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Working with Writing Tutors on APA Format



Here’s what you need to do BEFORE you work with a writing tutor:


Read any written APA guidelines and/or sample papers that your instructor provides.  These will offer examples of your instructor’s specific formatting expectations. Defer to the guidelines your instructors provide since these may include modifications to the standard APA format.  Share these guidelines with your writing tutor.


If your instructor did not provide you with any written APA guidelines, then familiarize yourself with the format by reviewing the APA Manual 6th Edition prior to tutoring.


Visit the official APA style website at and take The Basics of APA Style Tutorial at


Consult with your professors about complex citation questions.  The writing tutors are not responsible for determining how to cite a source for which the APA Manual does not provide a clear example.


Here’s how your writing tutor can help you with APA formatting:


Your writing tutor will talk to you about basic APA formatting-- in-text citations, paraphrasing and quoting, page set-up, and the reference list-- as outlined in the 6th edition of the APA Manual.  Your tutor is not, however, responsible for putting your entire research paper into APA format for you.


Your tutor will not have the APA format memorized.  Most writers who use the APA format do not have it memorized, but they do know how to use the book in order to format their papers properly.  Your tutor will show you how to use the book effectively and how to get answers to your APA formatting questions.  Using any citation format effectively is a skill that all student writers must develop, and it takes time—there are no shortcuts.


Tutors will encourage you to purchase an APA Manual or borrow one from the library if APA is the format used in your academic major. 


The Student Learning Center writing tutors use the 6th edition of the APA Manual. Please note that you are responsible for making all final decisions regarding the citation of sources, the accuracy of your reference list, and grades regarding APA formatting.  We encourage you to seek the advice of your instructors as needed. 


The Student Learning Center

B10 Cooper Hall

(585) 395-5472