APA Style

An introduction to American Psychological Association style, formatting and citation with tutorials and examples.

Updates from the Seventh Edition

The Publication Manual 7th edition has changes in paper formatting, writing in an inclusive manner and using bias-free language, and formatting tables and figures. 

Here are some noteworthy changes to citation formats:

In Text Citations

  • sources with three authors or more are now attributed using the name of the first author followed by “et al

Reference List

  • Provide surnames and initials for up to and including 20 authors.
  • The presentation of DOIs and URLs has been standardized; both are treated as links (example https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.books.9780890425596).  The label "DOI" is no longer used before a DOI. 
  • For journal articles, if an issue number is present, include it in parentheses after the volume number (example 12(1) ). 
  • Omit physical locations for publishers (example: University of Arkansas Press, not Fayetteville, AR: University of Arkansas Press). 
  • New examples are provided for "TED Talks, TV series, webinars, YouTube and other streaming videos, albums, songs, podcast episodes, radio interviews and speech audio recordings, albums and songs, artwork in a museum, clip art or stock images, infographics, photographs, PowerPoint slides or lecture notes, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, webpages on news websites, and many more." (APA). 

Read more details about these changes:

Reference List and In Text Citations

APA style stipulates that authors use brief references in the text of a work with full bibliographic details supplied in a Reference List.

In text, the reference is very brief and usually consists simply of the author's last name and a date. The APA Publication Manual gives detailed instructions for references in text in chapter 8.

What is included in a reference in text depends on many variables, including the wording of your sentence, the number of works by the same author in your full Reference List, and the nature of the source being cited.

Examples of references in text:

...In her Guide to Immaculate Academic Style, Lucy Librarian stresses the importance of proper citations (2005, p.113).

...Many experts stress the use of scholarly attribution in academic writing (Librarian, 2005).

...Librarian has observed in one work that some citation guidelines are suggestive rather than prescriptive (2005a) while claiming the opposite in another (2005b).

What is most important is that your references in text are consistent and give your reader a clear idea of the source being cited.

Electronic Formats

Retrieval Date

Beginning with the 6th edition of the Publication Manual, retrieval date is no longer necessary for most fixed forms of publication that will not be routinely updated.

Retrieval date should still be included for online encyclopedia entries, web pages, or other continuously updated resources.

DOIs or ULS

Beginning with the 7th edition, the Publication Manual specifies that DOIs or URLS should be given as links (beginning with http). 

Example: https://doi.org/10.1108/01604951111105014

DOIs (digital object identifiers) are unique alphanumeric codes assigned to each unique article, chapter, book, or other publication by publishers who cooperate in using the DOI standard. Read more about DOIs...

Can't Find a DOI? 

While many publishers routinely include DOIs in their citations, you may have a reference in hand that lacks a DOI or URL.  If you would like to locate a DOI for an article you are citing, you can use the DOI lookup tool at the Crossref.org site.

Omit a Final Period

A concluding period should not follow the DOI or URL if it is the last element in the citation.

If no DOI or URL is available for an electronic publication, the APA recommends that Retrieved from (database name or URL) be added to the end of the citation. If the URL is the last element of the citation, omit the concluding period. If the database name is the last element, include a period following the database name.

An easy way to remember this rule is that the final period might confuse readers about where the URL or DOI actually ends.

Article in a scholarly journal

Electronic article in a scholarly journal

Author last name, Author First Initial. Author Second Initial. (Publication Year). Title of article. Title of Journal. volume(issue) (if issue numbered), pages. doi or url as a link

Stankus, T. (2008, September). Turning meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products Into nutraceuticals through increasing their conjugated linoleic acid levels, part one: Reviewing the literature of benefits claimed for conjugated linoleic acids in human health. Journal of Agricultural & Food Information, 9(3), 229-255. https://doi.org/10.1080/10496500802286152

Print article in a scholarly journal

Author last name, Author First Initial. Author Second Initial. (Publication Year). Title of article. Title of Journal. volume(issue) (if issue numbered), pages.

Bass, M. A., Enochs, W. K., & DiBrezzo, R. (2002). Comparison of two exercise programs on general well-being of college students. Psychological Reports, 91(3), 1195-1201.

Article in a popular magazine

Electronic article in a popular magazine

[Note: Popular magazines with DOIs are rare.]

