APA Style Quick-Guide

APA Style Quick-Guide

 

Adapted from: American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th Ed. American Psychological Association of America.

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.

Below are some examples of reference entries for commonly used source types. For a more extensive list of source types and reference entries, consult the Publication Manual.

BASIC FORMAT FOR A PRINT BOOK:

Author Last name, First initial. (Year of publication). Title of book. Publisher.

One author:
Tapscott, D. (1998). Growing up digital. McGraw-Hill.

Multiple authors:
Hamer, D., & Copeland, P. (1998). Living with our genes. Doubleday.

Book with multiple editions:
Stark, R. (1998). Sociology (7th ed.). Wadsworth.

BASIC FORMAT FOR AN EDITED PRINT BOOK:

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

ELECTRONIC BOOK (either version of print book or electronic only):

Author Last name, First initial. (Year, if available). Title of book (edition, if applicable). Publisher Name. DOI or URL

Brown, L.S. (2018). Feminist therapy (2nd ed.). Americal Psychological Association. https://doi.org/10.1037/0000092-00

Note re. DOI: https://apastyle.apa.org/style-grammar-guidelines/references/dois-urls

 ARTICLE OR CHAPTER 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). Publisher. DOI or URL (if applicable)

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

ARTICLE IN A PRINT JOURNAL:

Anderson, M. (2018). Getting consistent with consequences. Educational Leadership, 76(1), 26-33.

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. (Year). Title of article. Name of Periodical, Volume(issue number), Page number or range. DOI or URL.

McCauley, S. M., & Christiansen, M.H. (2019). Language learning as language use: A cross-linguistic model of child language development. Psychological Review, 126(1), 1-51. https://doi.org/10.1037/rev0000126

DISSERTATION OR THESIS IN ONLINE DATABASE:

Author last name, first initial. (Year). Title of work [Master’s thesis or Doctoral dissertation, Name of Institution Awarding the Degree]. Database Name.

Hollander, M. M. (2017). Resistance to authority: Methodological innovations and new lessons from the Milgram experiment (Publication No. 10289373) [Doctoral dissertation, University of Wisconsin-Madison]. Proquest Dissertations and Theses Global.

ENTRY IN AN ONLINE REFERENCE WORK, SINGLE AUTHOR

Author Last name, First initial. (Year). Name of the article. In Editor Name (Ed.), Title of

encyclopedia/larger work (Edition). Publisher Name. URL

Graham, G. (2019). Behaviorism. In E. N. Zalta (Ed.), The Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy (Summer 2019 ed.). Stanford University. https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2019/behaviorism

ENTRY IN AN ONLINE REFERENCE WORK, GROUP AUTHOR

Group Name. (n.d.). Entry title. In Name of work. Retrieved [date], from URL

Merriam-Webster. (n.d.) Self-report. In Merriam-Webster.com dictionary. Retrieved July, 12, 2019, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/self-report

WIKIPEDIA ENTRY

Article title. (Date last edited). In Wikipedia. URL

List of oldest companies. (2019, January 13). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=List_of_oldest_companies&oldid878158136

Note: When citing a Wikipedia entry, include the URL for the archived version of the page you accessed. To find the archived version, click on “View history” and locate the version you used in the list of edits.

PRINT MAGAZINE ARTICLE:

Author Last name, First initial. (Date of publication). Title of article. Title of magazine, Volume number(issue number), Page number or range.

Weir, K. (2017, January). Forgiveness can improve mental and physical health. Monitor on Psychology, 48(1), 30.

ONLINE MAGAZINE ARTICLE

Author Last name, First initial. (Date of publication). Article title. Publication name, volume number(issue if available), page range (if applicable). DOI or URL

Bergeson, S. (2019, January 4). Really cool neutral plasmas. Science, 363(6422), 33-34. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aau7988

Bustillos, M. (2013, March 19). On video games and storytelling: An interview with Tom Bissell. The New Yorker. https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/on-video-games-and-storytelling-an-interview-with-tom-bissell

PRINT NEWSPAPER ARTICLE:

Hess, A. (2019, January 3). Cats who take direction. The New York Times, C1.

ONLINE NEWSPAPER ARTICLE

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

Guarino, B. (2017, December 4). How will humanity react to alien life? Psychologists have some predictions. The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2017/12/04/how-will-humanity-react-to-alien-life-psychologists-have-some-predictions

WEB PAGE:

Author Last name, First initial. (Date of publication and/or last modification). Title of document. Site Name. URL

Martin Lillie, C.M. (2016, December 29). Be kind to yourself: How self-compassion can improve your resiliency. Mayo Clinic. https://mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/self-compassion-can-improve-your-resiliency/art-20267193

For web page with group author:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018, January 23). People at high risk of developing flu-related complications. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/high_risk.htm

If the author and the site name are the same, omit the site name from the source element.

AUDIOVISUAL MEDIA:

Author Last Name, First Initial (Type of Author). (Date). Title of work [Description]. Production Company. URL

Use the following table to determine the author of the source:

Media Type Include as the author
Film Director
TV series Executive producer(s)
TV series episode Writer and director of episode
Podcast Host or executive producer
Podcast episode Host of episode
Webinar Instructor
Classical music album or piece Composer
Modern music album or song Recording artist
Artwork Artist
Online streaming video Person or group who uploaded video
Photograph Photographer


Motion picture:

Forman, M. (1975). One flew over the cuckoo’s nest [Film]. United Artists.

Streaming video:

University of Oxford. (2018, December 6). How do geckos walk on water? [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qm1xGfOZJc8

Music recording:

Beyoncé. (2016). Formation [Song]. On Lemonade. Parkwood; Columbia.

Bowie, D. (2016). Blackstar [Album]. Columbia.

Podcast:

Vedantam, S. (Host). (2015-Present). Hidden brain [Audio podcast]. NPR. https://www.npr.org/series/423302056/hidden-brain

EMAIL AND OTHER PERSONAL COMMUNICATION:

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).

 

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. 

Quotation:
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 A SOURCE HAS MULTIPLE AUTHORS:
For a source with two authors, include both authors’ names in each parenthetical citation or signal phrase. Connect the authors’ names with “and” in signal phrases and with “&” inside parenthetical citations.

Signal phrase:
As Alderson-Day and Fernyhough (2015) note, “[i]nner speech is a paradoxical phenomenon” (p. 957).

No signal phrase:
Inner speech “is central to many people’s everyday lives, and yet it presents considerable challenges to any effort to study it scientifically” (Alderson-Day & Fernyhough, 2015, p. 957).

For a source with three or more authors, include only the first author’s name followed by “et al.” from the first parenthetical citation or signal phrase onward.

No signal phrase:
Effective teams can be difficult to describe because “high performance along one domain does not translate to high performance along another” (Ervin et al., 2018, p. 470).

Signal phrase:
Biebel et al. (2018) noted that “incorporating the voice of students with psychiatric disabilities into supported education services can increase access, involvement, and retention” (p. 299).

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. 273 of the Publication Manual):

  • A heading or section name.
  • A paragraph number, if provided; alternatively, you could count paragraphs down from the beginning of the document: (para. 2).
  • A heading or section name plus a paragraph number within that section.
  • An abbreviated heading in quotation marks, in cases in which the complete heading is too long to cite in full.

                                                              

Last updated 1/21/2020