The American Psychological Association (APA) established writing and documentation guidelines in 1929, so readers could easily understand the major points and findings in scientific research. Today, APA Style is used across the disciplines as a standard style for academic and professional writing. APA Style helps writers think critically, communicate clearly and precisely, and document sources ethically. This tutorial on APA citations and references follows the guidelines of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association seventh edition.
What are Citations and References?
Citations and references are forms of documentation. We must document the ideas, theories, definitions, data, images, and other information in our writing that originated with other authors, researchers, and artists. For example, our work must include documentation when we quote, paraphrase, or summarize another’s ideas or when using data from others’ research. Documentation means including select information about a source “in text” and including additional bibliographic information about that source in a “reference list entry.” In APA Style, for every retrievable source cited in text, there is a corresponding reference list entry with that retrieval information.
Why Do We Document Sources?
Documentation is how we establish our credibility as researchers and writers. It is how we write ethically and with integrity. Writing often involves using the ideas, theories, definitions, data, and images of others in order to support or refute our theses. Documentation is how we give credit to others for their contributions to our work. Documenting sources also differentiates our original ideas from the source contributions and enables readers to locate the original source to learn more about it. Documenting sources with in-text citations and reference list entries also prevents plagiarism, which “is the act of presenting the words, ideas, or images of another as your own” (APA, 2020, p. 254).
APA Style in-text citations use the author-date system. In this APA Style in-text citations use the author-date system. In this system, the citation identifies a source used in the “text” (the body of a piece of writing) by providing the source’s author and the date of publication. Additional rules apply for in-text citations for varying source types and paraphrasing, but there are two primary types of in-text citations: narrative and parenthetical.
In narrative citations, the author’s name is part of a sentence and usually appears in a signal phrase that introduces the quoted, paraphrased, or summarized information. The second part of the citation, the publication year, then appears in parentheses immediately following the author’s name. Here is an example:
- Smith (2010) recognized that more online learning opportunities are needed to reach marginalized high school students and decrease the dropout rate.
When citing a quotation using a narrative citation, the author’s name is used in the sentence, the date is given in parentheses after the author’s name, and the specific part of the source where the quote appears such the page, paragraph, time stamp on a video, or bar on a graph goes in parentheses after the quote and before any punctuation. Here are two examples:
- Smith (2010) stressed, “The importance of dedicated study time for online courses is crucial for student success” (p. 3).
- In his TEDX Talk video, Mulvey (2013) said, “Time is too long. Space is too large” (6:18).
In parenthetical citations, the author-date information goes after the paraphrase in parentheses as in the following example:
- Online learning opportunities are needed to reach marginalized high school students and decrease the dropout rate (Smith, 2010).
For a quotation, the parenthetical citation contains the author and date, and it also contains the specific part of the source such as the page or paragraph number or the timestamp of a video as in this example:
- Many researchers have agreed: “Online education is a viable way to help working adults earn a college degree, but it is not for everyone” (Smith, 2010, p. 4).
An author may be an individual, multiple people, or a group such as an organization, company, or governmental agency. In an in-text citation, the format is to use the author or authors’ last names or the group author name. See No Author if a source does not specify an author.
- Individual Author: (Hannah, 2010)
- Multiple Authors: (Hannah & Lay, 2015); (Hannah, Lay, & Sleder, 2010)
- Group Author: (Hannah and Lay Company, 2020)
The URL, which stands for Uniform Resource Locator and is the web address for a source is not part of an in-text citation except in the rare cases that the URL is also the author’s name such as Drugs.com: (Drugs.com, n.d.).
Electronic Publications: Page Numbers
The in-text citation for a quotation includes the part of the source where the information is found. Page numbers are common in printed books and articles; however, for electronic sources without page numbers, you will need to provide another way for a reader to locate the original passage being quoted. The following options are acceptable:
- Paragraph number: (Mackenzie, 2018, para. 1)
- Heading or section name: (Mackenzie, 2018, Highlands section). In this example, the information being cited can be found on the source website or page under a section named “Highlands.”
- Both section and paragraph: (Mackenzie, 2018, Highlands section, para. 1)
- For audiovisual works, provide the time stamp of when the quoted words begin: (Mulvey, 2013, 6:18).
