APA Citation Style Guide (7th ed.)

APA is among the styles you will encounter the most often, and so we have prepared a simple guide to its usage. It is designed by people who have worked on many academic papers to help you with any difficulties that might arise.

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This guide is developed in line with American Psychological Association. (2019). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.). Author.

What is APA?

American Psychological Association is an established agency that supports research and education in psychology and related fields of science. APA citation style has been developed by this organization in order to assist researchers with a framework for citing other scholarly works. This citation style is usually used in research papers and assignments on psychology, nursing, medicine, sociology, and associated subject areas. APA differs from other citation styles in capitalization and punctuation. For instance, the names of smaller works in APA are in sentence case, whereas MLA applies title case. Additionally, as opposed to Chicago, APA style does not include footnotes. APA style is very similar to the Harvard referencing system, but there are some minor differences between them.

Why Cite Your Sources?

Citing and referencing other people’s works in your paper is crucial for a number of reasons:

  • It helps you to avoid plagiarism. Plagiarism is defined as the appropriation of other people’s ideas and the attempt to present them as your own. In the academic community, this is considered to be a severe violation that might affect your future studies and scholarly career. By citing and referencing your sources correctly, you acknowledge that the ideas and information you present came from another person’s work, thus avoiding plagiarism.
  • It ensures that you acknowledge other people’s input into the development of a subject field. Most researchers are driven by the desire to improve the volume of knowledge in their area of inquiry. Hence, addressing other scholars’ input shows that you respect their work and commitment. Citing and referencing sources is part of professional ethics in the academic community, and thus, it will help you to build a positive reputation.
  • It enables people to find more information on the topic. When people read your work, they might come upon an exciting idea that they would like to explore further. By citing the source appropriately, you help them to track this information down and locate other articles on the topic, which might help them in research and learning.

Citation vs. Reference

Сiting

Referencing

A citation is the mentioning of a particular source in the body of the paper. In APA style, a citation usually includes the author’s name and year only. However, if a direct quote is used, page numbers are also required.

A reference is a bibliographic entry that corresponds to a particular source. In other words, it is the information about a source that you put on a separate page containing the list of all works cited in the paper.

Examples

Paraphrasing: Studies found that women have a higher risk of depression than men (Albert, 2015).

Quoting: “The prevalence of major depression is higher in women than in men” (Albert, 2015, p. 219).

Example

Albert, P. R. (2015). Why is depression more prevalent in women? Journal of Psychiatry & Neuroscience, 40(4), 219-221.

General Principles of Formatting in APA

  • Double-spacing
  • APA Margins – 1″ (2.54 cm), while paper size should be 8.5″ x 11″
  • APA recommends using one of the following fonts: 11-point Calibri, 11-point Arial, 10-point Lucida Sans Unicode, 12-point Times New Roman, 11-point Georgia, or 10-point Computer Modern.

APA papers contain page headers at the top of every page with page numbers. Page numbers are inserted flush right.

Papers written in APA style are divided into the following sections:

  • Title Page
  • Abstract (if required)
  • Table of Contents (if required)
  • Body
  • References
  • Appendix (if required)
Sections of APA Style Papers graphics

APA Title Page

Header:

Include only page number flush right on the top of each page.

Title:

  • Your title should be inserted in the upper half of the first page.
  • You should not use more than 12 words for your title.
  • Use upper and lower case (avoid abbreviations and redundant words).
  • Title page should be double-spaced.
  • Insert the author’s name below the title.
  • Insert the educational institution below the author’s name.
Example of APA format Title Page

APA Abstract

  • Abstract is written on a new page; this page should contain a page header (see above).
  • The word “Abstract” is centered on the new page and written in bold. Do not use quotation marks, italics, or any other formatting.
  • The text on the abstract page is NOT indented.
  • The abstract in APA should contain only the most relevant information, such as research topic/thesis statement, research question(s), sample size/participants, research design/method, data analysis, results, and conclusions.
  • The abstract consists of a single paragraph (about 130-150 words) of double-spaced text.
  • If keywords are required, they are indented and written beneath the abstract paragraph. Do not forget to use italics for the word “Keywords.
Sample of Abstract for APA Style Paper

APA Table of Contents

There are 2 basic types of outlines for you to choose (unless your tutor gives you a template)

Simple outline (either alphanumeric or decimal)

Example of alphanumeric outline

Sample of alphanumeric outline in APA format

Example of decimal outline

Sample of decimal outline in APA format

Example of full sentence outline

Sample of full sentence outline for APA Style Paper

APA Headings

Level 1 Bold, Uppercase and Lowercase

Level 2 Bold, Flush Left Heading

Level 3 Bold, Italicized, Flush Left Heading

Level 4 Indented, Bold, Italicized Heading with a Period. Begin your text after the period

APA Reference List

The reference list is inserted at the end of your paper; any source that you use needs to be included in the reference page and cited in the text.

Indent all lines after the first line in the entry (hanging indent); the lines should be indented one-half inch (1.27 cm) from the left margin of your paper.

