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APA Citation Style and Other Citation Styles Explained
In academia and other professional fields, much of the work that goes on is strictly intellectual. In such areas, ideas matter, and copying another’s ideas without acknowledging the source can land the practitioner in trouble. This has happened to many unsuspecting academics.
Sometimes, failure to use citations constitutes academic fraud. The consequences of academic fraud are dire, including academic sanctions, penalties, or worse. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way. Citation systems like the APA one or the Chicago style can help you easily bring your papers or professional writings up to standard.
Below, we explore the APA type of citation and other alternatives that you can use to make your work free of plagiarism.
What is APA Citation Style?
The APA citation style is one of three citation styles which are in wide use in universities and other professional communities. These three are:
- APA Style – A type of citations by the American Psychological Association
- Chicago Manual Style – Citation style from the Chicago University Press
- MLA Style – Citation guidelines by the Modern Language Association
APA Style contains guidelines for references to academic works, as well as stylistic idioms for the composition of academic work. The style began in the 1920s, and has since been adopted by leading academics in the social sciences.
Using APA Citations in the Body of a Text
Proper citation begins with in-text citations. These are references to source materials which you have chosen to include in the body of your paper or text.
In APA Style, you must reference the author’s last name and the source material’s publication year when making reference to a secondary source. Such a secondary source could be, for example, a book, guide, newspaper article, published report, or other publication.
References to earlier research, for example from academic journals, must use the past tense. For example, when referring to a work from 1960 by the psychologist Abraham Maslow, we would write:
Maslow (1960) found that “the highest stage of human psychological health occurs in the state of self-actualization” (p. 330).
As you can see, we also need to include a page number if directly quoting the work, otherwise, the author’s name and the work’s publication year suffice.
APA Reference List
At the end of an academic work, journal writing, or other such professional work, it is necessary to include a list of all works that have been referenced in the body.
The reference list must begin on a separate page from the body of your test. You should title it “References” so that it’s clear that the main arguments have ended and you are now listing references.
In the reference list, you should follow APA Style rules, including the following:
- Arrange author listings in alphabetical order
- Invert the authors’ names so that the last name is read first
- Titles for works cited should be given in full, whether books, journals, or other sources
- Specify the publisher and location where the work was published
Observing these rules, we can list a book by the social scientist Carl Jung as follows:
Jung, C. (1933). Modern Man in Search of a Soul . London: Trubner & Co.
Why APA Is Not Always the Right Citation Type
APA Style works well for the following disciplines:
Other, related, disciplines also use APA Style.
There are, however, disciplines where alternative citation styles are more appropriate. These include the Chicago Manual Style, and MLA Style. The exact citation style you need to use will depend on the field of study for which you are writing. If in doubt, you can check with the publisher or editor of the journal or other publication for which you are writing.
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Understanding APA Format
If you’re writing academically, chances are you’ve been tasked with writing a paper that follows APA style. Although there’s a learning curve involved with adhering to APA style, it’s possible to learn the basics so you can turn in your assignments.
What Is APA Style?
APA is the official academic style of the American Psychological Association. This style was created in 1929 when a group of professionals worked together to devise a set of style rules for scientific writing as a means of making these documents easier to read and understand.
If an assignment indicates APA style, you will need to adhere to these style rules. These guidelines ensure that your document is consistent and uniform with elements such as punctuation, headings and subheadings, abbreviations, numbers, tables and figures and citations.
Main Sections of a Document
APA style dictates the format of the main sections of a document.
The title page includes a running head, the author’s name and the school.
The abstract is a succinct summary of the document. APA style dictates that abstracts be no more than 250 words, although some instructors give leeway regarding the length.
The main body of the document is the text of the essay or report. Some reports are divided into separate sections.
Your reference section follows the body. It includes a list of references you cited in your document.
How to Reference APA Style
In-text citations appear within the text, identifying any information you cite. APA format for in-text citations includes the author’s name and the date of the publication.
The reference page always begins on a new page with the title “References” centered at the top. Include all entries in alphabetical order, and each entry’s first line begins at the left margin, and additional lines are indented. Place titles of newspapers, magazines, journals and books in italics, and double-space the reference section.
Double-check that all of your sources appear as both in-text citations and in the reference section.
Use an APA Sample Paper
An APA style example can be helpful if you’re learning this style and trying to apply it to a writing assignment. Many schools and universities maintain resource web pages with APA samples to show students how to follow this style.
More APA Tips
If you’re struggling with creating APA citations and references, use a citation machine to check your work. You simply fill in the citation and click a button, and the tool tells you if you made any errors.
Consider hiring an academic editor to check your work after you finish writing. The editor can find and correct errors to make sure your document adheres to APA.
MORE FROM QUESTIONSANSWERED.NET
- About Citation
About APA 7th ed.
In-text citations, formatting your apa paper.
- MLA 9th Ed.
- Chicago 17th Ed.
More Style Tips
APA is more than just citation and referencing! It's a whole style of writing designed to refer to people in research with dignity and respect and present research results in a standard style so that others can easily evaluate your work and replicate it.
- APA inclusive writing guidelines
- Bias free language for sexual orientation
- Bias free language for racial and ethnic identities
- Citing Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers
This guide is a quick introduction to the American Psychological Association (APA) Style for references and citations. Be sure to consult the Publication Manual of the APA or the APA Style website for detailed standards and procedures.
- APA Style Comprehensive style and grammar guidelines from APA.
- A Quick Guide to APA Citation 7th Edition CSUDH Library
When you reference another source use an in-text citation in the body of your paper.
Basic Format: (Author's Last Name(s) or Organization, Year).
Summarizing or Paraphrasing
Paraphrasing or summarizing the main findings or takeaways from a research article is the preferred method of citing sources in an APA paper. Always include the last name of the author(s) and the year of the publication, so your reader can find the full citation in the reference list.
According to Shavers (2007), limitations of studying socioeconomic status in research on health disparities include difficulties in collecting data on socioeconomic status and the complications of classifying women, children, and employment status.
If you're quoting the exact words of someone else, introduce the quote with an in-text citation in parentheses. Any sentence punctuation goes after the closing parenthesis.
- According to Brown (2019), "Direct quote" (p. 1021).
- Brown (2019) found that "Direct quote" (p. 1021).
- [Some other introduction] "Direct quote" (Brown, 2019, p. 1021).
If you're directly quoting more than 40 words, use a blockquote . Block quotes don't need quotation marks. Instead, indent the text 1/2" as a visual cue that you are citing. The in-text citation in parentheses goes after the punctuation of the quote.
Shavers (2007) study found the following:
While research studies have established that socioeconomic status influences disease incidence, severity and access to healthcare, there has been relatively less study of the specific manner in which low SES influences receipt of quality care and consequent morbidity and mortality among patients with similar disease characteristics, particularly among those who have gained access to the healthcare system. (p. 1021)
Toro Tip: Use direct quotes sparingly! Focus on summarizing the findings from multiple research studies. In the sciences and social sciences, only use the exact phrasing or argument of an individual when necessary.
In-text citations differ depending on the number of authors listed for a work, and if there is a group author .
I'm citing a work with...
You only need the author's last name comma year in parentheses.
Connect both authors' last names with & (ampersand) comma and the year.
(Wegener & Petty, 1994)
3 or More Authors
If there are 3 or more authors use et al., which means "and others," comma and the year.
(Harris et al., 2018)
First time with an abbreviation:
(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2019)
Then all subsequent citations: (CDC, 2019)
Include the complete citation at the end of your paper in a references section. References are organized by the author's last name in alphabetic (A-Z) order. Use an hanging indent to separate each list item.
Basic Format: Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date). Title of the work. Source where you can retrieve the work . URL or DOI if available
I'm citing a...
- Author(s). Note: List each author's last name and initial as Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. Use an ampersand (&) before the final author's name. Read more from the APA Style website if there are 21 or more authors.
- Title of the article. Note: For works that are part of a greater whole (e.g. articles, chapter), use sentence case. Only the first word of the title and subtitle and proper nouns are capitalized.
- Title of the Journal , Note: Italicize and capitalize each word in the journal.
- Volume Note: Italicize the journal volume. If there is no issue, include a comma before the page range.
- (Issue), Note: If there is a issue number in addition to a volume number, include it in parentheses.
- Page range. Note: If there is no page range within the journal volume/issue, this can be excluded.
- DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Read more about DOIs from the APA Style wesbite.
Ashing‐Giwa, K. T., Padilla, G., Tejero, J., Kraemer, J., Wright, K., Coscarelli, A., Clayton, S., Williams, I., & Hills, D. (2004). Understanding the breast cancer experience of women: A qualitative study of African American, Asian American, Latina and Caucasian cancer survivors. Psycho‐Oncology , 13 (6), 408-428. https://doi.org/10.1002/pon.750
Online News/Magazine Article
- Author(s). Note: List each author's last name and initials as Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. Use an ampersand (&) before the final author's name.
- (Year, Month Date). Note: You do not need to abbreviate the month.
- Title of the online newspaper or publication . Note: Capitalize each word in the publication and italicize. If the publication has an associated newly newspaper in print, use the newspaper article reference example .
Rogers, O. (2021, July 9). Why naming race is necessary to undo racism. Psychology Today . https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/who-am-i-who-are-we/202107/why-naming-race-is-necessary-undo-racism
- Title of the book. Note: For works that stand alone (e.g. books, reports), italicize the title. Only capitalize the first word of the title and subtitle and any proper nouns.
- (Edition). Note: If there is an edition or volume, include it in parentheses and use abbreviations of ed. or vol.
- Publisher. Note: You do not need to include the publisher location or databases where you retrieved it.
Schmidt, N. A., & Brown, J. M. (2017). Evidence-based practice for nurses: Appraisal and application of research (4th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning, LLC.
Book Chapter with Editor(s)
- Author(s). Note: List each chapter author's last name and initials as Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. Use an ampersand (&) before the final author's name.
- Title of the chapter. Note: For works that are part of a greater whole (e.g. articles, chapter), use sentence case. Only the first word of the title and subtitle and proper nouns are capitalized.
- In Editor(s), Note: List each editor's last name and initials as A. A. Editor, B. B. Editor, & C. C. Editors, include (Ed.) or (Eds.) in parentheses, and end with a comma.
- Title of the book Note: For works that stand alone (e.g. books, reports), italicize the title. Only capitalize the first word of the title and subtitle and any proper nouns.
McCormack, B., McCance, T., & Maben, J. (2013). Outcome evaluation in the development of person-centred practice. In B. McCormack, K. Manley, & A. Titchen (Eds.), Practice development in nursing and healthcare (pp. 190-211). John Wiley & Sons.
- Author(s). Note: List each author's last name and initials as Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. If there is no author, spell out the name of the organization or site.
- (Year, Month Date). Note: Read more about date formats from the APA Style website . Provide as specific a date as is available. Use the date last updated, but not the date last reviewed or copyright date. If there is no date, use (n.d.).
- Title of page or section. Note: Italicize the title of the page.
- Source. Note: Usually the official name of the website. If the source would be the same as the author, you can omit the source to avoid repetition.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). Preventing HPV-associated cancers . https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/hpv/basic_info/prevention.htm/
- Author(s). Note: List each author's last name and initials as Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. If there is no author, spell out the name of the organization that published the report.
- (Year, Month Date). Note: Provide as specific a date as is available.
- Title of the report or document. Note: For works that stand alone (e.g. books, reports), italicize the title. Only capitalize the first word of the title and subtitle and any proper nouns.
- Source. Includes the names of parent agencies or other organizations not listed in the group author name here.
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. (2017, January). Key indicators of health by service planning area . http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/ha/
Dissertation or Thesis
- Author. Note: List the author's last name and initials as Author, A. A. There is usually only one author for a thesis or dissertation, you don't need to include any faculty advisers.
- Title of the dissertation or thesis [Doctoral dissertation or Master's thesis, Name of University]. Note: For works that stand alone (e.g. books, dissertations, theses), italicize the title. Only capitalize the first word of the title and subtitle and any proper nouns. The title page will indicate whether it's a Doctoral dissertation or Master's thesis and list the name of the university granting the degree.
- Source. Note: Include the name of the database or institutional repository where you can access the work (e.g. ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global, PQDT Open, CSU ScholarWorks) here.
- URL Note: If available it's available.
Valentin, E. R. (2019, Summer). Narcissism predicted by Snapchat selfie sharing, filter usage, and editing [Master's thesis, California State University Dominguez Hills]. CSU ScholarWorks. https://scholarworks.calstate.edu/concern/theses/3197xm925?locale=en
Check out more examples for citing dissertations and theses on the APA Style site .
Citing a letter, photograph, text document, graphic material, or ephemera? Consult the Gerth Archives APA Citation Guide for Archival Materials .
What does an example APA paper look like?
APA Style offers sample student and professional paper s, including a free annotated student sample paper .
- Sample Student Paper (APA 7th edition) Download and use this Word document as a template for your paper!
How do I make a hanging indent in Word?
1. Highlight the citaiton with your cursor.
2. Right click.
3. Select Paragraph .
4. Under Indentation, select Special and Hanging .
How can I save time formatting my paper?
Microsoft Word and Google Docs have a Format Painter tool that will copy and apply basic formatting to any text!
1. Highlight the formatting you want to apply.
2. Select Format Painter .
3. Highlight the text you want to change.
Note: If using the Format Painter on the Reference List, you'll need to go back and add italics.
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A comprehensive guide to apa citations and format, overview of this guide:.
This page provides you with an overview of APA format, 7th edition. Included is information about referencing, various citation formats with examples for each source type, and other helpful information.
If you’re looking for MLA format , check out the Citation Machine MLA Guide. Also, visit the Citation Machine homepage to use the APA formatter, which is an APA citation generator, and to see more styles .
Being responsible while researching
When you’re writing a research paper or creating a research project, you will probably use another individual’s work to help develop your own assignment. A good researcher or scholar uses another individual’s work in a responsible way. This involves indicating that the work of other individuals is included in your project (i.e., citing), which is one way to prevent plagiarism.
Plagiarism? What is it?
The word plagiarism is derived from the Latin word, plagiare , which means “to kidnap.” The term has evolved over the years to now mean the act of taking another individual’s work and using it as your own, without acknowledging the original author (American Psychological Association, 2020 p. 21). Plagiarism can be illegal and there can be serious ramifications for plagiarizing someone else’s work. Thankfully, plagiarism can be prevented. One way it can be prevented is by including citations and references in your research project. Want to make them quickly and easily? Try the Citation Machine citation generator, which is found on our homepage.
All about citations & references
Citations and references should be included anytime you use another individual’s work in your own assignment. When including a quote, paraphrased information, images, or any other piece of information from another’s work, you need to show where you found it by including a citation and a reference. This guide explains how to make them.
