APA Style Guidelines Checklist

Basic APA Formatting Elements

  1. __________ Article follows APA Publication Manual, 6th Edition guidelines
  2. __________ 12 pt. Times New Roman font – 8.03
  3. __________ No bold, oversized, or decorative fonts, except for statistical and mathematical copy – 4.45
  4. __________ Double-spaced throughout essay – 8.03
  5. __________ Margins are 1” (2.54 cm) on all sides – 8.03


  1. __________ Begin Abstract on separate page with no other information but the Abstract included (in other words, the Abstract appears on its own page)—2.04
  2. __________ Center the word Abstract—do not bold or italicize the Abstract title— Figure 2.01
  3. __________ Write a concise Abstract that allows readers to quickly survey the contents
    of an article—2.04
  4. __________ Follow journal submission guidelines for Abstract (i.e. check with the journal where the manuscript will be submitted to ensure Abstract follows the journal’s requirements for word count and content)

Title Page

  1. __________ Running head: SHORT ALL CAPS TITLE— Figure 2.1
  2. __________ Title matches exactly the paper title, but is shortened to include the first part of the title—Figure 2.1


  1. __________ Use semicolons to separate an item/multiple items in a list that has commas – 4.04
  2. __________ Dashes should be used sparingly and formatted correctly—4.06 Correct dash—usage. Incorrect dash – usage. Incorrect dash—usage.
  3. __________ Double-space after periods for easy readability—4.01

Source Citation in Text

  1. __________ Cite direct quotations from online sources by listing author, year, and paragraph (example: According to Smith (2008), “ . . .” (Discussion section para. 4). Most online sources do not list page numbers, so be sure to use the abbreviated para for paragraphs in place of page number—6.05.
  2. __________ Cite sources with two authors by listing both names each time the source
    appears (example: Smith and Smith (2008)—6.12
  3. __________ Cite works with three – five authors by listing all authors the first time they appear (example: Smith, Jones, Davis, Adams, & Paul, 2006), and then in subsequent citations list the last name of the first author followed by et al. (Smith et al., 2006)—6.12
  4. __________ When citing authors with the same surname, include the author’s initials in each citation (example: Jones, R. (2006) and Jones, J. M. (2007) noted in their research that …)—6.14
  5. __________ Quotations over 40-words must be represented in an indented block quote with no additional beginning paragraph indenting—6.03

Tone & Style

  1. __________ Tone of article must be academic and free of informal language—3.07
  2. __________ Author(s) maintain academic tone throughout and avoid use of contractions, cliché phrases, unsupported claims or assertions
  3. __________ Key points are organized within sections using seriation—numbered listing, to demonstrate chronological positioning. Use Arabic numerals followed by a period, one space, and no parentheses—3.04
  4. __________Authors are frugal with words and the manuscript utilizes an economy of expression for a more readable manuscript—3.08
  5. __________ Avoid using third person attributions in an effort to be objective—3.09
  6. __________ Restrict use of we to references of author and coauthor(s), and avoid using the editorial we because it reduces clarity—3.09
  7. __________ Present parallel ideas in coordinate form—with the parallelism present before and after the coordinating conjunction—3.


  1. __________ Authors should utilize several proofreading techniques prior to submitting their manuscripts for review. Some suggested proofreading techniques include:
    __> Read body of article carefully for errors
     > Read to make sure essay maintains academic tone
     > Let drafts and revisions rest in-between proofreading sessions
     > Ask a colleague or skilled assistant to read final draft
     > Use this checklist to review manuscript prior to submission
  2. __________ Follow the guidelines in the APA Publication Manual’s, 6th Edition, Checklist for Manuscript Submission—8.07
  3. __________ Review APA website (http://www.apastyle.org) for more information on how to format scholarly articles and research

Reference Page

  1. __________ Cite references by the same author (or by the same two or more authors in the same order) with the same publication date arranged according to alphabetical titles—but excluding A or The as the first word (for example: “The faculty development guide” would come before “A guide to faculty development )—6.25 (see exception to this rule in APA Publication Manual, 6th Edition)
  2. __________ See Table 6.1 in APA Publication Manual, 6th Edition, for a brief overview of basic citation styles
  3. __________ Do not underline or hyperlink website addresses—6.31
  4. __________ Use DOI’s when available, and properly cite them—6.31
  5. __________ Cite article titles with the first letter capitalized and the remaining letters lowercase (for example: Faculty development in medical schools: How to engage students and professors)—7.01
  6. _________ Avoid using italics, underlining, quotations, or bold face in article titles—7.01
  7. __________ Titles of books, journals, and technical reports should be italicized, and the same is true journal titles and volume numbers.
  8. __________ Titles of web pages where articles appear are not italicized—4.21

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