APA Citation Style Guide

A guide from the Landmark College Library, updated for the 6th edition (© 2010)

APA Style

  • American Psychological Association’s Style of citing sources
  • Usually used in social and behavioral sciences papers (such as psychology papers)
  • Explained fully in The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th Edition.  
    (You can ask for this manual at the Front Desk for use in the Library.)

Download a printer-friendly version of this APA Citation Style Guide [PDF].


Table of Contents


In-Text Citations

 

References List

A References List is the list of the sources you used to write your paper.  Place this list at the end of your paper on its own page(s).

  • Title your list References
  • List your sources alphabetically by author.
  • Double-space your References List.


Indenting

Indent the second and subsequent lines of each citation.  Use a hanging indent to indent this way.

Here’s how:

1.  Place your cursor at the beginning of the second line of your citation.

2.  Click on the bottom triangle (not the rectangle!) of the ruler near the top of the screen.

3.  Drag the bottom triangle to the half-inch mark (see below):


Books

Basic Format for Books

Last name, First Initial. (Year). Book title: Subtitle. (Edition) [if other than the 1st]. Place: Publisher.

        

One Author

Brader, T. (2006). Campaigning for hearts and minds: How emotional appeals in political ads work. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.


Two Authors

Elder, L. & Paul, R. (2006).The miniature guide to the art of asking essential questions. Dillon Beach, CA: Foundation for Critical Thinking.


Three Authors

Miller, T. E., Bender, B. E., & Schuh, J. H. (2005). Promoting reasonable expectations: Aligning student and institutional views of the college experience. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.


Essay or Chapter in an Edited Book   (2 versions)

1) For essays published for the first time:

Basic Format

Essay Author’s Last name, First Initial. (Year). Essay title. In Editor’s First Initial Last Name (Ed.), Book title (pp. # - #). Place: Publisher.

 

Specific Example

Weinman, J. & Kleinfield, J. (2006).  Do schools perpetuate a gender bias?  In W. Traverner (Ed.), Taking sides: Clashing views on controversial issues in human sexuality (pp. 114-120).  Dubuque, IA: McGraw-Hill Education.
 

2) For essays reprinted from another source (e.g., essays in an anthology or coursepack):


Basic Format

Essay Author’s Last name, First Initial. (Year of book). Essay title as the book names it, not as the original source names it. In Editor’s First Initial Last Name (Ed.), Book title (pp. # - #). Place: Publisher. (Reprinted from Name of Journal, Year, Volume#, page#-page#)


Specific Example

Milgram, S. (2007). The perils of obedience. In W. F. Schulz (Ed.), The phenomenon of torture: Readings and commentary (pp. 110-119). Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press. (Reprinted from Harper’s, December 6, 1973, 246, 62-66, 75-77)

 

Special Note About In-Text Citations for Reprinted Essays:

Cite both years in your in-text citations, like this:

(Last Name, newest year/oldest year)

(Milgram, 2007/1973)

         

Book, Corporate Author

American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed., text revision). Washington, DC: Author.


eBook from NetLibrary
(accessed via the Landmark College Library Catalog)

Moshman, D. (2005). Adolescent psychological development: Rationality, morality, and identity (2nd ed.) [NetLibrary Online Reader version]. Retrieved from http://www.netlibrary.com


Encyclopedia Entry

Basic Format

Author’s Last name, First Initial. (Year). Article Title. In Encyclopedia title. (Vol. #, pp.# - #). Place: Publisher.

  • (If no author is given for the entry, place the title in the author position.)
  • (You do not need to include an edition statement if the encyclopedia is a first edition.)

Example

Perez, Jr., L. (2005). Cuba. In The world book encyclopedia. (Vol. 4, pp. 1168-1179). Chicago: World Book.


Periodicals

What’s the difference between magazines and journals?