Reference List Entries
A reference list entry should be provided for each source cited in text. Reference list entries have four elements: author, date, title, and source. The “source” here is the publication where the information was published such as a website, book, or periodical. Each element of the reference answers a question:
- Author: Who is responsible for this work?
- Date: When was this work published?
- Title: What is this work called?
- Source: Where can I retrieve this work?
Reference entries and in-text citations correspond: The author or title given in the in-text citation is the first element of the reference entry. Example reference entries are provided in the Common Citations and References section of this resource. The following formatting requirements apply to the reference list:
- Label the reference list References in bold font, centered at the top of the page.
- Double-space all reference list entries. Also use double spacing within entries. Do not use additional spacing between entries.
- Reference entries are not numbered or bulleted.
- Use a hanging indent for all references, so the first line of the entry is against the left margin and subsequent lines of the entry are indented 0.5 in.
- Alphabetize the entries according to the author’s last name. If the entry does not include an author, begin the entry with the title followed by the year in parentheses, and alphabetize according to the first significant word of the title. If the title begins with the words “A,” “An,” or “The,” alphabetize using the next word in the title. Example: The title The Whales in the Ocean would be alphabetized using the letter “W” because “Whales” is the first significant word.
DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers) and URLs (Uniform Resource Locators)
Resources available online have URLs, which are web links, or DOIs, which are unique strings of numbers that provide persistent and reliable links to resources. Here are some basic guidelines for URLs and DOIs in reference entries:
- If a source has a DOI, include it in the reference entry. Some print texts also have DOIs. The DOI is often given near the copyright information at the beginning of a text.
- Present DOIs and URLs as hyperlinks in the reference entry. Hyperlinks begin http:// or https://. DOIs will begin https://doi.org/. It is acceptable to use the shortDOI® Service to shorten long DOIs and an URL shortening service such as https://bitly.com/ to shorten URLs.
- All hyperlinks should be live and may appear using the automatic formatting of the word processing program (for example in blue font and underlined), or they may appear in standard black font without an underline, but papers read online should have clickable, live links.
- Do not include additional words before the hyperlink such as “Retrieved from” or “DOI.”
Exception: If a characteristics of the source is that it is updated regularly, such a reference book with a group author (dictionary, encyclopedia, thesaurus) or a Facebook page, a retrieval date would provide valuable information to a reader who tries to locate your source and sees different content. In the reference, include the date you accessed the source in the following format for the URL element of the reference: Retrieved Month day, Year, from URL.
Common Citations and References (APA 7th Ed.)
Note: Most of the examples in this resource are fictional. Any similarities to real sources or names are coincidental.
In-Text Citation for Articles
- Parenthetical: (Jensen, 2010, p. 5)
- Narrative: Jensen (2010) stated, “The results of this global warming study are skewed to present a problem that has political pull” (p. 5).
- Parenthetical: (Jensen, 2010)
- Narrative: Jensen (2010) believes the results are being misconstrued to support a political agenda.
Reference for a blog article
Author, A. A. (Year, Month day). Title of article. Blog Title. URL
Wayne, J. M. (2010, January 3). Finding balance. Health for Life. http://wayne.blogger.com/longdays
Reference for an editorial article
Author, A. A. (Year). Title of article [Editorial]. Periodical Title, volume(issue), pages. DOI or URL
Michaels, J. C. (2020). The seeds of change [Editorial]. Nutrition Today, 10(4). 2-3. https://doi.org/10.1199/001043456787654
Reference for a journal article with a nondatabase URL
Author, A. A. (Year). Title of article. Journal Title, volume(issue), pages. URL
Jones, L. (1990). How to eat and stay slim. Journal of Healthy Living, 4(3), 120. http://journalofhealthyliving.org
Reference for a journal article without a DOI from a database__
Author, A. A. (Year). Title of article. Journal Title, volume(issue), pages.
Shultz, L. (2012). The traveling contractor. Urban Living, 3(4), 1-15.
Reference for a print journal article with no DOI or URL
Author, A. A. (Year). Title of article. Journal Title, volume(issue), pages.
Shultz, L. (2012). The life of a traveling contractor. Urban Living, 3(4), 12-15.
