APA Quick Guide

APA Style Format

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One of the most important parts of writing a research paper is the documenting of the resources used. Accurate documentation is necessary to avoid any question of plagiarism. The vehicles for providing this documentation are the use of in-text citations (or parenthetical references) at the point in the paper where the information is presented and the creation of a References list at the end of the paper listing all of the resources used. This guide includes samples of in-text citations and citation entries from the APA's Publication Manual, 6th ed, 2010. 
See sample research paper.

The References list appears at the end of your paper, on its own page, with the title References (not bolded or underlined) centered at the top, and continuing the page numbers of the text.  A References list should include only the sources referred to in your text.

  • Begin each entry flush with the left margin and indent subsequent line(s) five spaces.
  • Double-space both within and between entries.
  • Book titles and journal names must be italicized.
  • Remember that all references cited in the text must be listed alphabetically by the first author's last name in the list of references. If author is unknown, alphabetize by the title.

Step-by-step guide to APA format: Formatting References Page in MS Word 2010

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Print Sources

Electronic Sources

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Single Author:

Bernstein, N. (2001). The lost children of Wilder: The epic struggle to change foster care. New York, NY: Pantheon.

Citation in text: (Bernstein, 2001)

Book by More than One Author:

Okuda, M., & Miller, D. (1993). Star Trek chronology: The history of the future. New York, NY:  Pocket Books.

Citation in text: (Okuda & Miller, 1993)

Editor or Editors:

Ehrenreich, B., & Ehrenreich, J. (Eds.) (1971). The American health empire: Power, profits, and politics. New York, NY: Vintage.

Citation in text: (Ehrenreich & Ehrenreich, 1971)

Edition Other Than the First:

Helfer, M. E., Keme, R. S., & Drugman, R. D. (1997). The battered child   (5th ed.). Chicago, IL:  University of Chicago Press.

Citation in text: (Helfer, Keme & Drugman, 1997)

A Work in an Anthology or Chapter in a Book:

Rubenstein, J.P. (1997). The effect of television violence on small children. In B.F. Kane (Ed.), Television and juvenile psychological development (pp. 112-134).  New York, NY: American Psychological Society.

Citation in text: (Rubenstein, 1997)

No author Identified:

Experimental psychology. (1938). New York, NY: Holt.

Citation in text: (Experimental psychology, 1938)


Bergman, P. C. (1993). Relativity. In The new encyclopedia Britannica. (Vol. 26, pp. 201-208). Chicago, IL: Encyclopedia Britannica.

Citation in text: (Bergman, 1993)

Articles in Reference Works:

Procyonids and pandas. (1990). In Grzimek's encyclopedia of mammals (Vol. 5, pp. 90-116). New York, NY:  McGraw-Hill.

Citation in text: (Procyonids and pandas, 1990)

Multivolume Work:

Wiener, P. (Ed.). (1973). Dictionary of the history of ideas (Vols. 1-4). New York, NY:  Scribner's.

Citation in text: (Wiener, 1973)

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NoteItalicize both the journal name and the volume number. Issue numbers are not required if continuously paged. If paged individually, the issue number is required and is in regular type in parenthesis adjacent to the volume number.

Article in a Journal Paginated by Volume:

Schino, G. (2001). Grooming, competition, and social rank among female primates: A meta-analysis. Animal Behaviour, 62, 265-271.

Citation in text: (Schino, 2001)

Article in a Journal Paginated by Issue:

Scruton, R. (1996). The eclipse of listening. The New Criterion, 15(3), 5-13.

Citation in text: (Scruton, 1996)

Article in a Monthly Magazine:

Wilson, E. O., (1998, March).  Back from chaos.  Atlantic Monthly, 281, 41-62.

Citation in text: (Wilson, 1998)

Article in a Weekly Magazine:

Raloff, J. (2001, May 12).  Lead therapy won't help most kids. Science News, 159, 292.