Magazines  

  • glossy cover and pages                                                                                                                                                                        
  • includes advertisements
  • many photos and graphics
  • easier to read
  • catchy, even sensational article titles
    • of general interest (Newsweek)
    • trade or technical interest (PC World)
    • business interest (Forbes),
    • or political interest (The Nation)                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Journals (some generalizations)

  • dull cover and pages
  • few or no advertisements
  • few or no photos and graphics
  • harder to read
    • more jargon/technical terms
    • assumes the reader is a member of the journal's profession or discipline
  • informative article titles of scholarly interest for members of a specific professional field


Basic Format for Periodical Articles

Last name, First Initial. (Year, Month Day). Article title. Magazine/Journal/Newspaper Title. Volume number(Issue number*), Page numbers, inclusive (the page numbers of the entire article).

*You only need the issue number for journals in which each issue is paged separately.


Magazine Article, Monthly

White, C. (2006, April). The spirit of disobedience. Atlantic, 312(1871), 31-40.


Magazine Article, Weekly

Tumulty, K.  (2006, April 10).  Should they stay or should they go? Time, 167(15), 3-40.


Anonymous Author (Magazine or Journal)

Class distinctions. (2006, April). Psychology Today, 39(2), 21.
 


Journal Article, with All Issues for a Volume Paged Consecutively

Newman, J. L., Fuqua, D. R., Gray, E. A., & Simpson, D. B.  (2006). Gender differences in the relationship of anger and depression in a clinical sample.  Journal of Counseling & Development, 84, 157-161.


Journal Article, with Each Issue Paged Separately  (Include Issue Number)

Knotts, H. G.  & Haspel, M. (2006). The impact of gentrification on voter turnout.  Social Science Quarterly 87(1), 110-121.



Newspaper Article (use pp. for page numbers of newspaper articles)

Chavez, L.  (2006, March 30).  American dreams, foreign flags.  The New York Times, pp. A25.


Newspaper Article, Anonymous Author

Religious leaders protest House immigration bill.  (2006, April 11).  The Keene Sentinel, pp. 2.



Articles from Online Databases

Journal, Magazine, or Newspaper Article from an Online Database

The 6th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association has simplified the process for citing articles from online databases.


Basic Format for an Online Database Article

Author’s Last Name, First Initial. (Year, Month Day). Article title. Magazine/Journal/Newspaper Title, Volume number(Issue number), Page numbers. Retrieved from URL of database home page


Specific Example (from the Academic Search Premier database)

Denhart, H.  (2008). Deconstructing barriers: Perceptions of students labeled with learning disabilities in higher education. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 41, 483-497.  Retrieved from http://web.ebscohost.com


A Note about APA Citations Created by Databases

Many databases provide APA-style citations for you. 

Look for words like “Citation” or “Cite” near options to print and save.  Many of these citations are in the older, 5th edition of APA style.  Using this older style may be fine, because if anything, the older version provides even more information than the newer version.  It’s really up to your professor or publisher, so check with them.  You can always simply copy and paste the citation from a database and then simplify it to the 6th edition format — you’ll already have all the information you need in the copied 5th edition format.

  • Follow the appropriate citation format (journal, magazine, or newspaper). 
  • Then after the page numbers, add the following information:

1.  The words “Retrieved from”

2.  The URL for the homepage of the article database

For example, an article from the database General OneFile has this URL:

http://find.galegroup.com/gtx/start.do?prodId=GRGM

Cite only the home page URL (the part ending in .com or .org):

http://find.galegroup.com


Abstract from an Online Database

  • Follow the appropriate citation format (journal, magazine, or newspaper). 
  • Then after the page numbers, add the following information:

1.  The words “Abstract retrieved from”

2.  The URL for the homepage of the article database

For example, an abstract from the database General OneFile has this URL:

http://find.galegroup.com/gtx/start.do?prodId=GRGM

Cite only the home page URL (the part ending in .com or .org):

http://find.galegroup.com

 

Basic Format for an Online Database Article Abstract

Author’s Last Name, First Initial. (Year, Month Day). Article title. Magazine/Journal/Newspaper Title, Volume number(Issue number), Page numbers. Abstract retrieved from URL of database homepage


Specific Example (from the Academic OneFile database)

Haddad, A. D. M., Umoh, G., Bhatia, V. & Robertson, M. M.  (2009). Adults with Tourette's syndrome with and without attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 10(4), 299-308. Abstract retrieved from http://find.galegroup.com


CQ Researcher
Articles

Articles from the online version of the CQ Researcher are cited as if they are an online version of a magazine article.  You can access the full citation of the article by simply clicking the Cite Now button at the top of the first page. 

