AMA Citation and Formatting Style for Medical Paper

Written by Brandon L.
May 20, 202417 min read

The AMA formatting style is widely used for referencing your sources in medical papers. Because it offers a structured framework for referencing sources, you must ensure that your assignments align with these guidelines. If not, you might miss crucial marks that could improve your grades or, worse, be accused of plagiarism. However, do not worry; our nursing writers have provided a simplified guide to help you master AMA and how to use it when writing your medical paper.

Introduction to AMA Style

The American Medical Association (AMA), a professional organization that represents physicians and medical students worldwide, published its 11th edition in 1963. AMA is important because it shapes the country's healthcare policy, medical education, and professional standards. Now, in its 11th edition, the AMA provides guidelines to help medical students and researchers structure their papers using credible evidence.

Whenever you use outside sources in your medical essay, assignment, or research paper, provide information about where you got the message. Here is why you must do this:

How to Format AMA Style Paper

Whenever you use AMA citation style in your paper, ensure you follow these rules:

AMA Title Page

Now that you understand the significance of citation style, it is proper to know how to create a title page using AMA format. The following are essential elements to include in the title page of your paper:

The title, name of the author, and institution name should be placed in the upper part of the page. These should not be bold, italicized, or underlined.

Do not include the titles of the authors (DR, professor, M.D, M.S.)

Use this AMA 11th edition title page example:

Title of paper: Pain Management in Nursing Paper

Author names: Donald, J. Simpson

Email address:  [email protected]

Institution affiliation: London College

Text Word count: 2000

Whenever you write a title, ensure it is clear and concise. It should summarize the main ideas of the topic.

Abstract in AMA Style

Does AMA require a structured abstract? Yes. Abstracts are generally required for all papers that are a result of original research, clinical reviews, and synthesized reviews. Preparing an abstract requires that you first understand all the components that must be included.

The following are guidelines for formatting the abstract section in AMA style.

You may be required to list keywords at the bottom of the page to allow for easy indexing and search-ability. Ensure these keywords are relevant to the text in your paper.

Additionally, the label keywords should be italicized, followed by a colon. It should come under the Abstract with the first line indented.

Headings in AMA Format

In AMA citation styles, headings and subheadings are used to organize your text and provide a consistent flow of ideas.

There are no specific guidelines on using typeface (boldface, italics) or alignment for headings used in an AMA paper. The only rule for AMA headings is that they must be consistent and distinguishable from each other.

AMA uses four different heading levels:

Do not number the headings; just write them in order of importance. Additionally, ensure you structure them to reflect the flow of the paper.

Ensure you also leave appropriate space after every heading for visual appeal and ensure that readers know what the headings are and what the body text is.

For every paragraph in your paper, ensure the first line is indented ½ inch from the left margin.

How to Format Tables and Figures in AMA Style

A table is used to present data arranged in tabular format. It consists of the following components:

The following are the rules you must follow when formatting a table in AMA style:

When referencing tables, ensure your number and list them as they appear within the text. This means that if you provide a text citation about a source you have used, ensure you provide the reference in the table.

According to the AMA citation manual, it is okay to cite a reference only in the table and not within the text.

How to Cite Figures in AMA Format

Figures include graphs, charts, images, diagrams, photographs, illustrations, etc.

Whenever you use figures in your AMA paper, ensure you follow these guidelines.

AMA In-Text Citation

Whenever you quote, paraphrase, or you must provide the source of your information within the text (in-text citation). Unlike other citation styles like APA, you do not use the author's name or year of publication. Instead, you use a superscript Arabic numerical provided in a consecutive order. If you must use the author's names, ensure they are immediately followed by a superscript.

If you want to cite multiple sources together, you can do so. For instance,

Cold air can also be a trigger of asthma symptoms, according to multiple reports.3,4

Please note that the first superscript you mention must be listed as number 1 in the reference section, the second mention as number 2, and so on.

If you include direct quotes within your paper, ensure you provide a superscript after the quotes. If the quoted text is more than four lines, use the block quote instead and place the superscript at the end of the quotes. Do not use quotation marks in a block quote.

AMA Reference List

The reference list is located on the last page of the AMA Medical paper. This is where you provide a list of all the sources used in the paper. So, how do I format an AMA reference list, you ask? Well, follow these tips:

How to Format the Different Types of Academic Material in Your Medical Paper

Books with One Author

Author. Book Title. Edition number (2nd Edition or above). Name of Publisher; copyright year.

