APA format for essays

Need a hand with working out the APA essay format? Then you’ve come to the right place. Read RefME’s guide to APA essay citations then try our mobile app or free web tool and have the whole thing done for you in seconds, automatically. It’s referencing, made easy.

What is an APA essay citation?

An APA essay citation is a reference made in an academic work to any source that has informed your writing. It allows the reader to distinguish between what is original and what has been sourced from elsewhere.

The APA style was developed by the American Psychological Association as a way of formatting social science journals for clarity and word choice that reduces bias in language.

How to write an APA essay citation

APA follows the Author-Date style and requires both in-text citations and a bibliography at the end of the essay. For in-text citations, just the author’s last name and date of publication are needed, with the full source details reserved for the bibliography.

It’s here that you’ll need to include a full list of references used, listing alphabetically the last name of the author, followed by the initials and year of publication in brackets. This is followed by the place of publication and name of the publisher.

You should capitalize the first letter of the first word of the title and any subtitles, as well as the first letter of any proper nouns used. The full title of the book, including any subtitles, must be included and italicized.

A lot to remember? With the RefME APA citation maker for mobile and web, simply search for the author or title of the book you want to reference and have the whole thing done in seconds, automatically.

APA essay citation example (book)

In-text example:

(Cottrell, 2013)

Bibliography example:

Cottrell, S. (2013) The study skills handbook. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.