APA 6th Edition
Selected Guide to Citing Resources
The American Psychological Association (APA) rules for citing resources used in research papers are provided in pages 193-224 of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association Sixth edition. Copies of this book are available at the University Bookstore and behind the Reference Desk (4th floor of the Wilson Wing in Z. Smith Reynolds Library).
When citing resources, consider these important APA Format Issues.
When citing electronic documents, the goal is to direct readers to the information being cited. Reference specific documents rather than home or menu pages and provide URLs. For additional information on how to cite electronic resources appropriately, please refer to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.) or the American Psychological Association’s APA Style Help page.
Consider the information here only as a starting point. If you encounter a case not covered in these examples, you are expected to consult the book for the correct answer.
Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, & Books
- Dictionary Entry or Encyclopedia Article
- Books with an Editor
- Book (single author)
- Book (two authors)
- Article in an Edited Book
Journals, Magazines, Newspapers, & Newsletters
- General Format for Citing Journals, Magazines, Newspapers, and Newsletters
- Scholarly Journal Article Without DOI (when DOI is not available)
- Scholarly Journal Article With DOI (seven authors)
- Magazine Article
- Newspaper Article
- Newspaper Article, Web Version
References in Text
APA Format Issues
- All APA citations should be double spaced.
- The first line of an APA citation should be flush with the left margin. All other lines should be indented.
- Only the first and middle initial of author name(s) are used in APA [e.g. Smith, J.A.]
- Multiple authors are separated by an ampersand (&) not the word ‘and.’
- The publication date follows the author name(s) and is contained in parentheses [e.g. Smith, J.A. (2004)]
- Capitalize ONLY the first word of the title of a book or article, the subtitle, and proper nouns. Exception: Capitalize every important word in journal titles.
- Italicize titles of books and journals and the volume number of journals. DO NOT italicize or put quotation marks around the title of a book chapter or article in a journal.
- If the book has a subtitle, put a colon between the main title and the subtitle. Subtitles must be included in the citation.
- Give the location (city and state) where the publisher is located for books, reports, and other nonperiodical publications. Use the official two-letter U.S. Postal Service abbreviations. For cities outside the United States, spell out the country names. See p. 186-187.
- Include the digital object identifier (DOI) assigned to a source even if the print is available. DOIs may be searched using the registration agency CrossRef.org which will give you access to any online supplemental archives associated with the article.
- If you retreived a journal article electronically and there is no DOI, give the URL of the journal home page. If the journal is available in print, there is no need to include the URL.
- Usually, database information is not included as part of the citation. However, if a document is difficult to locate through its primary publishing channels, give the home page URL for the online service. Many ERIC documents and discontinued items in JSTOR meet this criteria. See pp. 189-192.
- Do not end the citation with a period if you include the URL.
Dictionary Entry or Encyclopedia Article
Note: If an entry has no author listed, place the title in the author position.
To cite an entire dictionary, use the following form:
To cite an entry in an online reference work (not from a subscription database):
Books with an Editor
Note: Use (Ed.) or (Eds.) to indicate editor(s). For major reference works with a large editorial board, list the name of the lead editor, followed by et al.
Book (single author)
Book (two authors)
Note: When authors number eight or more, include the first six authors’ names, then insert three ellipses, and add the last author’s name.
Article in an Edited Book
General Format for Citing Journals, Magazines, Newspapers, and Newsletters
Scholarly Journal Article Without DOI (when DOI is not available)
Note: If the pagination of each issue begins with page one, include the issue number in parentheses after the volume number. If the article is available through an online journal found on the Web, include the URL of the journal homepage. A retrieval date is not needed. See pp. 189-192.
Scholarly Journal Article with DOI (seven authors)
Note: If there are eight or more authors, list the first six authors’ names, then insert three ellipses, and add the last author’s name.
Note: If the entry does not have an author listed, place the title in the author position. If the pages are not continuous, give all page numbers separated with a comma (e.g., pp. E1, E2, E4-E6).
Newspaper Article, Web Version
Government Web Sites
Web Site with No Author or Page Numbers
Note: If no date is given, put n.d. in the parentheses.
Document on a Larger Web Site
Note: If a document is contained within a complex Web site (such as that for a university or a government agency), identify the host organization and the relevant program or department (if it is not listed as the author) before giving the URL for the document itself. Precede the URL with a colon.
Citing References in Text
Quoting from a source
Use the author-date format to cite references in text. When quoting directly from a source, include the author’s name, year of publication, and page number. For example:
Research shows that "questioning can have a positive effect on learning" (Campbell & Mayer, 2009, p. 756).
Provide the author’s last name and year of publication. For example:
Duncan (2006) found that students are more motivated and engaged when they use clickers to respond to questions.
Conceptual change is a trademark in teaching chemistry (Duit, 1996).
In 2005, Harris conducted a study that included over 500 students.