APA style citations are added in the body of a research paper or project and references are added to the last page.
Citations , which are called in-text citations, are included when you’re adding information from another individual’s work into your own project. When you add text word-for-word from another source into your project, or take information from another source and place it in your own words and writing style (known as paraphrasing), you create an in-text citation. These citations are short in length and are placed in the main part of your project, directly after the borrowed information.
References are found at the end of your research project, usually on the last page. Included on this reference list page is the full information for any in-text citations found in the body of the project. These references are listed in alphabetical order by the author's last name.
An APA in-text citation includes only three items: the last name(s) of the author(s), the year the source was published, and sometimes the page or location of the information. References include more information such as the name of the author(s), the year the source was published, the full title of the source, and the URL or page range.
Why is it important to include citations & references
Including APA citations and references in your research projects is a very important component of the research process. When you include citations, you’re being a responsible researcher. You’re showing readers that you were able to find valuable, high-quality information from other sources, place them into your project where appropriate, all while acknowledging the original authors and their work.
Common ways students and scholars accidentally plagiarize
Believe it or not, there are instances when you could attempt to include in-text and full references in the appropriate places, but still accidentally plagiarize. Here are some common mistakes to be aware of:
Mistake #1 - Misquoting sources: If you plan to use a direct quote, make sure you copy it exactly as is. Sure, you can use part of the full quote or sentence, but if you decide to put quotation marks around any words, those words should match exactly what was found in the original source. Here’s a line from The Little Prince , by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry:
“Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them.”
Here’s an acceptable option:
“Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves,” stated de Saint-Exupéry (1943, p. 3).
Here’s a misquote:
“Grown-ups barely ever understand anything by themselves,” stated de Saint-Exupéry (1943, p. 3).
Notice the slight change in the words. The incorrect phrasing is an instance of accidental plagiarism.
Mistake #2 - Problems with paraphrasing: When we paraphrase, we restate information using our own words and writing style. It’s not acceptable to substitute words from the original source with synonyms.
Let’s use the same sentence from The Little Prince .
A correct paraphrase could be:
de Saint-Exupéry (1943) shares various ways adults frustrate children. One of the biggest being that kids have to explain everything. It’s too bad adults are unable to comprehend anything on their own (p. 3).
An incorrect paraphrase would be:
de Saint-Exupéry (1943) shares that adults never understand anything by themselves, and it is exhausting for kids to be always and forever clarifying things to them (p.3).
Notice how close the incorrect paraphrase is from the original. This is an instance of accidental plagiarism.
Make sure you quote and paraphrase properly in order to prevent accidental plagiarism.
If you’re having a difficult time paraphrasing properly, it is acceptable to paraphrase part of the text AND use a direct quote. Here’s an example:
de Saint-Exupery (1943) shares various ways adults frustrate children. One of the biggest being that kids have to explain everything, and “it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them” (p. 3).
Information About APA
Who created it.
The American Psychological Association is an organization created for individuals in the psychology field. With close to 121,000 members, they provide educational opportunities, funding, guidance, and research information for everything psychology-related. They also have numerous high-quality databases, peer-reviewed journals, and books that revolve around mental health.
The American Psychological Association is also credited with creating their own specific citation and reference style. Today, this format is used by individuals not only in the psychology field, but many other subject areas as well. Education, economics, business, and social sciences also use APA style quite frequently. Click here for more information . This guide covers general information about the style, but is not affiliated with the American Psychological Association.
Why was this style created?
This format was first developed in 1929 to form a standardized way for researchers in science fields to document their sources. Prior to the inception of these standards and guidelines, individuals were recognizing the work of other authors by including bits and pieces of information in random order. There wasn’t a set way to format citations and references. You can probably imagine how difficult it was to understand the sources that were used for research projects!
Having a standard format for citing sources allows readers to glance at a citation or APA reference and easily locate the title, author, year published, and other critical pieces of information needed to understand a source.
The evolution of this style
The guide below is based on APA style 7th edition, which was released in 2020. In previous versions of APA format, researchers and scholars were required to include the publisher location for books and the date that an electronic resource was accessed. Both are no longer required to be included.
Details on the differences between the 6th and 7th editions is addressed later in this guide.
Citations & References
The appearance of citations & references.
The format for references varies, but most use this general format:
%%Author’s Last name, First initial. (Date published). Title . URL
Researchers and scholars must look up the proper format for the source that they’re attempting to cite. Books have a certain format, websites have a different format, periodicals have a different format, and so on. Scroll down to find the proper format for the source you’re citing or referencing.
If you would like help citing your sources, CitationMachine.com has a citation generator that will help make the APA citation process much easier for you. To start, simply click on the source type you're citing:
- Journal articles
An APA in-text citation is included in research projects in three instances: When using a direct quote, paraphrasing information, or simply referring to a piece of information from another source.
Quite often, researchers and scholars use a small amount of text, word for word, from another source and include it in their own research projects. This is done for many reasons. Sometimes, another author’s words are so eloquently written that there isn’t a better way to rephrase it yourself. Other times, the author’s words can help prove a point or establish an understanding for something in your research project. When using another author’s exact words in your research project, include an APA in-text citation directly following it.
In addition to using the exact words from another source and placing them into your project, these citations are also added anytime you paraphrase information. Paraphrasing is when you take information from another source and rephrase it, in your own words.
When simply referring to another piece of information from another source, also include a citation directly following it.
Citations in the text are found near a direct quote, paraphrased information, or next to a mention of another source. To see examples of some narrative/ parenthetical citations in action, look at the image above, under “All About Citations & References.”
Note: *Only include the page or paragraph number when using a direct quote or paraphrase. Page numbers have a p. before the number, pp. before the page range, and para. before the paragraph number. This information is included to help the reader locate the exact portion of text themselves. It is unnecessary to include this information when you’re simply referring to another source.
Examples of APA in-text citations:
“Well, you’re about to enter the land of the free and the brave. And I don’t know how you got that stamp on your passport. The priest must know someone” (Tóibín, 2009, p. 52).
Student teachers who use technology in their lessons tend to continue using technology tools throughout their teaching careers (Kent & Giles, 2017, p. 12).
If including the author’s name in the sentence, place the year in the parentheses directly next to his or her name. Add the page number at the end, unless it’s a source without any pages or paragraph numbers (See Section 8.10 of the Publication manual for more details).
In-text citation APA example:
According to a study done by Kent and Giles (2017), student teachers who use technology in their lessons tend to continue using technology tools throughout their teaching careers.
The full references, or citations, for these sources can be found on the last part of a research project, titled the “References.”
Here’s how to create in-text citations for specific amounts of authors:
APA citation with no author
When the source lacks an author’s name, place the title, year, and page number (if available) in the text. The title should be in italics if it sits alone (such as a movie, brochure, or report). If the source is part of a whole (as many web pages and articles are), place the title in quotation marks without italics (See Section 8.14 of the Publication manual ).
Structure of an APA format citation in the text narratively, with the author's name missing:
Title of Source (Year) or “Title of Source” (Year)
Structure of an APA style format citation, in parentheses at the end of the sentence, with the author’s name missing: (Title of Source, Year) or (“Title of Source,” Year)
Structure for one author
In the text, narratively: Last name of Author (Year)...(page number).
In parentheses, at the end of the sentence: (Last name of Author, Year, page number).
Structure for two authors
Place the authors in the order they appear on the source. Only use the ampersand in the parenthetical citations (see Section 8.17 of the Publication manual ). Use ‘and’ to separate the author names if they’re in the text of the sentence.
In the text, narratively: Last name of Author 1 and Last name of Author 2 (Year)....(page number).
In parentheses, at the end of the sentence: (Last name of Author 1 & Last name of Author 2, Year, page number).
Structure for three or more authors
Only include the first listed author’s name in the first and any subsequent citations. Follow it with et al.
(Last name Author 1 et al., Year, page number)
(Agbayani et al., 2020, p. 99)
Last name of Author 1 et al. (Year)...(page).
Agbayani et al. (2020)...(p. 99)
One author, multiple works, same year
What do you do when you want to cite multiple works by an author, and the sources all written in the same year?
Include the letters ‘a’ ‘b’ ‘c’ and so on after the year in the citation.
Writers can even lump dates together.
Example: Jackson often studied mammals while in Africa (2013a, 2013b).
On the APA reference page, include the same letters in the full references.
Groups and organizations
Write out the full name of the group or organization in the first citation and place the abbreviation next to it in brackets. If the group or organization is cited again, only include the abbreviation. If it doesn’t have an abbreviation associated with it, write out the entire organization’s name each and every time (see Section 8.21 of the Publication manual ).
First APA citation for an organization with an abbreviation: (World Health Organization [WHO], Year)
World Health Organization (WHO, Year)
Notice in the example directly above, the name of the organization is written out in full in the text of the sentence, and the abbreviation is placed in parentheses next to it.
Subsequent APA citations in the text for an organization with an abbreviation: (WHO, Year) OR WHO (Year)
All citations in the text for an organization without an abbreviation: (Citation Machine, Year) or Citation Machine (Year)
One in-text citation, multiple works
Sometimes you’ll need to cite more than one work within an in-text citation. Follow the same format (author, year) format but place semicolons between works (p. 263).
(Obama, 2016; Monroe et al., 1820; Hoover & Coolidge, 1928)
Reminder: There are many citation tools available on CitationMachine.com. Head to our homepage to learn more, check out our APA citation website, and cite your sources easily! The most useful resource on our website? Our APA citation generator, which doesn’t just create full references, it’s also an APA in-text citation website! It’ll do both for you!
Click here to learn more about crediting work .
Reference list citation components
References display the full information for all the citations found in the body of a research project.
Some things to keep in mind when it comes to the references:
- All references sit together on their own page, which is usually the last page(s) of a paper.
- Title the page ‘References’
- Place ‘References’ in the center of the page and bold it. Keep the title in the same font and size as the references. Do not italicize, underline, place the title in quotation marks, or increase the font size.
- The entire page is double spaced.
- All references are listed in alphabetical order by the first word in the reference, which is usually the author’s last name. If the source lacks an author, alphabetize the source by the title (ignore A, An, or The)
- All references have a hanging indent, meaning that the second line of text is indented in half an inch. See examples throughout this guide.
- Remember, each and every citation in the text of the paper MUST have a full reference displayed in the reference list. The citations in the text provide the reader with a quick glimpse about the sources used, but the references in the reference list provide the reader with all the information needed to seek out the source themselves.
Learn more about each component of the reference citation and how to format it in the sections that follow. See an APA sample paper reference list at the end of this entire section.
The names of authors are written in reverse order. Include the initials for the first and middle names. End this information with a period (see Section 9.8 of the Publication manual ).
Format: Last name, F. M.
- Angelou, M.
- Doyle, A. C.
Two or more authors
When two or more authors work together on a source, write them in the order in which they appear on the source. You can name up to 20 authors in the reference. For sources with 2 to 20 authors, place an ampersand (&) before the final author. Use this format:
Last name, F. M., & Last name, F. M.
Last name, F. M., Last name, F. M., Last name, F. M., Last name, F. M., & Last name, F. M.
Kent, A. G., Giles, R. M., Thorpe, A., Lukes, R., Bever, D. J., & He, Y.
If there are 21 or more authors listed on a source, only include the first 19 authors, add three ellipses, and then add the last author’s name.
Roberts, A., Johnson, M. C., Klein, J., Cheng, E. V., Sherman, A., Levin, K. K. , ...Lopez, G. S.
If you plan on using a free APA citation tool, like the one at CitationMachine.com, the names of the authors will format properly for you.
If the source lacks an author, place the title in the first position in the reference (Section 9.12 of the Publication manual ). When the source’s title begins with a number (Such as 101 Dalmatians ), place the reference alphabetically as if the number was spelled out. 101 Dalmatians would be placed in the spot where ‘One hundred’ would go, but keep the numbers in their place.
Additionally, if the title begins with the words ‘A’, ‘An,’ or ‘The,’ ignore these words and place the title alphabetically according to the next word.
See the “Titles” section below for more information on formatting the title of sources.
On an APA reference page, corporate authors are always written out in full. In the text of your paper, you may have some abbreviations (such as UN for United Nations), but in the full references, always include the full names of the corporation or organization (following Section 9.11 of the official Publication manual ).
%%United Nations. (2019). Libya: $202 million needed to bring life-saving aid to half a million people hit by humanitarian crisis. https://news.un.org/en/story/2019/02/1031981
Publication date & retrieval date
Directly after the author’s name is the date the source was published. Include the full date for newspapers and magazine articles, and only the year for journals and all other sources. If no date is found on the source, include the initials, n.d. for “no date.”
%% Narducci, M. (2017, May 19). City renames part of 11th Street Ed Snider Way to honor Flyers founder. The Philadelphia Inquirer . http://www.philly.com/
If using our APA Citation Machine, our citation generator will add the correct format for you automatically.
Giving a retrieval date is not needed unless the online content is likely to be frequently updated and changed (e.g., encyclopedia article, dictionary entry, Twitter profile, etc.).
%%Citation Machine [@CiteMachine]. (n.d.). Tweets [Twitter profile]. Twitter. Retrieved October 10, 2019, from https://twitter.com/CiteMachine
When writing out titles for books, articles, chapters, or other non-periodical sources, only capitalize the first word of the title and the first word of the subtitle. Names of people, places, organizations, and other proper nouns also have the first letter capitalized. For books and reports, italicize the title in the APA citation.
Strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Roots: The saga of an American family.
For articles and chapters in APA referencing, do not italicize the title.
Wake up the nation: Public libraries, policy making, and political discourse.
For newspapers, magazines, journals, newsletters, and other periodicals, capitalize the first letter in each word and italicize the title.
The Seattle Times.
A common question is whether to underline your title or place it in italics or quotation marks in the reference list. Here’s a good general rule: When a source sits alone and is not part of a larger whole, place the title in italics. If the source does not sit alone and is part of a larger whole, do not place it in italics.
Books, movies, journals, and television shows are placed in italics since they stand alone. Songs on an album, episodes of television shows, chapters in books, and articles in journals are not placed in italics since they are smaller pieces of larger wholes.
The Citation Machine citation generator will format the title in your citations automatically.
Additional information about the title
If you feel it would be helpful to include additional information about the source type, include a descriptive noun or two in brackets immediately following the title. Capitalize the first letter.
%%Kennedy, K., & Molen, G. R. (Producers), & Spielberg, S. (Director). (1993). Jurassic Park [Film]. USA: Universal.
Besides [Film], other common notations include:
- [Audio podcast]
- [Letter to the editor]
- [Television series episode]
- [Facebook page]
- [Blog post]
- [Lecture notes]
- [PowerPoint presentation]
- [Video file]
If you are using Citation Machine citing tools, additional information about the title is automatically added for you.
