APA Style Guide
The documentation style recommended by the American Psychological Association (APA) is widely used for writing in the social sciences.
The current 7th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association is available:
- When paraphrasing or quoting an author directly, you must credit the source in the text.
- The list of works cited is called “References”
- Alphabetize the references by author last name
- For any one reference, give all author names up to and including 20 authors
- When there are 21 authors or more, include the first 19 followed by three dots, followed by the name of the last author
References to sources in electronic format contain the same elements in the same order as do references to print sources, with the addition of retrieval information such as a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) or URL so that the reader can locate the source.
- The retrieval date is only necessary if the content you are citing is likely to change, such as preprint journal articles, or undated content from the Web
- If a document has a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) assigned to it, include that URL in the reference
- If there is no DOI, include the URL of the document
- If no date is given for a resource, add n.d. for no date.
The in-text citation is a brief reference within your text that indicates the source you consulted. It should properly attribute any ideas, paraphrases, or direct quotations to your source and should direct readers to the associated entry in the reference list.
An in-text citation consists of the author’s name and publication year in parentheses:
Example: (Winkleman, 2009).
Authors Name in the sentence
If the author is named in the sentence, use just the publication year in parentheses.
Example: “As a leading expert in the subject, Winkleman (2009) asserts that…”
Add the page number when using a direct quote.
Example: (Winkleman, 2009, p. 134).
Article From a Journal, Magazine or Newspaper
ARTICLE FROM A PRINT JOURNAL OR A RESEARCH DATABASE
Rowe, J. R. (2009). Nuclear power in a carbon-constrained world. Daedalus, 138(4), 81-92.
ONLINE JOURNAL ARTICLE
Brown, J. D., Sintzel, J., St. Arnault, D., & George, N. (2009). Confidence to foster across cultures: Caregiver perspectives. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 18(6), 633 -642. https://doi:10.1007/s10826-009-9264-z
Dvorak, P. (2009, May 30). On the street and on Facebook: The homeless stay wired — Mr. Pitts lacks a mailing address but he’s got a computer and a web forum. Wall Street Journal, p. A-1.
NOTE: If the article is from an online newspaper, include the article URL instead of the page number.
E-books and Print Books
Note: if the book is an e-book with a DOI, include the URL in place of publisher
Winkleman, M. (2009). Culture and health: Applying medical anthropology. Jossey-Bass.
Two to 20 authors
Robnett, R. H., & Chop, W. C. (2010). Gerontology for the health care professional. Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
Note: When there are 21 authors or more, include the first 19 followed by three dots, followed by the name of the last author
CHAPTER IN AN EDITED BOOK
Hart, L. A. (2006). Community context and psychosocial benefits of animal companionship. In A. H. Fine (Ed.), Handbook on animal assisted therapy (pp. 73- 94). Elsevier.
Note: add either the publisher or the URL at the end.
Note: this example also demonstrates and editor and an edition of the book, if these elements are not present do not add them.
Arthritis Foundation. (2012). Exercise and arthritis. http://www.arthritis.org/exerciseintro.php
American Psychological Association. (Producer). (2008). Assessing alcohol problems using motivational interviewing [Film; educational DVD].
Note: You can add the writer, directors, host, producers, composer or artist as the author.
Cain, S. (2012). The Power of introverts (Video). TED Conferences. https://www.ted.com/talks/susan_cain_the_power_of_introverts/up-next?referrer=playlist-the_most_popular_talks_of_all&language=en
Doctorow, C. (2019, September 24). At the UN, Greta Thunberg excoriates world leaders and her elders for climate inaction. Boing Boing. https://boingboing.net/2019/09/24/the-house-is-on-fire.html
Rooks, J. (Host). (2019, November 6). Conserving Maine’s islands: What’s being done to protect Maine islands from climate change & threats [Audio podcast episode]. In Maine Calling. Maine Public. https://www.npr.org/podcasts/381443550/maine-calling
Demeo, A. E. (2013). A three pronged approach to community scale renewable energy: Education, incremental capital investment and smart grid technology (Publication No. 3575461). [Doctoral dissertation, The University of Maine]. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED555885
Note: If the dissertation is from a research database, use the database name instead of a URL.
Despres v. Moyer, 827 A. 2d 61 (S.C. ME 2003).
NOTE: For information on preparing legal references, the APA refers writers to the latest edition of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation.
Questions & Help
If you have questions about APA style, librarians are here to help!