Dr Abel Scribe PhD


APA Basic pdf is an abridged version of the pages online. The site has a long history going back to the original APA Crib Sheet nearly 20 years ago. This served as the inspiration for subsequent versions that reached 22 pages in length in portable document format (pdf). Much of this material wasn't needed for most papers while the length defeated the goal of providing a concise guide to APA style. Aggressive editing has reduced this to 12 pages. What was lost is detailed below.

APA Basic Table of Contents
1.0 Mechanics of Style
  • 1.1 Abbreviations
  • 1.2 Capitalization
  • 1.3 Emphasis (Italics)
  • 1.4 Common Numbers
  • 1.5 Precise Numbers
2.0 Page Layout
  • 2.1 Title & Text Pages
  • 2.2 Headings & Lists
  • 2.3 Quotations
  • 2.4 Tables
  • 2.5 Figures & Graphs
3.0 Crediting Sources
  • 3.1 Text Citations
  • 3.2 Reference Lists
4.0 Reference Examples
  • 4.1 Articles in Periodicals
  • 4.2 Books & Compilations
  • 4.3 Reference Works
  • 4.4 Monographs & Websites

APA Basic: Online and PDF

Major sections have been left out; editing has cut a little from everywhere. Substitutions have replaced some material. The online version may be more useful for those preparing papers for conference or seminar presentations. Keep in mind this site is focused on final manuscripts, class and conference papers. If you are writing for publication, a copy manuscript, use the APA Publication Manual.

  • Title Page. The online version has two title pages, one has an abstract, keywords, acknowledgement, and contact information. This is for conference papers.
  • Precise Numbers. The APA follows the International System of Units, abbreviated SI (from the French Le Système International d’Unités), the international convention for the use of the metric system. If you have original numeric data to present this can be useful. The online APA Basic has a primer. The US government manual is available to download from the Resources page.
  • Statistics. The subject is addressed online only in the section on precise numbers. The APA manual does a terrible job with math and statistics, we can do little more, sorry.
  • Figures & Graphs. The APA uses the term figure for any visual presentation not a table. This includes graphs, pictures, and flow charts. Examples are featured online only.
  • References. The pdf version has sample references in 24 categories, online 33 categories. The APA manual has 96 reference categories (including the appendix on legal documents).

Download APA Basic PDF

Download APA Basic PDF. APA Basic complies with the APA standard of fair use. "APA policy permits authors to use . . . a maximum of three figures or tables from a journal article or book chapter, single text extracts of fewer than 400 words, or a series of text extracts that total fewer than 800 words without requesting formal permission from APA" (APA, 2009, 173).

You are welcome to print, link, or distribute APA Basic for not-for-profit educational purposes including classroom instruction. No additional permission is required. This website is revised on an irregular basis, pages and documents may vanish. Consider linking or bookmarking the top level domain, www.docstyles.com, (go to: http://www.docstyles.com/index.html) rather than a specific page.

Cautions in Using the Style

The APA manual no longer advises on the steps to take to prepare papers for classes and conferences. The most visible difference is the way block quotes and references are single spaced. Common sense dictates the use of a single title page, and placing tables and figures in the text. If you are concerned your instructor may be borderline OCD (or you want to stretch an eight-page paper to ten) double-spacing everything is a simple fix. Other features merit special attention:

  • Common Numbers. Getting this wrong will trip a reader familiar with the style.
  • Capitalization. Get this right (write?) in references. APA style places the titles of journal articles in sentence caps without quotation marks. This is contrary to both the Chicago Manual of Style and the MLA Handbook style. In this sense, APA style is unconventional. Note though, quotation marks and heading caps are used when noting an article title in the body of the text.