The Writing Center

APA Style Quick-Guide

APA References Page

Below are a list of some of the most commonly used citation categories and examples of what information should be included in that citation, as well as how the information should be arranged. When you need to cite a source, follow these steps:

  1. Decide to which category your source belongs. Is it a book? Anthology? Online source? Journal article? Etc.?

  2. Collect the necessary information from your source. Sometimes this takes a bit of digging, especially with the online sources.

  3. Arrange the vital information exactly as it appears in the examples, including all styles and punctuation.

  4. Once you have all of your citations written, arrange them in alphabetical order depending on the first word in the citation on a “Reference List” page at very end of your paper.

BASIC FORMAT FOR A PRINT BOOK:

Author Last name, First initial. (Year of Publication). Title of book. State of publication initials: Publisher.

One author:

Tapscott, D. (1998). Growing up digital. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Multiple authors:

Hamer, D., & Copeland, P. (1998). Living with our genes. New York, NY: Doubleday. Book with multiple editions:

Stark, Rodney. (1998). Sociology (7th ed.). New York, NY: Wadsworth.

BASIC FORMAT FOR AN EDITED PRINT BOOK:

Duncan, G. J., & Brooks-Gunn, J. (Eds.). (1997). Consequences of growing up poor. New York, NY: Russell Sage Foundation.

ELECTRONIC-ONLY BOOK:

Author Last name, First initial. (Year of publication, if available). Title of book. Retrieved from URL. O’Keefe, E. (n.d.). Egoism & the crisis in western values. Retrieved from http://www.onlineoriginals.com/showitem.asp?itemID=35

If the book is only available for purchase, write "Available from" in place of "Retrieved from."

ELECTRONIC VERSION OF PRINT BOOK

Schiraldi, G. R. (2001). The post-traumatic stress disorder sourcebook: A guide to healing, recovery, and growth [Adobe Digital Editions version]. doi:10.1036/0071393722

NOTE re. DOI: http://www.apastyle.org/learn/faqs/what-is-doi.aspx

ENTRY IN AN ONLINE REFERENCE WORK

Author Last name, First initial. (Year of publication). Name of the article. In Editor Name (Ed.), Title of encyclopedia/larger work. Retrieved from URL.

Graham, G. (2005). Behaviorism. In E. N. Zalta (Ed.), The Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy (Fall 2007 ed.). Retrieved from http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/behaviorism

ENTRY IN AN ONLINE REFERENCE WORK, NO AUTHOR OR EDITOR

Entry title. (n.d.) In Name of work (ed.). Retrieved from URL.

Heuristic. (n.d.). In Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary (11th ed.). Retrieved from http://www.mw.com/dictionary/heuristic

ARTICLE IN AN EDITED BOOK:

Author Last name, First initial. (Year). Title of article. In Editor First Initial. Last Name (Ed.), Title of book (page range). State of publication initials: Publisher.

Fesmire, S. (1997). The social basis of character: An ecological humanist approach. In H. LaFollette (Ed.), Ethics in practice (pp. 282-292). Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.

ARTICLE IN A MONTHLY MAGAZINE:

Author Last name, First initial. (Year, Month of Publication). Title of article. Title of magazine, Volume number, Page number or range.

Kadrey, R. (1998, March). Carbon copy: Meet the first human clone. Wired, 6, 46-50, 56, 62.

ARTICLE IN A NEWSPAPER:

Haney, D. Q. (1998, February 20). The mystery of appetite. The Oregonian, pp. A1, A17.

Precede page numbers for newspaper articles with “p.” if the article is one page—or “pp.” if the article is longer than a page—followed by the section and page number.

ONLINE MAGAZINE ARTICLE

Author Last name, First initial. (Year, month). Article title. Publication name, volume number (issue if available). Retrieved from URL.

Clay, R. (2008, June). Science vs. ideology: Psychologists fight back about the misuse of research. Monitor on Psychology, 39 (6). Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/monitor/

ONLINE NEWSPAPER ARTICLE

Author Last name, First initial. (Date). Title of article. Title of publication. Retrieved from URL.

Brody, J. E. (2007, December 11). Mental reserves keep brain agile. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com

NOTE: give the URL of the homepage when the online version of the article is available by search to avoid non- working URLs.

ARTICLE IN A PRINT JOURNAL:

Roberts, P. (1998). The new food anxiety. Psychology Today, 31(2), 30-38.

Villarreal, A. (2004). The social ecology of rural violence: land scarcity, the organization of agricultural production, and the presence of the state. The American Journal of Sociology, 110(2), 313-338.

ARTICLE IN AN ONLINE JOURNAL:

Author last name, first initial. (Date of publication). Title of article. Name of Periodical, Volume(issue number), Page number or range. doi or Retrieved from URL.

VandenBos, G., Knapp, S., & Doe, J. (2001). Role of reference elements in the selection of resources by psychology undergraduates. Journal of Bibliographic Research, 5, 117-123. Retrieved from http://www.usc.edu/psych/ref

Herbst-Damm, K. L. & Kulik, J. A. (2005). Volunteer support, marital status, and the survival times of terminally ill patients. Health Psychology, 24, 225-229. doi:10.1037/0278-6133.24.2.225

ARTICLE FROM LIBRARY DATABASE:

Author last name, first initial. (Year of Publication). Title of article. Title of Journal, Volume (Issue), page range. Retrieved from Title of the database or information service. Publisher or retrieval service.

Burman, S., & Allen-Mirs, P. (1994). Neglected victims of murder:
Children’s witnessed parental homicide. Social Work, 39 (1), 28-34. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier. EbscoHost.

