APA 5th Edition
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.
- Dictionary Entry or Encyclopedia Article
- Books with an Editor
- Book (single author)
- Book (two or three authors)
- Online Book (E-Book)
- Article in an Edited Book
- Scholarly Journal Article (one author)
- Scholarly Journal Article (two authors)
- Scholarly Journal Article (three to six authors)
- Magazine Article
- Newspaper Article
- Daily Newspaper Article, electronic version
- Electronic copy of a Journal Article retrieved from a database
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 [i.e. 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 [i.e. Smith, J.A. (2004)]
- Capitalize ONLY the first word of the title of a book or article, the subtitle, and proper nouns.
- 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 do need to be included in the citation.
- 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.
- If you use the electronic version of a book, journal, etc., you must cite the electronic version.
Dictionary Entry or Encyclopedia Article
To cite an entire dictionary, use the following form:
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
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 or three authors)
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)
Article in an Edited Book
Scholarly Journal Article (one author)
Scholarly Journal Article (two authors)
Scholarly Journal Article (three to six authors)
Note: After the sixth author’s name, use et al. to refer to the remaining authors of the article.
Note: If the entry does not have an author listed, place the title in the author position.
Daily Newspaper Article, electronic version
Electronic copy of a Journal Article retrieved from a database
General Formats for Citing Internet Sites
Other Online document
Stand-alone Web Site
Note: If no date is given, put n.d. in the parentheses.
Document available on 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 before giving the URL for the document itself. Precede the URL with a colon.