APA Citation Style Quick Guide

6th Edition



Example of a typical APA Reference List

Click on the category to find out how to cite specific resources

How to construct a Reference List

  • Arrange entries in alphabetical order by the surname of the first author. Alphabetize letter by letter.
  • Order for several works by the same first author:
    1. Single-author entries precede multiple-author entries beginning with the same surname, earliest first.
    2. References with the same first author and different second or third authors are arranged alphabetically by the surname of the second author, etc.
    3. References with the same authors in the same order are arranged by year of pub., the earliest first.
    4. Works by different authors with the same surname are arranged alphabetically by the first initial.
    5. Works with no authors are arranged by the first word in the title (not including A, The, etc.) .
    6. Works specifically listing the author as Anonymous list entry alphabetically as if a name were listed.
    7. Works with corporate authors are listed alphabetically by the first significant word of the name. Use complete names of institutions, do not abbreviate.

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In Text Citation

Click on the category to find out how to cite specific resources
 

APA journals use the author-date method of citation.

Surname of the author (not including suffix such as Jr.) and the year of the publication are inserted at the appropriate point.

Elements of a parenthetical reference include the last name of the author, and year the work was published. If quoting directly the page number (page is abbreviated as "p.") or paragraph number is also required.

    Direct Quotation

    When directly quoting, APA requires a parenthetical including the three components of author, year, page number (page abbreviated as "p.") [Note: for works that do not use pagination list the paragraph number].

    Example:

    "You may remember me from such hits as Christmas Ape and Christmas Ape Goes to Summer Camp" (McClure, 1998, p.352).

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      One Work by One Author

      Example:

      Quimby (2000) compared monorail systems

      In a recent study of monorail systems (Quimby, 2000)

      In 2000 Quimby compared monorail systems

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      One Work by Multiple Authors

      • When a work has two authors, always cite both names every time the reference occurs in text.

      Example:

      As Smithers and Skinner (1993) demonstrated

      as has been shown (Nahasapeemapetilon & Ormand, 1989)

      • When a work has three, four, or five authors...
        • Cite all the authors the first time the reference occurs.
        • In subsequence citations, include only the surname of the first author followed by et al. (including the period)
        • Cite the year if it is the first citation of the reference within a paragraph.

      Example:

      Hibbert, Rivera, Monroe, Foster, Zweig, and Colossus (1994) found
      [Use as first citation in the text]

      Hibbert et al. (1994) found
      [Use as subsequent first citation per paragraph thereafter.]

      Hibbert et al. found
      [Omit year from subsequent citation after first citation within a paragraph.]

      • When a work has six or more authors, cite only the surname of the first author followed by et al.

      Example:

      Wiggum et al. (1983) found 
      [First in a paragraph citation]

      Wiggum et al. also found 
      [Omit the year after the first citation in the same paragraph]

      • Exceptions in Multiple Authors...
        • If two references with the same year shorten to the same form, cite the surnames of the first authors and of as many of the subsequent authors as necessary to distinguish the two references, followed by a comma and et al.

      Example:

      If there are two resources with the author:
      Meyers, Bobbins, & Powers, 1994, and Meyers, Powers, Bobbins, & Groening, 1994
      both shorten to Meyers et al., 1994
       
      Bradley, Ramirez, and Soo (1994) and Bradley, Soo, et al. (1994)

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      No Author or Anonymous Author

      • For works with no author listed cite the first few words of the reference list entry followed by a comma and the date
      • For anonymous works cite the word Anonymous followed by a comma and the date.

      Example:

      (Anonymous, 1998)

      ("Springfield's Elite", 2008)

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      Other Examples

      • Authors with same surname - S. Duff (1959) and R. Duff (1989) also found
      • Two or more works by the same author(s) - Past research (Jones & Muntz, 1981, 1983)
      • Works by same authors with same pub. date - Several studies (Brockman & Pie, 1978a, 1979b)
      • Works by different authors are listed in the same parentheses in alphabetical order - Several studies (Frink & Stu, 1979; Moleman, 1978)
      • Specific part of a source - (Pennycandy, 1980, chap. 35)
      • For letters, conversations, etc. (Cite only in text.) - S. Stanky (personal communication, November 1, 2000)

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      Reference Examples

      Non-Periodical (Book)

      Books

      • Author's name(s). Year of publication. Title (Edition). Location of publisher. Publisher.
      • When there is no author listed or the author is unknown, begin the entry with the work's title.
      • If there are more than six authors, list the first six and "et al" indicating there are additional authors.

      Book with an Editor

      • Editors names(Ed.). Year of publication. Title. Location of publisher. Publisher.
      • Begin with the name of the editor(s) followed by the abbreviation ED. (or Eds.) in parentheses.

      Example:

      Simpson, A., & Burns, M. (Eds.). (1989). The flying hellfish. Cypress Creek, SD: Globex Press.

      Article or Chapter in an Edited or Reference Book

      • Author's name(s). Year of publication. Chapter / entry title. In Editor(s) (Ed.).Title of book (pages). Location of publisher. Publisher.

      Example:

      Simpson, C., & Lumpkin, L. (1989). Country singin' ain't for me. In E. Winthrop (Ed.), Traveling Country (pp. 352-358). Washington, DC: Country Press.

       

      Electronic Book

      • Author's name(s). Year of publication. Title. Retrieved from URL
      • Use "Available from" instead of "Retrieved from" when the URL leads to information on how to obtain the cited material rather than to the material itself.

      Example:

      Wiggum, C. (1993). Big Daddy in the Big Easy. Retrieved from http://www.wiggumpi.com/pubs/bigeasy.asp?itemid3528

       

      Electronic Book chapter

      • Author's name(s). Year of publication. Title of chapter. In Editors names (Eds.), Book title (pp. xxx- xxx). Retrieved from URL
      • The database name is included in the reference to aid readers in finding an electronic version of the book because it may be difficult to find in print

      Example:

      Frink, J. (2007). The flying motorcycle. In C.M. Burns (Ed.), Nuclear powered Vehicles of tomorrow (pp.352 - 420). Retrieved from http://www.nuclearebooks.com/frink/NPVT.html.

      Article or Chapter in an Edited or Reference Electronic Book

      • Author's name(s). Year of publication. Chapter / entry title. In Editor(s) (Ed.).Title of book Retrieved from URL
      • Use "Available from" instead of "Retrieved from" when the URL leads to information on how to obtain the cited material rather than to the material itself.

      Example:

      Terwilliger, R. & Terwilliger, C. (1997). 'Dam' the hydroelectric blow up. In M. Szyslak (Ed.), 101 ways to kill Bart Simpson. Retrieved from http:www.simpsonsdirect.com/reference/02231997

      Proceedings

      • Author's name(s). Year of publication. Title of article. In Editor(s) (Eds.). Title of Proceedings (pp. xxx - xxx). Location of publisher. Publisher. doi: (if available)

      Example with doi:

      Simpson, M. (2009). Innovations in applications of salt and other pretzel toppings. In F. Ormand Ed.),Proceedings of the 34th International Symposium on Stadium Food (pp. 12- 23). Vancouver, British Columbia: Fallout Press.

        Example without doi:

        Van Houten, N., & Flanders, R. (1975). Nachos Flanders style. In H. Krustofski (Ed.), Proceedings of the Fourth International Symposium on Stadium Food (pp. 123-157). Vancouver, British Columbia: Fallout Press.

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        Print Periodical (Journal, Magazine, Newspaper, etc.)

        Journal Article

        • Author's name(s). (Year). Title of article. Title of periodical, volume. Page numbers. doi: (if available)
        • When there is no author listed or the author is unknown, begin the entry with the work's title.
        • If there are more than six authors, list the first six and "et al" indicating there are additional authors.
        • For periodicals where each issue begins on page one, list the issue immediately after the volume number in parentheses.
        • First example uses cumulative pagination.

        • Second example is for an article with no doi, where each issue begins at page 1.

        Example:

        McAllister, C., & Nahasapeemapetilon, S. (1991). Robbed again: returning to work after being held up.Journal of Kwiki Management, 22(3), 17-29.

        Magazine Article

        • Author's name(s). Date (Year, Month Day). Title of article. Title of periodical, (issue). Page numbers.
        • For periodicals where each issue begins on page one, list the issue immediately after the volume number in parentheses.
        • First example uses cumulative pagination.

        • Second example is for an article with no doi, where each issue at page 1.

        Example:

        Duff, E. (1993, May 4). Dealing with a surly brewer. Brewers Magazine, 32, 35-38.

        Newspaper Article

        • Author's name(s). Date (Year, Month Day). Title of article. Title of newspaper, pages.

        Example:

        Ziff, A. (1990, February 18). Bigfoot still at large. National Informer, pp. A1, A3.

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        Online Periodical (Online Journal, Magazine, Newspaper)

        Online Journal Article with a doi

        • Author's name(s). (Year). Title of article. Title of periodical, volume. Page numbers. doi: (if available)
        • When there is no author listed or the author is unknown, begin the entry with the work's title.
        • If there are more than six authors, list the first six and "et al" indicating there are additional authors.
        • Note: A doi or digital object identifier is a unique number identifying the resource that may be used to locate the item.
        • For periodicals where each issue begins on page one, list the issue immediately after the volume number in parentheses.
        • Note: Date of retrieval is only used for resources that may change or be updated, and not used for books or published articles in their final state. It is not necessary if the work is in its final state.
        • Example is for an article with a doi, where each issue at page 1 (note the inclusion of the issue number in parentheses).

        • Example for an article where pagination is cumulative throughout the volume.