Citation in text: (Raloff, 2001)

Article in a Newspaper:

Anderson, D. (2002, September 13).  A new day dawns: chronic wasting disease. The Minneapolis Star Tribune, p. 2S.

Citation in text: (Anderson, 2002)

One Author:

Williams, J. H. (2008). Employee engagement: Improving participation in safety. Professional Safety, 53 (12), 40-45.

Citation in text: (Williams, 2008)

Two to Seven Authors [list all authors]:

Keller, T. E., Cusick, G. R., & Courtney, M. E. (2007). Approaching the transition to adulthood: Distinctive profiles of adolescents aging out of the child welfare system. Social Services Review, 81, 453-484.

Citation in text: (Keller, Cusick, & Courtney, 2007)

Eight or More Authors [List the first six authors,...and the last author]:

Wolchik, S. A., West, S. G., Sandler, I. N., Tein, J.-Y., Coatsworth, D., Lengua, L.,...Griffin, W. A. (2000). An experimental evaluation of theory-based mother and mother-child programs for children of divorce. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 68, 843-856.

Citation in text: (Wolchik et al., 2000)

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Personal Interviews, Lectures, and Emails:
No reference to a personal communication is provided in the list of references.  You may cite the communication within the text as a personal communication.

For example:
Citation in text: (J. Smith, personal communication, August 15, 2006)

Film and Video Recordings:

Capra, F. (Producer). (1996). It's a wonderful life [Motion picture]. United States: Republic.

Citation in text: (Capra, 1996)

Television Broadcast:

Garwood, S. (Producer).  (1998, December 18). EastEnders [Television program]. Clarksville, MD: BBC America.

Citation in text: (Garwood, 1998)


American Psychological Association. (Producer). (2008). Responding therapeutically to patient expressions of grief. [DVD] Available from http://www.apa.org/videos/

Citation in text: (American Psychological Association, 2008)

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From a Library Database:

Rousseau, H. (1896). The ship in the storm [Painting]. Musee de l'Orangerie, Paris. Retrieved from ARTstor database.

Citation in text: (Rousseau, 1896)

Free Web:

Rousseau, H. (1896). The ship in the storm [Painting]. Musee de l'Orangerie, Paris. Retrieved from http://www.uwm.edu/~wash/rousseau.jpg

Citation in text: (Rousseau, 1896)

Printed source:

Rousseau, H. (1896). The ship in the storm [Painting]. Musee de l'Orangerie, Paris. Henri Rousseau: Jungles in Paris. By Claire Fresches et al. Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art. 232.

The plate/image number (or, if this number is not available, the page number on which the image is printed) should follow the name of the publisher as shown.

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Many scholarly publishers have been assigning unique identifiers to each published article. The DOI (Digital Object Identifier) is an alpha-numeric code registered to each scholarly article in order to assign a persistent link to the article. The DOI has replaced the database name and URL in the list of references. Because the link is to the final version, do not include a retrieval date. Since DOI numbers are complex, copy and paste DOI into the reference. APA recommends that the DOI be included for print and online citations if available.

Where do I find a DOI?

  • It may be part of the citation or abstract of a record.
  • It may be found on the first page of an article, especially if in pdf format.
  • Use DOI Lookup.
  • Cut and paste a citation into CrossRef Simple Text Query.

Articles with DOI

Magnavita, J. (2008). Toward unification of clinical science: The next wave in the evolution of psychotherapy? Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, 18, 264-291. doi:10.1037/a1300490

Citation in text: (Magnavita, 2008)

Jacobson, J. W., Mulick, J. A., & Schwartz, A. A. (1995). A history of facilitated communication: Science, pseudoscience, and antiscience. American Psychologist, 50, 750-765. doi: 10.1037/0003-066X.50.9.750

Citation in text: (Jacobson, Mulick & Schwartz, 1995)

Articles without a DOI

If no DOI has been assigned, provide the home page URL of the journal, book or report publisher. If you are accessing through a database, you may need to do a web search to locate the URL. It is not necessary to include the name of the database. There is no period at the end of a reference citation ending with a URL.