Reference for a print or online journal article with a DOI
Author, A. A. (date). Title of article. Journal Title, volume(issue), pages. DOI
West, B. I. (2019). A study of decisions. Academics Journal, 5(10), 152- 155. https://doi.org/12345678910
Reference for a magazine from an online research database or in print
Author, A. A. (Year, Month day). Title of article. Periodical Title, pages. URL if online
Godwit, F. L. (2008, August 12). Epic journey of the Bar-Tail. Birding Magazine, 8(1), 11-19. http://bit.ly.bar-tail-journey
Goldfinch, G. B. (2020, January 28). Bird migration: Tracking radar hampered by weather. The New Yorker. 12-13.
Note. Magazines may be published in regular issues and have volume and issue numbers like journals. Include the volume and issue if available in the format Title, Volume Number(Issue).
Reference for a newspaper article in print
Author, A. A. (Year, Month day). Article title. Newspaper Title. pages.
Fuller, C. (2009, August 17). Mismanagement of valley waterways causes havoc. The Clovis Herald, A3-A4.
Reference for a newspaper article online
Author, A. A. (Year, Month day). Title of article. Newspaper Title. URL
Brooks, D. (2008, December 27). Mental health issues raise concerns. New Brunswick Times. http://www.newbrunswicktimes.com
In-Text Citations for Audio Works
- Parenthetical: (Clements, 2011, 00:54.)
- Narrative: Clements (2011) said in his podcast, “To be terrific, you must be specific” (00:54).
Note. The citation includes the time stamp where the quoted part of the audio begins.
- Parenthetical: (Clements 2011)
- Narrative: Clements (2011) said in his podcast that precise wording is key to writing well.
Reference for a podcast
Host, H. H. (Host). (Year, Month day). Title of work [Description]. Publisher or Department Name, University Name. URL
Clements, K. (Host). (2020). Understanding documentation [Audio podcast]. Academic Success Center, Purdue Global. https://bit.ly/understandingdocumentation
Note. If an element shown in the template is not available, omit it from the reference entry.
Reference for a song or track
Artist, A. A. (Year). Title of song. On Title of album. Label. URL (if available)
Clements, K. (Host). (2020). Understanding documentation [Audio podcast]. Academic Success Center, Purdue Global. https://bit.ly/understandingdocumentation
Reference for a speech audio recording
Presenter, P. P. (Year, Month day). Title of speech [Speech audio recording]. Production Company or Site Name. URL
Kennedy, J. F. (1961). Presidential inaugural address [Speech audio recording]. American Rhetoric. https://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/jfkinaugural.htm
Books (Print or Electronic)
In-Text Citation for Books
- Parenthetical: (Martinez, 2009, p. 3)
- Narrative: Martinez (2009) said, “The way to learn APA is to use a guide as a cross-reference” (p. 3).
- Parenthetical: (Martinez, 2009)
- Narrative: Martinez (2009) said APA does not need to be memorized.
Reference for a book with an author, print or electronic.
Author, A. A. (Year). Title of work. Publisher. DOI (if it has one) or URL (if it is an e-book without a DOI)
Martinez, D. L. (2009). Writing with humor (2nd ed.). A1 Press. http//doi.org/10.1036/0091393733
Note. Print books may also have DOIs. Include the DOI if available.
Reference for a book with an editor, print or electronic
Editor, E. E. (Ed.). (Year). Title of work. Publisher. DOI (if it has one) or URL (if it is an e-book without a DOI)
Sexton, A. S. (Ed.). (2017). Transformational webinars. Simon and Schuster. https://doi.org/10.13232323232325
Reference for a chapter in a book with an editor
Author, A. A. & Author, B. B. (Year). Title of chapter. In E. E. Editor, F. F. Editor, & G. G. Editor (Eds.), Title of book (X ed., Vol. X, pp. xx-xx). Publisher.
Boone, J. A. & Cairns, C. A. (2008). Writer’s block demystified. In K. Clements, A. Sexton, & L. V. Hanson (Eds.), Writers write right (3rd ed., pp. 23-37). Genius Press.
Note. Omit missing elements from the reference entry, such as the volume number in this example.