Please note: CQ Researcher still cites their articles in the style of the older, 5th edition of APA Style, which is usually still legitimate.  If you (or your professor) need or prefer the 6th edition way of citing, then use the example below. The citation will appear in a separate window from which you may copy and paste the citation directly into your bibliography.

If you prefer to construct the citation on your own in 6th edition APA style, here’s how:

Basic Format for a CQ Researcher Article (Online version)

Last name, First Initial. (Year, Month Day). Article title. The CQ Researcher, Volume number, Page numbers. Retrieved from http://library.cqpress.com


Annual Editions
Articles

Articles from the Reference series Annual Editions are reprints of articles from magazines, newspapers or journals. 

Therefore, your citation must show that you got the article from Annual Editions and that the article originally appeared elsewhere in a magazine, journal or newspaper.  You treat these articles like the “Essays reprinted from another source (e.g. essays in an anthology or coursepack)” from page 4 of this guide.


Basic Format for an Annual Editions Article

Author’s Last Name, First Initial. (Year). Article title. In Editor’s First Initial Last Name (Ed.), Annual Editions: Volume title (pp. # - #). Guilford, CT: Dushkin/McGraw-Hill. (Reprinted from Magazine/Journal/Newspaper Title, pp. # - #, Year, Month Day)

 

Specific Example

Underwood, A. & Adler, J. (2006). Diet and genes. In D. Klimis-Zacas (Ed.), Annual Editions: Nutrition (pp. 63-65). Guilford, CT: Dushkin/McGraw-Hill. (Reprinted from Newsweek, pp. 40-48, 2005, January 17)

Editor(s): Listed on the title page in the front of the Annual Editions volume.

Reprint info: Listed at the bottom of the first page of the article.

Special Note about In-Text Citations for Annual Editions Articles:

Cite both years in your in-text citations, like this:

(Last Name, newest year/oldest year)

(Underwood & Adler, 2006/2005)



Websites
/ Web Pages


Basic Format for a Web Page

Author, Institution, Company, or Organization Responsible for the Website (if available).  (Year, Month Day website was last updated). Title or description of page. Retrieved Month Day, Year you visited the website, from: URL (address of website)

Author:  Sometimes the person or group responsible for the web page is hard to determine, but it’s important that you figure it out.  Check the top and bottom of the web page.  Then check the top and bottom of the home page.  Then look for a link like “About.”  A library staff person would be happy to help you discover who the author is.


Specific Example

LD Online.  (2006). Speech and language milestone chart. Retrieved April 11, 2006, from: http://www.ldonline.org/ld_indepth/speech-language/lda_milestones.html


Videos

Basic Format for a Motion Picture (Movie)

Producer’s Last Name, First Initial (Producer), & Director’s Last Name, First Initial (Director). (Year). Video title [Motion picture]. Country of Origin: Name of Movie Studio.
 

Specific Example for a Motion Picture (Movie)

Bregman, M. & Elfand, M. (Producers), & Lumet, S. (Director). (2006). Dog day afternoon [Motion picture]. United States: Warner Home Video.

 

Basic Format for a Non-Fiction Video

Producer’s Last Name, First Initial (Producer). (Year). Video title [DVD/VHS]. Available from URL of the publisher of the video
 

Specific Example for a Non-Fiction Video

Harrison-Hansley, M. & Sussman, A. (Producers). (2005). Living with ADHD [DVD]. Available from http://www.films.com


Images

Basic Format for an Electronic Image

Author (Role of Author). (Year image was created). Title of work [Type of work], Retrieved Month Day, Year, from: URL (address of website)


Basic Format for an Electronic Image (No Author)

Title of work [Type of work]. (Year image was created). Retrieved Month Day, Year, from: URL (address of website)

 

Basic Format for an Electronic Image (No Author, No Title, No Date)

Many images found on the Web are of this category, but you should still look for this missing information: try clicking on the image, and/or looking at the bottom of the image.