  • Do not forget to invert authors’ names: Last Name, Initials. Example: Cage, D. C.
  • The reference list in APA is always alphabetized by the first word in the reference entry (from A to Z).
  • When alphabetizing titles or group names as authors, go by the first significant word (disregard a, an, the, etc.)
  • Do not include the abbreviation for the group author. Instead, spell out the full name of the group.

Correct reference entry:

American Psychological Association. (2011). Dollars and sense: Talking to your children about the economy. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/children-economy.aspx

Incorrect reference entry:

American Psychological Association (APA). (2011). Dollars and sense: Talking to your children about the economy. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/children-economy.aspx

  • Journal titles are always presented in full and capitalized:

Example: Archives of General Psychiatry

  • Do not alter the journal’s name:

Example: JAMA Psychiatry (NOT Jama Psychiatry).

Sample of Reference List for APA Style Paper

APA Reference List Examples

Citing Books in APA

One author

Structure:

Last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year). Book title: Subtitle. Publisher.

Example:

Drewett, P. N. (2012). Field archaeology: An introduction. UCL Press.

Note:

  • Provide the name of the publisher, excluding Co. and Inc., which are not necessary for the identification of the publisher. However, do not omit the words Books and Press.

Two authors

Structure:

Last name, First initial. Middle initial., & Last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year). Book title: Subtitle. Publisher.

Example:

Greene, J., & Scott, D. (2004). Finding sand creek. University of Oklahoma Press.

Three to twenty authors

Structure:

Last name, First initial. Middle initial., Last name, First initial. Middle initial., & Last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year). Book title: Subtitle. Publisher.

Example:

McNeil, A. J., Frey, R., & Embrechts, P. (2015). Quantitative risk management: Concepts, techniques and tools. Princeton University Press.

Multiple authors (more than twenty authors)

Provide last names and initials for the first 19 authors of the work. Insert three ellipsis points after the name of the 19th author, followed by the last author’s name. After the first 19 authors’ names, use an ellipsis in place of the remaining author names. Then, end with the final author’s name (do not place an ampersand before it). There should be no more than twenty names in the citation in total.

Structure:

Last name, First initial. Middle initial., Last name, First initial. Middle initial., Last name, First initial. Middle initial., Last name, First initial. Middle initial., Last name, First initial. Middle initial., Last name, First initial. Middle initial., Last name, First initial. Middle initial., Last name, First initial. Middle initial., Last name, First initial. Middle initial., Last name, First initial. Middle initial., Last name, First initial. Middle initial., Last name, First initial. Middle initial., Last name, First initial. Middle initial., Last name, First initial. Middle initial., Last name, First initial. Middle initial., Last name, First initial. Middle initial., Last name, First initial. Middle initial., Last name, First initial. Middle initial., Last name, First initial. Middle initial.,… Last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year). Book title: Subtitle. Publisher.

Example:

Mahajan, A., Go, M. J., Zhang, W., Below, J. E., Gaulton, K. J., Ferreira, T., Horikoshi, M., Johnson, A. D., Ng, M. C. Y., Prokopenko, I., Saleheen, D., Wang, X., Zeggini, E., Abecasis, G. R., Adair, L. S., Almgren, P., Atalay, M., Aung, T., Baldassarre, D., … Morris, A. P. (2014). Genome-wide trans-ancestry meta-analysis provides insight into the genetic architecture of type 2 diabetes susceptibility. Nature Genetics, 46, 234–244.

Corporate/organization author

Structure:

Organization Name. (Year). Book title: Subtitle. Publisher.

Example:

Ministry of Health. (2008). Future directions for eating disorders services in New Zealand: New perspectives. Key Press.

Entries in reference works (e.g. dictionaries, thesauruses, and encyclopedias) without credited authors are also considered works with group authors.

When the author and the publisher are the same, use the word “Author” instead of a publisher’s name.

Structure:

Organization Name. (Year). Book title: Subtitle. Publisher.

Example:

Canadian Ministry of Health. (2020). Obesity statistics. Author.

Unknown author

When the work does not have an author, move the title of the work to the beginning of the references and follow with the date of publication. Only use “Anonymous” if the author of the work is signed “Anonymous.”

Structure:

Book title: Subtitle. (Year). Publisher.

Example:

Alluvial archaeology in Europe. (2009). Routledge.

Two or more works by the same author

Works by the same author are arranged chronologically by year of publication. The earliest year comes first. List references with no dates before references with dates.

Malhotra, Y. (n.d.). Project management: Key processes. Elsevier.

Malhotra, Y. (2012). Knowledge management and virtual organizations. SAGE.

Malhotra, Y. (2014). Managing organizations: An introduction to theory and practice. Pearson.

When an author appears both as a sole author and, in another citation, as the first author of a group, list the one-author entries first.

Agnew, C. R. (Ed.) (2014). Social influences on romantic relationships: Beyond the dyad. Cambridge University Press.

Agnew, C. R., & South, S. C. (Eds.) (2014). Interpersonal relationships and health: Social and clinical psychological mechanisms. Oxford University Press.