Reference for an entry in a reference book with a group author (dictionary, encyclopedia, thesaurus)
Group Author. (Year, Month XX). Entry title. In Title of source. Retrieved Month day, Year, from URL
Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Diaspora. In Merriam-Webster.com dictionary. Retrieved February 28, 2020, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diaspora
Note. Use “n.d.” for “no date” for entries that are continuously updated.
Note. Provide a retrieval date before the URL when the site is continuously updated and does not provide a permanent, archived link (as in a Wikipedia entry reference.
Reference for a volume in a multivolume work and a book in a series
Author, A. A. & Author, B. B. (year). Title of work (Vol. X). Publisher. DOI (if it has one) or URL (if it is an e-book without a DOI)
Breiter, A. L. & Sexton, A. (1999). Writer’s block demystified (Vol. 1). Hachette Book Group. https://doi.org/10.132444463232325.
Author, A. A. & Author, B. B. (year). Title (X ed.). Publisher. DOI (if it has one) or URL (if it is an e-book without a DOI)
Mason, R. J. & Schram, B. L. (2016). Restaurant management (5th ed.). Randolph Press. https://doi.org/10.13244456782325
Reference for a Wikipedia entry
Entry title. (Year, Month XX). In Wikipedia. URL
Diaspora. (2020, February 28). In Wikipedia. https://bit.ly/wiki-diaspora
Note. Wikipedia entries have permanent, archived links. On the Wiki page, select “View History” then the time and date of the version you used. The link in the address bar will be an archived link to that version.
Classroom Discussions and Course Resources
In-Text Citation for Discussions and Course Resources
- Parenthetical: (Sullivan, 2011, para. 3)
- Narrative: Sullivan (2011) said, “Discussions help students learn from each other’s professional experience” (para. 3).
- Parenthetical: (Sullivan, 2011)
- Narrative: Sullivan (2011) believes peer-to-peer learning results from discussion forums.
Reference for a classroom discussion
Author, A. A. (Year, Month day). Title or content of the post up to the first 20 words. Site Name. Retrieved Date, from https://xxx
Sullivan, M. (2011, January 5). Prewriting feedback reflection. CM107 Unit 3 Discussion 1. Retrieved January 29, 2020, from https://purdueglobal.brightspace.com/d2l/e/40068/discussions
Note. Use a reference for internal sources only when the reader can access the source. Otherwise, cite internal sources as a personal communication with an in-text citation but no reference entry.
Reference for a course resource
Author, A. A. (Year, Month day). Title of resource. Site Name. Retrieved Date, from https://xxx
Purdue Global. (n.d.) Learning outcomes and assessment UG. Course Resources. Retrieved January 29, 2020, from https://purdueglobal.brightspace.com/d2l/le/content
Note. Include a retrieval date when a source is updated regularly and may appear different to a reader who accesses it on a different date.
In-Text Citation for Personal Communications
Quotation or Paraphrase
- Parenthetical: (D. L. Martinez, personal communication, March 5, 2011)
- Narrative: D. L. Martinez (personal communication, March 5, 2011) said, . . .
No Reference Entry
Works only accessible to an internal group that are not retrievable by other readers of your paper such as personal interviews, emails, text messages, conversations, memos, and lectures do not appear in a reference entry on the references page. These sources require an in-text citation only.
In-Text Citation for Reports
- Parenthetical: (Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office [EERE], 2019, Supplementary Information, para. 5).
- Parenthetical: (EERE, 2019, Supplementary Information, para. 5).
Note. Use brackets to enclose the abbreviation of a group author name when it is first mentioned in parentheses. Use only the abbreviation of a group author if it is well known or if the full name and abbreviation have already been used in the text.
- Narrative: The Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office (EERE, 2019) reported “The cost for propane is derived from its price relative to that of heating oil”(Supplementary Information, para. 5).
Note. When page, numbers are not given, use the part of the source that would help a reader locate the quote such as the section heading and paragraph in the above examples. The cited information came from paragraph 5 under the section heading “Supplementary Information.”
- Parenthetical: (Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office [EERE], 2019)
- Narrative: The EERE(2019) based the cost of propane on the cost of oil.