For books and reports, include the publisher name but not the location (see Section 9.29 of the Publication manual ). Older editions of the style required the city, state and/or country, but this hasn't been the case since the 7th edition was released.
It is not necessary to include the entire name of the publisher. It is acceptable to use a brief, intelligible form. However, if Books or Press are part of the publisher’s names, keep these words in the reference. Other common terms, such as Inc., Co., Publishers, and others can be omitted.
For newspapers, journals, magazines, and other periodicals, include the volume and issue number after the title. The volume number is listed first, by itself, in italics. The issue number is in parentheses immediately after it, not italicized. There is no space after the closing parenthesis and before the volume number.
%%Giannoukos, G., Besas, G., Hictour, V., & Georgas, T. (2016). A study on the role of computers in adult education. Educational Research and Reviews , 11 (9), 907-923. https://doi.org/10.5897/ERR2016.2688
After including the publisher information, end this section with a period.
Electronic source information:
For online sources, the URL or DOI (Direct Object Identifier) are included at the end of an APA citation.
DOI numbers are often created by publishers for journal articles and other periodical sources. They were created in response to the problem of broken or outdated links and URLs. When a journal article is assigned a DOI number, it is static and will never change. Because of its permanent characteristic, DOIs are the preferred type of electronic information to include in APA citations. When a DOI number is not available, include the source’s URL (see Section 9.34 in the Publication manual ).
For DOIs, include the number in this format:
For URLs, type them in this format:
http:// or https://
Other information about electronic sources:
- If the URL is longer than a line, break it up before a punctuation mark.
- Do not place a period at the end of the citation/URL.
- It is unnecessary to include retrieval dates, unless the source changes often over time (like in a Wikipedia article).
- It is not necessary to include the names of databases
If using the Citation Machine APA citation website autocite features, the online publication information will be automatically replaced by the DOI. The Citation Machine APA template will properly cite your online sources for you.
Make sure you run your completed paper through the Citation Machine Plus smart proofreader, which scans for grammar, spelling, and plagiarism. Whether it’s an adjective , verb , or pronoun out-of-place, our technology helps edits your paper for you!
An APA annotated bibliography is a full bibliography that includes a small note for each reference citation. Each note should be short (1-2 paragraphs) and contain a summary or your evaluation about each source. When creating your citations on CitationMachine.net, there is a field at the bottom of each form to add your own annotations.
Follow the publication manual guidelines on paper format and writing style. Let your instructor guide other details about your annotations. Still confused? Read our guide on annotated bibliographies .
These types of projects look different depending on the style you’re using. Use the link at the top of the page to access resources related to the Modern Language Association’s style. Here’s information related to Chicago citation style .
Need help with the design and formatting of your paper? Look no further! This section provides the ins and outs of properly displaying the information in your APA essay.
- Times New Roman, 12-point size.
- Calibri, Arial, or Georgia, 11-point size
- Lucida, Sans Unicode, or Computer Modern, 10-point size
- Indents = Every paragraph should start with an indent.
- Margins = 1 inch around the entire document
- Spacing = Double space everything!
Arrange your pages in this order:
- Page 1 - APA Title Page (see below for information on the title page)
- Page 2 - Abstract (If your professor requests one)
- Page 3 - First page of text
- References begin on their own page. Include the list of references on the page after the text.
- Tables and figures
Keep in mind that the order above is the recommendation for papers being submitted for peer review. If you’re writing an APA style paper for a class, your professor may be more lenient about the requirements. Also, if you’re submitting your paper for a specific journal, check the requirements on the journal’s website. Each journal has different rules and procedures.
Just a little nudge to remind you about the Citation Machine Plus smart proofreader. Whether it’s a conjunction or interjection out of place, a misspelled word, or an out of place citation, we’ll offer suggestions for improvement! Don’t forget to check out our APA citation maker while you’re at it!
In older editions of APA, running heads were required for all papers. Since the 7th edition, that’s changed.
- Student paper: No running head
- Professional paper: Include a running head
The running head displays the title of the paper and the page number on all pages of the paper. This header is found on every page of a professional paper (not a student paper), even on the title page (sometimes called an APA cover page) and reference list (taken from Section 2.8 of the Publication manual ).
It's displayed all in capital letters at the top of the page. Across from the running head, along the right margin, is the page number.
- Use the header feature in your word processor. Both Google Docs and Word have these features available.
- Use one for the recommended fonts mentioned under "Page formatting."
A title page, sometimes called an APA cover page, graces the cover of an essay or paper. An APA title page should follow rules from Section 2.3 of the official Publication manual and include:
- Page number, which is page 1
- Use title case and bold font
- The title should be under 12 words in length
- The title should be a direct explanation of the focus of the paper. Do not include any unnecessary descriptors such as “An Analysis of…” or “A Study of…”
- Exclude any labels such as Mr., Ms., Dr, PhD...
- Name of the school or institution
- Course number and/or class name
- Name of your instructor, including their preferred honorifics (e.g., PhD, Dr., etc.)
- Paper’s due date
- If this is a professional paper, also include a running head. If this is a student paper, do not include one.
Follow the directions for the running head and page number in the section above. Below the running head, a few lines beneath, and centered in the middle of the page, should be the title. The next line below is the author’s name(s), followed by the name of the school or institution, the class or course name, your instructor’s name, and the paper’s due date.
All components on this page should be written in the same font and size as the rest of your paper. Double space the title, names, name of school or institution, and all other information on the page (except for the running head and page number).
Example - Student Title Page APA:
Example - Professional Title Page APA:
If you’re submitting your paper to a journal for publication, check the journal’s website for exact requirements. Each journal is different and some may request a different type of APA format cover page.
Looking to create an APA format title page? Head to CitationMachine.com’s homepage and choose “Title Page” at the top of the screen.
An abstract briefly but thoroughly summarizes dissertation contents. It’s found in the beginning of a professional paper, right after the title page. Abstracts are meant to help readers determine whether to continue reading the entire document. With that in mind, try to craft the lead sentence to entice the reader to continue reading.
Here are a few tips:
- Be factual and keep your opinions out. An abstract should accurately reflect the paper or dissertation and should not involve information or commentary not in the thesis.
- Communicate your main thesis. What was the examined problem or hypothesis? A reader should know this from reading your abstract.
- Keep it brief. Stick to the main points and don’t add unnecessary words or facts. It should not exceed 250 words.
- Consider your paper’s purpose. It’s important to cater your abstract to your paper type and think about what information the target audience for that paper type would want. For example, an empirical article may mention methodology or participant description. A quantitative or qualitative meta-analysis would mention the different variables considered and how information was synthesized.
- Use verbs over noun equivalents, and active voice. Example: “There was research into…” becomes “We researched…”
- The abstract goes after the title page.
- It should have the same font (size and type) as the rest of the paper.
- It should stick to one page.
- Double-space all page text.
- Center and bold the word “Abstract” at the top of the paper.
- Don’t indent the first line of the abstract body. The body should also be in plain text.
- For the keywords, place it on the line after the abstract and indent the first line (but not subsequent lines). The word “Keywords:” is capitalized, italicized, and followed by a colon. The actual keywords are sentence case and in plan font.
- List each keyword one after the other, and separate them by a comma.
- After the last keyword, no ending punctuation is needed.
Tables & Figures
If your paper includes a lot of numerical information or data, you may want to consider placing it into a table or a figure, rather than typing it all out. A visual figure or simple, organized table filled with numerical data is often easier for readers to digest and comprehend than tons of paragraphs filled with numbers. Chapter 7 of the Publication manual outlines formatting for tables and figures. Let's cover the basics below.
If you’d like to include a table or figure in your paper, here are a few key pieces of information to keep in mind:
- At the end of the paper after the APA reference page
- In the text after it is first mentioned
- The table first mentioned in the text should be titled ‘Table 1.’ The next table mentioned in the text is ‘Table 2,’ and so on. For figures, it would be 'Figure 1,' 'Figure 2,' and so forth.
- Even though every table and figure is numbered, also create a title for each that describes the information it contains. Capitalize all important words in the title.
- For tables, do not use any vertical lines, only use horizontal to break up information and headings.
- Single spacing is acceptable to use in tables and figures. If you prefer double spacing your information, that is okay too.
- Do not include extra information or “fluff.” Keep it simple!
- Do not include the same exact information in the paper. Only include the complete information in one area—the table or the text.
- All tables and figures must be referenced in the text. It is unacceptable to throw a table or figure into the back of the paper without first providing a brief summary or explanation of its relevance.
Publication Manual 6th Edition vs 7th Edition
The 6th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association was released in 2009. The current 7th edition came out in the fall of 2019 and was designed to be more student focused, provide more guidance on accessibility, and address changes that have developed over the last 10 years.
Below, we’ve listed what we feel are the most relevant changes related to APA format.
Journals and DOIs
DOI stands for “digital object identifier.” Many journal articles use and have a unique DOI that should be included in a full citation.
When including a DOI in a citation, format it as a URL. Do not label it “DOI.” Articles without DOIs from databases are treated as print works. For example:
%%Gänsicke, B. T., Schreiber, M. R., Toloza, O., Fusillo, N. P. G., Koester, D., & Manser, C. J. (2019). Accretion of a giant planet onto a white dwarf star. Nature, 576 (7785), 61–64. doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1789-8
%%Gänsicke, B. T., Schreiber, M. R., Toloza, O., Fusillo, N. P. G., Koester, D., & Manser, C. J. (2019). Accretion of a giant planet onto a white dwarf star. Nature, 576 (7785), 61–64. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-019-1789-8
There are few new guidelines when you are citing a book. First, the publisher location no longer needs to be indicated.
%%Zack, P. O. (2001). The shoals of time. Bloomington, IN: First Books Library.
%%Zack, P. O. (2001). The shoals of time. First Books Library.
Second, the format of an ebook (e.g., Kindle, etc.) no longer needs to be indicated.
%%Niven, J. (2012). Ada Blackjack: A true story of survival in the Arctic [Kindle].
%%Niven, J. (2012). Ada Blackjack: A true story of survival in the Arctic .
Lastly, books from research databases without DOIs are treated the same as print works.
When using a URL in a citation, you no longer need to include the term “Retrieved from” before URLs (except with retrieval dates). The font should be blue and underlined, or black and not underlined.
%%Flood, A. (2019, December 6). Britain has closed almost 800 libraries since 2010, figures show. The Guardian . Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/dec/06/britain-has-closed-almost-800-libraries-since-2010-figures-show
%%Flood, A. (2019, December 6). Britain has closed almost 800 libraries since 2010, figures show. The Guardian . https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/dec/06/britain-has-closed-almost-800-libraries-since-2010-figures-show
Within a full APA citation, you may spell out up to 20 author names. For two to 20 authors, include an ampersand (&) before the name of the last author. For sources with 21 or more authors, structure it as follows:
Structure: First 19 authors’ names, . . . Last author’s name.
7th edition example: Washington, G., Adams, J., Jefferson, T., Madison, J., Monroe, J., Adams, J. Q., Jackson, A., Van Buren, M., Harrison, W. H., Tyler, J., Polk, J. K., Taylor, Z., Filmore, M., Pierce, F., Buchanan, J., Lincoln, A., Johnson, A., Grant, U. S., Hayes, R. B., Garfield, . . . Trump, D.
When creating an in-text citation for a source with 3 or more authors, use “et al.” after the first author’s name. This helps abbreviate the mention.
6th Edition: (Honda, Johnson, Prosser, Rossi, 2019)
7th Edition: (Honda et al., 2019)
Tables and Figures
Instead of having different formats for tables and figures, both use one standardized format. Now both tables and figures have a number, a title, name of the table/figure, and a note at the bottom.
If you’re still typing into Google “how to cite a website APA” among other related questions and keywords, click here for further reading on the style .
When you’re through with your writing, toss your entire paper into the Citation Machine Plus plagiarism checker , which will scan your paper for grammar edits and give you up to 5 suggestions cards for free! Worry less about a determiner , preposition , or adverb out of place and focus on your research!
American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.) (2020). American Psychological Association. https://doi.org/10.1037/0000165-000
Updated March 3, 2020
Written and edited by Michele Kirschenbaum and Wendy Ikemoto. Michele Kirschenbaum has been an awesome school librarian since 2006 and is an expert in citing sources. Wendy Ikemoto has a master’s degree in library and information science and has been working for Citation Machine since 2012.
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Purdue Online Writing Lab College of Liberal Arts
In-Text Citations: The Basics
Welcome to the Purdue OWL
This page is brought to you by the OWL at Purdue University. When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice.
Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.
Note: This page reflects the latest version of the APA Publication Manual (i.e., APA 7), which released in October 2019. The equivalent resource for the older APA 6 style can be found here .
Reference citations in text are covered on pages 261-268 of the Publication Manual. What follows are some general guidelines for referring to the works of others in your essay.
Note: On pages 117-118, the Publication Manual suggests that authors of research papers should use the past tense or present perfect tense for signal phrases that occur in the literature review and procedure descriptions (for example, Jones (1998) found or Jones (1998) has found ...). Contexts other than traditionally-structured research writing may permit the simple present tense (for example, Jones (1998) finds ).
APA Citation Basics
When using APA format, follow the author-date method of in-text citation. This means that the author's last name and the year of publication for the source should appear in the text, like, for example, (Jones, 1998). One complete reference for each source should appear in the reference list at the end of the paper.
If you are referring to an idea from another work but NOT directly quoting the material, or making reference to an entire book, article or other work, you only have to make reference to the author and year of publication and not the page number in your in-text reference.
On the other hand, if you are directly quoting or borrowing from another work, you should include the page number at the end of the parenthetical citation. Use the abbreviation “p.” (for one page) or “pp.” (for multiple pages) before listing the page number(s). Use an en dash for page ranges. For example, you might write (Jones, 1998, p. 199) or (Jones, 1998, pp. 199–201). This information is reiterated below.
Regardless of how they are referenced, all sources that are cited in the text must appear in the reference list at the end of the paper.
In-text citation capitalization, quotes, and italics/underlining
- Always capitalize proper nouns, including author names and initials: D. Jones.
- If you refer to the title of a source within your paper, capitalize all words that are four letters long or greater within the title of a source: Permanence and Change . Exceptions apply to short words that are verbs, nouns, pronouns, adjectives, and adverbs: Writing New Media , There Is Nothing Left to Lose .
( Note: in your References list, only the first word of a title will be capitalized: Writing new media .)
- When capitalizing titles, capitalize both words in a hyphenated compound word: Natural-Born Cyborgs .
