How to cite using APA
Instead of Chicago/Turabian's end or foot notes, APA employs modern (parenthetical) citation style that is
similar to MLA. Hence, APA (2001) handles attributions for quotations, paraphrasing, and references in a
1. Parenthetical: APA relies on in-text citations within the narrative. You either place the author's last
name and year together in parenthesis at the end of a sentence (APA, 2001)--or, more frequently,
incorporate the author's last name as part of the narrative and immediately attach the (year of publication):
e.g., Stielow (1999) noted that...
Multiple works by the same author in the same year are indicated by a lower case
letter after the year--(2004a), next (2004b)...
Quotations call for the addition of pagination at the end of the quote (p. #) and can take
o Author mentioned: According to Shakespeare (1598), "The quality of mercy is
not strained" (pp. 63-64).
o Author not mentioned: As indicated, "If they prick me, do I not bleed"
(Shakespeare, 1598, p. 82).
Paraphrasing does not require the addition of pagination indicators, but these are
Personal Communications indicate by (Last name of sender, format [e-mail, letter,
interview], Date [mm dd, yyyy])--e.g., (Nowicke, e-mail, June 1, 2006). Note: Do not
include this type of citation in the Reference List.
2. Reference List: The second element is a separate bibliographic section. This normally appears on a
new page after the end of your contents. It provides detail about the in-text citations and any other key
resources that you used for the composition. As mentioned, entries are double spaced with the top line
justified to the left. Additional lines should technically be indented; however, most ignore this printing
convention as unsuited for word processing and, especially, the Web. Instead, the trend is to leave the
entire citation left-justified. The bulk of your specific needs should be simply met.
Article in Journal: Last name, Initials. (yyyy of journal volume). Article title. Journal,
volume number, pages--e.g., Roy, A.J. (1982). Suicide in chronic schizophrenia. British
Journal of Psychiatry, 96, 171-177.
Book: Last name, Initials. (yyyy published). Book title. Place of Publication: Publisher--
e.g., Stielow, F. J. (2003). Building Digital Archives. New York: Neal-Schuman.
o Article, Poem, Chapter in Edited Book: Last name, Initials. of chapter author
(yyyy published). Chapter title. In Editor's last name, Initials (ed.). Book title (pp.
xx-xx). Place of Publication: Publisher.
Book Review: Review author. (year). Review of Title, in Journal
Government Documents--Can cover a number of genre, See:
o University of Memphis's Uncle Sam's Brief Guide to Citing Government
o Arizona State University Libraries' DocsCite Automated Government Documents
citation in APA & MLA styles
3. Citing Electronic/Web Resources: If pagination has been retained, resources that you find in the
Online Library may be cited as though they were in print. However, you may want to refer to the
electronic source or have to refer Web pages that don't have Title pages or copyright information. In such
cases, APA mandates as much of "the same elements, in the same order, as you would for a reference to a
fixed-media source, and add as much electronic retrieval information as needed for others to locate the
sources you cited." The electronic retrieval information is added to the end of the citation.
If the materials is likely to change, you should include date of retrieval--e.g., Retrieved
Preferably add a DOI (Document Object Identifier) or, if not available the URL--e.g.,
For further information:
o APA & Electronic Media--or see excerpts below.
o APA Style Guide to Electronic Resources is available for purchase in electronic
Elements to Include in References to Electronic Sources (Excerpts)
Introduction: ... Although the publisher's geographical location and name are included in references to
nonperiodicals retrieved in print or other fixed media, these elements are generally not necessary in
references to materials retrieved electronically. If the publisher identity is not clear from the author
name, URL, database name, or other reference information, include it as part of the retrieval statement.
For journal articles, always include the journal issue number (if available) along with the volume
number, regardless of whether the journal is paginated separately by issue or continuously by volume.
This change in reference style from the fifth edition of the Publication Manual is intended to make the
format for journal article references more consistent.
