Understanding APA Style: A Comprehensive Essay With Citations

APA Style Citation Essay Example: A Comprehensive Guide

If you are a student or a researcher, you are likely to come across various sources of information during your academic journey. When incorporating these sources into your essays or research papers, it is crucial to provide proper citations to acknowledge the original authors and avoid plagiarism. One commonly used citation style is APA (American Psychological Association) style, which is widely accepted in the social sciences and other disciplines.

What do we mean by APA style citation?

APA style citation refers to the specific format and guidelines established by the American Psychological Association for citing sources in academic writing. It provides a standardized method for acknowledging the work of others and giving credit to the original authors.

How to cite an essay in APA style?

Essay format, College essay, Teaching writing
Essay format, College essay, Teaching writing

Citing an essay in APA style involves following a specific set of rules. Let’s take a closer look at the elements and guidelines for creating proper citations:

1. Author’s Name: Begin the citation with the last name, followed by a comma and initials of the author’s first and middle names. If multiple authors are involved, separate their names with commas and use an ampersand (&) before the last author’s name.

APA example paper
APA example paper

2. Publication Year: Include the year of publication in parentheses after the author’s name. Enclose the entire citation within parentheses.

3. Title of the Essay: Capitalize the first letter of the first word, proper nouns, and the first word after a colon. Italicize the title and only capitalize the first letter of the subtitle (if present).

4. Publication Information: Provide the name of the book or journal where the essay is published. Italicize the title and capitalize all major words.

5. Page Numbers: Specify the page range of the essay within the source. Use p. for a single page and pp. for multiple pages.

6. Retrieval Information: If the essay is retrieved from an online source, include the URL or DOI (Digital Object Identifier) at the end of the citation.

What is known as an APA style citation essay example?

An APA style citation essay example demonstrates how to accurately cite an essay using APA style. Let’s consider an example of an essay titled The Importance of Emotional Intelligence in Leadership Development written by John Smith and published in the journal Leadership Studies in 2021.

The citation for this example would look like:

Smith, J. (2021). The Importance of Emotional Intelligence in Leadership Development. Leadership Studies, 25(2), 45-60. doi:10.xxxxx/xxxxxxx

Please note that the actual DOI should be provided instead of doi:10.xxxxx/xxxxxxx.

Solution for proper APA style citation

To ensure your essay citations adhere to APA style guidelines, consider the following steps:

1. Familiarize Yourself: Review the official APA style guide or consult reputable online resources to understand the rules and requirements of APA style citation.

2. Gather Complete Information: Collect all the necessary information about the essay, including author names, publication year, title, and publication details.

3. Follow the Format: Organize the information in the correct sequence and apply the appropriate formatting (capitalization, italics, etc.) as per APA style guidelines.

4. Use Citation Generators: Consider using reputable citation generators available online to generate accurate and properly formatted APA style citations.

5. Proofread: Always double-check your citations for accuracy and completeness before submitting your essay or research paper.


Mastering the art of APA style citation is essential for academic writing. By understanding the guidelines and following the proper format, you can ensure that your essays are well-cited and avoid plagiarism. Remember to consult official resources and reputable citation generators for accurate and up-to-date information.


1. Can I use APA style for citing essays in fields other than social sciences?

Yes, APA style can be used in various disciplines, including education, psychology, business, and more. However, it is always advisable to check the specific citation requirements of your field.

2. What if an essay doesn’t have an author?

In cases where an essay does not have a specific author, the title of the essay is moved to the author’s position in the citation.

3. Should I include the URL for online sources in APA style citations?

While it is not mandatory to include URLs for online sources, it is recommended to provide a DOI or direct link if available.

4. Are there any specific guidelines for citing essays from edited collections?

Yes, when citing essays from edited collections, you need to include the author of the essay, the title of the essay, the editor’s name, the title of the book, and publication details, following the APA style guidelines.

5. Can I cite an essay without mentioning the page numbers?

If the essay does not have page numbers, such as in online articles, you can omit the page numbers from the citation.