Reference for a government report with an individual author
Author, A. A. & Author, B. B. (Year). Title of report (Report No. XXX if available). Publisher. DOI or URL
Burrows, M. J. & Peter, E. (2020). What world post-Covid-19? Three scenarios. Atlantic Council. https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/in-depth-research-reports/report/what-word-post-covid-19-three-scenarios/
Note. If the report does not include a report number, omit that element from the entry.
Reference for a government report with a group or agency author
Group Author. (Year). Title of report (Report No. XXX if available). Publisher. DOI or URL
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office. (2019). Energy conservation program for consumer products: Representative average unit costs of energy (Report No. 2019-04245). US Department of Energy. https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EERE_FRDOC_0001-1398
Note. If the author and publisher are the same, omit the publisher element from the entry.
Reference or an issue brief
Author, A. A. & Author, B. B. (Year). Title of brief [Issue brief] or (Issue Brief No. XXX if available) Publisher. DOI or URL
Salas, R. N., Knappenberger, P., & Hess, J. (2018). 2018 Lancet countdown on health and climate change brief for the United States of America [Issue brief]. Lancet Countdown. https://bit.ly/2018Lancet
In-Text Citation for Social Media
Quotation or Paraphrase
- Parenthetical for individual author: (Hughes, 2020)
- Parenthetical for group author: (PG Academic Success Center, n.d.)
- Narrative for individual author: Hughes (2020) posted, “Support local businesses first! #takeouttuesday.”
Note. When quoting, include any emojis or hashtags and use the same spelling as the original post even if the spelling is incorrect.
- Narrative for group author: PG Academic Success Center (n.d.) has on its Twitter profile that “Tutors are available throughout the week to assist and support Purdue Global students with their course work.”
Reference for a post on Facebook and others
Author, A. A. or Name of Group [Username]. (Year, Month day). Content up to the first 20 words [Description of audiovisuals such as Thumbnail with link attached, Video, or Infographic] [Type of post, for example Status update, Poll, Story]. Site Name. URL or Retrieved Month XX, Year from URL if the page (Timeline, Album, Home . . .) is regularly updated
APA Style [APAStyle]. (2020, March 16). For an #APAStyle reference to a webpage, although there may seem to be no individual authors, the author is very [Thumb-nail with link attached] [Status update]. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/APAStyle/photos/a.419499744742118/4211771922181529/?type=3&theater
Reference for a page on Facebook and others
Author, A. A. or Name of Group [Username]. (Year, Month day). Page Name such as Home, Timeline, About. . .. Site Name. Retrieved Month XX, Year from URL
Purdue University Global [PurdueGlobal]. (n.d.). Home [Facebook page]. Facebook. Retrieved May 4, 2020 from https://www.facebook.com/PurdueGlobal/
Reference for a post on Twitter and Instagram
Author, A. A. [@username] or Group [@username]. (Year, Month day). Content up to the first 20 words [Description of audiovisuals such as an Infographic] [Type of Post]. Site Name. URL or Retrieved Month XX, Year from URL if an Instagram Highlight-a story featured on the Instagram profile
PG Academic Success Center [@PurdueGlobalASC]. (2020, March 23). Action plans for online learners: New video series [Thumb-nail with link attached] [Tweet]. Twitter. https://bit.ly/actionplansontwitter
Purdue University Global [@purdueglobal]. (n.d.). Study break [Highlight]. Instagram. Retrieved April 20, 2020 from https://www.instagram.com/stories/highlights/18021688519263190/
Reference for online forums
Author, A. A. [Username] or Name of Group [Username]. (Year, Month XX). Content of the post up to the first 20 words [Type of post]. Site Name. URL or Retrieved Month XX, Year from URL if referencing a page that is regularly updated.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration [nasa]. (2020, March 17). We are the NASA and university scientists who study exoplanets, the weird and wonderful planets beyond our solar system [Online forum post]. Reddit. https://reddit.com/r/space/comments/g35wtm/we_are-the-nasa-and_university-scientists_who/
Videos, Films, and Recorded Webinars
In-Text Citation for Video Works
- Parenthetical: (Lessard, 2016, as cited in Michigan DNR, 2016, 0:27)
Note. See the Primary Sources sectin of this article for more about the “as cited in format. In this example, Lessard is a primary source speaking in a vido by the Michigan DNR, which is the secondary source. Include the publication date of the primary source when available.
