What is APA Style?

APA stands for the American Psychological Association. APA Style is used for citing research sources in the physical and social sciences (including psychology), business, and nursing. Examples of papers you will see formatted in APA style are literature reviews and experimental reports. The basic requirements of an APA research paper are the title page, the abstract, the body, the in-text citations, and the reference page.

History of APA

APA style started as a seven-page article in 1929, just before the Great Depression. It was published in a journal called the Psychological Bulletin (hence why the style is named after the American Psychological Association). The style guide was brainchild of a group of businessmen, anthropologists, and psychologists who wanted to make reading scientific and business writing, well, easier. Their hard work paid off: APA caught on as one of the most-used style guides in the world and is now one of the leading ways for students, researchers, and professionals to make their writing accessible for a variety of readers. 

Using APA Style

A great place to stay up-to-date on the APA style guide, which recently released its 7th edition, is the APA style website. However, you can also get great APA advice closer to home. NMU professor and librarian Michael Strahan is an APA expert who has put together excellent resources on APA Style, which you can find here. When you select one of the style guide options, you'll find helpful written instructions, video tutorials, and even a live chat connection that lets you talk to Mike directly about your APA questions.