Author last name, Author First Initial. Author Second Initial. (Publication Year, Month Day). Title of article. Title of Magazine. volume, pages. URL

Holloway, M. (2005, August). When extinct isn't. Scientific American, 293, 22-23. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/when-extinct-isnt/

Print article in a popular magazine

Author last name, Author First Initial. Author Second Initial. (Publication Year, Month Day). Title of article. Title of Magazine,volume, pages.

Holloway, M. (2005, August). When extinct isn't. Scientific American, 293, 22-23.

Article in a newspaper

Electronic article in a newspaper

[Note: Newspaper articles with DOIs are rare.]

Author Last Name, Author First Name or initials. (Publication Year, Month Day). Title of article. Title of Newspaper, p. (single page) pp. (multiple pages). URL

Gorman, J. (2005, April 29). Deep in the swamp, an 'extinct' woodpecker lives. New York Times, p. A18. https://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/29/science/in-the-swamp-an-extinct-woodpecker-lives.html

Print article in a newspaper

Author Last Name, Author First Name or initials. (Publication Year, Month Day). Title of article. Title of Newspaper, p. (single page) OR pp. (multiple pages).

Gorman, J. (2005, April 29). Deep in the swamp, an 'extinct' woodpecker lives. New York Times, p. A18.

Review

Electronic review

Reviewer Last Name, Reviewer First Initial. Reviewer Second Initial. (Publication year). Title of Review (if separately titled). [If needed - add - Review of the book/motion picture/play Title of Work being reviewed]. Journal or Magazine Name, volume, pages. DOI or URL

Heinze, J. (1996). The ants revisited. [Review of Social Evolution in Ants.] Nature 380: 682. https://doi.org/10.1038/380682a0

Print review

Reviewer Last Name, Reviewer First Initial. Reviewer Second Initial. (Publication year). Title of Review (if separately titled). [Review of the book/motion picture/play Title of work being reviewed]. Journal or Magazine Name, volume, pages.

Horowitz, M. and J. Krebs. (2005) [Review of the motion picture Crash]. Sound & Vision, 70(9), 106.

Entire Book

Electronic book

Single author

Author last name, Author First Initial. Author Second Initial. (Publication Year). Title of book. Publisher. DOI or URL

West, E. (2014). Essential West: Collected Essays. University of Oklahoma Press. https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/uark-ebooks/detail.action?docID=3571280

Multiple authors or edited work

Author last name, Author First Initial. Author Second Initial. (Publication Year). Title of book. Publisher. DOI or URL

Rhoads, Robert A. & Howard, J.P.F. (1998) Academic service learning : a pedagogy of action and reflection. Wiley. https://doi.org/10.1002/tl.7300

Print book

Single author

Author last name, Author First Initial. Author Second Initial. (Publication Year). Title of book. Publisher.

Cochran, R. (1996). Our own sweet sounds: A celebration of popular music in Arkansas. University of Arkansas Press.

Multiple authors or edited work

First Author last name, First Author First Initial., First Author Second Initial. & Second Last Name, Second Author First Initial. Second Author Second Initial.(Eds.). (Publication Year). Title of book. Publisher.

Donovan, T., Gatewood, W., & Whayne, J. (Eds.). (1995). The governors of Arkansas. (2nd ed.). University of Arkansas Press.

Book chapter

Electronic book chapter

Author last name, Author First Initial. Author Second Initial. (Publication Year). Title of chapter. In Editor First Initial. Editor Second Initial. Editor Last Name (Ed.), Title of book (pages of chapter). DOI or URL

Gonzales, K.P., Jovel, J.E., & Stoner, C. (2004) Latinas: The new Latino majority in college. In Anna Ortiz (Ed.), Addressing the unique needs of Latino American students (pp. 17-27). https://doi.org/10.1002/ss.113

Print book chapter

Author last name, Author First Initial. Author Second Initial. (Publication Year). Title of chapter. In Editor First Initial. Editor Second Initial. Editor Last Name (Ed.), Title of book (pages of chapter). Publisher.

West, E. (1997) The Exhausted west: a last look at landscape. In J.P. Rhonda (Ed.), Thomas Jefferson and the changing West: from conquest to conservation (pp. 240-64). University of New Mexico Press.

Entry in a reference source

Electronic entry in a reference source

Author Last Name, Author First Initial. Author Second Initial. (if there is no author move entry title to first position) (Publication year). Title of article or entry. In Work title. Retrieved Month day, year from (database name or URL).

Ivory-billed woodpecker. (2006). In Encyclopædia britannica online. Retrieved May 19, 2010 from https://search.eb.com/

Print entry in a reference source

Author Last Name, Author First Initial. Author Second Initial. (if there is no author move entry title to first position) (Publication year). Title of article or entry. In Work title. (Vol. number, pp. pages). Publisher.