        Example:

        Stevens, M., & Stewart, M. (2000). Life on the run. On the Lamb Quarterly, 28, 220-247. doi:11.1019/003-3528.93.4.444

         

        Online Journal Article without a doi

        • Author's name(s). (Year). Title of article. Title of periodical, (volume) page. Retrieved from URL
        • Note: Date of retrieval is only used for resources that may change or be updated, and not used for books or published articles in their final state. It is not necessary if the work is in its final state.
        • Note: A doi or digital object identifier is a unique number identifying the resource that may be used to locate the item.
        • Note: If there is no doi and the work was accessed online, list the URL for the homepage of the journal.

        Example:

        Bouvier, S., & Monroe, M. (1998). Shocking: the therapy used today. Psychology Journal, 18(1), 22-25. Retrieved from http://psychjourn.com/

         

        Online Magazine article

        • Author's name(s). (Year, Month). Title of article. Title of periodical, (volume) page(s). Retrieved from URL

         
        Online Newspaper Article

        • Author's name(s). Date (Year, Month Date). Title of article. Title of Newspaper, page(s). Retrieved from URL
        • Note: Date of retrieval is only used for resources that may change or be updated, and not used for books or published articles in their final state. It is not necessary if the work is in its final state.

        Example:

        Nahasapeemipetilon, A. (1990, April 22). 357 Magnum the clown stopper. Morning Maker News, p. A1. Retrieved from http://www.morningmakernews.com

        Online Book Review

        • Author's name(s). Date (Year, Month Date). Book Review Title [Review of Book Title, by Book Author(s) Name(s)].Title of Source Review appears in, Volume pages. doi

        Example:

        Grimes, F. (1996, October 27). How we wish we knew less of him [Review of the book Homer, I hardly knew me, by H. J. Simpson]. Nuclear Power-Plants Today, 42 32-33. doi:10.1234/Nuclear.456.75.432

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        Online Document (Websites, Wikis, Blogs, etc.)

        Web documents share many of the same elements found in print documents (authors, titles, dates). The reference citation for a Web document often follows a format similar to that for a print document citation.

        Webpage (Nonperiodical)

        • Author's name(s). (Publication date). Title of document. Retrieved from URL
        • Begin with the title of the website if no author is listed.
        • If a date is not available put (n.d.) after the title.

        Second Example has no date listed:

        Dempsey, A. (n.d.). Eyelashes: Batem' if you got'em. Retrieved from http://soyouwanttobeabeautyqueen.com/

        Third Example has no Author and no date:

        Plastic surgery: knowing when it's the right move for you. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.drnicksplasticsurgery.com/when.html

        Online Photograph or Image

        • Primary Conributor(s)(s) names (Indicate Type of contribution [see below]). (Date). Image Title [Photograph orImage]. Retrieved from URL
        • Note: Use n.d. when no date is available.
        • Note: List the primary contributors in the author position and use parentheses to identify their contribution (Director, Producer, etc.).
        • Note: When no primary contributor is listed begin with the title.

        Example:

        Springfield Nuclear Power (Producer). (2008). Nuclear Powerplant [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://springfieldnuclearpp.com/pics/img123.jpg

         

        Wikis

        • Article Title. (Date). Retrieved Date, from (wiki title): URL
        • Note: For material that may change over time APA requires the inclusion of a retrieval date.

        Weblog Post or Comment

        • Author. Date (Year, Month Date). Re: Title [Web log post]. Retrieved from URL
        • When there is no author listed or the author is unknown, begin the entry with the work's title.
        • Use [web log post] for messages posted to the blog and [web log comment] when citing a comment to a blog.

        Video Weblog

        • Author. Date (Year, Month Date). Title [Video file]. Retrieved from URL
        • When there is no author listed or the author is unknown, begin the entry with the work's title.

        Example:

        Lovejoy, H. (2005, November 11). Marge's hair is unnaturally blue [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4Uw8thmeR3ad1st

         

        Podcast

        • Primary Conributor(s)(s) names (Indicate Type of contribution [see below]). Date (Year, Month Date). Podcast Title[Audio podcast]. Retrieved from URL
        • Note:Use n.d. when no date is available.
        • Note:List the primary contributors in the author position and use parentheses to identify their contribution (Director, Producer, etc.).

        Example:

        Mel, S. (Producer). (n.d.). Hair-bones in high style. Krustyland Studios Online. [Audio podcast] Retrieved from http://krustofski.com

         

        Newsgroup, Online Forum, or Discussion Group

        • Author. Date (Year, Month Date). Re: Post Title [Online forum Comment]. Retrieved from URL.

        Example:

        Pie, A. (2008, August 20). Re: The Eye in the Sky [Online forum Comment]. Retrieved from news://report.helicopter/artie/from_above

         

        Video

        • Author (see bullet below). (Date). Title [Format]. Available from URL.
        • List the primary contributors in the author position and indicate their contribution in parentheses (Director, Producer, etc).

        Example:

        McClure, T. (Director). (1988). "P" is for psycho[DVD]. Available from http://neverbeenfilmedpictures.com/McClure/psycho

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        Information was gathered from the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th Ed)