- Capitalize the first word after a dash or colon: "Defining Film Rhetoric: The Case of Hitchcock's Vertigo ."
- If the title of the work is italicized in your reference list, italicize it and use title case capitalization in the text: The Closing of the American Mind ; The Wizard of Oz ; Friends .
- If the title of the work is not italicized in your reference list, use double quotation marks and title case capitalization (even though the reference list uses sentence case): "Multimedia Narration: Constructing Possible Worlds;" "The One Where Chandler Can't Cry."
If you are directly quoting from a work, you will need to include the author, year of publication, and page number for the reference (preceded by "p." for a single page and “pp.” for a span of multiple pages, with the page numbers separated by an en dash).
You can introduce the quotation with a signal phrase that includes the author's last name followed by the date of publication in parentheses.
If you do not include the author’s name in the text of the sentence, place the author's last name, the year of publication, and the page number in parentheses after the quotation.
Place direct quotations that are 40 words or longer in a free-standing block of typewritten lines and omit quotation marks. Start the quotation on a new line, indented 1/2 inch from the left margin, i.e., in the same place you would begin a new paragraph. Type the entire quotation on the new margin, and indent the first line of any subsequent paragraph within the quotation 1/2 inch from the new margin. Maintain double-spacing throughout, but do not add an extra blank line before or after it. The parenthetical citation should come after the closing punctuation mark.
Because block quotation formatting is difficult for us to replicate in the OWL's content management system, we have simply provided a screenshot of a generic example below.
Formatting example for block quotations in APA 7 style.
Quotations from sources without pages
Direct quotations from sources that do not contain pages should not reference a page number. Instead, you may reference another logical identifying element: a paragraph, a chapter number, a section number, a table number, or something else. Older works (like religious texts) can also incorporate special location identifiers like verse numbers. In short: pick a substitute for page numbers that makes sense for your source.
Summary or paraphrase
If you are paraphrasing an idea from another work, you only have to make reference to the author and year of publication in your in-text reference and may omit the page numbers. APA guidelines, however, do encourage including a page range for a summary or paraphrase when it will help the reader find the information in a longer work.
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Copy the information below in your paper according to the Guide on the right. Use your own page numbers.
APA 7 In-text citation guide
In-text citations are required when you use someone else's ideas, theories or research in your paper.
Examples: (choose depending if author and/or date is mentioned in text)
- "The bones were very fragile" (Cole, 2019, p. 13).
- Cole (2019) found that "The bones were very fragile" (p. 33).
- In 2019, Cole found that "The bones were very fragile" (p. 33).
- The bones broke easily because they were porous (Cole, 2011).
- Cole (2011) discovered that the bones broke easily.
- In 2011, Cole found that the bones were easily broken (p. 33).
Note: APA style encourages the inclusion of page numbers for paraphrases, but it is not mandatory. Include page or paragraph numbers if it will help reader find the information.
No authors : Use the title in place of author. Shorten title if needed. Use double quotation marks for title of an article, a chapter, or a web page. Use italics for title of a periodical, a book, a brochure or a report.
- the observations found ("Arctic Voyage," 2014)
- the book Vitamin Discoveries (2013)
Two authors : Within the text use the word and . If the authors' names are within parentheses use the & symbol.
- Cole and Dough (1998) argued ...
- ...if they were left to their own devices.(Cole & Dough, 1998)
Three or more authors: Include only the last name of the first author followed by "et al."
(Wasserstein et al., 2017)
Spell out the name in full the first time and abbreviate subsequent times only if abbreviation is well known.
- First time: American Psychological Association (2020) explained...
- Second time: APA (2020) proved ...
When quoting always provide author, year and specific page citation or paragraph number for nonpaginated material.
If the quotation is less than 40 words incorporate it into the text and enclose the quotation with quotation marks. Cite the source immediately after the close of the quotation marks.
If the authors are named in the text, they do not have to be used in the citation.
In fact, "a neurosis is characterized by anxiety" (Kristen & Warb, 2012, p. 157).
"A neurosis is characterized by anxiety," according to Kristen and Warb's (2012, p. 157) longitudinal study.
If the quotation is over 40 words, you must indent the entire quotation and start the quotation on a new line. No quotation marks are required. Cite the quoted source after the final punctuation mark.
Alberta is occasionally divided into two regions, Northern Alberta and Southern Alberta. The majority of Alberta's population is located in large urban cities, mostly located in the South. Alberta is Canada's most populous province of all three Canadian Prairie provinces. Edmonton is the Capital of Alberta. (Hern, 1996, p. 22)
APA style encourages the inclusion of page numbers, but it is not mandatory. Include page or paragraph numbers if it will help reader find the information.
- (Reiton, 2003, para. 3)
If the document does not contain page numbers, include paragraph numbers.
- (Reiton, 2003, para. 3).
If neither is available omit page and paragraph numbers. Do not count paragraph numbers.
When paraphrasing from multiple sources, include all authors name in parentheses in alphabetical order.
- (Cole, 2006; Mann & Arthur, 2011; Zigmung, 2000).
APA In-Text Citation Guide
- "The bones were very fragile" (Cole, 2011, p. 13).
- Cole (2011) found that "The bones were very fragile" (p. 33).
- In 2011, Cole found that "The bones were very fragile" (p. 33).
Note: APA style encourages the inclusion of page numbers for paraphrases, but it is not mandatory. Include page or paragraph numbers if it will help reader find the information.)
Two or more authors : Within the text use the word and . If the authors' names are within parentheses use the & symbol.
Three to five authors : Include all authors' last names the first time the citation is used. If you use the same citation again within the same paragraph, use only the first last name followed by 'et al'. If you used the citation again omit the year.
- First time: Cole, Dough and Ferris (1998) explained...
- Second time: Cole et al. (1998) proved ...
- Third time: Cole et al. demonstrated...
Six or more authors: Include only the last name of the first author followed by "et al."
(Wasserstein et al., 2010)
- First time: American Psychological Association (1998) explained...
- Second time: APA (1998) proved ...
Alberta is occasionally divided into two regions, Northern Alberta and Southern Alberta. The majority of Alberta's population is located in large urban cities, mostly located in the South. Alberta is Canada's most populous Province of all three Canadian prairie provinces. Edmonton is the Capital of Alberta. (Hern, 1996, p. 22)
In-Text Citations Parenthetical Citations
In-text citations are called parenthetical references in MLA. This involves placing information about the source in parentheses after a quote or a paraphrase. The information in the parenthetical references must match the corresponding information in the list of works cited.
The purpose of parenthetical references is to indicate to readers not only what works you used, but what you used from each source and where in the source you found the material. This can be done by inserting a parenthetical reference in your text at the spot where you have used the source's ideas or words.
You should keep parenthetical references as brief and as few as clarity and accuracy permit.
- The Soviets were surrounded by enemies (Waters 119).
- Waters argues that the Soviets were surrounded by enemies (119).
Authors – Identification of source
- (Natl. Research Council 15)
- Do not use abbreviations such as ed. or trans.
- ("The evolving internet")
- (Black and Mondoux 123)
- (Eddison, Zhu, and Lalonde)
- (Becker et al. 13)
- (Becker, Lafontaine, Robins, Given, and Rush 13)
- (Feder, The Birth of a Nation 124)
Location of passage within source
- give relevant page number if available
- give volume and page number in a multivolume work
- if citing entire work omit page numbers
- (Louis par. 20)
- film, television, broadcasts cannot be cited by numbers
Placement of parenthetical reference in text
- Cole found that "The bones were very fragile" (33-34).
Alberta is occasionally divided into two regions, Northern Alberta and Southern Alberta. The majority of Alberta's population is located in large urban cities, mostly located in the South. Alberta is Canada's most populous Province of all three Canadian prairie provinces. Edmonton is the Capital of Alberta. (Herick 22)
- In Chicago style, footnotes or endnotes are used to reference pieces of work in the text.
- To cite from a source a superscript number is placed after a quote or a paraphrase.
- Citation numbers should appear in sequential order.
- Each number then corresponds to a citation, a footnote or to an endnote.
- Endnotes must appear on an endnotes page. The page should be titled Notes (centered at top). This page should appear immediately before the bibliography page.
- Footnotes must appear at the bottom of the page that they are referred to.
Example: Cole found that "The bones were very fragile" (33-34). 1
Each superscript then refers to a numbered citation in the footnotes or endnotes.
The first time the in-text reference is cited you must include, author's first name, author's last name, title, place of publication, publisher name, year and referenced pages. e.g.
1. James Smith, The first and last war , (New York, Hamilton, 2003), 2.
If the citation has already been cited it may be shortened to author's last name, shortened title, and page referenced number. e.g.
2. Smith, The first , 220-221.
If the citation has been referenced immediately prior, the note may be shortened even further to ibid with the page number. e.g.
3. Ibid., 786.
For each author-date citation in the text, there must be a corresponding entry in the reference list under the same name and date.
An author-date citation in running text or at the end of a block quotation consists of the last (family) name of the author, followed by the year of publication of the work in question. In this context, author may refer not only to one or more authors or an institution but also to one or more editors, translators, or compilers. No punctuation appears between author and date. Abbreviations such as ed. or trans. are omitted.
(Schuman and Scott 1987)
When a specific page, section, equation, or other division of the work is cited, it follows the date, preceded by a comma. When a volume as a whole is referred to, without a page number, vol. is used. For volume plus page, only a colon is needed. The n in the Fischer and Siple example below indicates "note" (see 14.164 ). The last example shows how one might cite a section of a work that contains no page or section numbers or other numerical signposts—the case for some electronic documents (see 15.8 ).
(Piaget 1980, 74)
(LaFree 2010, 413, 417–18)
(Johnson 1979, sec. 24)
Fowler and Hoyle 1965, eq. 87)
(García 1987, vol. 2)
(García 1987, 2:345)
(Barnes 1998, 2:354–55, 3:29)
(Fischer and Siple 1990, 212n3)
(Hellman 1998, under "The Battleground")
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🤔 What is an APA Citation Generator?
An APA citation generator is a software tool that will automatically format academic citations in the American Psychological Association (APA) style.
It will usually request vital details about a source -- like the authors, title, and publish date -- and will output these details with the correct punctuation and layout required by the official APA style guide.
Formatted citations created by a generator can be copied into the bibliography of an academic paper as a way to give credit to the sources referenced in the main body of the paper.
👩🎓 Who uses an APA Citation Generator?
College-level and post-graduate students are most likely to use an APA citation generator, because APA style is the most favored style at these learning levels. Before college, in middle and high school, MLA style is more likely to be used. In other parts of the world styles such as Harvard (UK and Australia) and DIN 1505 (Europe) are used more often.
🙌 Why should I use a Citation Generator?
Like almost every other citation style, APA style can be cryptic and hard to understand when formatting citations. Citations can take an unreasonable amount of time to format manually, and it is easy to accidentally include errors. By using a citation generator to do this work you will:
- Save a considerable amount of time
- Ensure that your citations are consistent and formatted correctly
- Be rewarded with a higher grade
In academia, bibliographies are graded on their accuracy against the official APA rulebook, so it is important for students to ensure their citations are formatted correctly. Special attention should also be given to ensure the entire document (including main body) is structured according to the APA guidelines. Our complete APA format guide has everything you need know to make sure you get it right (including examples and diagrams).
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Our APA generator was built with a focus on simplicity and speed. To generate a formatted reference list or bibliography just follow these steps:
- Start by searching for the source you want to cite in the search box at the top of the page.
- MyBib will automatically locate all the required information. If any is missing you can add it yourself.
- Your citation will be generated correctly with the information provided and added to your bibliography.
- Repeat for each citation, then download the formatted list and append it to the end of your paper.
Daniel is a qualified librarian, former teacher, and citation expert. He has been contributing to MyBib since 2018.
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Apa style is more than citations. learn to format your paper., the formatting rules and guidelines for apa style are designed for comprehensive research papers., read your assignment instructions and adapt the apa style rules as needed., this page gives an overview of what your paper will look like when using apa style and how to set up a word document..
- APA 7 Style and Grammar Guidelines From the American Psychological Association
Sample Paper in APA 7 Style
Learn more about this Sample Paper. Watch the video by Purdue University.
- SAMPLE PAPER (APA 7) by Purdue University - Start here 1st Sample student paper available with all the formatting (title page, headers, page numbers, etc.). Also with in-text citations and reference page. All with explanations.
- Sample Paper by APA (APA 7) Look through the example paper at the formatting, in text citation and reference list. Remember, this sample paper is an example - you will follow you instructor's directions about the parts and sections.
VIDEO. Formatting Your Paper by David Taylor
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Just the basics
Basic elements of apa 7 style.
- Title page (also known as a cover page).
- sans serif fonts such as 11-point Calibri, 11-point Arial, or 10-point Lucida Sans Unicode
- serif fonts such as 12-point Times New Roman, 11-point Georgia, or normal (10-point) Computer Modern (the default font for LaTeX)
- Double-spaced. The entire document including the title page and reference list.
- References page always starts on a new page.
- Page numbers. The title page is your first page. The number one (1) should be located in the upper right-hand corner of the page.
- Margins. APA guidelines specify: one-inch margins at the top, bottom, right and left of every page. Default margins in Word are one inch.
- Citations and reference list. Include both in-text citations and a reference list.
For more information check out the APA 7 webpage: https://apastyle.apa.org/style-grammar-guidelines/references/examples
Instructors frequently require students to use APA Style within presentations. APA Style does not provide specific guidelines for PowerPoint presentations and visuals. You will be adapting APA Style guidelines. Check with your instructor about the format. You will likely need to have in-text citations on the slides throughout your presentation for images, data, quotes and paraphrased statements, AND a slide at the end for a reference list.
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APA citation basics
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The ultimate guide to citing in APA
APA is one of the most popular citation styles, widely used in the social and behavioral sciences, but also in many other fields. APA stands for American Psychological Association . APA citation style was developed by social and behavioral scientists to standardize scientific writing and is currently in its 7th edition.
If you are not sure which citation style to use in your paper, ask your instructor. There are many different citation styles and using the style your instructor or institution has established correctly can have a positive impact on your grade.
The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th edition) is the basis of this guide. It contains guidelines on paper structure and content, writing and formatting, and crediting sources in APA. This guide focuses on crediting sources and aims at answering all of your questions about citing in APA.
The APA citation rules stretch more than 50 pages in the official APA publication manual, and yes, they are complex. We have created the BibGuru citation builder to help you focus on the content of your work instead of worrying about how to get your reference list done correctly.
For general tips and tricks on writing your papers in APA, or to learn how to format your APA title page and abstract page , visit our blog . Or just use our free APA format citation generator to automatically create accurate APA citations with only a few clicks.
I want to cite a ...