[Subject and type of work]. Retrieved Month Day, Year, from: URL (address of website)

 

Specific Image Examples

Kulbis, M. (Photographer). (2006). Men pray [Photograph], Retrieved April 12, 2006, from: http://accuweather.ap.org/cgi-bin/aplaunch.pl

Japanese Geisha [Photograph]. (2006). Retrieved April 10, 2006, from: http://www.bergoiata.org/fe/divers28/10.htm

 [Untitled photograph of a baby chimpanzee]. Retrieved April 12, 2006, from: http://perso.wanadoo.fr/jdtr/struc/chimp3.htm


Same Author, Different Works

  • List in chronological order, oldest source first.
  • If both sources are from the same year, list them in alphabetical order by title.

Barkley, R. A. (2006). Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: A clinical workbook (3rd ed.). New York: Guilford Press.

Barkley, R. A. (2008). ADHD in adults: What the science says. New York: Guilford Press.


In-Text Citations


To Paraphrase:

  • Cite only the last name of the author (or if a website, cite the author, organization, institution, or company responsible for the website).
  • Cite the year of the source.
  • Within a paragraph, the second (or third, etc.) time you cite a source, don’t list the date.
  • Cite the page number for books and multipage articles (but not for websites).
  • Use the past tense to explain what an author did: (studied something; found something, etc.) or the present perfect tense: (has studied something; has found something, etc.).


Examples

One Author

Smith (2006) studied how racism affects biracial college students (p. 62).

OR

In a recent study of racism, biracial college students reported receiving prejudice from both racial groups to which they belonged (Smith, 2006, p. 62).


Two Authors

Jones and Rogers (2006, p. 123) found that stress can adversely affect sleep.

OR

Stress can adversely affect sleep (Jones & Rogers, 2006, p. 123)


Three to Five Authors

First mention of source:

Miller, Bender, and Schuh (2006, p. 56) hypothesized that student expectations prior to enrollment would strongly influence their experiences of college life.

OR

In an experiment to examine the impact of expectations on the experiences of first-year college students, researchers compared institution characteristics and student background characteristics with expectations of campus activities and the campus environment (Miller, Bender, & Schuh, 2006, p. 52-53).

Second mention of source (Omit the year if this is the second mention within the same paragraph):

Miller et al. were surprised to find a low correlation between time spent preparing for class and gains in general education and intellectual skills (2006, p. 59).

OR

Their experiment found little correlation between time spent preparing for class and gains in general education and intellectual skills (Miller et al., 2006, p. 59).


Web Pages: In-Text Citations

List:

  • the heading of the section or the title of the web page
  • the date of the page
  • the number of the paragraph following it


Web page title example

Twice as many women than men receive a diagnosis of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (Anxiety Disorders Association of America, 2009, “Statistics and Facts about Anxiety Disorders,” para. 3).


Section heading example

In their online information booklet, Panic Disorder, a Real Illness, the National Institutes of Mental Health state that the disorder usually starts between the ages of 18 and 24 (2006, When Does Panic Disorder Start? section, para. 1).

NOTE: When section headings or web page titles are too lengthy to cite in full, shortening them is preferred.  The original heading title for the above example was “When does panic disorder start and how long does it last?”

Citing a source cited in your source

  • You’ve read and you're citing Author A.
  • Author A cites Author B.
  • You haven’t read Author B, but you want to cite Author B.

Here’s what you do:

1.  List Author A (who you read) in the References List.  Don’t list Author B there.

2.  In your text, use the following citation:

Author B’s study (as cited in Author A, Year) or (Author B, Year, as cited in Author A, Year)

OR

Find, read, and cite Author B as its own source (the preferred option, according to APA).

 


To quote a source directly

  • Cite only the last name of the author (or, if a website, cite the author’s last name, or the name of the organization, institution, or company responsible for the website).
  • Cite the year of the source.
  • Cite the page numbers (with a p. or pp.) after the date (but for websites, see box below).
  • If your quote contains a quote, use single quotation marks (‘’) around the shorter quote.


