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APA Style Guide - 7th edition

A guide to APA style

Author

The author or creator can be an individual, multiple people, or group (ex. institution, government agency, organization). 

The basic format for citing the author is:

Author, A. A. 

Example: 

Quick, J. D. (2018). The end of epidemics: The looming threat to humanity and how to stop it. St. Martin's Press. 

(Hint:  Do not use highlighting in your reference list.)


Scroll through the subsequent tabs, above, for information about how to cite various kinds of authors.  


For more details see pages 285–289 in the APA Manual.

When there are two authors you will include BOTH names

  • Whoever is listed first in your source will be the first person on your citation. 
  • Separate the two authors with a comma and an ampersand (&).
Author, A. A., & Author, B. B.

Example:

Manjívar, C., & Lakhani, S. M. (2016). Transformative effects of immigration law: Immigrants' personal and social

     metamorphoses through regulation. American Journal of Sociology121(6), 1818–1855.

     https://doi.org/10.1086/685103

(Hint:  Do not use highlighting in your reference list.)


For more details see pages 285–289 in the APA Manual.

List up to and including 20 authors.  

  • Whoever is listed first in your source will be the first person on your citation. 
  • Add an ampersand (&) before the last author's name. 
  • Use commas to separate authors and end with a period. 
Author, A. A., Author, B. B., Author C. C., & Author, D. D.

Example:

Orchowski, L. M., Creech, S. K., Reddy, M. K., Capezza, N. M., & Ratcliff, T. (2012). College women's perceived risk

     to experience sexual victimization: A prospective analysis. Violence and Victims, 27(2), 194–214. 

(Hint:  Do not use highlighting in your reference list.)


For more details see pages 285–289 in the APA Manual.

A group author may be a government agency, a corporation, an institution, an organization, a committee, or any other group whose individual members are not identified. 

  • Spell out the full name of a group author; do not abbreviate or use acronyms. 
  • If the author is also the publisher, do not repeat the name in the source element as the publisher.  
  • If the author is a government agency, use the most specific agency (e.g., National Cancer Institute not U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) in the author element. 
Name of Group. 

Examples: 

National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). Opioid facts for teens. U.S. Department of Health and Human

     Services, National Institutes of Health. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/opioid-facts-teens 

United Nations. (1991). Consequence of rapid population growth in developing countries. Taylor and Francis.

(Hint:  Do not use highlighting in your reference list.)


For more details see pages 288–289 and 329–331 in the APA Manual.

If you have scoured your source but cannot find an author, use the title in the author position. 

  • Start the citation with the title (followed by a period) before the publication date.
  • Only if the work is signed Anonymous, use Anonymous as the author.  
  • Capitalize only the first word or title, subtitle or proper nouns. 
Title in author position. 

Examples:

Asthma sourcebook. (2016) Omnigraphics. 

Anonymous. (2017). 

(Hint:  Do not use highlighting in your reference list.)


For more details see pages 285–289 and page 306 in the APA Manual.

For authors on a Webpage or Website:

  • If you cannot find an author, try looking on an About Us or Acknowledgements page. 
  • If the author and site name are the same, omit the site name from the source element. 

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. 

Name of Group. 

Example: 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020, April 13). Use of cloth face coverings to help slow the spread

     of COVID-19. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html

(Hint:  Do not use highlighting in your reference list.)


For more details see pages 350–352 in the APA Manual.

For authors on social media: 

  • Do not alter spelling or capitalization.

Twitter and Instragram:

Author, A. A. [@username].

Name of Group [@username]. 

Example: 

Trump, D. [@realDonaldTrump]. (2017, January 3). I will be having a general news conference on JANUARY

     ELEVENTH in N.Y.C. Thank you. [Tweet]. Twitter. Retrieved January 7, 2020, from

     https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/816433590892429312

Facebook, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and others:  

Author, A. A. 

Name of Group. 

Name of Group [Unsername].

Username. 

Example: 

The White House. (2020, April 17). Home [Facebook page]. Facebook. Retrieved April 29, 2020, from

     https://www.facebook.com/WhiteHouse

(Hint:  Do not use highlighting in your reference list.)


                     For more details, see pages 348–350 of the APA Manual. 