The APA guide recommends that you cite any works or individuals whose ideas, theories, or research have directly influenced your work. This means that you should cite only works you have read and ideas you have incorporated into your writing. If possible cite primary sources, and secondary sources sparingly.
A primary source reports original content; a secondary source refers to content first reported in another source.
APA citation style uses in-text citations and a reference list. Both can be created with just a click with BibGuru's APA citation generator .
For in-text references, APA uses the author-date citation system. This system allows readers to find the sources cited both within the text and in the reference list, where each source is listed alphabetically. Each work cited in the text must appear in the reference list, and each work in the reference list must be cited in the text.
To insert a citation in the text, include the author's last name and year of publication. For a direct quotation , include the page number or specific location of the phrase or sentence in the original work.
In-text references have two formats: parenthetical and narrative . In parenthetical citations , the author's name and publication date appear in parentheses. When a parenthetical citation is at the end of a sentence, place the period or other end punctuation after the closing parentheses. Here is an example:
EXAMPLE Parenthetical citation
In the production process nowadays, skilled labor and computerized machines are used (Rode, 2012).
In narrative citations, the name and publication date is incorporated into the text as part of the sentence. The author appears in running text and the date appears in parentheses immediately after the author's name:
EXAMPLE Narrative citation (with parenthesis)
Rode (2012) claims that productive activities have been part of human civilization since ancient times.
In some cases, author and date might both appear in the narrative. In this case, no parentheses are needed:
EXAMPLE Narrative citation (without parenthesis)
In 2012, Rode wrote about the productive activities...
If you cite multiple works parenthetically, place the citations in alphabetical order, separating them with semicolons, like in this example:
EXAMPLE Multiple parenthetical citations
(Adams et al., 2019; Shumway & Shulman, 2015; Westinghouse, 2017)
If multiple sources are cited within a sentence, they can appear in any order:
EXAMPLE Multiple sources in a sentence
Suliman (2018), Gutiérrez (2012, 2017), and Medina and Reyes (2019) examined...
If you cite a work with more than one author or editor, additional rules apply:
- If a work has two authors, cite both names every time the reference occurs in the text.
- When citing a work with 3-5 authors, cite all authors the first time the reference occurs. After the first time, you only need to include the last name of the first author, followed by "et al."
- When citing 6 or more authors, use the first author's last name followed by "et al." for all citations.
According to the 7th edition of the APA Manual , if you are citing 3 or more authors, you only need to list the first author, followed by "et al." Click here to learn more about the difference between APA 6th and 7th editions.
The BibGuru free APA 7 citation generator has incorporated all the new APA 7th edition rules, so you don’t have to worry about the differences between the versions.
Basic in-text citation styles
When quoting directly, always provide the author, year, and page number of the quotation in the in-text citation. When citing a single page, use the abbreviation "p." (e.g., p. 26, p. S44, p. e283); for multiple pages, use the abbreviation "pp." and separate the page range with an en dash (e.g., pp. 34-36). If pages are discontinuous, use a comma between the page numbers (e.g., pp. 65, 72).
Here are two examples of direct quotations:
EXAMPLE Direct quotation
"For both parties to gain from trade, the price at which they trade must lie between the two opportunity costs" (Mankiw, 2015, p. 54).
EXAMPLE Direct quotation (narrative)
In his book, Bonnett asks "What is the difference between being white and being Western?" (2004, p. 14).
However, APA strongly recommends paraphrasing whenever possible instead of using a direct quotation. A paraphrase restates another's idea (or your own previously published idea) in your own words.
How to use Bibguru for APA citations
The reference list at the end of your paper provides the information that a reader would need to identify and find each source that you have used. An accurate reference list helps to establish the credibility of your work and of yourself as the author. You should only include works that you have used in the research for, and preparation of, your paper.
A reference list generally has four elements: author, date, title, and source. Each of these elements answers a question:
When formatting the author part , follow these guidelines:
- Invert all individual author's names, providing the last name first, followed by a comma and the initials: Author, A. A.
- Use a comma to separate an author's initials from additional author names, even when there are only two authors. Use an ampersand (&) before the final author's name: Author, A. A., & Author, B. B.
- For up to 20 authors, provide last names and initials. Use an ampersand before the final author's name.
- For 21 and more authors, include the first 19 names, insert an ellipsis (...), and then add the final author's name.
- People who contributed substantially in roles other than the author can also be credited - an example would be an editor abbreviated as "(Ed.)"
APA 7th edition allows you to include up to 20 authors' names in an individual reference.
By using an APA 7 citation generator like BibGuru you can be on the safe side with the specific rules of the new version.
When formatting the title part , follow these guidelines:
- For works that are part of a greater whole (e.g. journal articles, edited book chapters), do not italicize the title or use quotation marks, and capitalize it using sentence cases.
- For works that stand alone (e.g. books, reports, websites), italicize the title, and capitalize it using sentence cases.
- Finish the title element with a period, unless it ends with a question mark or exclamation point. In that case, use that punctuation mark.
The source either has one or two parts, depending on the reference category. A source from a printed book without a DOI has one part: the book's publisher. A source from a journal article with a DOI has two parts; the periodical information (journal title, volume number, issue number, and page range or article number) and the DOI.
The publication place of printed sources is no longer required in APA 7th edition. Visit our post on the differences between APA 6th and 7th edition to learn more.
The DOI or URL is the final component of the reference list entry in the APA style. A DOI, or digital object identifier , is a unique alphanumeric string that identifies content and provides a persistent link to its location on the internet. Include a DOI for all works that have a DOI, regardless of whether you used the online version or the print version. If an online work has both a DOI and a URL, include only the DOI, but if the source only has a URL, include the URL.
You no longer need to include "retrieved from" prior to listing a URL, according to APA 7th edition.
How to format the reference list in APA:
- Begin the reference list on a new page after the text.
- Name it "References", and center the section label in bold at the top of the page.
- Order the reference list alphabetically by author (last name of the first author followed by the initials of the author's given name(s)).
- Alphabetize entries by authors who have the same given name and last name with suffixes indicating birth order chronologically, oldest first.
- Double-space the entire list (both within and between entries).
- Apply a hanging indent of 0.5 in. to each entry. This means that the first line of the reference is flush left and subsequent lines are indented 0.5 in. from the left margin.
An example of an APA reference page made with BibGuru's APA citation generator .
- Books and Reference Works
- Journals and Periodicals
- Webpages and Websites
- Dissertations and Theses
Books and Reference Works includes authored books , edited books , translated books , anthologies, religious works, classical works, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and diagnostic manuals. This template shows you how to cite them.
EXAMPLE Authored book with a DOI
See, M. (2012). Greenhouse gas emissions: Global business aspects . Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-56908-1
Parenthetical citation: (See, 2012)
Narrative citation: See (2012)
EXAMPLE Authored book without a DOI, from most academic research databases or print version
Hattie, J. (2008). Visible learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. Routledge.
Parenthetical citation: (Hattie, 2008)
Narrative citation: Hattie (2008)
EXAMPLE Edited book with a DOI, with multiple authors
Raab, M., Lobinger, B., Hoffmann, S. O., Pizzera, A., & Laborde, S. (Eds.). (2015). Performance psychology: Perception, action, cognition, and emotion. Academic Press. https://doi.org/10.1016/c2014-0-03104-8
Parenthetical citation: (Raab et al., 2015)
Narrative citation: Raab et al. (2015)
EXAMPLE Dictionary, thesaurus, or encyclopedia
Zalta, E. N. (Ed.). (2019). The Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy (Summer 2019 ed.). Stanford University. https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2019/
Parenthetical citation: (Zalta, 2019)
Narrative citation: Zalta (2019)
EXAMPLE Book in another language
When a book is in a different language than your paper, include a translation of the book title in square brackets:
Meifert Matthias, T. (Ed.). (2010). Strategische personalentwicklung [Strategic HR Development]. Springer.
Periodicals are generally published on a continuous basis and include journals , magazines , newspapers , newsletters, and even blog posts. This template shows you how to cite them.
EXAMPLE Journal article with a DOI
Warren, R., Price, J., Graham, E., Forstenhaeusler, N., & VanDerWal, J. (2018). The projected effect on insects, vertebrates, and plants of limiting global warming to 1.5°C rather than 2°C. Science (New York, N.Y.), 360 (6390), 791–795. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aar3646
Parenthetical citation: (Warren et al., 2018)
Narrative citation: Warren et al. (2018)
EXAMPLE Journal article with a DOI, 21 or more authors
Lindblad-Toh, K., Garber, M., Zuk, O., Lin, M. F., Parker, B. J., Washietl, S., Kheradpour, P., Ernst, J., Jordan, G., Mauceli, E., Ward, L. D., Lowe, C. B., Holloway, A. K., Clamp, M., Gnerre, S., Alföldi, J., Beal, K., Chang, J., Clawson, H., … Kellis, M. (2011). A high-resolution map of human evolutionary constraint using 29 mammals. Nature, 478 (7370), 476–482. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature10530
Parenthetical citation: (Lindblad-Toh et al., 2011)
Narrative citation: Lindblad-Toh et al. (2011)
EXAMPLE Magazine article version
Bruenig, E. (2021, June 9). America’s dangerous obsession with innocence. Atlantic Monthly (Boston, Mass.: 1993) . https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/06/innocence-project-death-row/619132/
Parenthetical citation: (Bruenig, 2021)
Narrative citation: Bruenig (2021)
Darwish, F. (2014). How being a cat person can dramatically enhance your psychological health. Psych Daily, 6 (4), 4-5. https://www-psychdaily-com/the-pets-cats-report/emotional-health/
Parenthetical citation: (Darwish, 2014)
Narrative citation: Darwish (2014)
If you cite a source from a website and no other reference category fits and the work has no parent or overarching publication (e.g. journal or blog), use this template for your reference.
EXAMPLE Webpage on a news website
France-Presse, A. (2021, June 10). Child labour worldwide increases for first time in 20 years. The Guardian. http://www.theguardian.com/law/2021/jun/10/child-labour-worldwide-increases-for-first-time-in-20-years
Parenthetical citation: (France-Presse, 2021)
Narrative citation: France-Presse (2021)
EXAMPLE University website
Hamido, K. A., & Essam, J. A. (n.d.). Use of artificial intelligence in forensic analyses . Cairo Medical School. http://www.med.cairo.edu/AANLIB/
Parenthetical citation: (Hamido & Essam, n.d.)
Narrative citation: Hamido and Essam (n.d.)
EXAMPLE Blog post
Priyadarshini, S. (n.d.). How outreach blends my worlds as a scientist and mom. Indigenus. http://blogs.nature.com/indigenus/2021/05/how-outreach-blends-my-worlds-as-a-scientist-and-mom.html
Parenthetical citation: (Priyadarshini, n.d.)
Narrative citation: Priyadarshini (n.d.)
EXAMPLE Website with no author
Neuroscience. (n.d.). Wikipedia . Retrieved June 6, 2007 from http://en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Neuroscience
Parenthetical citation: ("Neuroscience", n.d.)
Narrative citation: "Neuroscience" (n.d.)
EXAMPLE Government website
Egyptian Center for Nuclear Energy. (n.d.). Becoming a research volunteer . https://www.ECNE.gov/cne/sites/default/files/ohrp/research/ brochures/3panelfinal.pdf
Parenthetical citation: (Egyptian Center for Nuclear Energy, n.d.)
Narrative citation: Egyptian Center for Nuclear Energy (n.d.)
EXAMPLE Entry in an online reference work
Sameer, G. (2005). Behaviorism. In E. N. Rashed (Ed.), The encyclopedia of psychology (Fall 2014 ed.). http://pyche.com/entries/behaviorism
Parenthetical citation: (Sameer, 2005)
Narrative citation: Sameer (2005)
References for dissertations and theses are divided by whether they are unpublished or published. Unpublished works must be retrieved directly from the university in print form. Published works are available from a database, a university archive, or a personal website. This is how you cite them:
Unpublished works (only available at the college or univeristy in print):
EXAMPLE Unpublished dissertation or thesis
Eid, H. (2017). The anti-cancer effect of scorpion venom (Unpublished master’s thesis). Modern Sciences and Arts University.
Parenthetical citation: (Eid, 2017)
Narrative citation: Eid (2017)
EXAMPLE Published dissertation or thesis from a database
Mccarthy, M. D. (2014). The relationship between sleep deprivation and student performance (Order No. 3682837) [Doctoral dissertation, University of Florida]. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global.
Parenthetical citation: (Mccarthy, 2014)
Narrative citation: Mccarthy (2014)
EXAMPLE Published dissertation or thesis from a database-no publication number
Brown, S. (2010). Impacts of jellyfish invasion in the red sea [Master’s thesis, American University in Cairo]. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database.
Parenthetical citation: (Brown, 2010)
Narrative citation: Brown (2010)
EXAMPLE Published dissertation or thesis from an online platform
Anthony, H. (2014). Link between childhood trauma and alcoholism (Doctoral dissertation). FloridaLink. Retrieved from https://etd.floridalink.edu/handle/10919/82854
Parenthetical citation: (Anthony, 2014)
Narrative citation: Anthony (2014)
EXAMPLE Dissertation or thesis in print
Hawk, E. J. (2017). Using artificial intelligence to prioritize covid-19 vaccine delivery (Master's thesis). Cairo University.
Parenthetical citation: (Hawk, 2017)
Narrative citation: Hawk (2017)
EXAMPLE TED Talk
Azab, A. (2012, June). Why are people so rude? [Video]. TED Conferences. https://www.ted.com/talks/why_are_people_so_rude
Parenthetical citation: (Azab, 2012)
Narrative citation: Azab (2012)
EXAMPLE YouTube video
Bomer, M. (2013, June 13). Does it puree? [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97KJhK-9yvc
Parenthetical citation: (Bomer, 2013)
Narrative citation: Bomer (2013)
Abdelaal, D. R (Host). (2017–2018). What should you be doing in your twenties? [Audio podcast]. The millennial. https://themillenial.com/
Parenthetical citation: (Abdelaal, 2017–2018)
Narrative citation: Abdelaal (2017–2018)
Hassan, A. (1908). The Nile River [Photograph]. Time. http://100photos.time.com/photos/asad-hassan-the-nile-river
Parenthetical citation: (Hassan, 1908)
Narrative citation: Hassan (1908)
EXAMPLE Facebook post
The girl project. (2020, January 10). Signs you have poor boundaries [Image attached] [Photo]. Facebook.
Parenthetical citation: (The girl project, 2020)
Narrative citation: The girl project (2020)
While all the specific rules of the APA citation style might sound very complicated, you don't need to worry about getting them wrong with BibGuru. Use our APA 7 citation maker to create the fastest and most accurate APA citations possible.
