Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs / Writing Center

APA Resources and Templates


What is APA?

APA stands for “American Psychological Association.” Outside the field of psychology, “APA” is shorthand for the writing style manual published by the APA, The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.

What is a style manual and who needs one?

Style manuals are used throughout the academic and professional world. The New York Times, for example, has a journalistic style manual that each of its editors and writers must follow religiously so that folks who read The Times find consistency in its format and presentation of news. Smaller newspapers adopt The New York Times style or that of another journalistic stylebook such as The Los Angeles Times or the Columbia School of Journalism.

Just as newspapers require consistency of style, so do academic disciplines. English, foreign language, and linguistic professionals use the MLA (Modern Language Association); other humanities professionals use Chicago Manual of Style. Medical professionals use the American Medical Association Manual of Style, of course. Psychologists and others in the human behavioral sciences, including educators, have adopted the The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, “the APA,” as their guide.

Why so many guides? Why can’t everyone use the same one?

The research and writing for one academic discipline may require a style that does not meet the needs of other disciplines or professions. A professor of French literature, for example, might require a set of stylistic guidelines different from those of a chemist or neurosurgeon.

Saint Mary’s University has adopted the APA as the official style manual for its Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs. Use of the APA ensures that Saint Mary’s students have a solid stylistic foundation for their academic and professional writing.

To help you use the APA Manual, the SGPP Writing Center has developed an introductory guide called Introduction to the APA and Other Writing Tips. This booklet is available in the Twin Cities campus bookstore and is available as a download from the Writing Center’s website (click on the image below). It is not a replacement for the APA manual, but it will help you get started, and it also provides some useful information about using Microsoft Word® for APA formatting.

The APA provides excellent resources on its APA Style Website, which you can access by clicking on the title. Among its best features is the APA Style Blog, where APA staff answer readers’ questions. The Blog features a search box for locating answers of interest to you.

What is the Introduction to APA?

The Introduction to APA booklet contains instructions for using Microsoft Word 2007/2010 to create APA formatting. The instructions are written for PC users.

If you use Word 2011 on a Mac, then download the Mac version of those instructions.

Click the image to download the booklet for printing. Set printer for double-sided printing. Note that the booklet is lengthy (nearly 100 pages) and can take some time to download. A bound, print copy is available at the University’s bookstore for $7.

The booklet contains an index at the end to facilitate online viewing without printing. However,  you might first read How to Navigate a PDF Document to help you more easily locate elements within the booklet.


Students are expected to use Microsoft Word for documents at Saint Mary’s. For this reason, these resources are designed to be used with Word. Students, Faculty, and Staff can get a free copy of Microsoft’s Office 365 here.

The Introduction to APA

Other Resources for Learning APA

APA Citing/Referencing Resources
APA Templates by Program

APA Templates by Program

The APA-style templates and sample pages below have been approved by program directors. Locate the appropriate template, click to open it, and save it. You can then type your own text into the document.

Keep in mind that these are only examples. Depending upon your topic and treatment of it, your paper may differ in number and types of headings and references.

General Papers
Integration Paper
Citing Codes of Ethics in Marriage and Family Therapy
Citation and Reference for DSM
Mental Measurement Yearbook

Business Administration Doctorate (DBA)
General Papers and Dissertation 

Education Masters
EDMA634 Action Research
Sample Reference Page

Educational Administration, Ed. S
EDS780 Advanced School Based Research

Educational Leadership Doctorate (EdD)
General Paper Template (DO NOT USE FOR DISSERTATION)
APA Tables, Creating in MSWord2007
Dissertation Template (Dissertation)
Chapter Headings Template
Reference Page Template
Dissertation Page Number Format: Students MUST use the dissertation template. Download the template and start typing in that document. The Writing Center will not assist students in formatting their page numbers.

Educational Leadership Masters (Ed Admin)
EL630/EL634 Action Research

English as a Second Language (ESL) (MA)
Thesis Proposal

Healthcare & Human Services Management (BS)
General Papers (Not APA)
APA Template 

Health & Human Services (Masters)
General Papers

Human Development
General Papers
Cite MFT Codes
Cite the DSM 

Human Resources Management (Masters)
General Papers

Management Masters
General Papers
Capstone Paper

Marriage and Family Therapy
General Papers
Integration Paper
Capstone Paper (Cohort Students)
Cite MFT Codes

Cite the DSM 
Mental Measurement Yearbook

Organizational Leadership Masters
General Papers

Police Science
Capstone Paper Template
Student Sample Capstone Paper

Project Management
General Papers
Capstone Paper

Special Education (MA)
Sample Thesis
Second Sample Thesis


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