The author of an audiovisual work is determined by the media type. 

 

Media Type Include as author Author Name
Film Director Director, D. D. (Director).
TV series Executive producer(s) Producer, P. P. (Executive Producer). 
TV series episode Writer and director of episode Writer, W. W. (Writer), & Director, D. D. (Director). 
Podcast Host or executive producer Host, H. H. (Host). or Producer, P. P. (Executive Producer).
Podcast episode  Host of episode Host, H. H. (Host). 
Webinar Instructor Instructor, I. I. 
Classical music album or song Composer Composer, C. C. 
Modern music album or song Recording artist Recorder, R. R. 
Artwork Artist Artist, A. A. 
Online streaming video Person or group who uploaded the video Uploader, U. U. 
Photograph Photographer Photographer, P. P. 

Examples:

Benioff, D., &  Weiss, D. B. (Executive Producers). (2011–2019). Game of thrones [TV series]. HBO.

van Gogh, V. (1889). Starry night [Painintg]. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, United States.   

(Hint:  Do not use highlighting in your reference list.)


For more details see pages 341–352 in the APA Manual.

Date

  • Enclose the date of publication in parentheses, followed by a period.
  • Most references use only the year, but
  • use more specific dates for works published often (e.g., year, Month day for newspapers).
  • Capitalize months and seasons.
  • Do not capitalize no date (n.d.) with no space between the letters. 

(year). 

(year, Month day).

(year, Month).

(year, Season).

(range–of dates).

(no date).

Examples:

(2017).

(2015, January 25).

(2003, Winter).

(n.d.).

(Hint:  Do not use highlighting in your reference list.)


Scroll through the subsequent tabs, above, for information about how to properly format dates.  


For more details see pages 289–291 in the APA Manual.

Include a retrieval date if the work is likely to change over time.

  • Most references do not include retrieval dates. 
  • Retrieval dates appear before the URL. 
  • For works that may change over tme, but have an archived version, a retrieval date is not needed because the archived version of the article is stable and can be retrieved, e.g., Wikipedia articles.  
  • Retrieval dates are in the source element, usually at the end of the reference. 

 

Retrieved Month day, year, from https://xxxxx

Example:

Retrieved September 30, 2020, from https://xxxxx

(Hint:  Do not use highlighting in your reference list.)


For more details see page 290 and page 329 (for a Wikipedia entry) in the APA Manual.

 

Title

The title of a work falls into two categories: 

  • works that stand alone, e.g., whole books, films, TV series, podcasts, websites, social media, reports, disserations and theses, etc.;
  • works that are part of a larger whole, e.g., journal articles, edited book chapters, TV episodes, podcast episodes, etc. 

For works that stand alone (whole works) like a book, a film, or a website:

  • italicize; 
  • capitalize the first word of a title, subtitle and proper nouns;
  • use a colon and 1 space to separate the title and subtitle; 

Title of source. 

Title of source: Subtitle. 

Example:

            Snowden, F. M. (2019). Epidemics and society: From the Black Death to the present. Yale University Press. 

(Hint:  Do not use highlighting in your reference list.)


Scroll through the subsequent tabs, above, for information about how to properly format the title.  


For more details see pages 291–293 and 167–168 in the APA Manual.

For works that are part of a larger whole, like journal articles, edited books chapters: 

  • do not italicize; 
  • capitalize the first word of a title, subtitle and proper nouns;
  • use a colon and 1 space to separate the title and subtitle; 

Title of part of whole source.

Title of part of whole sourceSubtitle.

Example:

Danovaro, R., Bongiorni, L., Corinaldesi, C., Giovannelli, D., Damiani, E., Astolfi, P., Greci, L., & Pusceddu, A. 

     (2008). Sunscreens cause coral bleaching by promoting viral infectionsEnvironmental Health

     Perspectives116(4), 441. https://doi.org/10.1289/ehp.10966

(Hint:  Do not use highlighting in your reference list.)


For more details see pages 291–293 and 167–168 in the APA Manual.