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Helpful resources, from our blog.
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University Guides on APA styles
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APA is the referencing style of the American Psychological Association. The principles of the APA style can be found in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association . The style is commonly used in psychology, education, and the social sciences.
In APA style, you need to cite your source in-text with the author's last name and year of publication in brackets, and then give a full reference in the alphabetic reference list. Our APA citation guides show you how to cite different sources in APA, taking into consideration all the rules set out in their Publication Manual .
In general, all parts of an APA-styled paper should be double-spaced, including the abstract, text, titles, notes, and reference list. There are some exceptions, however, which you can read all about here .
When you cite a source for the first time in a paragraph as part of a sentence, give the citation of your author's name and year. The second and subsequent time you use that source in a sentence, you do not need to include the year anymore.
In the fall of 2019, the American Psychological Association (APA) issued the 7th edition of their publication manual. Some of the major changes in APA 7th are:
- Book references now omit the publisher location.
- Journal articles should always include an issue number.
- You can add up to 20 authors in a reference list instead of only 7.
- Websites’ URL s omit the “Retrieved from” or "Accessed from" phrase.
You can read more about the changes in the latest version in our blog post .
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Welcome to a comprehensive guide on citing sources and formatting papers in the American Psychological Association style. Below are reference and in-text citation examples, directions on formatting your paper, and background information on the style.
What is APA?
APA stands for the American Psychological Association , which is an organization that focuses on psychology. They are responsible for creating this specific citation style. They are not associated with this guide, but all of the information here provides guidance to using their style and follows the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.
What is APA Citing?
APA style is used by many scholars and researchers in the behavioral and social sciences, not just psychology. There are other citation formats and styles such as MLA and Chicago citation style , but this one is most popular in the fields of science.
Following the same standard format for citations allows readers to understand the types of sources used in a project and also understand their components.
The information in this guide follows the 7th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association . It outlines proper ways to organize and structure a research paper, explains grammar guidelines, and how to properly cite sources. This webpage was created solely by BibMe to help students and researchers focus on how to create APA citations.
The 7th edition of the Publication Manual was released in 2020. We address differences between the 6th and 7th editions at the end of this guide.
For more information, please consult the official Publication Manual .
We cite sources for many reasons. One reason is to give credit to the authors of the work you used to help you with your own research. When you use another person's information to help you with your project, it is important to acknowledge that individual or group. This is one way to prevent plagiarism. Another reason why we create citations is to provide a standard way for others to understand and possibly explore the sources we used. To learn more about citations, check out this page on crediting work . Also, read up on how to be careful of plagiarism .
What Does it Look Like?
There are two types of citations:
- In-text/Parenthetical citations: Those that are found in the body of a project are called in-text/parenthetical citations. They're added into a project when a direct quote or paraphrase has been added into your work. These citations only include the name(s) of the author(s), date, and page number(s), if applicable.
- References: Those that are found on the final part of a project are called references. They're are found in the reference list (sometimes called APA works cited by some teachers), which is at the end of the assignment. It includes the full information of all sources used in a project. These types of references show the author's name, date published, title, publisher, URL, and other key pieces of information.
Depending on the types of sources used for your project, the structure for each citation may look different. There is a certain format or structure for books, a different one for journal articles, a different one for websites, and so on. Scroll down to find the appropriate APA format structure for your sources.
Even though the structure varies across different sources, see below for a full explanation of in-text citations and reference citations.
Still wondering, "What is APA format?" To learn more about APA referencing, including access to the American Psychological Association\'s blog, formatting questions, & referencing explanations, click on this link for further reading on the style . To learn more about using the BibMe service (BibMe.com) to help build APA citation website references, see the section below titled, "Using the BibMe Online Writing Center to Create Citations for your Reference List or APA Bibliography."
In-text citations overview.
When using a direct quote or paraphrasing information from a source, include an in-text or parenthetical citation into the body of your project, immediately following it.
An APA in-text citation may look similar to this:
Author's Last name (Year) states that "direct quote" or paraphrase (page number).
Parenthetical citations look like this:
"Direct quote" or paraphrase (Author's Last name, Year, Page number).
These types of APA citations always have the author and the date together.
Only direct quotes need a page number. For paraphrased information, it isn't necessary, but helpful for the reader.
See the section below titled, "In-Text or Parenthetical Citations," for a full explanation and instructions.
Full References Overview
Each source used in your project is listed as a full citation on the APA reference page, which is usually the last part of a project.
The structure for each citation is based on the type of source used. Scroll down to see APA format examples of some common source formats.
Most print and offline citations include the following pieces of information, commonly in this order:
Author's Last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Date published). Title of source . Publisher.
Most online citations include the following pieces of information, commonly in this order:
Author's Last name, First Initial. Middle initial. (Date published). Title of source . URL
To see how to format each section, scroll down to the appropriate areas of this guide. There is a section on authors, one on publication dates, another on titles, publishers, and on online information.
To determine the exact APA citation format for your full citations, scroll down to the section titled, "Common Examples."
For a detailed explanation on formatting your reference list, scroll down to the section titled, "Your Reference List."
Here's a quick snapshot of the basics:
All in-text citations included throughout the paper should have a corresponding full reference at the end of the project.
Full references go on their own page at the end of a project. Title the page "References"
References are listed in alphabetical order by the first word in the reference (usually the author's last name, sometimes the title).
- If the reference begins with the words A , An , or The , ignore them and alphabetize the reference by the word following it.
If you're looking for an easy way to create your references and citations, use BibMe's free APA citation machine, which automatically formats your sources quickly and easily.
How to structure authors.
Authors are displayed in reverse order: Last name, First initial. Middle initial. End this information with a period.
APA format example:
Kirschenbaum, M. A.
In an APA citation, include all authors shown on a source. If using the BibMe APA citation builder, click "Add another contributor" to add additional author names. Our free citation creator will format the authors in the order in which you add them.
Multiple authors, same last name:
If your reference list has multiple authors with the same last name and initials, include their first name in brackets.
Brooks, G. [Geraldine]. (2005). March . Viking.
Brooks, G. [Gwendolyn]. (1949). Annie Allen . Harper & Brothers.
When no author is listed, exclude the author information and start the citation with the title followed by the year in parentheses.
When citing an entire edited book in APA format, place the names of editors in the author position and follow it with Ed. or Eds. in parentheses. See below for examples of citing edited books in their entirety and also APA citation format for chapters in edited books.
Use this handy chart to determine how to format author names in citations and references.
How to Structure Publication Dates
General structure is:
- Year, Month Day
- Example: 1998, March 22
Place the date that the source was published in parentheses after the name of the author. In APA format for periodicals, include the month and day as well. If no date is available, place n.d. in parentheses, which stands for no date. For more details, see Section 9.14 of the Publication Manual .
How to Structure the Title
For book titles: Only capitalize the first letter of the first word in the title and the same for the subtitle. Capitalize the first letter for any proper nouns as well. Place this information in italics. End it with a period.
Gone with the wind.
For articles and chapter titles: Only capitalize the first letter of the first word in the title and the same for the subtitle. Capitalize the first letter for any proper nouns as well. Do not italicize the title or place it in quotation marks. End it with a period.
The correlation between school libraries and test scores: A complete overview.
For web pages on websites: Same as above. The web page title is italicized.
Simmons, B. (2015, January 9). The tale of two Flaccos . Grantland. http://grantland.com/the-triangle/the-tale-of-two-flaccos/
For magazine, journal, and newspaper titles: Each important word should start with a capital letter.
The Boston Globe
If you believe that it will help the reader to understand the type of source, such as a brochure, lecture notes, or an audio podcast, place a description in brackets directly after the title. Only capitalize the first letter.
New World Punx. (2014, February 15). A state of trance 650 [Audio file]. https://soundcloud.com/newworldpunx/asot650utrecht
How to Structure Publication Information
In previous editions of the publication manual, books and sources that were not periodicals indicated the city and state of publication. However, in the 7th edition, the location of publication is no longer given except “for works associated with specific locations, such as conference presentations” (p. 297).
For conference presentations, give the city, state/province/territory, and country. If in the US, abbreviate the state name using the two-letter abbreviation. Place a colon after the location.
- Philadelphia, PA:
- Rotterdam, Netherlands:
Periodical Volume and Number
For journals, magazines, newspapers, and other periodicals, place the volume number after the title. Italicize this information. Place the issue number in parentheses and do not italicize it. Afterwards, include page numbers.
Journal of Education for Library and Information Science, 57 (1), 79-82.
If you're citing a newspaper article, include p. or pp. before the page numbers.
How to Structure the Publisher
The names of publishers are not necessary to include for newspapers, magazines, journals, and other periodicals.
For books and other sources: It is not necessary to type out the name of the publisher exactly as it is shown on the source. Use a brief, but understandable form of the publisher's name. Exclude the terms publishers, company, and incorporated. Include Books and Press if it is part of the publisher's name. End this information with a period (See Section 9.29 in the Publication manual for more details).
Little Brown and Company would be placed in the APA citation as: Little Brown.
Oxford University Press would be placed in the citation as: Oxford University Press.
How to Structure Online Sources
For sources found online:
- include the URL at the end of the citation
- do not place a period after the URL
If you're citing a periodical article found online, there might be a DOI number attached to it. This stands for Direct Object Identifier. A DOI, or digital object identifier, is a unique string of numbers and letters assigned by a registration agency. The DOI is used to identify and provide a permanent link to its location on the Internet. The DOI is assigned when an article is published and made electronically. If your article does indeed have a DOI number, use this instead of the URL as the DOI number is static and never changes. If the source you're citing has a DOI number, after the publication information add a period and then http://dx.doi.org/10.xxxx/xxxxxx. The x's indicate where you should put the DOI number. Do not place a period after the DOI number. See sections 9.35-36 in the Publication manual for more details.
If you're using the automatic BibMe APA reference generator, you will see an area to type in the DOI number.
Lobo, F. (2017, February 23). Sony just launched the world's fastest SD card. http://mashable.com/2017/02/23/sony-sf-g-fastest-sd-card/?utm_cid=mash-prod-nav-sub-st#ErZKV8blqOqO
Chadwell, F.A., Fisher, D.M. (2016). Creating open textbooks: A unique partnership between Oregon State University libraries and press and Open Oregon State. Open Praxis, 8 (2), 123-130. http://dx.doi.org/10.5944/openpraxis.8.2.290
Looking for more help and clarification? Check out this great resource !
Citations and Examples
Citations for print books.
Author's Last name, First name initial. Middle name initial. (Year published). Title of book . Publisher.
Finney, J. (1970). Time and again . Simon and Schuster.
Looking for an APA formatter? Don't forget that the BibMe APA citation generator creates citations quickly and easily.
Notes: When creating an APA book citation, keep these in mind:
- Capitalize the first letter of the first word of the title and any subtitles, as well as the first letter of any proper nouns.
- The full title of the book, including any subtitles, should be stated and italicized.
Citations for Edited Books
Most edited books state on the cover or title page that they are edited by an author or multiple authors. The format is the same as a print book, except the editor's name is in the author's position. Include a parentheses afterwards with the abbreviation (Ed.) for an edited book by one author or (Eds.) for an edited book with two or more authors.
Editor, F. M. (Ed.). (Year published). Title of edited book . Publisher.
Gupta, R. (Ed.). (2003). Remote sensing geology . Springer-Verlag.
Citations for Chapters in Edited Books
Some edited books contain chapters written by various authors. Use the format below to cite an author's individual chapter in an edited book.
Chapter author's Last name, F. M. (Year published). Title of chapter. In F. M. Last name of Editor (Ed.), Title of book (p. x or pp. x-x). Publisher.
Notice that for APA style, the title of the chapter is not italicized, while the title of the book is. In addition, the chapter author's name is reversed at the beginning of the reference, but the editor's name is written in standard order.
Longacre, W. A., & Ayres, J. E. (1968). Archeological lessons from an Apache wickiup. In S. R. Binford & L. R. Binford (Eds.), Archeology in cultural systems (pp. 151-160). https://books.google.com/books?id=vROM3JrrRa0C&lpg=PP1&dq=archeology&pg=PR9#v=onepage&q=archeology&f=false
In the above example, Longacre and Ayers are the authors of the individual chapter and Binford & Binford are the editors of the entire book.
Citing an E-book from an E-reader
E-book is short for "electronic book." It is a digital version of a book that can be read on a computer, e-reader (Kindle, Nook, etc.), or other electronic devices. Include the DOI or URL if one exists for the e-book.
Author's Last name, F. M. (Year published). Title of work . https://doi.org/10.xxxx/xxxxxx or URL
https://doi.org/10.xxxx/xxxxxx is used when a source has a DOI number. If the e-book you're citing has a DOI number, use it in the APA citation. DOIs are preferred over URLs.
How to cite in APA (an e-book example):
Eggers, D. (2008). The circle . https://www.amazon.com
Citing an E-book Found in a Database and Online
Use this format when citing an e-book that is either found on a website, or found on a subscription database. APA formatting for this is very similar to the structure of a print book. The only difference? Instead of the publisher information, include the DOI number or URL.
Author's Last name, F. M. (Year published). Title of work . https://doi.org/10.xxxx/xxxxxx OR URL
When citing an online book or e-book, keep in mind:
- A DOI (digital object identifier) is an assigned number that helps link content to its location on the Internet. It is therefore important, if one is provided, to use it when creating a citation. In place of the x's in the DOI format, place the 10 digit DOI number.
- Notice that for e-books, publication information is excluded from the citation.
Sayre, R. K., Devercelli, A. E., Neuman, M. J., & Wodon, Q. (2015). Investment in early childhood development: Review of the world bank's recent experience . https://doi.org/10.1596/978-1-4648-0403-8
Citations for Chapters in E-books
Need to cite a chapter in an e-book? No problem! Citing a chapter in an e-book is very similar to citing a chapter in a print book. Instead of including the publisher information, include a DOI number (if one is displayed) or the URL.
Chapter author's Last name, F. M. (Year published). Title of chapter. In F. M. Last name of Editor (Ed.), Title of book (p. x or pp. x-x). https://doi.org/10.xxxx/xxxxxx or URL
Epstein W. M. (1999). The ineffectiveness of psychotherapy. In C. Feltham (Ed.), Controversies in psychotherapy and counselling (pp. 65-73). https://doi.org/10.4135/9781446217801.n8
Citations for Websites
How to cite a web page on a website in APA:
Author's Last name, F. M. (Year, Month Day published). Title of article or page . Site Name. URL
APA website citation example:
Citing a web page with a group author:
Group Name. (Year, Month Date published). Title of wep page . Saite Name included if different from Group Name. URL
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020, February 3). Be prepared to stay safe and healthy in winter . https://www.cdc.gov/features/winterweather/index.html
National Park Service. (n.d.). Enchanting landscapes beneath the parks . https://www.nps.gov/subjects/caves/index.htm
Note: "n.d." stands for "no date" and is used when there is no publication date.