Francis-Smythe, J., & Robertson, I. (1999). Time-related individual differences. Time & Society, 8, 273-292. Retrieved from http://intl-tas.sagepub.com

Citation in text: (Francis-Smythe & Robertson, 1999)

Senior, B. (1997). Team roles and team performance: Is there really a link? Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 70, 241-258. Retrieved from http://bpsjournals.co.uk/journals/joop

Citation in text: (Senior, 1997)

Albrecht, T. & Danice, J. (2000). Development, ethics and prenatal health outcomes.  Journal of Social Philosophy, 36(2), 376-381. Retrieved from http://www.wiley.com/bw/journal.asp?ref=0047-2786

Citation in text: (Albrecht & Danice, 2000)

Journal article with no DOI, retrieved from an open-access URL
 If there is no DOI number, then include the URL of the journal.

Fuegen, K. & Endicott, N. F. (2010). Evidence of shifting standards in judgments of male and female parents' job-related ability. Current Research in Social Psychology, 15(5), 53-61. Retrieved from http://www.uiowa.edu/~grpproc/crisp/crisp15_5.pdf

Citation in text: (Fuegen & Endicott, 2010)

If there is no volume, issue or page number for an open access, online journal, then use a period after the journal title and provide additional information for locating the article in the retrieval statement.

Anders, M. (2010). Using intraday data to gauge financial market responses to Federal Reserve and ECB monetary policy decisions. International Journal of International Banking. Retrieved from the Bank of International Settlements website: http://www.ijcb.org/journal/ijcb10q2a5.pdf

Journal article retrieved from a difficult source to locate online via JSTOR
NOTE: Some archival documents can only be found in electronic databases such as ERIC and JSTOR. When the document is not easily located through its primary publishing channels, give the home or entry page URL for the online archive or the subscription database if it is only available in that format.  Note that in the example below the article was published in 1913.

Jennings, B. (1913). Lessons learned in the trenches: The experiences of an urban middle principal. Leadership, 4, 12. Retrieved from JSTOR database.

Non-routine information in journal, retrieved online
Non-routine information that is important to the identification and retrieval should be included in brackets after the title.

Hawn, M. T. (2010, June 23/30). Surgical care improvement: Should performance measures have performance measures [Editorial]. Journal of the American Medical Association, 303(23), 2519-2520. Retrieved from http://jama.ama-assn.org/
Baker, B. (2010, June 23/30). King Tutankhamun's family and demise [Letter to the editor]. Journal of the American Medical Association, 303(23), 2471-2471. Retrieved from http://jama.ama-assn.org/

Supplemental data that is not included in a journal article, available online
Supplemental data may include additional figures, materials, and methods, tables, or other items that add to the topic of the article but cannot be included within the body of the article. They may include files that are not printable, such as videos or long gene sequences. The supplemental information is important to the identification and retrieval should be included in brackets after the title. For example, [Map] or [Audio podcast]

Harrison, R. E. (1960). [Map supplement]. Annals of the Association of American Geographers,  50(3), 374. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1902-05.2005
Brown, M. D. (2006). Enterobius vermicularis [Video podcast]. New England Journal of Medicine, 35(13), e12. Retrieved from http://content.nejm.org/

Online Magazine Article

Harder, B. (2002, November 9). Wildfire below: Smoldering peat disgorges huge volumes of carbon. Science News Online, 162 (19). Retrieved from http://www.sciencenews.org/20021109/fob1.asp

Citation in text: (Harder, 2002)

Online Newspaper Article 

McHugh, P. (2005, March 17). Feeling down? It might help if you just take it outside. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved from http://sfgate.com

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Online Encyclopedia

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

Online Dictionary

Heuristic. (n.d.). In Merriam-Webster's online dictionary (11th ed.). Retrieved from http://m-w.com/dictionary/heuristic

Government Report

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institutte. (2003). Managing asthma: A guide for schools (NIH Publication No. 02-2650). Retrieved from http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/prof/lung/asthma/asth_sch.pdf

