How to Cite a Research Paper in APA?

How to Cite a Research Paper in APA?

Would you like to know how to properly cite sources in a research paper to boost your chances of getting a better grade? Have you gotten inspired by another research paper and have no idea how you are supposed to cite it in APA style in your own work? We’ll clarify things for you in a minute.

APA Study Citation Framework

APA (American Psychological Association) style is a frequent choice for papers on Psychology and Social Studies disciplines. It involves adherence to a range of prerequisites and formatting settings as well as the instructions about how and what to cite in a research paper.

You should double-space your text and apply 1” margins on all sides when formatting your work in APA style. Although there are no specified font requirements, APA recommends Times New Roman font at 12 point size. Arial, Georgia, and other simple fonts are also acceptable. You should also include a page header to the left of the page that includes a condensed title and the page number to the right. 

Guidelines on How to Cite a Research Paper in a Paper in APA

There are many ways you can cite a source in your paper. It involves direct citation and rephrased ones in different forms, so here are the basic recommendations for you.

How to Reference a Research Paper in APA When Using In-Text

If you intend to figure out how to cite research paper APA before placing the citation, here is the scheme:

  1. Introduce the last name of the author first.
  2. Enclose the publication year in brackets after the surname.
  3. Add a quote.
  4. Close it with the page of the citation.

For example, as Martins (2015) says, ‘There are different types of gas lamps’ (p. 32).

This method will work if you would like to in-built the quotation in the text so that it fits naturally.

How to Cite a Research Paper in APA Without In-Text

In case you would like to avoid the author’s name appearing directly in the text, there is another way of adding a quote to your work:

  1. Open the sentence with a direct quote or a comment without the author's name.
  2. Put the author’s second name, date of publication, and the number of the page in brackets after the citation.

Here is how it will look: What we know for now from the paper is that, ‘There are different types of gas lamps’ (Martins, 2015, p. 32).

Does It Happen That a Research Paper Has No Author?

Do you find yourself in a situation when you have to figure out how to cite a research study that seems to have no author? Then you should check the name of the organization that published it and use it for reference.

That’s how you should format the citation: As we’ve learned from the paper, ‘There are different types of gas lamps’ (Gas Lamp Society, 2015, p. 32).

Have You Failed to Find the Publication Date?

Citing research papers might be tricky because you might have difficulties finding the publication date of the work. In this situation, we won’t recommend you ignore this element of the correct reference. Add ‘n.d.’ instead of the year. For example: ‘There are different types of gas lamps’ (Martins, n.d., p. 32).

What to Cite in a Research Paper

A Research Paper in the Reference List

You should have known how to cite research papers in your work by now. Let’s advance your knowledge and learn how to format the cited written piece in the reference list:

  1. Write the author’s last name and then specify the first and second initials, separating them from the surname by a comma. End it with a period.
  2. Specify the year of publication in brackets. Put a period at the end of the sentence.
  3. Specify the full title of the research paper. Capitalize the first letter only and do not put the title into brackets, but use italics to make it stand out from other reference elements. Close the title with the period.
  4. Add the name of the publication journal or any other published source.
  5. In case you are using a website, add the phrase, ‘Retrieved from’ and then add the link to the web page.

For example:

  • Martins, R.M. (2015). The history of gas lamps. Retrieved from the Academic database: http:/

You should also pay attention to whether the work you are citing is published or not. The published research paper is considered to be the one that is uploaded to the website, added to the online database of academic works, or registered in the university repository. If the paper you are referring to is unpublished or is on its way to publication, you should specify this piece of information in the reference list as well. 

Check the example below to get to know how it is supposed to look:

  • Martins, R.M. (2015). The history of gas lamps (unpublished research paper). The University of Pennsylvania.

Are you having difficulties brushing up on your formatting skills? Contact us today to find out how we can help you format your research project if you have doubts about whether you are doing it the right way.