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Citing Sources in APA (American Psychological Association) Style
General Information about citing in APA
APA citation style is typically used by the sciences and psychology.
Current copies of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association can be found in the library book stacks, or on RESERVE at the Circulation Desk. Call number: BF76.7 .P83 2010.
• A book citation must always include author(s), title (and subtitle), city of publication, publisher, and date of publication. Other necessary elements, if applicable, include editor, translator, edition, revision, and volume number.
• An article citation must always include author, title (and subtitle) of article, title of journal/magazine, date of publication, volume/issue number, and page numbers.
• Capitalize the first letter of the first word of the title and any sub-titles (indicated by a colon) and all proper nouns.
• Titles of books and journals are always italicized.
• States are not necessary unless the city is not well known. Use postal abbreviations for states.
Specific Information about in-text citations
In APA Style, quotations and borrowed phrases are indicated as such within the text, with the author's name and page number cited in parentheses. This pattern is used instead of footnotes or endnotes.
When quoting or paraphrasing an author, begin the sentence by including the author's name followed by the date of publication in parentheses. At the end of the quote or paraphrase, include the page number(s) in parentheses. See example below.
- According to Carey (2008), while "fire exits provide patrons with escape routes in the case of an emergency, they also provide thieves with multiple exits, many of which are unwatched by staff" (p. 133).
If the name of the author is not included within the sentence, include the author's name and the publication year at the end of the sentence with the relevant page number(s). For example:
- While "fire exits provide patrons with escape routes in the case of an emergency, they also provide thieves with multiple exits, many of which are unwatched by staff" (Carey, 2008, p. 133).
To cite a publication with two authors, include both authors' last names either within the sentence or in parentheses at the end of the sentence.
For publications with 3-5 authors, include the last name of each author the first time the publications is cited. For subsequent citations include only the last name of the first author and the phrase et al.
For publications with 6 or more authors, list the name of the first author followed by the phrase et al. for all citations.
Specific Information about the Reference List
• The reference list is arranged in alphabetical order by authors’ last names.
• In each citation, the authors' last names always come first, followed by their initial(s). Names of subsequent authors are separated by a comma, and the final author is preceded by an ampersand (&).
• Authors' first and middle names are never spelled out in APA style. Initials are always used for first and middle names.
• Second and all subsequent lines are always indented.
Sample Reference List Citations
When formatting a citation in APA style, pay particular attention to italics, punctuation, indentation, and capitalization.
Many more samples of citations presented in the APA style can be found in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. Please consult this book or a librarian for help with unusual resources.
All of the following samples are taken from:
American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.).
- Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
(In the above sample, the name of the organization is the author. Note that only proper names are italicized in the title, and the edition number follows the title.)
Book with an Editor:
Robinson, D. N. (Ed.). (1992). Social discourse and moral judgment. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
Note: italicize the title of the book and do not capitalize any words in titles except the first word, proper names and after a colon. Use the author's or editor's initials only for first and middle names.
Scholarly Article (with multiple authors):
Calvo, M. G., & Lang, P. J. (2004). Gaze patterns when looking at emotional pictures: Motivationally
- biased attention. Motivation and Emotion, 28(3), 221–243.
Note: Do not set off the title of the article with quotes, italics, underlines, or capital letters (except for the first word, proper names or after a colon). Italicize the title of the journal and capitalize all keywords in the title of the journal. This sample includes the volume number (65), which is italicized to set it of from the page numbers, and issue number (4) in parentheses. Do not italicize the issue number. Provide the DOI when available for electronic documents. Note authors' names, indentations, spare use of capital letters, page numbers, and use of periods and commas.
Popular Article (with two authors):
Kandel, E. R., & Squire, L. R. (2000, November 10). Neuroscience: Breaking down scientific barriers to the study of
- brain and mind. Science, 290, 1113-1120.