Article and journal title:

  • Capitalize only the first word of the title, subtitle or proper nouns for the article title. 
  • Capitalize and italicize all major words for the journal title, except
    • articles (a, an, the)
    • short prepositions (1-3 letters, e.g., as, at, by, for, to, in, etc.)
    • short conjunctions (1-3 letters, e.g., and, but, or, nor, if, so, for, as, yet).
  • unless the first word of the journal title.

Example:

Danovaro, R., Bongiorni, L., Corinaldesi, C., Giovannelli, D., Damiani, E., Astolfi, P., Greci, L., & Pusceddu, A. 

     (2008). Sunscreens cause coral bleaching by promoting viral infections. Environmental Health

     Perspectives, 116(4). 441.   

Chapter and book title:

  • Capitalize only the first word of the title, subtitle or proper nouns for the chapter title.
  • Capitalize and italicize only the first word of the title, subtitle or proper nouns for the book title.  

Example:

Pearce, F.  (2010). Water scarcity is creating a global food crisis. In J. Langwith (Ed.), Water (pp. 86–

     108). Greenhaven Press. 

(Hint:  Do not use highlighting in your reference list.)


For more details see pages 291–293 and 167–168 in the APA Manual.

Source

The source indicates where to find the cited work. 

Sources fall into two broad categories: works that are part of a greater whole and works that stand alone.

  • The source for a work that is part of a greater whole (e.g., journal article, edited book chapter) is that greater whole (i.e., the journal or edited book), plus any applicable DOI or URL.
  • The source for a work that stands alone (e.g., whole book, webpage, social media) is the publisher of the work, social media site, or website, plus any applicable DOI or URL.
  • A location (e.g., City, State) is not required in the source element for most works (e.g., do not include the publisher location for book references), but, 
  • Works associated with a specific location (e.g., artwork in a museum, conference presentations) include location information in the source and, depending on the work, may also include a DOI or URL. 
  • If you retrieved a work from a database, the database name or URL are usually not included. See exceptions on pages 296–297 of the APA Manual. 
  • Information in the source may be omitted to avoid repetition, e.g., when the author and publisher/site name of a website are the same.  
  • If a work is not recoverable (the reader cannot find it), treat it as having no source


Scroll through the subsequent tabs, above, for information about how to format various kinds of sources.  


For more details see pages 293–301 in the APA Manual.

In the source element for journals, include the journal title, volume number, issue number, page range or article number. 

  • Capitalize all major words in the title, except 
    • articles (a, an, the),
    • short prepositions (1-3 letters, e.g., as, at, by, for, to, in, etc.),
    • short conjunctions (1-3 letters, e.g., and, but, or, nor, if, so, for, as, yet),
    • unless they are the first word of the journal title.
  • Italicize the title. 
  • Italicize the volume number. 
  • Include the issue number if there is one.  Put it in parentheses ( ).  There is no space between the volume and issue number. Do not italicize the issue number. 
  • Use an en dash between page numbers. Separate discontinuous pages with a comma, e.g., 29–25, 40.  
  • End the part of the source element before a DOI or URL with a period (.).  
  • Add a DOI or URL as applicable.  Do not put a period at the end of the DOI or URL. 
Title of Journal, volume(issue), page–range. https://doi.org/xxx

Example:

Miller, R., & Homol, L. (2016). Building an online curriculum based on OERs: The library’s role. Journal of Library &

     Information Services in Distance Learning10(3/4), 349–359. https://doi.org/10.1080/1533290X.2016.1223957

(Hint:  Do not use highlighting in your reference list.)


For more details see pages 294–295 in the APA Manual.

Whole book:

  • The source element is the publisher.  
  • Do not include the location (City, State) of the publisher.
  • Do not include designations of business structure (e.g., Ltd., Inc.)
  • If two or more publishers are listed on the copyright page, include all separated by a semicolon.
Publisher. 

Example:

Sendak, M. (1963). Where the wild things are. HarperCollins

Book chapters:

  • The whole book information is the source element (e.g., you found the chapter you are referencing in this book).  
  • Write In followed by editor(s) initials and surnames, not inverted.  
  • Follow one editor with  (Ed.).  Follow two+ editors with (Eds.).  Use parentheses followed by a comma. 
  • Italicize the whole book title; capitalize only the first word of a title, subtitle or proper nouns. 
  • Put page number(s) in parentheses preceded by "p." or "pp."  Use an en dash between. 
In E. E. Editor (Ed.), Title of book (pp. xx–xx). Publisher.