Two or more works by the same author, same year

Works by the same author and with the same publication date are listed alphabetically by the title (disregarding articles). Add a, b, c … to publication year to distinguish citations.

Gabarro, J. (2011a). Criminal justice organizations: Administration and management. Routledge.

Gabarro, J. (2011b). Managing and organizations: An introduction to theory and practice. Jossey-Bass.

Edited book, no author

In an APA reference to an edited book with no author, move the editor name to the author position and follow it with the parenthetical abbreviation (Ed.) for one editor or (Eds.) for multiple editors.

Structure:

Editor’s last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Ed.). (Year). Book title: Subtitle. Publisher.

Editor’s last name, First initial. Middle initial., & Editor’s last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Eds.). (Year). Book title: Subtitle. Publisher.

Example:

Palenchar, M., & Greenwald, H. (Eds.). (2009). The management of organizations: Responsibility for performance. Russell Sage Foundation.

Edited book with an author/authors

When citing an edited source in APA, place the editor’s initials and last name in brackets immediately after the book’s title, followed by a comma and the abbreviation Ed. for one editor or Eds. for multiple editors.

Structure:

Author’s last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year). Book title: Subtitle. (Editor’s first initial. Middle initial. Last name, Ed.). Publisher.

Example:

Calfee, M. (2011). Strategic issues management: A systems and human resources approach. K. V. Emory (Ed.). Jossey-Bass.

Author with a translator

In a reference to a translated book, place the name(s) of the translator(s) immediately after the book’s title, add the abbreviation Trans., and enclose in parentheses.

Structure:

Author’s last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year). Book title: Subtitle. (Translator’s first initial. Middle initial. Last name, Trans.). Publisher.

Author’s last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year). Book title: Subtitle. (Translator’s first initial. Middle initial. Last name &  Translator’s first initial. Middle initial. Last name, Trans.). Publisher.

Example:

Leary, P. (2009). Metaphors in the history of psychology. (A. W. Burt & F. L. Kernberg, Trans.). University of Chicago Press. (Original work published 1921).

Note:

  • APA in-text citation of a republished source also includes both publishing dates. Example: Leary (1921/2009).

Different editions

Include information about the edition in parentheses immediately after the title.

Structure:

Last name, First initial. Middle initial., & Last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year). Book title: Subtitle (1st/2nd/3rd/#th ed.). Publisher.

Example:

Shotton, M. L., & Schiraldi, G. (2016). The need for revision (2nd ed.). Dover.

Chapter in an edited book

When citing a chapter in an edited book, do not invert the editors’ names and do not place them in the author position. The editors’ names are preceded by the word In and followed by the parenthetical abbreviation (Ed.) for one editor or (Eds.) for several editors.

Note: if an editorial board consists of more than 3 members, include the name of the lead editor and follow it by et al.

Structure:

Author’s last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year). Chapter title: Subtitle. In Editor’s first initial. Middle initial. Last name (Ed.), Book title: Subtitle (pp. #–#). Publisher.

Author’s last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year). Chapter title: Subtitle. In Editor’s first initial. Middle initial. Last name et al. (Eds.), Book title: Subtitle (pp. #–#). Publisher.

Example:

Wiener, P. (2013). Gender issues across the globe. In A. A. Krugman & F. D. Kempe (Eds.), Gender identity and gender politics (pp. 134–146). Springer.

Note: List any edition number in the same set of parentheses as the page numbers, separated by a comma: (# ed., pp. 33-45).

Johnson, E. T. (2014). Diabetes mellitus. In M. A. Thompson & R. W. Gullie (Eds.), Public health (3rd ed, pp. 122-144). Elsevier.

Multivolume work

Enclose information about volume number(s) in parentheses immediately after the book’s title.

Structure:

Last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year). Book title: Subtitle (Vols. #–#). Publisher.

Example:

Haybron, D. M. (2011). Perspectives on Piaget’s theory (Vols. 1–4). McGraw-Hill.

Encyclopedia/dictionary

Follow the citation rules for Corporate/organization author if there is no author, or Chapter in an edited book/Edited book, no author depending on the publication details available.

Foreword, introduction, preface, or afterword

Cite the publishing information about a book as usual, but cite Introduction, Preface, Foreword, or Afterword (whatever title is applicable) as the chapter of the book.

Structure:

Last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year). Foreword (or Introduction, Preface, Afterword). Book title: Subtitle (pp. #–#). Publisher.

Example:

Zhen, X. (2018). Introduction. In C. Choi (Ed.), Human resource management in multinational organizations (pp.1-15). Springer.

Electronic or Kindle-Books

It is not necessary to note that you have used an eBook or audiobook when the content is the same as a physical book. However, you should distinguish between the eBook or audiobook and the print version if the content is different or abridged, or if you would like to cite the narrator of an audiobook.

Structure:

Last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year). Book title: Subtitle. Publisher. URL (if applicable)

Example:

Reddington, F. M. (2012). Fields of sorrow (E. Kings, Narr.) [Audiobook]. Elsevier.