- Narrative: Rebecca Lessard, Founder/Director of Wings of Wonder, (2016, as cited in Michigan DNR, 2016) said, “The mission here is really about education” (0:27).
- Parenthetical: (Lessard, 2016, as cited in Michigan DNR, 2016)
- Narrative: Rebecca Lessard, Founder/Director of Wings of Wonder (2016, as cited in Michigan DNR, 2016) described the mission as one that teaches people to respect and appreciate raptors.
Reference for a film
Director, D. D. (Director). (Year). Title of work [Film]. Production Company. URL if film is accessible by an URL
Gondry, M. (Director). (2004). Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind [Film]. Anonymous Content.
Reference for a recorded webinar
Instructor, I. I. (Year, Month day). Title of work [Webinar]. Publisher. URL
Huston, T. (2020, March 17). Critical thinking and writing [Webinar]. Purdue Global Academic Success Center. https://bit.ly/asc-criticalthinking
Note. If the webinar is not retrievable at a link online, cite it as a personal communication.
Reference for a YouTube video or other streaming video
Reference for a recorded webinar (if the recording is retrievable; otherwise, cite as a personal communication.) Instructor, I. I. (Instructor) (Year, Month XX). Title of work [Webinar]. Publisher. URL
Huston, T. (Instructor). (2020, March 17). Critical thinking and writing [Webinar]. Academic Success Center, Purdue Global. https://bit.ly/asc-criticalthinking
Reference for a YouTube video or other streaming video Artist, A. A. [username]. (year, Month XX). Title [Video]. Production Company, Label, or Site. URL
Michigan Department of Natural Resources [MichiganDNR]. (2016, November 10). Wings of Wonder: Raptor education, rehabilitation and research. [Video]. YouTube. https://youtu.be/m4jgfaxfo4k
In-Text Citation for Visual Works
- Parenthetical: (Park, 2015, slide 9)
- Narrative: During her presentation, Park (2015) stated, “All parties must be equally represented at all meetings” (slide 9).
- Parenthetical: (Park, 2015)
- Narrative: Park (2015) said representation of every member is important at meetings.
Reference for a photograph
Artist, A. A. (Year). Title [Photograph]. Publisher or Site Name. URL
Cairns, C. (2015). Lilies after rain. [Photograph]. Flickr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/scotlandcairns/19461114229/
Note. Using a photograph in your work that is not yours, is not in the Public Domain, or that does not have a Creative Commons license that permits use, requires permission to use in addition to a copyright note. If you have permission to use the image or the image is licensed for sharing, include a copyright notice underneath or aligned with the image in your text. The example below shows how to cite or quote from a PowerPoint or presentation slide.
Template and Examples for a Copyright Note in Text beginning with the label “Note.“:
Note. Title and description. From (or “Adapted from” if you changed or cropped the original), Title of Image, by Name of A. Artist, Year. (URL). Copyright by Copyright Holder or Creative Common License abbreviation or In the public domain. Reprinted with permission (if permission was sought and granted).
Reference for a PowerPoint or presentation slide
Instructor, I. I. (Year, Month XX). Title [PowerPoint Slide]. Production Company or Department Name, University Name. URL
Park, L. (2011). Effective working teams [PowerPoint slides]. Bus Purdue Global. http://www.company.meetings/teams
Webpages and Websites
In-Text Citation for Webpages and Websites
- Parenthetical: (Smith & Jay, 2013, para. 10)
- Narrative: Smith and Jay (2013) are sure that the best way to “preserve nature is to plant native trees” (para. 10).
Note. When page numbers are not given, use the section heading and/or paragraph number.
- Parenthetical: (Smith & Jay, 2013)
- Narrative: Smith and Jay (2013) believe the seeds of native trees are the key to environmental salvation.
Note. Use the title in the in-text citation for a work without an author as shown below.
- Parenthetical: (Raising Roofs, n.d.)
- Narrative: Following the county’s affordable housing initiative, Raising Roofs (n.d.) reported 100 new homes have been built.
Reference for a website or webpage with an individual author
Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Year or Year, Month day if available). Title of work. Site Name. URL or Retrieved Month XX, Year from URL if website is regularly updated.