Consistency in reference style is important, especially in light of new technologies in database
indexing, such as automatic indexing by database crawlers. These computer programs use algorithms to
capture data from primary articles as well as from the article reference list. If reference elements are out
of order or incomplete, the algorithm may not recognize them, lowering the likelihood that the reference
will be captured for indexing. With this in mind, follow the general formats for placement of data, and use
common sense to decide which data are necessary to allow readers to access the sources you used.
Retrieval date. The date an electronic source was retrieved is important if the content you are citing is
likely to be changed or updated. When no fixed publication date, edition, or version number can be cited,
the retrieval date offers a snapshot of the content at the time of your research.
For undated or otherwise changeable content retrieved from the open Web, as well as in-
preparation, in-press, or preprint journal articles, include the retrieval date. No retrieval date is
necessary for content that is not likely to be changed or updated, such as a journal article or book. See
the Example References section in the APA Style Guide to Electronic References for more guidance on
when the retrieval date is and is not needed.
Name and location of a source. Direct readers as closely as possible to the source you used. Along with
this general principle, consider these guidelines for citing sources:
1. All content on the Internet is prone to being moved, restructured, or deleted, resulting in broken
hyperlinks and nonworking URLs in the reference list. In an attempt to resolve this problem, many
scholarly publishers have begun assigning a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) to journal articles and other
A DOI is a unique alphanumeric string assigned by a registration agency to identify content and provide
a persistent link to its location on the Internet. When a DOI is available, include the DOI instead of the
URL in the reference. Publishers who follow best practices will publish the DOI prominently on the first
page of an article. Because the DOI string can be long, it is safest to copy and paste whenever possible.
Provide the alphanumeric string for the DOI exactly as published in the article. When your article is
published and made available electronically, the DOI will be activated as a link to the content you are
The DOI may be hidden under a button labeled "Article," "Cross- Ref," "PubMed," or another full-text
vendor name. Readers who wish to look up the source can then link to either the actual article, if they
have authorized access, or an abstract and an opportunity to purchase a copy of the item
2. With the exception of hard-to-find books and other documents of limited circulation delivered by
electronic databases, the database name is no longer a necessary element of the reference. This change is
made in the interest of simplifying reference format. If you do include the database name in a reference,
do not include the database URL.
3. Test URLs in your reference list at each stage prior to the submission and/or publication of your work.
If the document you are citing has moved, update the URL so that it points to the correct location. If the
document is no longer available, you may want to substitute another source (e.g., if you originally cited a
draft and a formally published version now exists) or drop it from the paper altogether.
4. Give the home or menu page URL for works whose full text is accessible by subscription only.
5. Give the home or menu page URL for reference works, such as online dictionaries or encyclopedias.
6. Give the home or menu page URL for online material presented in frames. Frames are used in
programming code to allow a Web page to be divided into two or more independent parts, with the result
that several disparate items may share the same URL. Test your URLs in a fresh browser session or tab
to be sure they lead directly to the desired content. If they do not, reference the home or menu page
D. Other Resources
As indicated, the APA Web site offers good support. It features regular updates, clarifications, and
background--as well as a link for purchasing. Other useful sites include:
Professor M. Plonsky of the University of Wisconsin at Steven's Point, Psychology with Style
Purdue University's Online Writer's Lab's APA Guide
University of Wisconsin's Writing Center's APA Documentation
Automated Citations: Many of the Online Library's databases on the Deep Web sites provide formal
citations as an automated byproduct. You can also purchase programs to help with such formatting, or try
one of the following free conversion services.
Citation Machine, http://citationmachine.net/
DocsCite, Arizona State University Libraries' Automated Government Documents citation in
APA & MLA styles,
Landmark's Citation Machine in APA and MLA styles
Ottobib, Automatically converts from ISBNs (International Standard Book Number) to APA,
MLA, Chicago Bibliographic style
Rapidcite.com, for APA, MLA, & Chicago Style Manuals