Cook, J. F. (2017). Practical guidelines for managers [eBook edition]. SAGE.

Online encyclopedia/dictionary with a group author

Structure:

Institution or organization name. (Year). Title of entry. In Title of reference work. URL

Example:

Longman. (n.d.). Cause. In Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English. Retrieved February 20, 2020, from https://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/cause

Note: An online dictionary, thesaurus, or encyclopedia may be continuously updated and therefore not include a publication date (like in the example below). If that’s the case, use “n.d.” for the date and include the retrieval date in the citation.

Online encyclopedia/dictionary with an individual author

Structure:

Lastname, F. M. (Year). Title of entry. In F. M. Lastname (Ed.), Title of reference work (edition). Publisher. URL or DOI

Example:

Long, R. (n.d.). Egalitarianism. In J. Fieser & B. Dowden (Eds.), Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved February 20, 2020, from https://www.iep.utm.edu/egalitar/

Citing Articles in Periodicals in APA

Scholarly journal article

Structure:

Last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year). Title of the article. Journal Title, volume(number), pages–pages. https://doi.org/xx.xxx/yyyy

Example:

Caligor, E., & Levy, K. N. (2015). Narcissistic personality disorder: Diagnostic and clinical challenges. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 172(5), 415–422. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.2014.14060723

APA 7 advises writers to include a DOI (if available), even when using the print source.

Magazine article

Structure:

Last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year, Month Date). Title of the article. Magazine Title, volume(number), pages–pages.

Example:

Kreaker, H. J. (2018, June). The situation in Iraq: Updates and statistics. Forbes Magazine, 23, 2.

Newspaper article

Structure:

Last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year, Month). Title of the article. Newspaper Title, pages-pages.

Example:

Shirley, A. (2017, January). School reform and its implications. Washington Post, 2-3.

Review article

Structure:

Last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year). Title of the article  [Review of the book Book title: Subtitle, by Author’s initial Last name]. Journal Title, volume(number), pages–pages.

Example:

Lerry, O. P. (2016). Making it happen: Project management without problems [Review of the book Effective project management: Traditional, agile, extreme, hybrid, by R. K. Wysocki]. Journal of Management Studies, 139(8), 236-239.

Abstract

APA 7th edition does not provide guidance on how to cite abstracts. However, if you only use information from the abstract but the full text of the article is also available, we advise you to add “[Abstract]” after the article or source name. If the full text is not available, you may use an abstract that is available through an abstracts database as a secondary source.

Structure:

Last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year). Title of the article  [Abstract]. Journal Title, volume(number), pages–pages.

Example:

Bray, G. A., Fruhbeck, G., & Ryan, D. H. (2016). Management of obesity [Abstract]. The Lancet, 387(10031), 1947–1956.

Article in an online journal (DOI)

According to the 7th edition of the APA Style Guide, it is advisable to provide a DOI of an article (digital object identifier, which is usually stated in article information section) if it is available. There are two formats of doi that you can choose from:

  1. doi:0000000/000000000000
  2. http://dx.doi.org/10.0000/0000

Structure:

Last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year). Title of the article. Journal Title, volume(number), pages–pages. doi:0000000/000000000000

Example:

Langel, S. N., Wang, Q., Vlasova, A. N., & Saif, L. J. (2020). Host factors affecting generation of immunity against porcine epidemic diarrhea virus in pregnant and lactating swine and passive protection of neonates. Pathogens, 9(2), 130. https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9020130

Article in an online journal (without DOI)

If an online scholarly journal article has no DOI and is published on a website, include the URL. If an online scholarly article has no DOI and is published on a database, do not include a URL or any database information. The only exception is for databases that publish articles that are in limited circulation (like ERIC) or that are only available on that particular database (like UpToDate). You should also include the date that you accessed the article.

Structure:

Last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year). Title of the article. Journal Title, volume(number), pages–pages. Retrieved Month Date, Year, from http://xxxxx

Example:

Round, J. (2015). Apocatastasis: Redefining tropes of the apocalypse in Neil Gaiman and Dave Mckean’s Signal to Noise. International Online Journal of Comic Art, 15. Retrieved February 23, 2020, from http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/26013/

Online newspaper / magazine article

Structure:

Last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year, Month Date). Title of the article. Newspaper/Magazine Title. URL.

Example:

Tuchman, P. (2017, January 27). How do you sell a work of art built into the earth? The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/27/arts/design/robert-smithson-earthwork-art.html?smid=pl-share&_r=0

Citing Dissertations and Theses in APA

Dissertation/thesis, published

Structure:

Last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year). Title of dissertation or thesis (Publication No. XXX) [Doctoral dissertation/Master’s thesis, Name of Institution Awarding the Degree]. Database or Archive name.

Example:

Fowler, S. M. (2015). Measuring the correlation between risk knowledge and comfort utilizing online medical data (Publication No. 1597628) [Master’s thesis, Purdue University]. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing.

Dissertation/thesis, unpublished

Structure:

Last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year). Title of dissertation/thesis [Unpublished doctoral dissertation/master’s thesis]. Name of Institution Awarding the Degree.

