Skip to Main Content

Citation Style: APA 7th Edition: 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 bolded and 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 by half an inch (just hit the "tab" key on your keyboard). There should be no extra spaces between paragraphs. To ensure this is the case in Microsoft Word, use the spacing tool under the home tab to make sure both options at the bottom say "Add space", not "Remove space."

To see an example of a student paper in APA 7th edition format, click the link 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 three main elements for quotations and two 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 if you are paraphrasing from a longer document. This will help the reader to locate where you found your information.)

These are the three 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 the narrative format (with 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

APA In-Text Citations and References Overview Video

The video below (created by Keuka College librarian, Nancy Marksbury) covers the basics of in-text citations and references format.

Reference Librarian

Profile Photo
Linda Park
(315) 279-5208