Guide to Citing in APA

Guide to Citing in APA

APA Citation Guide

About APA Style…

When editors or teachers ask you to write in "APA style," they are referring to the editorial style used most commonly in social and behavioral sciences.  This is the appropriate presentation for written materials in psychology, sociology and theology.  Following an editorial style helps ensure clear and consistent usage of punctuation, abbreviations, tables, headings, references, and statistics.

APA citation style puts an emphasis on the author and date of a work.  For a comprehensive overview of APA citation, you can also consult The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.

Regarding Reference Lists…

References cited in-text must always appear in the reference list and vice versa.

End of paper reference lists must be alphabetized and double-spaced with a hanging indent:

The following cities can be listed without a state because they are well known for publishing: Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Jerusalem, London, Milan, Moscow, Paris, Rome, Stockholm, Tokyo, and Vienna.

The correct form of abbreviation must be used in reference lists:





Rev. ed.

Revised edition

2nd ed.

second edition

Ed. (Eds.)

Editor (Editors)




no date

p. (pp.)

Page (pages)


Volume (as in Vol. 4)


Volumes (as in 4 vols.)





Tech. Rep.

Technical Report




When using APA citation for printed journals, periodicals, magazines, newspapers, etc., the following formats apply.  General Form:  Author, A. A., Author, B. B. & Author, C. C. (yyyy). Title of article. Title of periodical, xx, pp-pp.

  • For periodicals, use volume, issue and page numbers.
  • If there is continuous pagination throughout a volume: only cite the volume number (in italics), followed by a comma and then the page numbers: 20, 344-367.
  • When appropriate, indicate the issue number in parentheses after the volume, followed by a comma and the page numbers referenced in your work: 51 (3), 23-33.


Gorgy, V. (1990). AIDS and women of color. Families in Society, 75, 355-361.


Thomas, R., Van Reyk, P., & Spencer, N. (2011). Improving the working environment for workers in children’s welfare agencies. Child & Family Social Work, 6(7), 161-174.

Magazine Articles:

Bovey, J. (2011, June 15). Tell the kids to fib: A U.S. agency says laws are needed to protect children’s privacy online. Time, 151, 19.

Newspaper Articles: (Note: Newspaper citations include p. or pp. before the actual page numbers.)

Roseland, M. Insurance plans make light of requirements on mental health. (1978, December 58). The New York Times, p. A3.

Books, Etcetera

General Form:    Author, A. A. (yyyy). Title of book. Location: Publisher.

Authored Books:

Kirby, B. (2013). How the U.S. bungled its national priorities from the New Deal to the present. New York: Columbia University Press.

Edited Books:

DeGata, A.R. (Ed.). (2007). Caring and doing for others: Social responsibility in the new millennium. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Article or Chapter in an Edited Book (Note: Chapter citations from edited books should include p. or pp. before the page numbers, all contained within parentheses.)

McCullough, B. A. (2006). On-site school-based mental health clinics: 10 years of experience in Chicago, Illinois. In A.H. Hines, & L. T. Doyle, (Eds.), Adolescent psychoanalysis: Development and clinical studies, (pp. 76-104). Hillsdale, NJ: The Analytic Press.

Doctoral Dissertations:

General Form:   Author, A. A. (yyyy). Title of doctoral dissertation or master's thesis (Doctoral dissertation or master's thesis). Retrieved from Name of database.  (Accession or Order No.)

Web-Based Materials

Most common APA citation of this form is the online journal article with a digital object identifier or DOI citation.  (Note: If no DOI is available, use: Retrieved from: http://www.xxxxxxx.)  General form: Author, A.A. & Author, B.B. (yyyy). Title of article. Title of Periodical, xx, pp-pp.  doi:xx.xxxxxxxxxx.

Scholarly Journal Article:

Kaufman, W. M. & Haskin, C. C. (2010). The impact of domestic violence on three types of child maltreatment. Child Abuse & Neglect, 74, 869-880. doi:10.1016/S0145-2134(01)00244-7. 

Web-Based Magazine Article:

Pricket, J. (2009, July). Science vs. ideology: Psychologists fight back about the misuse of research. Monitor on Psychology, 60(6). Retrieved from  


Rogers, H.N. (yyyy). Title of book [eReader version]. Retrieved from http://www.xxxxxxxxxx.
U.S. Government Report found on a government agency website:

National Institute of Urban Mental Health. (2012). The NICHD study of early child care. Retrieved from

Report from an organizational website:

Annie E. Casey Foundation. (2013). Juvenile detention alternatives initiative: White Paper. Retrieved from

In-Text Citations


Author named in text:

Community psychologist Alfred Adler (1989) describes the "purification process" whereby "threatening or painful dissonances are warded off to preserve intact a clear and articulated image of oneself and one's place in the world" (p. 34).

Author named in parentheses:

The tendency to come to terms with difficult experiences is referred to as a "purification process" whereby "threatening or painful dissonances are warded off to preserve intact a clear and articulated image of oneself and one's place in the world" (Adler, 1989, p. 34).

Varying the format of your in-text citation:

Roger (2004) stated in her dissertation…

In a recent dissertation regarding community service (Roger, 2004)…
In a 2004 dissertation, Roger stated…


One work, multiple authors:

When a work has two authors, always cite both authors' names in your text:

        Significant findings in a study of urban gangs (Petén & O'Keefe, 2011)

When a work has three, four or five authors, cite all authors the first time:

        (Gaff, Hani, Frescos & Land, 2003)

In subsequent citations, include the last name of the first author, followed by et al. (Note: one period and no italicization), and the year.  (Taylor et al., 1992)

Groups as authors:

First text citation: (National Association of Female Executives, 1990)

It is okay to abbreviate subsequent text citation: (NAFE, 1991)

Works with no authors:

When there is no author, the first few title words may be used.  Place double quotation marks around the title of any article or chapter, and italicize the titles of periodicals, printed books, brochures or reports:

The policy stated in the article (“Services for Abused Children,” 2013)

The policy stated in the book Access to Services for Abused Children (2013)

Specific parts of a source:

Indicate the page, chapter, figure, table, or equation at the appropriate point in your text. Provide page numbers for direct quotations.  It is okay to use abbreviations for the words “page” or “chapter:”

(Veranda & Jupiter, 2012, p.82)

(Glassman & Vasquez, 2013, chap. 10)

Personal communications

Today, it is acceptable to use emails, threaded discussion groups, electronic bulletin boards, personal interviews, phone conversations, and social media references in citations.  Always provide initials and the surname of communicator and an approximate date of the reference.  Note that unless a personal communications can be accessed by the reader, it does not need to appear in your concluding reference list.

(H. Ross, personal communication, August 12, 2012)

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