Example:

Lewis, H. S. (2019). Relationships between beliefs about medications and use of prescribed chronic medications [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. New York State University.

Conference proceedings

The 7th edition of the APA manual does not provide guidance on citing conference proceedings. Therefore, this citation models that of an edited collection, which is similar in format.

Structure:

Last name, First initial. Middle initial, & Lastname, First initial. Middle initial. (Eds.). (Year). Title of proceedings. Publisher. URL. (if applicable)

Example:

Peterson, H. I., & James, F. D. (Eds.). (2019). Proceedings of the 12th annual international conference on teaching methods. TAB Digital Library.

Citing Online Lectures and Presentation Slides in APA

When citing online lecture notes, be sure to provide the file format in brackets after the lecture title (e.g. PowerPoint slides, Word document).

Structure:

Last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year). Document title [Lecture notes, PowerPoint slides, etc]. URL

Examples:

Arnold, D. (2010). Functional analysis [PDF document]. Retrieved from http://www-users.math.umn.edu/~arnold/502.s97/functional.pdf

Pomije, B. (2011, December 6). Online shopping [PowerPoint slides]. https://www.slideshare.net/pobr0702/online-shopping-presentation-10492184

Citing Online Sources in APA

Page from website

If the page names an individual author, cite their name first:

Structure:

Last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year). Website page title. Site Name. URL.

Example:

Janous, B. (2020, February 13). A love that cancer can’t kill. Human Parts. https://humanparts.medium.com/a-love-that-cancer-cant-kill-5f1398b13a1a

If the resource was written by a group or organization, use the name of the group/organization as the author. Additionally, if the author and site name are the same, omit the site name from the citation.

Structure:

Group name. (Year, Month Date). Website page title. Site Name. URL.

Example:

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. (2020, February 21). Celebrate national dog biscuit day with your favorite furry friends! https://www.aspca.org/news/celebrate-national-dog-biscuit-day-your-favorite-furry-friends

Page from website with unknown author

If the page’s author is not listed, start with the title instead. Additionally, include a retrieval date when the page’s content is likely to change over time (like, for instance, if you’re citing a wiki that is publicly edited).

Structure:

Website page title. (Year, Month Date). Site Name. Retrieved Month Date, Year, from URL.

Example:

Puppies for adoption: How, and where to adopt a puppy. (n.d.). Retrieved February 23, 2020, from https://www.petfinder.com/pet-adoption/dog-adoption/puppies-for-adoption/

Data sets

Structure:

Last name, First initial. Middle initial. or Name of Group. (Year). Title of dataset (Version No.) [Data set]. Publisher. DOI or URL

Example:

DataHub. (n.d.). CO2 PPM – Trends in atmospheric carbon dioxide [Data set]. https://datahub.io/core/co2-ppm

Graphic data (e.g. interactive maps, infographics, and other graphic representations of data)

Structure:

Give the name of the organization or individual followed by the date and the title. If there is no title, in brackets, you should provide a brief explanation of what type of data is there and in what form it appears. Include the URL and the retrieval date if there is no publication date.

Example:

Visually. (n.d.). 6 ways to use psychology to boost app engagement [Infographic]. Retrieved February 23, 2020, from https://visual.ly/community/infographic/computers/6-ways-use-psychology-boost-app-engagement

Qualitative data and online interviews

Structure:

If an interview is not retrievable in audio or print form, cite the interview only in the text (not in the reference list) and provide the month, day, and year in the text. If the interview transcript is published in an online periodical, like a magazine, cite the interview the same way you would cite the medium where it is published, as shown below:

Example:

Winfrey, O. (2018, November 12). Michelle Obama gets candid with Oprah about her new memoir, Becoming. The Oprah Magazine. https://www.oprahmag.com/entertainment/a24691478/oprah-michelle-obama-becoming-interview/

If it is an audio file or transcript published in a database, credit the interviewee as the author and use the following model:

Example:

Berkow, I. (1997, June 27). Interview with Ira Berkow [Interview]. Studs Terkel Radio Archive; The Chicago History Museum. https://studsterkel.wfmt.com/programs/interview-ira-berkow-0

Computer software/downloaded software

Do not cite standard office software (e.g. Word, Excel) or programming languages. Provide references only for specialized software.

Structure:

Last name, First initial. Middle initial. or Name of Group. (Year). Title of software (Version No.). Publisher. URL.

Example:

Systweak. (n.d.). Advanced driver updater for Windows (Version 2.1.1086.15131). Softsonic. https://advanced-driver-updater.en.softonic.com/

Email

E-mails are not included in the list of references, though you should parenthetically cite them in your main text:

(J. Datsun, personal communication, March 3, 2020).

Online forum or discussion posting

Structure:

Last name, First initial. Middle initial. or Name of Group [username]. (Year, Month Date). Title of post [Online forum post]. Publisher. URL.