Smith, M., & Jay, J. (2013). Growing a better forest. Leelanau Trees. http://www.leelanautrees/plant-native-trees.com
Reference for a website or webpage with a group author such as an organization or company
Author. (Year, Month day). Title of page. Site Name. URL or Retrieved Month XX, Year from URL if page is regularly updated.
National Geographic. (2011a). Hybrid Cuban-American crocodiles on the rise. http://bit.ly/24ndK95
National Geographic. (2011b). Iceman’s stomach sampled – filled with goat meat. http://bit.ly/1QAf58E
Note. When using two or more sources with the same author and year, add lowercase letters after the year (2015a, 2015b, etc.). First alphabetize the references by author name and then by title to determine which is “a” and which is “b.” Then also add the letters to the corresponding in-text citations. If the site name is the same as the author, omit the site name element from the reference.
Reference for a webpage with no individual or group author
Title of page. (Year, Month XX or n.d. if a date isn’t available). Site Name. URL or Retrieved Month XX, Year from URL if citing a page that is regularly updated.
Raising roofs. (n.d.). http://www.raisingroofs.com
Sometimes there is missing information when formatting in-text citations and references. The following serves as guidance on how to handle those situations.
Missing month and/or day; missing volume and/or issue number; other missing information from template of reference citation: If a reference entry template shows to include information that is not available, omit the missing elements from the entry.
If a work does not specify an author, use the title in place of the author.
- For a paraphrase from an article with no author: (“Whales in the Ocean,” 2020)
- For a quotation from a book with no author: (Plant-Based Cooking, 2020, para. 9)
- The reference list entry for an article with no author begins with the title in sentence case (capitalizing the first word only and any proper nouns):
Whales in the ocean. (2020). Ocean Life Magazine. https://www.oceanlife.com
- The reference list entry for a book, webpage, or other whole work without an author begins with the title in sentence case and italics:
Plant-based cooking. (2020). https://www.plant-basedcookingebook.com
- Only use “Anonymous” as the author if the work specifically names the author as “Anonymous”: (Anonymous, n.d.).
If no date is provided on the source, use n.d. in the date spot for both in-text citations and reference list entries. For example, an in-text citation would look like this: (Hendrix, n.d.).
Primary Sources (“as Cited in”)
Primary sources are original reports, findings, and research studies. Secondary sources are works that refer to primary sources and other secondary sources. If you are using a secondary source for your research, and it refers to another source or a primary source, whenever possible, locate the original source of the desired quote or paraphrase. If the original source is not available, use this “as cited in” method by citing the secondary source that you have while still attributing the quote in text to the original author or source.
In-Text Citation for Primary Sources
- Parenthetical: (Wright, 2012, as cited in Bragdon, 2013, p. 223).
- Narrative: Wright’s report (2012, as cited in Bragdon, 2013) showed that “obesity research indicates people need to drink more water” (p. 223).
Note. Omit the year for the primary source from the citation if the year is unknown.*
- Parenthetical: (Wright, 2012, as cited in Bragdon, 2013).
- Narrative: Wright (2012, as cited in Bragdon, 2013) showed dehydration was a common problem for those with obesity.
Reference for the Secondary Source
Follow the template for the type of source it is. The example shows the format for a journal article without a URL or DOI.
Bragdon, A. A. (2013). Obesity research. Medical Journal 23(4), 223-227.
Note. Only list the source named after the “as cited in” phrase on the reference list.
For in-text citations, cite both names every time:
- (Rios & Sexton, 2010) or Rios and Sexton (2010) contend . . .
Note. The ampersand (&) is used between two authors when their names are written in parentheses but not when the names are written in the narrative of the sentence.
For reference list entries, cite both authors’ names (with the ampersand [&] between the names):
Rios, C. A. & Sexton, A. (2010). Fun and easy APA. Oxbow River Press.
Three or More Authors
For in-text citations, cite only the first author followed by et al.:
- (Cairns et al., 2019)
- Cairns et al. (2019) studied . . .
Note. Et al. is a Latin abbreviation for “and others.”