If citing abstracts or reviews of an article from library database, include the word “Abstract” or “Review” in the citation before the title information (as shown in the example below):

Magnus, A. L. (2003). Inquisitive pattern recognition. [Abstract]. British Journal of Learning Disabilities, 6(3), 54 58. Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses. ProQuest.

WEB PAGE:

Author Last name, First initial. (Date of publication and/or last modification). Title of document. Title of site [if applicable]. Retrieved from URL

Cressia, L. L. (1997). Copyright and fair use: Future of fair use. Copyright issues. Retrieved from http://www.cas.usf.edu/english/walker/courses/fall97/concl.html

Note: if no author, start with name of the webpage:

New child vaccine gets funding boost. (2001). Retrieved from http://news.ninemsn.com.au/health/story_13178.asp

CD-ROM:

Author Last name, First initial [if available] or name of vendor. (Year of publication). Title of article. Title of publication. Publication medium [CD-ROM]. City of publication: Publisher.

Pearson Education. (2002). What is plagiarism? Avoiding plagiarism. CD-ROM. New York, NY: Longman.

PERSONAL EMAIL:

Personal communications are not listed in the Reference List, because they do not provide recoverable data. They are cited in-text only in the following format:

(First initial Last name, personal communication, date)

(V.G. Nguyen, personal communication, September 29, 1998).

If you mention the author in the sentence, you do not need to include the author in the citation:

T.K. Lutes claims that rumor of the president’s retirement is only hearsay (personal communication, April 18, 2001).

GRAPHICS, AUDIO, AND VIDEO FILES:

Motion picture:

Producer, A. A. (Producer), & Director, B. B. (Director). (Year). Title of motion picture [Motion picture]. Country of origin: Studio or distributor.

Video:

American Psychological Association. (Producer). (2000). Responding therapeutically to patient expressions of sexual attraction [DVD]. (Available from http://www.apa.org/videos/)

Music recording:

lang, k. d. (2008). Shadow and the frame. [Recorded by artist if different from song writer]. On Watershed [CD]. New York, NY: Nonesuch Records. (Recording date if different from copyright date).

PODCASTS:

Van Nuys, D. (Producer). (2007, December 19). What happy women know [Episode 6]. Shrink rap radio [Audio podcast]. Podcast retrieved from http://www.shrinkrapradio.com

BLOGS, NEWSGROUPS, MAILING LISTS, AND WIKIS (i.e. WIKIPEDIA ENTRIES):

Author Last name, First initial. (Year, Month Day of posting). Subject line of posting. Title of the Newsgroup. Message posted to URL

Bartow, A. (2006, March 26). Parody is fair use! Sivacracy.net. Video posted to http://www.nyu.edu/classes/siva

APA In-text citations

APA in-text citations require three pieces of information: the author’s last name, the year of publication, and the page number. There are two ways to format this information: with a signal phrase and without a signal phrase. APA recommends using a signal phrase more often to provide clarity.

A “signal phrase” introduces a quotation in order to help the reader understand why it is important and how it fits into the rest of the paper. In the first example below, “Villarreal maintains that...” is the signal phrase.

IF THE AUTHOR IS NAMED IN SIGNAL PHRASE:

If the author is named while introducing the quotation, then the year will follow the author’s name in parentheses, and only a page number is necessary in the citation at the end of the sentence. Remember that in APA, every time an author’s name is mentioned, the year of publication is mentioned as well. Put “p.” before the page number.

Quotation:

Villarreal (2004) maintains that “Sociological research on the structural origins of criminal violence has focused almost exclusively on urban settings” (p. 313).

Paraphrase:

According to Stark (1998), sociologists use samples when studying larger populations; they cannot only use techniques from field research (p. 91).

Note that the above source is paraphrased and not quoted. When paraphrasing specific information from a source, that source still must be cited within the paper and in the works cited list.

IF THE AUTHOR IS NOT NAMED IN SIGNAL PHRASE:

If the signal phrase does not mention the author, or if the sentence does not have a signal phrase, all three components will come at the end of the sentence in parentheses. Put commas between the parts, and put “p.” before the page number.

Quote:

It may be true that “humans will retain that culture which they believe is rewarding” (Stark, 1998, p. 240).

Paraphrase:

One hypothesis is that disputed property rights cause conflict and violence in agrarian communities (Villarreal, 2004, p. 318).

IF USING AN INTERNET OR ELECTRONIC SOURCE WITH NO AUTHOR OR PAGE NUMBER:

Author Unknown:

Cite in text the first few words of the reference list entry (usually the title) and the year. Use double quotation marks around the title or abbreviated title.: ("New Child Vaccine," 2001).

Page Number Unknown:

When the pages of a web source are fixed (as in PDF files), supply a page number. Although print-outs from websites sometimes show page numbers, APA recommends treating them as unpaginated and allows the omission of the page number. When the material does not include page numbers, you can include any of the following in the text to cite the quotation (from pp. 170–171 of the Publication Manual):

  • A paragraph number, if provided; alternatively, you could count paragraphs down from the beginning of the document: (para. 2).

  • An overarching heading plus a paragraph number within that section.

  • An short title in quotation marks, in cases in which the heading is too unwieldy to cite in full.

    Heuristic. (n.d.). In Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary (11th ed.). Retrieved from http://www.mw.com/dictionary/heuristic

    Your text citation would include the title (or short title) "n.d." for no date, and paragraph number, for example: ("Heuristic," n.d., para. 1).

 

The following source was referenced: American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th Ed. New York: American Psychological Association of America.

Last updated 9/7/2017

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