Example:

Elaine [ElaineNY]. (2020, February 23). A stranger got my kidney on January 20, 2020 [Online forum post]. Reddit. https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/f8efmz/a_stranger_got_my_kidney_on_january_20_2020/

Tweet

Structure:

Last name, First initial. Middle initial. or Name of Group [@username]. (Year, Month Date). Content of the post up to the first 20 words [Tweet]. Site Name. URL

Example:

Van Dyke, S. [@3WSSheri]. (2020, February 23). Watched Supe on Saturdays back in Mansfield. introduced me to some classic horror flicks [Tweet]. Twitter. https://twitter.com/3WSSheri/status/1231653764219711492

Note: If the tweet includes images, videos, or links to other sources, indicate that information in brackets after the content description. Also attempt to replicate emojis if possible.

Twitter profile

Structure:

Last name, First initial. Middle initial. or Name of Group [@username]. (n.d.). Profile name [Twitter profile]. Retrieved Month Date, Year, from URL.

Example:

Chavira, P. [@apchavira]. (n.d.). Paulina Chavira [Twitter profile]. Retrieved February 24, 2020, from https://twitter.com/apchavira

Facebook post

Structure:

Last name, First initial. Middle initial. or Name of Group. (Year, Month Date). Content of the post up to the first 20 words [Type of post]. Site Name. URL

Example:

Nicola, C. (2020, February 22). Chris, Jay and Elvira continuing to have fun in Bahia, Salvador, BRAZIL celebrating CARNAVAL [Images attached] [Status update]. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/chris.nicola/posts/10218605512262988

Note: If the Facebook post includes images, videos, or links to other sources, indicate that information in brackets after the content description. Also attempt to replicate emojis if possible.

Facebook page

Structure:

Last name, First initial. Middle initial. or Name of Group. (n.d.). Home [Facebook page]. Site Name. Retrieved Month Date, Year, from URL

Example:

Jasper, S. (n.d.). Home [Facebook page]. Facebook. Retrieved February 24, 2020, from https://www.facebook.com/stefanie.jasper.1

Instagram photo or video

Structure:

Last name, First initial. Middle initial. or Name of Group [@username]. (Year, Month Date). Content of the post up to the first 20 words [Type of post]. Site Name. URL

Example:

Winslet, K. [@kate.winslet.official]. (2020, February 21). Love always wins! [Photograph]. Instagram. https://www.instagram.com/p/B8yx4bZDLgK/

Ted talk

Structure:

Last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year, Month Date). Title of talk [Video]. TED. URL

Example:

Love, R. (2018, November). How nurses can help drive healthcare innovation [Video]. TED. https://www.ted.com/talks/rebecca_love_how_nurses_can_help_drive_healthcare_innovation

Blog post

Structure:

Last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year, Month Date). Blogpost title. Publisher. URL.

Example:

Cush, A. (2016, August 17). You’ll never guess who’s angry about CNN “deceptively” editing a video of Sylville Smith’s sister. Gawker. http://gawker.com/youll-never-guess-whos-angry-about-cnn-deceptively-ed-1785416442

Video or film

Structure:

Director’s Last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year). Video/Film title [Film]. Production company.

Example:

Tornatore, G. (2013). The best offer [Film]. Warner Bros.

Video or film in another language

Structure:

Director’s Last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year). Video/Film title in original language [Translated title] [Film]. Production company.

Example:

Jacopetti, G. (1962). Mondo cane [Doggish world] [Film]. Cineriz

TV series

Structure:

Executive producer’s Last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Executive Producer/s). (Date range of release). TV series title [TV series]. Production company(ies).

Example:

Crane, D., & Kauffman, M. (Executive Producers). (1994-2004). Friends [TV series]. Warner Bros. Studios.

TV series episode

Structure:

Writer’s Last name, First initial. Middle initial (Writer), & Director’s Last Name, First initial. Middle initial. (Director). (Original air date: Year, Month Date). Episode title (Season number, Episode number) [IV series episode]. In executive producer’s First initial. Middle initial. Last name (Executive Producer), Series title. Production company(ies).

Example:

Borkow, D. K. (Writer), & Schwimmer, D. (Director). (2001, October 4). The one with the red sweater (Season 8, episode 2) [TV series episode]. In D. Crane & M. Kauffman (Executive Producers), Friends. Warner Bros. Studios.

YouTube video

Structure:

Last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year, Month Date). Video title [Video]. Website host. URL.

Example:

EssayPro. (2019, August 14). APA format essay (example, citation) [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19jEyVZWiFM

Music album

Structure:

Recording artist (Year of release). Title of album [Album]. Record label.

Example:

Adele. (2015). 25 [Album]. XL; Columbia.

Note: if you are referencing a re-recorded version of a classical work, list that album title in brackets following the name of the album.

Single song or track

Structure:

Recording artist (Year of release). Title of song [Song]. On Title of album [Album]. Record label.

Example:

Adele. (2015). Hello [Song]. On 25 [Album]. XL; Columbia.

Note: if the song is a piece of classical music, you can list the composer instead of the recording artist.

Note: if the song does not have an associated album, simply omit the section with the album.