Note: Do not set off the title of the article with quotes, italics, underlines, or capital letters (except for the first word, proper names, or after a colon). Italicize the title of the magazine and capitalize all keywords in the title. Italicize the volume number to set it off from the page numbers.
Schwartz, J. (1993, September 30). Obesity affects economic, social status. The Washington Post, pp. A1, A4.
Note: Do not set off the title of the article with quotes, italics, underlines, or capital letters (except for the first word, proper names or after a colon). Italicize the title of the newspaper and capitalize all keywords in the title of the newspaper.
Chou, L., McClintock, R., Moretti, F., & Nix, D. H. (1993). Technology and education: New wine in new bottles:
- Choosing pasts and imagining educational futures. Retrieved from http://www.ilt.columbia.edu/publications
Note: Italicize the title of the website but do not capitalize any words except the first, proper names, and the first word following a colon.
Publication manual of the American Psychological Association 7.07
If map is within a book, cite as In Title of book after [Type of map].
Cite primary contributors in the Author's space followed by their contributing role in parentheses.
Other forms for [Type of map] include:
- [Demographic map]
- [Topographical map]
- [Road map]
- Use (n.d.) for No date.
Title of map. (Year). [Type of Map]. Publisher Location: Publisher.
- Road Map:
- Plattsburgh, Clinton County: Dannemora, Peru, Keeseville, Champlain, Rouses Point, New York
- State, 3rd ed. (1999). [Road map]. Clifton Park, NY: Jimapco.
- Topographical Maps:
- Berlin, N.Y. - Mass. - VT. (1988). [Topographical map]. Reston, VA: U.S. Geological Survey.
- Online Map:
Follow the map citation guidelines as above, but also include a stable URL where the map is found.
- Title of map. (Year). [Type of Map]. Retrieved from http://xxx.xx
- Manhattan sightseeing map. (2010). [City map]. Retrieved from http://www.ny.com/maps/shopmap.html
- MTA Metro-North railroad. (2010). [Railroad map]. Retrieved from http://www.mta.info/mnr/html/mnrmap.htm
- MTA New York City subway. (2010). [Subway map]. Retrieved from http://www.mta.info/nyct/maps/submap.htm
Charts or Graphs
Since the APA manual does not give direct information for citing every type of source, including charts or graphs, they instruct you to follow the example that is most like the source you are trying to cite. Be sure to provide enough information so your readers can locate the source on their own. When possible provide author or creator, year of publication, title, and publishing and/or retrieval data. When citing a chart, graph or map it may be best to follow the citation style for the format in which the information is presented.
All captions for charts should follow the guidelines below for captions for figures.
Captions for Figures (Charts, Graphs, and Maps): Publication manual of the American Psychological Association 5.20-5.25
All captions should be labeled as Figure followed by a number. The caption should begin with a descriptive phrase and include a citation to the original source and copyright information at the end.
Figure 1. Relations between trust beliefs and school adjustment at T1 and loneliness changes during development in early childhood. All paths attained significance at p> .05. Adapted from “The Relation Between Trust Beliefs and Loneliness During Early Childhood, Middle Childhood, and Adulthood,” by K. J. Rotenberg, N. Addis, L. R. Betts, A. Corrigan, C. Fox, Z. Hobson, & … and M. J. Boulton, 2010, Personality and social psychology bulletin, 36, p. 1090. Copyright 2010 by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc.
More examples and samples of papers written using the APA style can be found at the following websites:
APA Style.Org The APA's official website, as excerpted from the 5th edition.
Citation Styles An all purpose web site from Bedford/St. Martin's publishers. It is contained in Online: a Reference Guide to Using Internet Sources.
OWL : Online Writing Lab Online APA style manual on the Purdue University's Writing Lab's website.
Slate Citation Machine Excellent tool for citing sources in MLA and APA style. Simply fill in the form for the type of source you are citing, I.E. a book, journal article, web site etc. and this tool will show you the way to cite the reference. Be careful of your capitalization.
Additional Information for Citing Special Sources:
- Citation Generators: