Skip to main content

Citation Style: APA: The Main Body

The Main Body

Formatting the Main Body

Your main body should follow all of the rules outlined in the Basic Formatting tab. The full title of your paper should be at the top of the first page of the main body. It should not be bolded or italicized, and it should be in title case. There should be no extra spaces between the title and the beginning of your paper.

The beginning of every paragraph should be indented (just hit the "tab" key on your keyboard). There should be no extra spaces between paragraphs. To ensure this is the case in Microsoft 2016, use the spacing tool under the home tab to make sure both options at the bottom say "Add space", not "Remove space."

See the example main body pages below (click to make larger):

Watch our tutorial video on creating the main body in Microsoft Word 2016. See below:

In-Text Citations

In-Text Citations

In-text citations are used to direct the reader to the source you used to get a particular piece of information, usually contained in one sentence. APA requires parenthetical citations, instead of footnotes. This means that the basic citation information is contained in parentheses at the end of the sentence where the information from that source was used. This parenthetical citation occurs right before the ending punctuation of the sentence.

The purpose of the in-text citation is to allow the reader to check the references at the end of the page to find the full citation. From that information, they can find and read the original source, if they wish. That is why everything cited in-text should also be fully cited on your references page, and vice-versa.

An in-text citation requires 3 main elements for quotations and 2 main elements for a paraphrase. (Paraphrased information does not need to have a page number or paragraph number cited, however, it is recommended that you still include this information whenever possible.)

These are the 3 elements of an in-text citation:

(creator or contributor last name, year of publication, page or paragraph number)

As an example:

(Doe, 2018, p. 11)

You can also use a signal phrase to include some of this information in the sentence, rather than in the parentheses at the end. For example:

Jane Doe (2018) asserted the importance of learning APA format and citation style early in the degree program to improve academic success (p. 11).

Other verbs that can be used for signal phrases include: 

argued, asserted, claimed, commented, confirmed, contended, declared, denied, emphasized, illustrated, implied, insisted, noted, observed, pointed out, reported, responded, said, suggested, thought, and wrote.

Links to Further Help

Citefast.com has a wonderful quick guide on how to do in-text citations in various situations.

Purdue OWL also has 2 pages devoted to in-text citations for APA style.

CPS Librarian

April Higgins's picture
April Higgins
Contact:
(315) 279-5411