Podcast

Structure:

Executive Producer’s Last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Executive Producer). (Range of publication). Title of podcast [Audio podcast]. Production company. URL.

Example:

Catt, G. (Executive Producer). (2019-present). The missing cryptoqueen [Audio podcast]. BBC. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p07nkd84/episodes/player

Note: in place of the executive producer, you can also list the host of the podcast.

Note: if you did not access the podcast via an online source (e.g., if, you used a podcast app), omit the URL.

Single podcast episode

Structure:

Executive Producer’s Last name, First initial., Middle initial. (Executive Producer). (Date of publication). Title of podcast episode (Episode number) [Audio podcast episode]. In Title of podcast. Production company. URL.

Example:

Catt, G. (Executive Producer). (2019). The technology and the dream (No. 8) [Audio podcast episode]. In The missing cryptoqueen. BBC. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p07sz990

Note: in place of the executive producer, you can also list the host of the podcast.

Note: if you did not access the podcast via an online source (e.g., if you used a podcast app), omit the URL.

Artwork in a museum or on a museum website

Structure:

Artist’s Last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year of release). Title of artwork [medium]. Name of museum, City, State, Country. URL of museum.

Example:

Van Gogh, V. (1889). Starry night [painting]. MoMA, New York, NY, United States. https://www.moma.org/collection/works/79802

Note: if the artwork is available via a museum website, cite that website at the end of the citation. If there is no associated website, simply omit the URL.

Note: if the artwork does not have a title, briefly describe the work and put that description in square brackets.

Photograph (not associated with a museum)

Structure:

Photographer’s Last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year of publication). Title of photograph [Photograph]. Source. URL.

Example:

Bao, Y. (2019). The moment [Photograph]. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/gallery/2019/oct/16/wildlife-photographer-of-the-year-2019-winners-in-pictures

Note: if the photograph does not have a title, describe the photograph and put that description in square brackets.

Personal communication

Personal communication is not included in the reference list. Instead, when citing information from an email, cite the source of information in parentheses.

(K. Dawson, personal communication, April 24, 2010).

Citing Government Documents in APA

Federal or state statute

Structure:

Name of Act, Public Law No. (Year). URL.

Example:

Americans with Disabilities Act, Publ. L. No. 101-336, 104 Stat. 327 (1990). https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/STATUTE-104/pdf/STATUTE-104-Pg327.pdf

Report by a government agency or other organization

Structure:

Organization Name. (Year). Title of report. URL.

Example:

United States Government Accountability Office. (2020). Science & tech spotlight: Deepfakes. https://www.gao.gov/assets/gao-20-379sp.pdf

Report by individual authors at government agency or other organization

Structure:

Last name, First initial. Middle initial., & Last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year). Title of report. Organization Name. URL.

Example:

Usher, L., Friedhoff, S., Cochran, S., & Pandya, A. (2016). Preparing for the unimaginable: How chiefs can safeguard officer mental health before and after mass casualty events. National Alliance on Mental Illness. https://www.nami.org/About-NAMI/Publications-Reports/Public-Policy-Reports/Preparing-for-the-Unimaginable/Preparing-For-The-Unimaginable.pdf

APA In-text Citations

In accordance with APA style rules, you only need to include the author’s name and year of publication when you refer to information from another scholarly work without quoting it directly. Remember that each source you cite in the body of the paper must have a corresponding entry on the list of references at the end of the paper.

APA In-Text Citations

Type

Examples

Short Quotations

Quotations that are less than 40 words fit into your main text, so there is no need to format them differently. If you use a short quote from another person’s work, you need to provide a page number in addition to the author’s name and publication year.

Uebelacker (2016) reports that “yoga-based practices may serve to regulate the autonomic nervous system” (p. 20).

According to Rehman (2016), “academic anxiety may make it difficult for students to concentrate on a range of tasks” (p. 109).

Long Quotations

Quotes that are 40 or more words long need to be placed separately from the main text into a block without quotation marks. Introduce the quote on a new line and then paste the quote on the next line, indenting it by 1/2 inch.

Uebelacker (2016) explains the following:

There are many different styles of hatha yoga – for example, Vinyasa or Iyengar. Hatha yoga classes can vary in numerous ways: some classes may involve flowing from one posture to another; others may be more focused on alignment and holding postures

Summary or Paraphrase

When you summarize or paraphrase a work, you mention the ideas of another author in your own words, without using direct quotations. In this case, you are not required to provide a page number, although it is encouraged by APA guidelines.

Summary: Uebelacker (2016) confirms that yoga can help to improve the functioning of the autonomic nervous system.

Paraphrase: There are adverse effects of anxiety on students, including poor concentration and academic performance (Rehman, 2016, p. 20).

Author named in a signal phrase

APA format requires the use of the word and instead of the ampersand before the last author’s name when citing a work by multiple authors in the text.

Example: Greene and Kernis (2012) argued that every individual involved in the process of creation of software is responsible for its quality.

