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APA 6th Edition Style Guide: Titles

American Psychological Association rules for formatting papers, in-text citations, and end references. Examples based on the sixth edition of the Publication Manual from the APA. By Alexis Carlson

General Rules for Titles in References

In general, the title of a work is recorded just as the words appear in the publication.

  • Capitalize only the first word of a book or article title.
  • Capitalize proper nouns, initials, and acronyms in a title.
  • Separate a subtitle with a colon and a space. Capitalize the first letter of the subtitle.
  • End the title with a period.
  • Capitalize every major word in a journal or newspaper title, do not capitalize articles (i.e. a, and, the).
  •         Italicize periodical and book titles.

Book titles

A book normally has one title. But, books may contain chapters or sections with individual titles. Or, a book may be part of a series (6.29) or a single volume in a set. When citing a chapter out of a book include the chapter title (not italicized) and the page numbers.


Kovacs, D. K. (2002). How to locate international, African American, and Native American ancestors; Heraldry and lineage societies. Genealogical research on the web (pp. 117-154)...

Journal, magazine, and newspaper titles

Articles may appear in print or electronic journals, magazines, or newspapers. The reference will contain the title of the article and the title of publication in which it appears. The words of the article title should be capitalized the same way you capitalize a book title. The periodical title should be all capitalized except for small words (i.e. a, and, the) and italicized.


Davies, S. (2011, Spring). Income, gender, and consumption: A study of Malawian households. Journal of Developing Areas...

Gardiner, A. (2011, January 5). Stanford could lose QB, coach. USA Today...