Citation in text: (U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2003)


Gibson, M. (2005, Winter). Care conference tests mobility. Connections: Newsletter of the University of New Mexico Center for Telehealth, 3(2). Retrieved from http://hsc.unm.edu/telemedicine/documents/Newsletters/newsletter0105/Winter2005.pdf

Research or Technical Report from a Web Site

NAACP. (n.d.). Juvenile justice fact sheet. Retrieved December 11, 2007, from http://www.naacp.org/advocacy/research/facts/Juvenile%20Justice.pdf

Citation in text: (NAACP, n.d.)

ACLU. (2007, November 29). FBI Improperly Using Patriot Act Surveillance Powers, ACLU Charges. Retrieved from http://www.aclu.org/safefree/nationalsecurityletters/32904prs20071129.html

Citation in text: (ACLU, 2007)

Article from Web Site or E-journal

Takase, A. (2007). Japanese high school students' motivation for extensive L2 reading. Reading in a Foreign Language, 19(1), 1-18. Retrieved September 24, 2007, from http://nflrc.hawaii.edu/rfl/April2007/takase/takase.pdf

Citation in text: (Takase, 2007)

Television Broadcast

Crystal, L. (Executive Producer). (1993, October 11). The MacNeil/Lehrer news hour. [Television broadcast]. New York and Washington, DC: Public Broadcasting Service.

Citation in text: (Crystal, 1993)

Electronic Book from Web Site

O'Keefe, E. (n.d). Egoism & the crisis in Western values. Retrieved from http://onlineoriginals.com/showitem.asp?itemID=135

Citation in text: (O'Keefe, n.d.)

Seton, E. T. (1911). The Arctic prairies: A canoe-journey of 2,000 miles in search of the caribou. New York, NY: C. Scribner's Sons. Retrieved from Project Gutenberg. http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/6818

Electronic Book from Database

Gates, J.M. (1999). Consider the Earth: Environmental activities for grades 4-8.Retrieved from http://www.netlibrary.com

Citation in text: (Gates, 1999)


Deferred compensation. (n.d.). In Family business wiki. Retrieved October 8, 2009, from http://www.familybusinesswiki.org/Deferred+compensation

Citation in text: ("Deferred compensation," n.d.)

Data Set

Pew Hispanic Center. (2004). Changing channels and criss-crosing cultures: A survey of Latinos on the news media [Data file and code book]. Retrieved from http://pewhispanic.org/datasets/

Citation in text: (Pew Hispanic Center, 2004)

Blog post

Kiume, S. (2007, August 17). Loneliness isn't good [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2007/08/17/loneliness-isnt-good/

Citation in text: (Kiume, 2007)

Audio podcast

Green, C. D. (Producer). (2006, October 9-15). Thomas Blass on Stanley Milgram's shocking studies of obedience [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from http://www.yorku.ca/christo/podcasts/

Citation in text: (Green, 2006)

Video (YouTube)

Norton, R. (2006, November 4). How to train a cat to operate a light switch [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vja83KLQXZs

Citation in text: (Norton, 2006)

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Entire Web Site:
If you refer to an entire Web site, you do not need to include an entry for it in your reference list, but must identify the source clearly in the text of your paper.

For example:
The Sea Turtle Restoration Project homepage presents a wealth of compelling, well-researched information on the struggle to save the world's sea turtles from extinction. (http://www.seaturtles.org).

A Specific Page within a Web Site:
You will need to include an entry in your reference list.
There is no period after the URL at the end of a citation.

Sea Turtle Restoration Project. (2010). Threats to sea turtles. Retrieved from http://seaturtles.org/section.php?id=104

Citation in text: (Sea Turtle Restoration Project, 2006)

Federal Emergency Management Agency. (2002, October, 21). Fact sheet: Hurricanes. http://www.fema.gov/hazards/hurricanes/hurricaf.shtm

Citation in text: (Federal Emergency Management Agency, 2002)

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