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Citing Sources: APA 7th Ed.

Guide of why and how to cite properly, including tools for creating citations in various formats (MLA, APA, Chicago etc).

About APA

The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Seventh Edition, is the official source for APA Style. It is the style manual of choice for writers, researchers, editors, students, and educators in the social and behavioral sciences, natural sciences, nursing, communications, education, business, engineering, and other fields. The Publication Manual also offers guidance on choosing the headings, tables, figures, language, and tone that will result in powerful, concise, and elegant scholarly communication. It guides users through the scholarly writing process--from the ethics of authorship to reporting research through publication. The seventh edition is an indispensable resource for students and professionals to achieve excellence in writing and make a impact with their work (p. 4, Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association).

APA Sample Paper

Resources for APA

Quick Guide to APA Style 6th Edition (video)

General American Psychological Association (APA) Guidelines

Citing Sources APA 6th Edition

Basic Rules

Your reference list should appear at the end of your paper. It provides the information necessary for a reader to locate and retrieve any source you cite in the body of the paper. Each source you cite in the paper must appear in your reference list; likewise, each entry in the reference list must be cited in your text.

Your references should begin on a new page separate from the text of the essay; label this page "References" centered at the top of the page (do NOT bold, underline, or use quotation marks for the title). All text should be double-spaced just like the rest of your essay.

  • All lines after the first line of each entry in your reference list should be indented one-half inch from the left margin. This is called hanging indentation.
  • Authors' names are inverted (last name first); give the last name and initials for all authors of a particular work for up to and including seven authors. If the work has more than seven authors, list the first six authors and then use ellipses after the sixth author's name. After the ellipses, list the last author's name of the work.
  • Reference list entries should be alphabetized by the last name of the first author of each work.
  • For multiple articles by the same author, or authors listed in the same order, list the entries in chronological order, from earliest to most recent.
  • Present the journal title in full.
  • Maintain the punctuation and capitalization that is used by the journal in its title.
    • For example: ReCALL not RECALL or Knowledge Management Research & Practice not Knowledge Management Research and Practice. 
  • Capitalize all major words in journal titles.
  • When referring to books, chapters, articles, or Web pages, capitalize only the first letter of the first word of a title and subtitle, the first word after a colon or a dash in the title, and proper nouns. Do not capitalize the first letter of the second word in a hyphenated compound word.
  • Italicize titles of longer works such as books and journals.
  • Do not italicize, underline, or put quotes around the titles of shorter works such as journal articles or essays in edited collections.
  • Please note: While the APA manual provides many examples of how to cite common types of sources, it does not provide rules on how to cite all types of sources. Therefore, if you have a source that APA does not include, APA suggests that you find the example that is most similar to your source and use that format. For more information, see page 193 of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, (6th ed., 2ndprinting).

(Source: OWL Purdue website)

APA (American Psychological Association) Style 6th Edition - Citing Print Sources

(Note: Double-space all reference entries unless instructor allows single-spacing with double-spacing between entries.)


American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Publishing.


Anbar, A. (2004). The secret of natural readers: How preschool children learn to read. Westport, CT: Praeger.

2 to 7 AUTHORS

Babcock, B. A., & Parezo, N. J. (1988). Daughters of the desert: Women anthropologists and the Native American Southwest, 1880-1980. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. 


Cunningham, G., MacDonald, P. C., Gant, N. F., Leveno, K. J., Gilstrap, L. C., Hankins, G. D., . . . Clark, S. L. (1996). Williams obstetrics (20th ed.). Stamford, CT: Appleton & Lange.


Daniels, P., & Ruddick, S. (Eds.). (1977). Working it out: 23 women writers, artists, scientists, and scholars talk about their lives and work (Rev. ed.). New York, NY: Pantheon.


Dinsmoor, R. S. (2011). Thallium heart scan. In L. J. Fundukian (Ed.), The Gale encyclopedia of medicine (4th ed., Vol. 6, pp. 4297-4298). Detroit, MI: Gale.


Huff, R. (2006). The genetic framework for diabetes in pregnancy. In O. Langer (Ed.), The diabetes in pregnancy dilemma: Leading change with proven solutions (pp. 296-303). Lanham, MD: University Press of America.


Mitchell, H. (2012, June 25). The 2012 bucket list. Newsweek, 159(26), 50-52.


Starks, P. B., & Slabach, B. L. (2012, June). The scoop on eating dirt. Scientific American, 306(6), 30-32.


Strauss, G. P., & Gold, J. M. (2012). A new perspective on anhedonia in schizophrenia. American Journal of Psychiatry, 169, 364-373.


Tobar, H. (2011, March 18). Crossing the great divide: The daughter of L.A. working-class immigrants attends Vassar. Los Angeles Times, p. A2. 


APA (American Psychological Association) Style - Citing Online Sources

Periodical Articles Retrieved from Online Databases

Provide original print publication information (such as author, publication date, article title, periodical name, volume, issue, and page numbers) then add electronic retrieval information according to one of the following rules:

1. DOI Assigned (most preferable)

Provide the DOI (Digital Object Identifiers), if one has been assigned to the content. No further retrieval information is needed. The DOI is typically located on the first page of the electronic document, near the copyright notice. The DOI can also be found on the database landing page for the article.  (See APA Manual, 6th ed., pp. 188-192).