Example:

Fox, J. R. (2011). Wise fools: Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert as modern day jesters in the American court. In

     A. Amarasingam (Ed.), The Stewart/Colbert effect: Essays on the real impacts of fake news (pp. 254–286).

     McFarland & Company. 

(Hint:  Do not use highlighting in your reference list.)


For more details see pages 295–296 in the APA Manual.

If a website is the source:

  • Capitalize all major words of the website name and end with a period.
  • When the author is the same as the website name, omit the website name in the source element. 
  • End the source element with the URL; do not put a period after the URL. 
  • If you cite multiple webpages from a website, list each in the References. 
Author, A. A. (Date). Title of work. Website Name. https://xxxx

Example:

Oliver, D. (n.d.). Simple past tense: Simple past tense #1Dave's ESL Cafe.

     https://www.eslcafe.com/resources/grammar-lessons/simple-past-tense/simple-past-tense-1

If a social media platform is the source:

  • Cite only original content from the site. 
  • If you used a social media site to discover content, use the website, etc. where the content was originally posted as your source (e.g., you find a Pinterest post on Facebook, cite Pinterest). 
  • Use only a URL (https://xxx) if the source does not change; if it does, use the date and URL.  

Author, A. A. (year, Month day). Content of the post up to first 20 words [Description of audiovisual].  

     Site Name. Retrieved Month day, year, from https://xxx

Example: 

National Park Service. (n.d.). Home. [Facebook page]. Facebook. Retrieved August 1, 2018, from

     https://www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice/

(Hint:  Do not use highlighting in your reference list.)


For more details see page 298 and pages 348–351 in the APA Manual.

 

 

  • When there are multiple layers of government agencies in the source element, the highest level agency precedes the subdivision, e.g., The White House, Office of the Press Secretary.  
  • Agencies listed as the author are not repeated in the source element. 

Example:

National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). Opioid facts for teens. U.S. Department of Health and Human

     Services, National Institutes of Healthhttps://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/opioid-facts-teens 

(Hint:  Do not use highlighting in your reference list.)


For more details see page 288 in the APA Manual.

DOI = digital object identifier 

  • Is a unique alphanumeric number that identifies and gives a persistent link to a work's location on the internet. 
  • Use only the format https://doi.org/xxx
    • If the DOI begins with other prefixes such as http://dx.doi.org/ or doi or DOI, change the prefix to https://doi.org/. 
  • Always include the DOI if there is one, even if you used the print version.
https://doi.org/xxx

URL = uniform resource locator 

  • It is found in the browser address bar.
http://xxx    or    https://xxx

DOI vs. URL

  • If an online work has both a DOI and URL, include the DOI only.
  • If an online work has a URL, but no DOI,
    • from websites (not databases), include the URL;
    • **from databases, do not include a URL, permalink or database name. Treat it as a print source.**

DOI and URL:

  • Use either hyperlink text (blue, underlined) or plain text in your printed paper/reference list, but
  • if the paper is online, use a live link.  
  • Write both as hyperlinks, i.e., begin with http:// or https:// .
  • Do not put a period (.) at the end or a DOI or URL in the reference.
  • Do not manually divide long DOIs or URLs; however, breaks in DOIs and URLs applied automatically by a word processor are permitted. 
  • If the URL does not work, treat it as No Source. 

Example:

Nathan, N. (2020). Waste not, want not: The re-usability of N95 masks. Anesthesia and Analgesia.

     https://doi.org/10.1213/ANE.0000000000004843

(Hint:  Do not use highlighting in your reference list.)


For more details see pages 298–300 in the APA Manual.

 
  • Do not include a reference a reader cannot find in a reference list, but  
  • do include an in-text citation and cite as personal communication, e.g, personal interviews, emails, class lectures. 
  • This breaks the "one in-text citation, one reference" rule. 
(B. Miller, personal communication, January 25, 2020). 
  • If a URL no longer works,
    • try to find it on the Internet Archive (https://archive.org)
    • If you cannot find an archived version, do not include in the reference list. 

For more details see pages 300–301 in the APA Manual.

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