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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

Excellence in writing is critical for success in many academic and professional pursuits. APA Style is a set of guidelines for clear and precise scholarly communication that helps authors, both new and experienced, achieve excellence in writing. It is used by millions of people around the world in psychology and also in fields ranging from nursing to social work, communication to education, business to engineering, and other disciplines for the preparation of manuscripts for publication as well as for writing student papers, dissertations, and theses. The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association is the authoritative resource for APA Style (p. xvii, Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association).

APA Sample Paper

Resources for APA

Quick Guide to APA Style 7 References (video)

Citing Sources APA 7th 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 282 of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th ed.

(Source: OWL Purdue website)

APA (American Psychological Association) Style 7th 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.). American Psychiatric Publishing.


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


Babcock, B. A., & Parezo, N. J. (1988). Daughters of the desert: Women anthropologists and the native american southwest, 1880-1980. University of New Mexico Press. 


Hall, M.M., Worsham, R.E., & Reavis, G. (2021). The effects of offering proactive student success coaching on community college students' academic performance and persistence. Community College Review, 49(2), 202-237.


If a source is more than twenty authors, after the nineteenth author's name place an ellipses (...) for the remaining authors, then end with the final authors name. Contact a librarian if you need more assistance. 


Merriam-Webster's collegiate dictionary (11th ed.). (2003). Merriam-Webster.


Dinsmoor, R.S. (2011). Thallium heart scan. In L.J. Funukian (Ed.), The gale encyclopedia of medicine (4th ed., pp. 4297-4298). Gale.


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


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.


Wigglesworth, A. (2021, September). Forest clearing projects helped save Lake Tahoe. Los Angeles Times, B1, B2.


When To Include DOI's and URL's

The DOI or URL is the final component of the reference list entry. Because so much scholarship is available and/or retrieved online, most reference list entries end with either a DOI or a URL. A DOI, or digital object finder, is a unique alphanumeric string that identifies content and provides a persistent link to its location on the internet. A URL, or uniform resource locator, specifies the location of digital information on the internet and can be found in the address bar of your internet browser.

Follow these guidelines for including DOI’s and URL’s in references:

  • Include a DOI for all works that have a DOI, regardless of whether you used the online version or the print version.
  • If a print work does not have a DOI, do not include any DOI or URL in the reference.
  • If an online work has both a DOI and a URL, include the DOI. 
  • If an online work has a URL but no DOI, include the URL in the references as follows:
      • For works without DOI’s from websites (not including databases), provide a URL in the reference (as long as the URL will work for readers).
      • For works without DOI’s from most academic research databases, do not include URL or database information in the reference because these works are widely available. The reference should be the same as the reference for a print version of the work.
    • Other alphanumeric identifiers such as the International Standard Book Number (ISBN) and the International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) are not included in APA Style references.

Format of DOI’s and URL’s

  • Present both DOIs and URLs as hyperlinks (i.e., beginning with “http:” or “https:”).
  • Because a hyperlink leads readers directly to the content, it is not necessary to include the words “Retrieved from” or “Accessed from” before a DOI or URL.
  • It is acceptable to use either the default display settings for hyperlinks in your word-processing program (e.g., usually blue font, underlined) or plain text that is not underlined.
  • Leave links live if the work is to be published or read online.
  • Follow the current recommendations of the International DOI Foundation to format DOIs in the reference list, which as of this publication is as follows:

  • Copy and paste the DOI or URL from your web browser directly into your reference list to avoid transcription errors. Do not change the capitalization or punctuation of the DOI or URL. Do not add line breaks manually to the hyperlink; it is acceptable if your word-processing program automatically adds a break or moves the hyperlink to its own line.
  • Do not add a period after the DOI or URL because this may interfere with link functionality.

Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume number(issue number), pages.

(Source: APA Style)

Reference Citations In Text

In Text Citations: The Basics

APA Style uses the author–date citation system, in which a brief in-text citation directs readers to a full reference list entry. The in-text citation appears within the body of the paper, for example (Jones, 1998) and briefly identifies the cited work by its author and date of publication. This enables readers to locate the corresponding entry in the alphabetical reference list at the end of the paper.

Each work cited must appear in the reference list, and each work in the reference list must be cited in the text (or in a table, figure, footnote, or appendix).

  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)  

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