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Cite Your Sources: APA

Tools for creating bibliographies in MLA, APA, Chicago, and other styles.

APA - American Psychological Association

APA format is a citation style created by the American Psychological Association. It is used for research papers in many college classes, including Social Science classes. The style manual for APA is the sixth edition of  Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association by American Psychological Association Staff.


General guidelines for an APA References page:

  • Center the word References one inch from the top of the page on a new page at the end of the paper.
  • Double-spacing is used between, as well as within, each entry.
  • Use a hanging indent: begin the first line of each entry at the left margin, and indent all subsequent lines of an entry one-half inch (5 spaces).
  • List reference sources alphabetically by author’s last name. If the source has no author, alphabetize by the first significant word in the title ignoring A, An, or The.
  • List author by last name, then a comma, followed by first and second initials (if available).
  • Put the publication year in parentheses ( ) following the author(s)’ name(s).
  • Use italics for titles of books, journals, newspapers, encyclopedias, or reference books.
  • Capitalize only the first word and any proper nouns in the title.
  • Include the city, state, and publisher for books; use the state two-letter postal abbreviation. 
  • Separate the author(s)’ name(s), the date (in parentheses), the title, and the publication information with periods.

In-text parenthetical citations: Whenever you use a quotation, a paraphrase, or a summary, you should give the author’s last name (or the title if no author is included) and the year in parentheses; if no date is provided, use the abbreviation “n.d.” for no date. You should also add the page number if you are using a quotation from a printed source. A parenthetical source for a quotation from a printed source might look like this: (Hammond, 2010, p. 42).

Reference page entry:

Mallon, T. (1989). Stolen words: Forays into the origins and ravages of plagiarism. New York, NY: Ticknor and Fields.

Parenthetical/In-text Citation: (Mallon, 1989) or (Mallon, 1989, p. 13), if a direct quotation is used.

If the author is not named in the signal phrase, place the author’s name, the year, and the page number in parentheses after the quotation. Example:  Bolton (2010) pointed out that students who do not use libraries often find frustration in their research efforts (p. 74).

For more examples, consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (2010).

    BOOKS (Print):

Book by one author:

Mallon, T. (1989). Stolen words: Forays into the origins and ravages of plagiarism. New York, NY: Ticknor and Fields.

Book by two or more authors:

Lathrop, A., & Foss, K. (2000). Student cheating and plagiarism in the internet era. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited.

Book with no author listed (start with the title):

Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). (2010). Washington, DC: American Psychological


Article from a reference book (if no author is listed, start with the title)

Cooper, J. M. (1998). Socrates. In Routledge encyclopedia of philosophy (Vol. 9, pp. 8-19). New York, NY: Routledge.

Entry in an online reference work:

Graham, G. (2005).  Behaviorism.   In E.N. Zalta (Ed.), The Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy (Fall 2007 ed.). Retrieved


Book with an organization as the author:

American Psychiatric Association. (2015). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-5 (5th ed.).

        Washington, DC: Author.

An article or chapter in an edited book (anthology):

Crews, H. (2009). Why I live where I live. In G.H. Muller, & H.S. Wiener (Eds.), The short prose reader (12th ed.)

         (pp. 307-310). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill.


    BOOKS (Online):

E-book (from library catalog):

Schmid, D. (2014). Natural born celebrities: Serial killers in American culture. Retrieved from


Article from a journal (if no author is listed, start with the title)

Giaquinto, R. A. (2009-2010). Instructional issues and retention of first-year students. Journal of

         College Student Retention, 11(2), 267-285. 

(Note: “11” is the volume number, and “2” is the issue number.)

Article from a magazine (if no author is listed, start with the title)

 Posnanski, J. (2009, December 28). The running back, the cheerleader, and what came after the greatest college football

         game ever. Sports Illustrated, 111(26), 58-64.

Article from a newspaper (if no author is listed, start with the title)

 Nearing, B. (2009, December 16). State energy plan: Less is more. Times Union [Albany, NY], pp. D1-D2.

ARTICLES (Online):

NOTE:  As of the 6th edition (2010) of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, online articles from library databases no longer require the name of the database nor the date retrieved. If the article is easily findable in a library database, it is cited in the References page as if it were the print edition.

Article (with a digital object identifier number) from a database:

Ohman, A., &  Mineka, S. (2001, July). Fears, phobias, and preparedness: Toward an evolved module of fear and fear

        learning. Psychological Review, 108(3), 483-522.doi:10.1037//0033-295X.108.3483

Article from a database without a doi:

Weeks, J. (2013, February 22). Coastal development. CQ Researcher, 23(8), 181-204.  Retrieved from


Webpage (if no author is listed, start with the title)

             Article from the web without a doi:

Freshman retention rate. (2014). U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved from


Web page (if no author is listed, start with the title):

              Harris, R. (2002, March 7). Anti-plagiarism strategies for research papers. Virtual Salt. Retrieved from




Eastwood, C. (Director). (2004). Million dollar baby [Motion picture]. United States: Warner Brothers.



What is a digital object identifier, or doi?

A digital object identifier (doi) is a unique alphanumeric string assigned by a registration agency ( the International DOI Foundation) to identify content and provide a persistent link to it's location on the Internet. The publisher assigns a doi when the article is published and made available electronically.

We recommend that when doi's are available, you include them for both print and electronic sources. The doi is typically located on the first page of the electronic journal, near the copyright notice. The DOI will be included in the citation of articles found in our databases.