For instance,

John Smith. History of Education. 2nd Edition. Penguin; 2023.

Books with multiple authors

If there are books with more than two authors, separate the names with a comma. If there are more than six authors, use “et al” after the third author]

First Author, Second Author. Book Title. Edition number [2nd Edition or above]. Name of Publisher; copyright year.

For instance,

Smith D, Dionald, Jones. Devolution Planning of Rural Areas. 3rd Edition. Penguin; 2011.

Article or Chapter within a Book

If you want to cite an article or a chapter within a book, follow this:

Author(s) of Article. Title of chapter or article. In: Editor’s name(s), ed(s). Book Title. Edition number [2nd Edition or above]. Name of Publisher; copyright year: Inclusive chapter page range.

Entire eBooks/Books Online

For eBooks or online books, follow the format below:

Author(s) (up to six authors. Book Title. Edition number. Book medium. Publisher; Year. Accessed [Date]. URL

If there are more than six authors, write out the first three, then include them for the rest.

EBook Chapter

For chapters in an ebook, use the format below:

Author(s). Chapter title. In: Editor(s), eds. Book Title. Edition number. Book medium. Publisher; Year: Chapter number or pages. Accessed [Date]. URL

Government Agency Reports (Print)

If you are citing government reports, follow this format,

Author or Authoring Body (if given). Title of Report. Name of Issuing Bureau/Agency/Department or Governmental Division; Year. Page numbers (if specified). Publication number (if given). Series number (if given).

For reports that are online, use the format below:

Author or Authoring Body. Title of report. [Date published]. Updated [Date]. Accessed [Date] (will often be the only Date available). URL


If you are citing a blog in your paper,

Author. Title of article. Name of Blog [followed by the word “blog”]. Publication Month Day, Year. Accessed Date. URL

For Podcasts and other audio

Host (if given). Title of episode. Title of Podcast. Publication Month Day, Year. Accessed [Date]. URL

For Website

Author or responsible body, if given (often no authors are given). Title of item cited. Name of the Website. [Date published]. Updated [Date]. Accessed [Date]. URL

If the title of the item to be cited is not available, you can use the name of the organization that owns the website.

For YouTube Videos

Name of the person or group who uploaded the video recording). Title of Video. Name of the Site. [Date published]. Updated [Date]. Accessed [Date]. URL

Article Journals

If you are citing a journal with one author, follow this format,

Author. Title of article. Abbreviated Journal Title. Year; Volume (Issue number): Inclusive page numbers. Doi: (if provided)

For a journal with multiple authors,

First Author, Second Author. Title of article. Abbreviated Journal Title. Year; Volume (Issue number): Inclusive page numbers. Doi (digital object identifier): (if supplied)

Please note that if there are more than six authors, use the words "et al" after the mention of the third author.

If the journal is from an online source with a DOI, use the format below,

Author. Title of article. Abbreviated Journal Title. Year; vol (issue): pages or e-Locator. Doi: xx.xx.xx

If the journal article has no DOI, use the format below,

Author. Title of article. Abbreviated Journal Title. Year; vol (issue): pages or e-Locator. Accessed Date (will often be the only Date available). URL

If you are not sure how to use journal articles, check for examples here:

If you do not find the name of the article, use the name of the journal.

Newspaper Articles

If you are citing newspaper articles within your paper, use the format below:

Author. Title of article. Name of Newspaper*. Publication Month Day, Year: Section. Accessed Date. URL

Please note that you are not supposed to abbreviate the name of the newspaper in AMA citation style.

Rules to Follow When Including Sources

When listing authors, list all the names except when they are more than 6.

When using titles, follow these rules:

Proofread and Edit Your Work

After you have written the medical paper, ensure you go through it to check for errors in both grammar and formatting. AMA referencing must be as accurate as possible to avoid misleading the readers. So check that you have complied with AMA style guidelines and make the necessary revisions where possible.

Additionally, consider using the AMA citation generator whenever you are in doubt. A citation generator will ensure you have properly cited your sources using the AMA citation style.

Final Word on Using AMA Citation Style

The AMA stands as one of the most recognized citation styles used in medical papers. By following the above guidelines provided by the AMA citation style, you can share your medical knowledge with clarity and transparency.

If you are having a hard time using the AMA citation style to write your medical paper, we can help. As a website with many experts in writing nursing papers for pay, we will write a high-quality paper that follows the latest AMA guidelines. Feel free to contact us today for more information. Better yet, you can place an order and get help.

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