Example

Although there is some debate concerning the prevalence of the cluster of symptoms labeled ADHD, Barkley & Murphy (2006) maintain that “there is little doubt that the disorder is virtually universal among human populations” (p. 7).

Website/Web Page Quoting Examples

List the heading of the section or the title of the web page and then the number of the paragraph following it.


Web page title example

For persons with dyspraxia, gross motor coordination difficulties can include “poor posture and fatigue” resulting from inadequate muscle tone (Dyspraxia Foundation, 2009, “Symptoms,” para. 2).


Section heading example

The National Center for Learning Disabilities (2006) estimates that “dyspraxia affects at least 2% of the general population to some degree and about 70% of those affected are male” (What is dyspraxia? section, para. 1).

NOTE: When section headings, web page, or online article titles are too lengthy to cite in full, shorten them.

Online Database Articles, Quoting Examples


Articles in PDF format

Quote like any article or book, because the original pagination is preserved.

 

Articles in HTML format

The pagination has changed from the original printed article. 

List the heading of the section and then the number of the paragraph following it.

 

HTML article example

In one study of parents of children with newly diagnosed specific learning disabilities showed that "these parents regard five facets (leisur [leisure] > pfeel [positive feelings] > energy > esteem > sex) as important contributors to their overall [quality of life]" (McCutchan, Logan, & Biangardi-Orpe, 2009, Limitations and conclusion section, para. 2).

NOTE:

  • When article titles or section headings are too lengthy to cite in full, shorten them.
  • In any quote, brackets represents words that you and not the authors inserted, or words that you modified for clarity, or in the case of [...] words were omitted for brevity.



When your quote is longer than 40 words

  • Start the quote on a new line.
  • Indent the entire quote by 5 spaces (½ of an inch if you use the ruler in Microsoft Word—see box below for instructions).
  • Don’t use quotation marks.
  • Double-space the quote (just like the rest of the paper).
  • Use brackets enclosing elipses […] to represent omitted text.
  • If your quote contains a quote, use double quotation marks (“ ”) around the shorter quote.
  • Place the last period before the in-text citation (the opposite of what you do for shorter quotes).


Example of a long quote

Elder and Paul (2006) explain the difference between absolutists and relativists:

Some people, dogmatic absolutists, try to reduce all questions to matters of fact. They think that every question has one and only one correct answer. Others, subjective relativists, try to reduce all questions to matters of subjective opinion. They think that no question has correct or incorrect answers but that all questions whatsoever are matters of opinion […] Neither absolutist nor relativist leaves room for what is crucial to success in human life: matters of reasoned judgment. (p. 10)

        

How to indent a long quote

  1. Place your cursor at the beginning of the quote.
  2. Click on the bottom rectangle on the ruler near the top of the screen.
  3. Drag the bottom rectangle to the half-inch mark (see below)

 

To quote a source more than once within a paragraph

  • The first time you quote a source in a paragraph, follow the examples above.
  • The second and subsequent times you quote that source within the same paragraph, only include the page number in parentheses. (You don’t need the name and year.)

Example

It can be helpful to sort questions into categories when analyzing virtually any issue. Elder & Paul (2006) offer three categories: “Questions of Procedure,” “Questions of Preference,” and “Questions of Judgment” (p. 9). Questions of Procedure are generally unarguable and call for fact or definition, such as “How many democratic administrations have there been in the U.S. since 1829?” or “What is a coalition government?” The answers to Questions of Preference are open-ended and as varied as individual values, such as “How would I live differently if I took the ideas of this author seriously?” (p. 37). Questions of Judgment require “reasoning, but with more than one arguable answer” or “the best answer within a range of possibilities” (p. 9). An example from the field of political science is: “Is democracy the best form of governance?”  This latter category of questions is most challenging, as it calls for the intellectual virtues of dispositions of humility, courage, empathy, integrity, perseverance, confidence in reason, and autonomy (p. 43-44).

 

Need an example not listed here?

Go to the Front Desk and ask for The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th Edition
A library staff person would be happy to help you find your example.