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Citation & Style Guide

This guide will help you find information, tools and resources on citation and style.

7th Edition

NOTE:  These instructions are based on the 7th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, which was released in 2019.

Who Uses American Psychological Association (APA) style?

  • Psychology
  • Sometimes:
    • Education
    • Linguistics
    • Other Social Sciences fields
  • If you aren't sure which citation style to use, be sure to ask your professors which style they prefer for assignments.

What's Unique About APA?

In-text Citations

  • Provide the last name of the author followed by a comma, then the year of publication. Example:  (Jones, 2005)
  • For works with two authors, put an ampersand between the last names of the authors. Example:  (Cook & Croft, 2015)
  • For works with three or more authors, provide the name of the first author plus "et al."  Example:  (Chen et al., 2008)
  • Include page number only in the rare case where a direct quote (placed in quotation marks) is used. Example: (Jones, 2005, p. 79)

Reference List

  • Heading: Use "References" as page heading.
  • Indentation: For each entry, all lines after the first line should be indented one-half inch from the left margin.
  • Spacing:  Double-space the entire list (both within and between entries).
  • Author: Provide the last name of the author, then the initials of the first and middle names. Put a space between the initials.  Example:  Jack, A. A.
  • Two authors:  Put a comma and an ampersand between the authors. Example:  Cook, M., & Croft, J. B.
  • Three or more authors:  Put a comma after every author.  Before the final author, put a comma and an ampersand.  Provide last names and initials of up to 20 authors.  When there are 21 or more authors, include the first 19 names, insert an ellipsis (but no ampersand), then provide the last author's name.
  • Article title: Do not place quotation marks around the article title. Use sentence case (that is, capitalize only the first word of the title, the first word following a colon, and proper nouns).  Example: Interactive mindfulness technology: A walking labyrinth in an academic library
  • Journal title: Do not use sentence case (that is, capitalize all major words). Example: College & Research Libraries News
  • Journal volume and issue numbers:  Italicize the volume number.  Include the issue number for all journals that have them. Place the issue number immediately after the volume number (no spaces), and enclose the issue number in parentheses. Example:  76(6)

Print Book Examples

Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of work. Publisher.

Calfee, R. C., & Valencia, R. R. (1991). APA guide to preparing manuscripts for journal publication. American Psychological Association.

E-Book Example

Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of work. [Ebook]. Publisher. Nondatabase URL

De Huff, E. W. (n.d.). Taytay’s tales: Traditional Pueblo Indian tales. [Ebook]. http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/dehuff/taytay/taytay.html


Note: For common academic research databases like ProQuest, EBSCO and ScienceDirect, do not include the name of the database.  Do provide a URL for the book's DOI, if a DOI exists.

Print Journal Example

Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume number(issue number), page range. 

Harlow, H. F. (1983). Fundamentals for preparing psychology journal articles. Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology, 55(2), 893-896.


Note: Include the issue number for journals that have an issue number.

Online Journal Example

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of article. Title of Journal, volume number(issue number), page range. https://doi.org/

Brownlie, D. (2007). Toward effective poster presentations: An annotated bibliography. European Journal of Marketing, 41(3), 1245-1283. https://doi.org/10.1108/03090560710821161


Note:

  • Provide the URL for the article's DOI, if a DOI exists. Example: https://doi.org/10.1037/rev0000126
  • If a DOI is not available:  For an article from a common academic database like ProQuest, EBSCO or ScienceDirect, simply omit the DOI, and do not include the name of the database.  For an article from a free, nondatabase website, provide the full URL of the article.
  • Include the issue number for journals that have an issue number.
  • If the article has an article number instead of a page range, include the word “Article” and then the article number. 

Print Magazine Example

Cite like a print journal article, but give the year and the month for monthly magazines. Add the day for weekly magazines.

Henry, W. A., III. (1990, April 9). Making the grade in today's schools. Time, 135, 28-31.

Online Magazine Example

Cite like a print magazine article, except: a) no page numbers, and b) add a DOI (preferred) or full URL.

Auerback, M. (2019, January 27). In antitrust, size isn’t everything. Salon. https://www.salon.com/2019/01/27/in-antitrust-size-isnt-everything_partner/

Online Newspaper Example

Cite like an online magazine article except that in most cases, you'll include a URL because no DOI will be available.

Author, A. A. (Year, Month Day). Title of article. Title of Newspaper. URL

Parker-Pope, T. (2008, May 6). Psychiatry handbook linked to drug industry. The New York Times. https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/05/06/psychiatry-handbook-linked-to-drug-industry/

Website Example

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of page. Title of Website. URL

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

Cleveland Clinic. (2019, July 16). Stress: 10 ways to ease stress.  https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/8133-stress-10-ways-to-ease-stress

How would I cite an indirect source?

Question:

If I read a paper by Ankeny and it cites a fact from a paper by Zeoli, and I want to refer to the fact in the paper by Zeoli, would I cite Zeoli?

Answer:

No. You would cite Ankeny. Please read the "Important to know" details below, though.

How to:

Your in-text citation would look like this:

Zeoli (2002, as cited in Ankeny, 2013) argued that...

Your reference list would then include the paper by Ankeny. Your reference list would not include the paper by Zeoli, because you didn't actually read that paper.

Important to know:

In this context, Ankeny is considered an indirect or secondary source because it refers to a primary source by Zeoli. Follow the above instructions only in rare circumstances (eg, when you're not able to access the primary source). It's best to take the extra step of reading the primary source and citing it. That way, you'll know you're getting the information exactly right.  Talk with your professors about this; they might have additional advice.

Annotated Bibliographies

An annotated bibliography includes a citation and a written statement or abstract about each work to help potential readers decide if an item is relevant to their interests. 

Writing Your Paper