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APA 7th edition

NorQuest College uses the 7th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.

The purpose of APA citation is to:

  • Identify other people’s ideas and information used within your paper.
  • Document the authors or sources of these ideas in a Reference list at the end of your paper.

For step-by-step help on how to research, visit the Learn to Research guide. link opens in new window 

To learn more about formatting in APA, complete these tutorials opens in new tab

This guide is not comprehensive. It is meant to address common questions that NorQuest students have.

Please visit and use the APA Style Website for more reference examples and detailed explanations, including:

Six Steps to Proper Citation

Introduction to APA Course

This online course introduces essential skills and concepts to help you understand and apply the APA Citation Style.

If you are a NorQuest student required to complete the Intro to APA for class, use the link here to self-enroll in the course. You will receive a digital badge upon completion that you can share with your instructor.



To preview the parts of the course, please click on the linked images below.  Note that the preview site will not grant a completion badge.

Introduction Reference Citations In-text Citations Formatting & Proofreading
Intro to APA 1: Introduction course image Intro to APA 2: Reference Citations Intro to APA 3: In-text Citations Intro to APA 4: Document Formatting & Proofreading


  • Title page
  • Page numbers are in the top right corner of the page
  • Use 1 inch margins on all sides (this is usually the default setting in MS Word)
  • Fonts may be Times New Roman 12 pt, Calibri 11pt, Arial 11pt, Lucida Sans Unicode 10pt, and Georgia 11 pt
  • All text is double-spaced (Title page, abstract, block quotations, references, etc.)
  • Paragraphs are aligned to the left, with the first line of every paragraph beginning with an indent (use the tab key)
  • References are double-spaced, each entry is formatted with a hanging indent, and the list is alphabetized by the first word of each entry.


Abstracts (not all papers require an abstract, consult your instructor or assignment outline)

 • Abstract Keyword Page Guide provided by APA


Elements of Style

Focus on writing in a way that is 

  • clear and coherent: ideas are presented in a logical way 
  • bias free: use the pronoun 'they/them' rather than 'she/her/hers' or 'he/him/his'
  • and uses people first language: people without shelter rather than homeless 
Quick Guides

Inclusive and bias free language

Writing inclusively and without bias is the new standard, and APA’s new publication manual contains a separate chapter on this topic.

The guidelines provided by APA help authors reduce bias around topics such as gender, age, disability, racial and ethnic identity, and sexual orientation, as well as being sensitive to labels and describing individuals at the appropriate level of specificity. Some examples include:

The singular “they” or “their” is endorsed as a gender-neutral pronoun.

  • A researcher’s career depends on how often he or she is cited.
  • A researcher’s career depends on how often they are cited.

Instead of using adjectives as nouns to label groups of people, descriptive phrases are preferred.

  • The poor
  • People living in poverty

Instead of broad categories, you should use exact age ranges that are more relevant and specific.

  • People over 65 years old
  • People in the age range of 65 to 75 years old

Streefkerk, R. (2019). APA Manual 7th edition: The most notable changes.

Referencing Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers

NorQuest Library has noted that the formal APA style does not have a format to acknowledge Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers as a reference. In the spirit of wahkôhtowin and reconciliation, NorQuest College Library continues to follow templates created by Lorisia MacLeod and NorQuest College Indigenous Student Centre staff that meet this need.


Unlike other personal communications, Elders and Knowledge Keepers are cited in-text and in the reference list. The in-text citation should follow the same guidelines noted for a paraphrase or direct quote:

Name of Elder/Knowledge Keeper with year of communication.

Delores Cardinal described the nature of the... (2018).


The nature of the place was... (Cardinal, 2018).



Last name, First initial., Nation/Community. Treaty Territory if applicable. Where they live if applicable. Topic/subject of communication if applicable. personal communication. Month Date, Year.


Cardinal, D., Goodfish Lake Cree Nation. Treaty 6. Lives in Edmonton. Oral teaching. personal communication. April 4, 2004.

Note: If you would like to approach an Elder or Knowledge Keeper for teachings, remember to follow protocol or if you are unsure what their protocol is, please ask them ahead of time.