The above follows Section 10.16 of the Publication manual.
Still wondering how to cite a website in APA? Check out BibMe.com! It's quick, simple, and free! Our APA citation machine also builds references for many other styles as well!
Citations for Journal Articles Found in Print
Today, most journal articles are found online, but you may be lucky enough to score a copy of a print version for your research project. If so, use the structure below for your reference:
Author's Last name, F. M. (Year published). Article title. Periodical Title, Volume (Issue), pp.-pp.
Notice that the article's title is only capitalized at the beginning. If there are any proper nouns or subtitles, capitalize the first letter for those words as well. The journal article's title and the volume number are both italicized. In addition, the title of the journal is in title case form (all important words are capitalized).
Nevin, A. (1990). The changing of teacher education special education. Teacher Education and Special Education: The Journal of the Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children,13 (3-4), 147-148.
Citations for Journal Articles Found Online
Databases are a popular place to find high quality journal articles. These references are formatted the same way as the print versions, except the DOI or URL is included at the end. If the article has a corresponding DOI number, use it instead of the URL. No URL? Use the homepage of the journal's website for the URL. See Section 10.1 in the Publication manual for additional examples.
Author's Last name, F. M. (Year published). Title of article. Title of Journal, volume number (issue number), page range. https://doi.org/10.xxxx/xxxxxx OR URL
Spreer, P., & Rauschnabel, P. A. (2016). Selling with technology: Understanding the resistance to mobile sales assistant use in retailing. Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, 36 (3), 240-263. https://doi.org/10.1080/08853134.2016.1208100
Notes: When creating your online journal article citation, keep in mind:
- This citation style does NOT require you to include the date of access/retrieval date or database information for electronic sources.
- Use the URL of the journal homepage if there is no DOI assigned and the reference was retrieved online. * If the journal article has a DOI number assigned to it, include that number in the citation instead of a URL.
- Don't forget, our free BibMe APA generator is simple to use! Check out BibMe Plus while you're at it! If you have a noun , conjunction , or preposition out of place, we'll flag it and offer suggestions for quick writing fixes!
Citations for a Newspaper Article in Print
Similar to journal articles, most individuals use online newspaper articles for research projects. However, if you're able to get your hands on a print version, use this structure for your reference:
Author's Last name, F. M. (Year, Month Day of Publication). Article title. Newspaper Title, pp. xx-xx.
Rosenberg, G. (1997, March 31). Electronic discovery proves an effective legal weapon. The New York Times, p. D5.
Notes: When creating your newspaper citation, keep in mind:
- Begin page numbers with p. (for a single page) or pp. (for multiple pages).
- Even if the article appears on non-consecutive pages, include all page numbers, and use a comma to separate them. Example: pp. C2, C5, C7-C9.
- Include the full date of publication, not just the year like in most references.
Citations for Newspapers found Online
Use this structure when referencing a newspaper article found on a website or database:
Author's Last name, F. M. (Year, Month Day of Publication). Title of article. Title of Newspaper. URL of newspaper's homepage
Rosenberg, G. (1997, March 31). Electronic discovery proves an effective legal weapon. The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com
Notes: When citing a newspaper, keep in mind:
- If the article was found on the newspaper's website, include the URL for the newspaper's homepage. For databases, include whatever URL is provided.
- Multiple lines: If the URL runs onto a second line, only break URL before punctuation (except for http://).
- This style does NOT require you to include the date of access for electronic sources. If you discovered a newspaper article via an online database, the database's information is NOT required for the citation either. If you're using the BibMe APA formatter, we make it easy for you by only including what you need in your references!
Citations for Magazines
Citing a magazine article in print:
Author's Last name, F. M. (Year, Month of publication). Article title. Magazine Title, Volume (Issue), page range.
APA format citation:
Tumulty, K. (2006, April). Should they stay or should they go? Time, 167 (15), 3-40.
Notes: When citing a magazine, keep in mind:
- You can find the volume number with the other publication information of the magazine.
- You can typically find page numbers at the bottom corners of a magazine article.
- If you cannot locate an issue number, simply don't include it in the citation.
Citing a magazine article found online:
Author's Last name, F. M. (Year, Month of publication). Article title. Magazine Title, Volume (Issue). URL
Tumulty, K. (2006, April). Should they stay or should they go? Time, 167 (15). http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1179361,00.html
Notes: When creating an online magazine citation, keep in mind:
*The volume and issue number aren't always on the same page as the article. Check out the other parts of the website before leaving it out of the citation.
Citations for Blogs
Blogs are found on websites and display continuously updated content and posts by a single author, group, or company. A blog shows news updates, ideas, information, and many other types of entries. Similar to journal entries, a blog begins with the date the information was added followed by the content.
If you’re wondering how to cite a blog entry, look no further! Citing a blog is very similar to citing a website.
Citing a blog post:
Last name of Author, First initial. Middle initial. (Year, Month Day blog post was published). Title of blog post. Title of Blog . URL
Gonzalez, J. (2019, February 3). Let’s give our teaching language a makeover. Cult of Pedagogy. https://www.cultofpedagogy.com/language-makeover/
Notice that the blog title only has a capital letter at the beginning. If there are any proper nouns in the title, capitalize the first letter for those as well.
Cite a blog post in the text of the paper:
(Author’s last name, Year)
Author’s last name (Year)
Citations for Research Reports
A research, or technical report, is a piece of work that provides insight into research done by an individual researcher, a group of researchers, or a company or organization.
Citing a research report in print:
Author’s Last Name, F. M. or Organization. (Year published). Title of research report (Report No.). Publisher.
Note: If the publisher is the same as the author, use the name as the the “Author” and don't list the publisher.
Michigan Venture Capital Association. (2018). Annual research report .
Citing an online research report:
Author’s Last Name, F. M. or Organization. (Year published). Title of research report (Report No.). URL
Newson, S. E. & Berthinussen, A. (2019). Improving our understanding of the distribution and status of bats within the Ryevitalise Landscape Partnership Scheme area (BTO Research Report No. 716). https://www.bto.org/sites/default/files/publications/bto rr 716 final website.pdf
Citations for Films
Producer's Last name, F. M. (Producer), & Director's Last name, F. M. (Director). (Release Year). Title of motion picture [Motion picture]. Studio.
Bender, L. (Producer), & Tarantino, Q. (Director). (1994). Pulp fiction [Film]. Miramax.
Citations for Online Films & Videos:
Person who posted the video's Last name, F. M. [User name]. (Year, Month Day of posting). Title of video [Video]. Publishing site. URL
If the name of the individual who posted the YouTube video is not available, begin the citation with the user name and do not place this information in brackets.
Smith, R. [Rick Smith] (2013, September 20). Favre to Moss! [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOP_L6hBjn8
Note: If you're discussing a certain part of the film or video in the body of your project, include a timestamp in the in-text or parenthetical citation. (Pulp Fiction, 1994, 1:15:30). The time stamp is Hours:Minutes:Seconds.
Citations for Images
Citing an image found in a print publication (such as a book or magazine) or museum:
Creator's Last name, F. M. (Year of Publication). Title of image [Format]. Publisher/Museum.
Including the format helps the reader understand and visualize the type of image that is being referenced. It can be [Photograph], [Painting], or another medium.
Roege, W. J. (1938). St. Patrick's Cathedral, Fifth Avenue from 50th St to 51st Street [Photograph]. New York Historical Society.
Citing an image retrieved online:
Similar to citing an image in print, when citing an image found online, place the medium, or format, in the brackets. Capitalize the first letter.
Photographer, F. (Year of Publication). Title of photograph [Photograph]. Publisher. URL
Ferraro, A. (2014). Liberty enlightening the world [Digital image]. Flickr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/afer92/14278571753/in/set-72157644617030616
Citations for TV/Radio Broadcasts
Writer's Last name, F. M. (Writer), & Director's Last name, F. M. (Director). (Year of Airing). Episode title [TV series episode]. In F. M. Executive Producer's Last name (Executive Producer), TV series name . Channel.
Kand, K. (Writer), & Fryman, P. (Director). (2006). Slap bet [TV series episode]. In C. Bays (Executive Producer), How I met your mother. CBS.
TV/Radio Broadcasts found online:
Writer, F. M. (Writer), & Director, F. M. (Director). (Year of Airing). Episode title [Television series episode]. In F. M. Executive Producer's Last name (Executive Producer), TV series name . URL
Kand, K. (Writer), & Fryman, P. (Director). (2006). Slap bet [Television series episode]. In C. Bays (Executive Producer), How I met your mother. https://www.hulu.com/watch/1134858#i0,p30,d0
Note: When citing a TV show or episode, keep in mind:
- IMDB is a great resource for finding the information needed for your citation (Director, Writer, Executive Producer, etc.) * This information can also be found in the opening and closing credits of the show.
Type what you find into the BibMe APA formatter. We'll do the work for you and structure your references properly!
Citations for Songs
To cite in APA a song from an album listened to online, use the following structure:
Songwriter's Last name, F. M. (Copyright year). Title of song [Song recorded by F. M. Last name]. On Album title . Publisher. URL
- If the song is done by a band or group, include the band or group's name instead of an individual's name.
- Only include the "Recorded by F. M. Last name" portion if it's a different individual than the writer.
- The format can be CD, Online song, mp3, or any other simple description to allow the reader to understand the format.
Swift, T. (2008). Love Story [Song]. On Fearless . Big Machine Records.
If you're using the BibMe APA citation generator to build your references, choose "Music/Audio" from the source options.
Citations for Interviews
A personal interview should NOT be included in a reference list. They are not considered recoverable data (they cannot be found by a researcher). You should reference personal interviews as citations in the body of the project instead.
(J. Doe, personal communication, December 12, 2004)
Citations for Encyclopedia and Dictionary Entries
Encyclopedia/Dictionary in print:
Author's Last name, F. M. (Publication Year). Entry title. In F. M. Last name of Editor (Ed.), Title of encyclopedia or dictionary (pp. xx-xx). Publisher.
Kammen, C., & Wilson, A. H. (2012). Monuments. Encyclopedia of local history . (pp. 363-364). AltaMira Press.
Encyclopedia/Dictionary online with author(s) :
Author’s Last name, F. M. (Publication Year or n.d.). Entry title. In F. M. Last name of Editor (Ed.), Title of encyclopedia or dictionary . Publisher. Retrieved date, from URL
Encyclopedia/Dictionary online with group author:
Publisher or group name (Publication Year or n.d.). Entry title. In Title of encyclopedia or dictionary . Retrieved date, from URL
Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Taciturn. In Merriam-Webster.com dictionary . Retrieved February 10, 2020, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/taciturn
If an entry looks like it goes through many updates, use “n.d.” as the publication date and show the date you retrieved it. If using an archived version, no retrieval date is needed.
How to Reference a Lecture
This style of reference would be used if you were citing a set of notes from a lecture (e.g., PowerPoint or Google slides provided by your instructor).
Citing online lecture notes or presentation slides:
Author's Last name, F. M. (Publication year). Name or title of lecture [Lectures notes or PowerPoint slides]. URL
Saito, T. (2012). Technology and me: A personal timeline of educational technology [PowerPoint slides]. http://www.slideshare.net/Bclari25/educational-technology-ppt
Tip: If you want to cite information from your own personal notes from a lecture, this is considered personal communication. The notes may not be available online for others outside of the class to access. Refer to it only in the body of your essay or project. You can follow the style guide for personal communication available in the Interview section.
Citing Social Media
Social media is everywhere, even in research projects. Many influencers post thoughts, inspirational quotes, and intriguing stories in their profiles.
If you need to cite a post from a social media platform, use this structure:
Last name, F. M. or Group Name who posted the content [@Username]. (Year, Month Day posted). First 20 words of the post [Format]. Social Media Site Name. URL
A retrieval date (date you saw the page) is needed for profile pages since the contents are likely to change over time (e.g., Instagram profile, Facebook page etc.). The structure for that is:
Last name, F. M. or Group Name who posted the content [@Username]. (n.d.). Tweets or Home [Format]. Social Media Site Name. Retrieved from month day, year, URL
Some things to keep in mind:
- If the name of the individual or group is unknown, begin the citation with the handle and remove the brackets.
- If the post only includes an image or video without any text, instead of including the first 40 words of the post provide a description of the post and place it in brackets: [video of a NASA rocket leaving the atmosphere].
- The format, in brackets, can be [Tweet], [Facebook status update], [Facebook page], [Instagram photo], [Instagram video], or for a Reddit post, use [Online forum comment].
Citing a Tweet from Twitter:
BibMe [@BibMe]. (2020, January 22). How to cite primary sources ow.ly/fUb950vG3N5 [Tweet]. Twitter. https://twitter.com/bibme/status/1219976780746043392
Citing a Twitter profile:
BibMe [@BibMe] (n.d.). Tweets [Twitter profile]. Twitter. Retrieved February 18, 2020, from https://twitter.com/BibMe
Citing a Facebook post:
DeGeneres, E. (2018, December 21). Holiday party goals [Facebook status update]. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/ellentv/photos/a.182755292239/10157188088077240/?type=3&theater
Citing a Facebook page:
Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute. (n.d.) Home [Facebook page]. Facebook. Retrieved July 22, 2019, from https://www.facebook.com/nationalzoo
Citing an Instagram post:
Lipa, D. [@dualipa]. (2018, December 2). A lil Hollywood glam brunch! Thank you @variety for by Breakthrough Artist of the Year award and thank you for [Instagram photo]. Instagram. https://www.instagram.com/p/Bq33SC2BAsr/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
Since this citation style is commonly used in science-related disciplines, it makes sense that many students and scholars include tables in their projects.
It's a good idea to include a table in your project when:
- There is a good amount of quantitative information
- A table would promote understanding
Do not write out the information from the table in the text of your paper. Including the same information in two spots is repetitive. Either type out the quantitative information in your paper or use a table.
If you choose to include a table, make sure to:
- Refer to it in the text and provide a brief overview or snapshot of its contents.
- Refer to the table in the text using numbers. For example, "Table 3 shows the countries with the highest amount of spending per pupil."
- Every table should be numbered. The table mentioned closest to the beginning of the paper should be Table 1. The next table referred to in the paper is Table 2.
- If you're submitting your project for publication in a journal or elsewhere, place all of your tables, in number order, at the end of your project, after the reference list. If you're submitting your project for a class, most professors prefer tables to be situated close to mentions in text. Ask your teacher or professor which one they prefer.