Author not named in a signal phrase

Example: The framework based on the categorization of racial attributes does not take into account numerous individual differences between ethnic groups (Holland, 2010).

A work by two authors

Example: The use of sterilization accounts for 3.2 percent of birth control methods in Christian communities (Purnell & Paulanka, 2016).

A work by three or more authors

Regardless of the medium of the source, all sources with three authors or more are now attributed using the name of the first author followed by “et al.” List only the first author’s name followed by “et al.” in every citation, even the first.

The only exception to this occurs when doing so would create ambiguity (e.g., if two papers have first-listed authors with the same name). In these cases, list as many names as needed to differentiate the papers, followed by “et al.”

Example: Judith, Leon, Potter, and Grief (2020) and Judith, Leon, Carrol, and Smith (2020) can be cited as (Judith, Leon, Potter, et al., 2020) and (Judith, Leon, Carrol, et al., 2020), respectively.

Unknown author

When the source does not identify an author, cite it by the first few words of its title. The titles of books and periodicals have to be italicized, whereas titles of book chapters and articles must be placed inside quotation marks. APA style calls for capitalizing important words in titles when they are written in the text (but not when they are written in reference lists).

Example: Naturalism and the improvement of health-care outcomes are the main principles of the provision of biomedicine in the U.S. (Biomedicine and health care, 2015).

Example: The health-care services in Australia are based on the long-standing culture of nursing as well as national models of health and illness (“Health care approaches,” 2011).

Corporate author

If the name of the group first appears in parentheses (as in the second example below), put the abbreviation in brackets after it, followed by a comma and the year for the citation:

Example: The American Psychological Association (APA, 2011) suggested that parents talk to their children about family finances in age-appropriate ways.

Example: Children should learn about family finances in age-appropriate ways (American Psychological Association [APA], 2011).

In the reference list entry, do not include the abbreviation for the group author. Instead, spell out the full name of the group.

Authors with the same last name

Include first initials followed by the last names in order to distinguish between authors with the same last name.

Example: Religious and spiritual beliefs of Arab American Muslims significantly influence their health-care practices and health-seeking behaviors (M. Berndt, 2016; L. Berndt, 2016).

More than one work by the same author in the same year

Distinguish between works by the same author in the same year by including lowercase letters next to the year of publication in both in-text citations and reference list entries.

Example: Terminally ill patients find a source of strength in performing daily prayers and adhering to other religious duties described in their sacred texts such as Bible and Quran (Robbins, 2011a).

Indirect sources

Provide the author of the original source in a signal phrase and include a citation of the secondary source in parentheses. Note that only the secondary source has to be included in the APA reference list.

Example: Smith argues that “personalistic systems provide the most accurate representation of a patient’s identity” (as cited in Wescot, 2014, p. 213).

Sources without page numbers

Use the heading or section name, an abbreviated heading or section name, a paragraph number (para. 1), or a combination of these. When an electronic document has numbered paragraphs, use the abbreviation “para.” followed by the paragraph number (Hall, 2001, para. 5). If the paragraphs are not numbered and the document includes headings, provide the appropriate heading and specify the paragraph under that heading.

Example: Pinker and Smith (2013) went so far as to argue “that Chinese cultures condone the use of invasive health care procedures” (para. 11).

Example: According to Smith (1997), … (Mind Over Matter section, 2018, para. 6).

Tables and Figures in APA

Though the formatting for tables and figures has not dramatically changed from the sixth edition, a few relevant changes are as follows:

Tables and figures are now formatted in parallel—in other words, they use consistent rules for titles, notes, and numbering.
Tables and figures may now be presented either in the text of the document or after the reference list on separate pages.
When you want to enhance your paper by providing visual data, you need to ensure that you format your tables and figures in accordance with APA guidelines:

  • Data that would require only one or two columns to present should be in written form, and thus, all tables should have three or more columns.
  • Figures that have one column should be between 2 and 3.25 inches in width; two-column figures should be between 4.25 and 6.875 inches.
  • Refer to figures in the text of the paper and include the figure after the end of the paragraph or in the appendix.
  • Tables and figures should be numbered in the same sequence in which they are presented in the text (e.g., Figure 1, Figure 2, etc.).
  • If tables or figures are in the appendix, use capital letters and Arabic numbers to distinguish between them.
  • Label all of your figures and tables appropriately.
  • For tables, you need to write table number and title, capitalizing the key words (Table 1. Title of the Table).
  • If the table is adopted, include a regular APA in-text citation with a page number in brackets below the table.
  • For figures, write figure number and title in sentence case beneath the figure. Example: Figure 1. Title of the figure (Author, year, page).

Basic table format advised by APA editors:

Basic Components of a Table in APA Style Paper

Example of referencing a table in the text

As shown in Table 1, the outcomes of the participants in the control group did not differ from the results of the intervention group.

Example of a table in Appendix section

Table 1

Outcomes of Control Group versus Intervention Group

Success level

Control Group

Intervention Group

Low

20%

30%

Moderate

30%

35%

High

50%

35%

Note: Success level shows the percentage of participants who managed to overcome the disease.

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