For a reference list entry, cite the first 20 author names. Use an ampersand (&) before the last author’s name:
Author, A. A., Author B. B., Author, C. C., Author, D. D., Author, E. E., Author, F. F., Author, G. G., Author, H. H., Author, I. I., Author, J. J., Author, K. K., Author, L. L., Author, M. M., Author, N. N., Author, O. O., Author, P. P., Author, Q. Q., Author, R. R., Author, S. S., & Author, T. T.
For 21 or more authors, use three spaced ellipsis points ( . . . ) after the 19th author and then cite the last author’s name without an ampersand (&):
Author, A. A., Author B. B., Author, C. C., Author, D. D., Author, E. E., Author, F. F., Author, G. G., Author, H. H., Author, I. I., Author, J. J., Author, K. K., Author, L. L., Author, M. M., Author, N. N., Author, O. O., Author, P. P., Author, Q. Q., Author, R. R., Author, S. S., . . . Author, W. W.
Authors With the Same Surname
If you have two or more different sources that have authors with the same surname, include the author’s first name initial in the in-text citation for the source used even if the date is different like this: (D. Martinez, 2001).
A narrative citation would look like this:
- D. Martinez (2001) disagreed with S. Martinez (2003) in the findings . . .
In the reference list, D. Martinez would be alphabetized before S. Martinez.
Same Author and Year
To tell references and in-text citations apart when the author and year are the same, add lowercase letters after the year (2011a, 2011b, etc.). On the references list, first list the references in alphabetical order by the authors’ last names, then alphabetize the references by the title to determine which is “a” and which is “b.”
Hood, R. M. (2011a). Where do I place commas? [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/123comma
Hood, R. M. (2011b). The writing process [Video]. YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/abc-thewritingprocess
Then, add the letters to the corresponding in-text citations: (Hood, 2011a) (Hood, 2011b).
Sample Title Page
Sample Title Page for Student Papers n APA Style
Notes on this sample title page for student papers:
- In the header of the document at the right margin, insert the page number.
- In the upper half of the page, three to four lines down from the header, provide the title of the paper in bold, Title Case.
- Double-space the title page and entire paper, adding an additional double-spaced line between the title and the “byline”—author name.
- Provide the byline and related information in regular font. First provide the author’s name and affiliated university.
- Next, provide the course number and name (Course Number: Name), the professor for the course, and due date.
- Always check with your instructor about additional information required on this page.
Sample Text Page
Sample Text Page for a Student Paper in APA Style
Notes on this sample text (body) page for student papers:
- The font should be the same throughout the paper. A default word processing font such as 11-point Calibri is recommended. Other acceptable fonts are 11-point Arial, 12-point Times New Roman,10-point Lucida Sans Unicode, 11-point Georgia, or 10-point Computer Modern.
- Use 1-in. (2.54-cm) margins all around.
- The text should align with the left margin and be uneven along the right margin with one space between words and after punctuation.
- Double-space the entire paper without extra spacing between paragraphs.
- Indent the beginning of each paragraph 0.5 in., which is typically one click of the Tab key.
Sample Reference List
Sample Reference List for Student Papers in APA Style
Notes on this sample reference list for student papers:
- The reference list begins on a new page at the end of the paper before any tables or appendices.
- The right margin of the header provides the page number, continued from the previous page.
- The word References is centered on the first line under the header in bold font.
- The citations are formatted using a “hanging indent” where the second and subsequent lines are indented 0.5 in. under the first line in order to improve readability.
- Double-space the reference list, including within a reference entry.
- Two or more works by the same author are ordered chronologically by publication date.
- References with the same first author and a different second author are alphabetized by the second author.
American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association: The official guide to APA style (7th ed.). https://doi.org/10.1037/0000165-000
© 2020 by Purdue Global Academic Success Center and Writing Center
Download blog articles and resources for personal use or share PG Academic Success and Writing Resources and Blog articles on Twitter, Facebook, or other social media. Visit our @askasc Youtube channel for complete video playlists. Please contact us for permission to distribute any content in a classroom or as handouts. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to reference this resources in APA Style 7th Ed.
Purdue University Global Academic Success Center and Writing Center. (2020). Common citations and references in APA style (7th ed.). Purdue Global Academic Success and Writing Resource Center and Blog. https://purdueglobalwriting.center/common-citations-and-references-in-apa-style-7th-ed