Author, A. A., & Author, B. (Date of publication). Title of article. Journal Title, Volume number(issue number if applicable), pages. (no period after DOI)

Chase, Z., & Laufenberg, D. (2011). Embracing the squishiness of digital literacy. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 54, 535-537. doi:10.1598/JAAL

Lehman, K. A., Burns, M., Gagen, E. C., & Mohr, D. C. (2012). Development of the brief inventory of perceived stress. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 68, 631-644. doi:10.1002/jclp.21843​


2. No DOI Assigned

If no DOI has been assigned to the content, provide the home page URL (Uniform Resource Locator) of the periodical. If you are accessing the article from a library database, you may need to do a quick web search to locate the URL. (See APA Manual, 6th ed., pp. 191-192)

​Author, A., & Author, B. (Date of publication). Title of article. Journal Title, Volume number(issue number if applicable), pages. Retrieved from (no period after URL)

Frosch, D. (2012, July 3). Officer's death reminds a city of work to be done. The New York Times, p. A9. Retrieved from 

Hosenball, M. (2009, Dec 21). The drone dilemma. Newsweek, 154(25), 13. Retrieved from​

Hyde, J. (2012). Learning the art of give and take is an essential nursing skill. Nursing Standard, 26(40), 63. Retrieved from

Larkin, H. (2009). Adverse childhood experiences linked to health risk behaviors. Policy & Practice, 67(3), 14+. Retrieved from

McGlynn, D. (2012, June 29). Whale hunting. CQ Researcher, 22, 573-596. Retrieved from

3. Archival Documents (no DOI Assigned) Retrieved from Databases (Such as JSTOR or ERIC)

Some archival documents (e.g. discontinued journals or monographs) can only be found in electronic databases such as ERIC or JSTOR. When the document is not easily located through its primary publishing channels and has no DOI assigned, give the entry page URL for the online archive (database).  (See APA Manual, 6th ed., p. 192)

Baker, A. A., & Lee, J. J. (2011). Mind the gap: Unexpected pitfalls in doing classroom research. Qualitative Report, 16, 1435-1447. Retrieved from

Stern, M. (1995) Party alignments and civil rights: Then and now. Presidential Studies Quarterly 25, 413-427. Retrieved from

Electronic Books Retrieved from Online Database

Enter the author, publication date, book title, publisher name and location (if available) then add electronic retrieval information such as DOI (if provided) or database name.  (See APA Manual, 6th ed., pp. 202-205)

Note: Electronic books available from LACC databases do not have DOI assigned, so citing the database name is recommended.

Berk, L. E. (2004). Awakening children's minds: How parents and teachers can make a difference. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. Retrieved from eBook Collection (EBSCOhost).

LaPensee, K. (2008). Vaccines and vaccine development. In B. W. Lerner & K. L. Lerner (Eds.), Infectious diseases: In context (Vol. 2, pp. 870-874). Detroit, MI: Gale. Retrieved from Gale Virtual Reference Library.

Wallis, C. (2011). Addiction is caused by genetic and environmental factors. In R. Espejo (Ed.), Opposing Viewpoints Series: Chemical dependency. Detroit, MI: Greenhaven Press. (Reprinted from The genetics of addiction,, 2009) Retrieved from Gale Opposing Viewpoints in Context.

Citing Web Documents

Include the same elements (e.g., authors, dates, titles), in the same order, as you would for a reference to a fixed media (print) source and add as much electronic retrieval information as needed for others to locate the source you cited. (See APA Manual, 6th ed., pp. 187-188, 205-209)

Entry in a Web-based Reference Work

Graham, G. (2010). Behaviorism. In E. N. Zalta (Ed.), The Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy (Summer 2012 ed.). Retrieved from

Governmental Document Published on the Web

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention. (2011). Aortic aneurysm fact sheet. Retrieved from


For electronic sources that do not provide page numbers, use the paragraph numbers preceded by the abbreviation para. 

(Myers, 2000, para. 5)

If the document is long and includes headings and neither paragraph nor page numbers are visible, cite the heading and the number of the paragraph following it to direct the reader to the location of the material. 

(Beutler, 2000, Discussion section, para. 2)

Reference Citations In Text


Reference citations in text (or parenthetical notes) - short notes embedded in text of your paper in which you acknowledge the source of quotations or paraphrases of someone else's words. Some common formats of APA style parenthetical notes are shown below:

  1. One Work by One Author

Rogers (1994) compared reaction times . . .

In a recent study of reaction times (Rogers, 1994) . . .

  1. One Work by Two Authors

Always cite both names every time the reference occurs in text.

Research by Burkhardt and McDonald (2010) supports....

(Burkhardt & MacDonald, 2010) 

  1. One Work by Three, Four, or Five Authors

Cite all authors the first time the reference occurs; in subsequent citations, include only the surname of the first author followed by et al. (with a period after “al”).

Wasserstein, Zappulla, Rosen, Gerstman, and Rock (1994) found   [first citation in text]

Wasserstein et al. (1994) [subsequent first citation per paragraph thereafter]

  1.  One Work by Six or More Authors 

Cite only the surname of the first author followed by et al. (with a period after “al”) and the year for the first and subsequent citations. 

Kosslyn et al. (1992)

Quotations in Text

  1.  Quotation less than 40 words within text:

He contended, "For the man who is extremely and dangerously hungry, no other interests exist but food" (Maslow, 1943, p.348). 

  1.  Quotation of 40 or more words (indent five spaces from the left margin): 

Miele (1993) found the following:

The “placebo effect,” which had been verified in previous studies, disappeared when behaviors were studied in this manner. Furthermore, the behaviors were never exhibited again [emphasis added], even when reel [sic] drugs were administered. Earlier studies were clearly premature in attributing the results to a placebo effect. (p. 276)  

APA Citations

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