- Each table needs a title. The title of the table should match the content displayed in it. Create a name for your table that is easy to understand. Italicize the title and capitalize the first letter of all major key words.
- Capitalize the first letter of every important word.
- Your table can either be single or double spaced. Keep the spacing in tables consistent throughout your project.
- A general note provides an overview of any information related to the table as well as an explanation of any abbreviations or unique characters. If you reproduced any portion of the table, include that information in the general note as well. Begin your general note with "Note." in italics and ending with period.
- A specific note explains information in a row, column, or individual cell. Place a tiny letter in the top right corner of the area to specify, and include information regarding it in the note below.
- A probability note displays the number of possibilities in the table. Use an asterisk symbol in the table, and show the probability in the notes.
Prior to adding your table into your paper, use this handy checklist to confirm you have all of the requirements:
__ Is it necessary to include the table?
__ Are only horizontal lines included?
__ Did you include a simple, straightforward title? Is it in italics?
__ Did you use either single spaces or double spaces? APA paper format requires you to keep your tables consistent across your project.
__ Are column headings included?
__ Are notes included below the table to provide understanding? Are the notes in the proper order? Start with general notes, then include specific notes, and end with probability notes.
__ Did you refer to the table in the written portion of your paper?
Still have questions? See Chapter 7 of the Publication manual .
In-Text and Parenthetical Citations
What is an in-text citation or parenthetical citation.
The purpose of in-text and parenthetical citations is to give the reader a brief idea as to where you found your information, while they're in the middle of reading or viewing your project. You may include direct quotes in the body of your project, which are word-for-word quotes from another source. Or, you may include a piece of information that you paraphrased in your own words. These are called parenthetical citations. Both direct quotes and paraphrased information include a citation next to it. You also need to include the full citation for the source in the reference list, which is usually the last item in a project.
In-Text Citations for Direct Quotes
In-text and parenthetical citations are found immediately following any direct quotes or paraphrases. They should include the page number or section information to help the reader locate the quote themselves.
Buck needed to adjust rather quickly upon his arrival in Canada. He stated, "no lazy, sun-kissed life was this, with nothing to do but loaf and be bored. Here was neither peace, nor rest, nor a moment's safety" (London, 1903, p. 25).
When taking an idea from another source and placing it in your own words (a paraphrase), it is not necessary to include the page number, but you can add it if the source is large and you want to direct readers right to the information.
At the time, papyrus was used to create paper, but it was only grown and available in mass quantities in Egypt. This posed a problem for the Greeks and Romans, but they managed to have it exported to their civilizations. Papyrus thus remained the material of choice for paper creation (Casson, 2001).
How to Format In-Text and Parenthetical Citations
An in-text citation in APA displays the author's name directly in the sentence, or text, of the paper. Always place the year directly after the author's name. Authors and dates stick together like peanut butter and jelly! If you're citing a direct quote, place the page number at the end of the quote.
Parenthetical citations display the author's name and year in parentheses after a quote or paraphrase. If you're citing a direct quote, include the page number as well. If you're paraphrasing, it is up to you whether or not you'd like to include a page number.
Example of various ways to cite in the body of a project:
Smith (2014) states that, "the Museum Effect is concerned with how individuals look at a work of art, but only in the context of looking at that work along with a number of other works" (p. 82). "The Museum Effect is concerned with how individuals look at a work of art, but only in the context of looking at that work along with a number of other works" (Smith, 2014, p. 82).
If your source has two authors, always include both names in each in-text or parenthetical citation.
Example: (Franks & Beans, 2019)
If your source has three or more authors, only include the first author's name and follow it with et al.
Example: (Gilley et al., 2015)
If your source was written by a company, organization, government agency, or other type of group, include the group's name in full in the first in text or parenthetical citation. In any APA citations following it, it is acceptable to shorten the group name to something that is simple and understandable.
(American Eagle Outfitters /[AEO/], 2017)
2nd and subsequent citations:
Still wondering how to in-text cite in APA? How about citing parenthetically? Check out this page to learn more about parenthetical citations. Also, BibMe writing tools can help create your in-text and parenthetical citations quickly and easily. Towards the end of creating a full reference citation, you'll see the option to create a citation for the body of your project (in-text) in the APA format generator.
Need help with your writing? Give the BibMe Plus paper checker a whirl! Upload your paper or copy and paste it into the text box on the page. We'll run it through our innovative technology and let you know if there is an adjective , verb , or pronoun out of place, plus much, much more!
Your Reference List
The listing of all sources used in your project are found in the reference list, which is the last page or part of a project. Included in this reference list are all of the sources you quoted or paraphrased in the body of your paper. This means that every reference found in the reference list should have a matching in-text or parenthetical citation in your project. Where there is one, there has to be the other. Here are general guidelines:
- Your reference page in APA should be titled "References"
- Place the title in the center of the page and bold it.
- It is not necessary to include personal communications in the reference list, such as personal emails or letters. These specific sources only need in-text citations, which are found in the body of your project.
- All references are listed in alphabetical order by the author's last name.
- The entire page should be double spaced.
- Use a hanging indent for all citations. The first line of each citation needs to be flush against the left margin. Any additional lines are indented in a half inch.
- If you have two sources by the same author, place them in order by the year of publication.
- Refer to the section titled, "How to Structure the Title," for rules regarding capitalization of source titles.
Thompson, H. S. (1971). Fear and loathing in Las Vegas: A savage journey to the heart of the American dream . Random House.
Thompson, H. S. (1998). The rum diary . Simon & Schuster.
If there are multiple sources with the same author AND same publication date, place them in alphabetical order by the title.
Dr. Seuss. (1958). The cat in the hat comes back . Random House.
Dr. Seuss. (1958). Yertle the turtle . Random House.
If a source does not have an author, place the source in alphabetical order by the first main word of the title.
Need help creating the citations in your APA reference list? BibMe.com helps you generate citations! Begin by entering a keyword, URL, title, or other identifying information. Try it out!
Sample Reference List:
Here's more information with sample papers and tutorials. Further information acan be found in Chapter 9 of the Publication manual .
How to Format Your Paper in APA:
Need to create APA format papers? Follow these guidelines:
In an APA style paper, the font used throughout your document should be in Times New Roman, 12 point font size. The entire document should be double spaced, even between titles and APA headings. Margins should be 1 inch around the entire document and indent every new paragraph using the tab button on your keyboard. See Chapter 2 of the Publication manual for more details on paper formatting.
Place the pages in the following order:
- Title page (Page 1)
- Abstract page (page 2)
- Text or body of research paper (start on page 3)
- Reference list
- Page for tables (if necessary)
- Page for figures (if necessary)
- Appendices page (if necessary)
Page numbers: The title page counts as page 1. Number subsequent pages using Arabic numbers (1, 2, 3, 4...).
Title Page in APA
Your title page should grace the front cover of your paper. It's sometimes called an APA cover page. Included on this page are seven items:
- Page number
- Title of paper
- Name of authors
- Affiliation; name of your school or institution
- Course name
- Instructor's name
- Date paper is due
What is a running head?
The running head shows the title of your paper. It is only required for professional papers (e.g., dissertations, journal submissions, etc.).
Student papers do not need a running head (but do need the page number).
If you use one, place the running head in the top left corner of your project and place it in capital letters. Use your word processor's "header" option. It will automatically place your running head in the appropriate position, against the left margin.
Across from the running head, against the right margin, include the page number. The APA title page is 1.
Title page example:
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Microsoft Word, Google Docs, and many other word processing programs allow you to set up page numbers and a repeated running head. Use these tools to make this addition easier for you!
Need help determining the title of your paper? Keep it simple and straight to the point. Exclude unnecessary terms such as "An Analysis of...." or "A Study of..." If your paper ends up being digitized and added to your school's research collection or a research database, a simple and effective title will help researchers locate it. It is recommended to keep it under 12 words and avoid abbreviations.
Order | Element | Format & Notes --- | --- | --- 0 | All elements, except page number | Centered, double-spaced lines 1 | Page number | Place “1” in the upper right corner of the page. Professional papers only: Include a running head. 2 | Title of paper | 3-4 lines from the top of the page; bolded, and title case 3 | Name of author(s) | Two double-spaced lines under the title. No font formatting (no bold italics, underline). Exclude any titles (such as Dr. or Ms.) and degrees (such as PhD). List all contributors; if there is more than one include the word “and” between the second to last and last names. 4 | Affiliation (school, department, etc.) | No font formatting. Usually includes the name of your department and university. 5 | Course name | No font formatting. Write the course name and number on your class materials: ENG 102, JPN301. 6 | Instructor | No font formatting. Show their name as they prefer, including titles and degrees. 7 | Date paper is due | Month Day, Year. Example: February 14, 2020
Example Title Page - Student Paper:
Example Title Page - Professional Paper:
If you're looking for an APA sample paper, check out the other resources found on BibMe.com.
Levels of Headings:
There are a lot of rules to follow when it comes to styling the header and title page, but there are even more rules when it comes to styling the various headings and sections in your research paper.
There are five sizes and styles, and they follow a top down approach.
In most cases, science-related papers and case studies have three sections: Method, Results, and Discussion. These three sections are considered “Level 1” and are aligned in the center of the page and in bold. Additional sections of the paper are styled as follows:
Overview of Levels
Level | Formatting --- | --- 1 | Center and bold. Use title case. 2 | Against the left margin and in bold. Use title case. Begin the next sentence on the next line, indented half an inch from the left margin. 3 | Against the left margin in bold and italics. Use title case. Begin your next sentence on the next line, and indented half an inch from the left margin. 4 | Indented half an inch from the left. Is in bold. Use title case. Begin your next sentence on the same line and immediately following the heading. 5 | Indented half an inch from the left. Is in bold and italics. Use title case. Begin your next sentence on the same line and immediately following the heading.
We’ve included a visual below to help you make sense of the five headings. Keep in mind, you do not need to have all five headings in your paper. You may only use the top two or three. It depends on the types of sections your paper includes.
Using the BibMe Online Writing Center to Create Citations for your Reference List or Bibliography
Looking to cite your sources quickly and easily? BibMe can help you generate your citations; simply enter a title, ISBN, URL, or other identifying information.
Click to see more styles , and if you'd like to cite your sources in MLA format , check out the BibMe MLA page. Other citation styles are available as well.
Not only will BibMe help you create your references quickly and painlessly, we'll also scan your paper with an innovative plagiarism checker . BibMe writing tools even helps to check your grammar, too! Improper usage of adverb ? Missing an interjection ? Determiner out of place? BibMe writing tools will highlight any areas of concern and offer suggestions to improve your writing. Try it out now!
Background Information and History of APA:
The American Psychological Association was founded in 1892 at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. APA style format was developed in 1929 by scholars from a number of different scientific fields and backgrounds. Their overall goal was to develop a standard way to document scientific writing and research.
Since its inception, the Style Manual has been updated numerous times and it is now in its 7th edition (2020). The previous 6th edition was released in 2009. In 2012, APA published an addition to their 6th edition manual, which was a guide for creating an APA style citation for any type of electronic resource.
Today, there are close to 118,000 members. There is an annual convention, numerous databases, and journal publications. Some of their more popular resources include the database, PsycINFO, and the publications, Journal of Applied Psychology and Health Psychology .
Changes Between the 6th and 7th Editions
Below is a selection of notable citing differences between the two editions.
For journal articles with a DOI number , include the DOI as a URL.
6th edition example:
Lee, C.-H., & Mackinnon, R. (2019). Voltage sensor movements during Hyperpolarization in the HCN Channel. Cell Studies . doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2019.11.006
7th edition example:
Lee, C.-H., & Mackinnon, R. (2019). Voltage sensor movements during Hyperpolarization in the HCN Channel. Cell Studies . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2019.11.006
For ebooks , you no longer need to identify the format.
Murakami, H. (2014). Kafka on the shore [Kindle].
Murakami, H. (2014). Kafka on the shore .
Full book references no longer need to show where the publisher is located.
Murakami, H. (2014). Kafka on the shore . London: Vintage Publishing.
Murakami, H. (2014). Kafka on the shore . Vintage Publishing.
In-text citations for sources with more than 3 authors can use the notation “et al.” for brevity.
(first author’s name et al., year published)
(Anaydike, Braga, Talfah, Gonzalez, 1980)
(Anaydike et al., 1980)
When including a website URL , do not include the words “Retrieved from” before the URL cited.
Elan, P. (2019, December 6). 'A reflection of inner life': show explores history of the hoodie. The Guardian . Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2019/dec/06/a-reflection-of-inner-life-show-explores-history-of-the-hoodie
Elan, P. (2019, December 6). 'A reflection of inner life': show explores history of the hoodie. The Guardian . https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2019/dec/06/a-reflection-of-inner-life-show-explores-history-of-the-hoodie
The citing format for tables and figures are now the same. For both, indicate a table number and name at the top, and a note at the bottom.
Here are a few important paper formatting changes: * Running head is only required for professional (not student) papers * Only a single space should be placed after punctuation. * The new style version endorses the use of the singular “they” as an option for a gender neutral pronoun. * The 7th edition promotes the use of “they” as a singular, gender-neutral pronoun. * In addition to the paper title, author name, and institutional affiliation, a cover page for a student paper should also have the course, instructor name, and due date
American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.). https://doi.org/101037/0000165-000
Updated March 10, 2020
Edited and written by Elise Barbeau and Michele Kirschenbaum. Elise is a citation expert and has her master’s degree in public history/library science. She has experience in digital marketing, libraries, and publishing. Michele is a certified library media specialist who loves citations and teaching. She’s been writing about citing sources since 2014.
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Book · Author(s). Note: List each author's last name and initials as Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. · (Year). · Title of the book.
References include more information such as the name of the author(s), the year the source was published, the full title of the source, and the URL or page
The 7th edition of the APA Publication Manual requires that the chosen font be accessible (i.e., legible) to all readers and that it be used consistently
When using APA format, follow the author-date method of in-text citation. This means that the author's last name and the year of publication for the source
An APA in-text citation consists of the author's last name and the year of publication (also known as the author-date system). If you're citing a specific part
APA in-text citations include the author's last name, publication date, and, if relevant, a locator such as a page number or timestamp. For example, (Smith
Citefast is a FREE APA7 citation generator. Generate and manage your references, in-text citations and title pages in APA 7th edition.
Generate APA style citations quickly and accurately with our FREE APA citation generator. Enter a website URL, book ISBN, or search with keywords
Basic Elements of APA 7 Style · Title page (also known as a cover page). · Font options: sans serif fonts such as 11-point Calibri, 11-point Arial
✍️ How do I cite in APA?
Each source used in your project is listed as a full citation on the APA reference page, which is usually the last part of a project. The structure for each