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Selected Guide to Citing Resources

The American Psychological Association (APA) rules for citing resources used in research papers are provided in pages 215 – 281 of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. 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 (5th ed.) or APA Online – Electronic Resources.


Electronic Documents

Web Sites

APA Format Issues

  1. All APA citations should be double spaced.
  2. The first line of an APA citation should be flush with the left margin. All other lines should be indented.
  3. Only the first and middle initial of author name(s) are used in APA [i.e. Smith, J.A.]
  4. Multiple authors are separated by an ampersand (&) not the word ‘and.’
  5. The publication date follows the author name(s) and is contained in parentheses [i.e. Smith, J.A. (2004)]
  6. Capitalize ONLY the first word of the title of a book or article, the subtitle, and proper nouns.
  7. 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.
  8. If the book has a subtitle, put a colon between the main title and the subtitle. Subtitles do need to be included in the citation.
  9. If the place of publication is a well-known city (New York, London, Chicago, Paris, etc.) you do not need to put the state or the country. If, however, it is a lesser-know city or if there are more than one major city by that name, you do need qualifying information. Birmingham, for example could mean Birmingham England or Birmingham, AL, so you would need to indicate which one. See p. 230-231.
  10. If you use the electronic version of a book, journal, etc., you must cite the electronic version.

Dictionary Entry or Encyclopedia Article

Lumiansky, R. M. (1998). Chaucer. In The new encyclopaedia Britannica (Vol. 15, pp. 745-748). Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica.

To cite an entire dictionary, use the following form:

Smith, A. D. (Ed.). (2000). Oxford dictionary of biochemistry and molecular biology (Rev. ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.

Note: If an entry has no author listed, place the title in the author position. To cite an entire reference work, use the appropriate book format below.

Books with an Editor

Tannen, D. T. & Saville-Troike, M. L. (Eds.). (1985). Perspectives on silence. Norwood, NJ: Ablex.
Sadie, S. & Tyrrell, J. (Eds.). (2000). The new Grove dictionary of music and musicians (2nd ed., Vols. 1-29). New York: Grove.

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)

Angelou, M. (1969). I know why the caged bird sings. New York: Random House.

Book (two or three authors)

Sennett, R. A., & Cobb, J. R., Jr. (1972). The hidden injuries of class. (3rd ed.). New York: Vintage Books.

Note: Use the order of authors listed on the title page (not necessarily alphabetical). For books with more than six authors, list the first author followed by "et al."

Online Book (E-Book)

Smith, G. E. (2004). Control and security of e-commerce. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. Retrieved September 6, 2004, from NetLibrary database.

Article in an Edited Book

Cassel, J. A., & Zambella, B. (1996). Without a net: Supporting ourselves in a tremulous atmosphere. In T. W. Leonhardt (Ed.), "LOEX" of the West: Teaching and learning in a climate of constant change (pp. 75-92). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.

Scholarly Journal Article (one author)

Bergsten, F. C. (2002). A renaissance for U.S. trade policy? Foreign Affairs, 81(6), 86-99.
Brown, E. A. (1996). The lake of seduction: Silence, hysteria, and the space of feminist theatre. JTD: Journal of Theatre & Drama, 2, 175-200.

Scholarly Journal Article (two authors)

Griffin, M. R. & Neuzil, K. M. (2002). The global implications of influenza in Hong Kong. The New England Journal of Medicine, 347(26), 2159-2162.

Scholarly Journal Article (three to six authors)

Rallings, C., Thrasher, M., & Borisyuk, G. (2003). Seasonal factors, voter fatigue and the costs of voting. Electoral Studies, 22(1), 65-79.

Note: After the sixth author’s name, use et al. to refer to the remaining authors of the article.

Magazine Article

Gawande, A. L., & Tedford, R. E. (2001, July 9). The man who could not stop eating. New Yorker, 77, 66-75.

Newspaper Article

Gorman, J. (2003, August 29). Researchers say they’ve identified the kind of mercury in fish. The New York Times, p. A17.

Note: If the entry does not have an author listed, place the title in the author position.

Daily Newspaper Article, electronic version

Broad, W. J. (2006, November 3). U. S. web archive is said to reveal a nuclear primer. New York Times. Retrieved November 3, 2006, from http://www.nytimes.com

Electronic copy of a Journal Article retrieved from a database

Garcia, J. G., Cartwright, B., Winston, S. M., & Borzuchowska, B. (2003). A transcultural integrative model for ethical decision making in counseling. Journal of Counseling & Development: JCD, 81(3), 268-277. Retrieved September 15, 2003, from ProQuest database.

General Formats for Citing Internet Sites

Online Periodical

Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (2000). Title of article. Title of Periodical, vol. #, page #s. Retrieved month day, year, from source.

Other Online document

Author, A. A. (2000). Title of work. Retrieved month day, year, from source.

Stand-alone Web Site

National Park Service. Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site. (2006, July 24). Retrieved November 3, 2006, from http://www.nps.gov/abli/

Note: If no date is given, put n.d. in the parentheses.

Document available on larger Web site

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 August 24, 2000, from Columbia University, Institute for Learning Technologies Web site: http://www.ilt.columbia.edu/publications/papers/ newwine1.html

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 before giving the URL for the document itself. Precede the URL with a colon.

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