"Ivory-billed woodpecker." (2002). In The new encyclopædia britannica. (Vol. 5, p. ). 15th ed. Encyclopædia Britannica.

Published conference paper

Electronic conference paper

Author last name, Author First Initial. Author Second Initial. (Publication Year). Title of the paper. In Editor First Initial. Editor Second Initial. Editor Last Name (Ed.), Title of Conference Proceedings (pp. pages). DOI or URL

Chongqang, W. Daneshmand, M. (2008). On object identification reliability using RFID. In Third International Conference on Communications and Networking in China, 2008. ChinaCom 2008. (pp. 768 - 773). https://doi.org/10.1109/CHINACOM.2008.4685137

Print conference paper

Author last name, Author First Initial. Author Second Initial. (Publication Year). Title of the paper. In Editor First Initial. Editor Second Initial. Editor Last Name (Ed.), Title of Conference Proceedings (pp. pages). Publisher.

Woods, R. B. (2000). The Rhetoric of Dissent: J. William Fulbright, Vietnam, and the Crisis of International Liberalism. In M.J. Medhurst. & H.W. Brands (Eds.), Presidential rhetoric: Critical reflections on the Cold War linking rhetoric and history, 4th Annual Conference, 1988 (pp. 187-298). Texas A&M University Press.

Government document

See the Publication Manual pages 330 and following for more examples.

Electronic government document

Country/State/Country/Municipality. Name of Issuing Agency. (Publication year). Title of document. (additional identifying information - document number, Congress number, etc.). URL

United States. Congress. House. Committee on Energy and Commerce. (2007). Renewable fuels infrastructure. (H. Rpt. 110-306, pt. 1, Y1.1/8:110-306/PT.1.). http://purl.access.gpo.gov/GPO/LPS85462

Print government document

Country/State/Country/Municipality. Name of Issuing Agency. (Publication year). Title of document. (additional identifying information - document number, Congress number, etc.). Publisher.

United States. Executive Office of the President. (2006). The Federal response to Hurricane Katrina: Lessons learned. (PREX 1.2:K 15). GPO.

ERIC Document

Electronic ERIC Document

Author last name, Author First Initial. Author Second Initial. (Publication Year). Title of the document (EDNumber). ERIC. URL

Salmani-Nodoushan, M. A., & Alavi, S. M. (2004). APA style and research report writing (ED490068). ERIC https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED490068

Print / Microform ERIC document

Author last name, Author First Initial. Author Second Initial. (Publication Year). Title of the document . (Report No. if available). Publisher. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED1234567).

Salmani-Nodoushan, M. A., & Alavi, S. M. (2004). APA style and research report writing Zabamladeh Publications. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED490068).

Thesis or dissertation

Electronic thesis or dissertation

Thesis or dissertation from a database

Author last name, Author First Initial. Author Second Initial. (Publication Year). Title of thesis. [Doctoral dissertation / master's thesis, Name of granting institution]. Database name.

Linn, J.A. (2003). Active or avoidant: Two methods of resisting persuasion. [Doctoral dissertation, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville]. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global.

Thesis or dissertation not from a database

Author last name, Author First Initial. Author Second Initial. (Publication Year). Title of thesis. [Doctoral dissertation / master's thesis, Name of granting institution]. URL

Toudji, S. (2012). Intimate Frontiers: Indians, French, and Africans in Colonial Mississippi Valley. [Doctoral dissertation, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville]. https://scholarworks.uark.edu/etd/344

Print

Author last name, Author First Initial. Author Second Initial. (Publication Year). Title of thesis. [Unpublished doctoral dissertation / Unpublished master's thesis]. University Name.

Linn, J.A. (2003). Active or avoidant: Two methods of resisting persuasion. [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.

Web page

Use the web page format only if your item does not fit within other publication categories.

Use Retrieved date only when the website is dynamic and designed to change over time.

Use n.d. (for no date) if no date is found on the page.

 

Page Author Last Name, Page Author First Initial. Page Author Second Initial. (Publication Date in format yyyy, Month day if available). Page title. Website name. URL

Vogel, M. B. (2008, May 9). The Petit Jean Painted Rock Art Style . Rock art in Arkansas. http://archeology.uark.edu/rockart/index.html?pageName=The%20Petit%20Jean%20Painted%20Rock%20Art%20Style