revised October 2003: APA Publication Manual, 5th edition

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