Students studying in the library

APA (American Psychological Association) Citation Format

APA (American Psychological Association) Citation Format

Citing your sources gives credit where credit is due. The purpose of this guide is to give you an introduction to the standards for citing sources in the American Psychological Association (APA) format. Before using this guide, make sure APA is your professor’s preferred format.  For more examples, refer to the Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, available at Ref BF76.7.P83 2010. All examples on this handout include a page number indicating where examples can be found in the Publication manual of the American Psychological Association handbook located in the library's reference section.

Citations – In Text

When you cite a work in your text, it refers the reader to your bibliography or list of references so he or she can acquire the full reference information.

General Rule: (Author’s last name, year, p. #) If the author’s name is mentioned in the paragraph, you only list the date in parentheses after the author’s name (APA Manual p. 174). A work by two authors: Cite the names of both authors every time their work is referenced in the text. Three to five authors: The first time that you cite the work use the last name of all the authors; for subsequent citations, use first author’s name followed by “et al.”, which stands for “and others.” For more than five authors, use the first author’s name, followed by “et al.” (APA Manual p. 175).


  • “Taboo language, then, enters into a startling array of human concerns, from capital crimes in the Bible to the future of electronic media” (Pinker, 2007, p. 325).
  • 2. Pinker (2007) has argued that the study of swear words provides a glimpse of human nature.
  • Kramer, Higgins, Maxwell, and Todd (2010) studied monkeys who had all been given typewriters…
  • 4. Kramer et al. (2010) later concluded that monkeys given typewriters could not produce master works on par with playwrights like William Shakespeare.

List of References

Having been referred to your list of references by your in-text citation, the reader will look for the author (listed in alphabetical order), and then the year of publication.


General rule: Author’s last name, Initial(s). (year). Book title. City, state of publication: Publishing Co. (APA manual p. 202)


A book with a single author: ( APA manual p. 203)

Pinker, S. (2007). The stuff of thought: Language as a window into human nature. New York, NY: Viking.

A book by two or more (but fewer than eight) authors: (APA manual p.   )

Graves, R. M., & Cornish, G. S. (1998). Golf course design. New York, NY: Wiley.

A book by a corporate author: (APA manual p. 205)

American Kennel Club. (1997). The complete dog book. New York, NY: Howell.

A book with an editor: (APA manual)

Parker, M. (Ed.). (1995). She does math!: Real-life problems from women on the job. Washington, DC: Mathematical Association of America.

A chapter in a book: (APA manual p. 204)

Haybron, D. M. (2008). Philosophy and the science of subjective well-being. In M. Eid & R. J. Larsen (Eds.), The science of subjective well-being (pp. 17-43). New York, NY: Guilford Press.

An entry in an encyclopedia or reference work: (APA manual p. 204)

Konijn, E. A. (2008). Affects and media exposure. In W. Donsbach (Ed.), The international encyclopedia of communication (Vol. 1, pp. 123-129).   Malden, MA: Blackwell.

An entry in an online reference work: (APA manual p. 205)

Barkan, E. R. (2003). Multiculturalism. In S. I. Kutler (Ed.), Dictionary of American history (3rd ed.). Retrieved from Gale Virtual Reference Library.

An electronic version of a print book

Citing sources in the online environment has presented researchers with many difficulties, such as sources moving or disappearing from the web.  To remedy this, some publishers have assigned digital object identifiers (DOIs) to their publications.  When a DOI is not available, include the name of the website where the book was accessed. The same rule applies for electronic articles.

  • With DOI: (APA manual p. 198)
    Schiraldi, G. R. (2001). The post-traumatic stress disorder sourcebook: A guide to healing, recovery, and growth [Adobe Digital Editions version].doi:10.1036/0071393722
  • Without DOI: (APA manual p. 199, 203)
    Shotton, M. A. (1989). Computer addiction? A study of computer dependency [DX Reader version].

Periodical articles

General Rule: Author’s last name, Initial(s). (Date). Article title. Periodical Title, volume (issue), inclusive pages. 


A journal article: (APA manual p. 198)Millot, J. L., & Filiatre, J. C. (1986). The behavioural sequences in the communication system between the child and his pet dog. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 16(4), 383-390.

An electronic version of a journal article (with DOI): (APA manual p. ) Herbst-Damm, K. L., & Kulik, J. A. (2005). Volunteer support, marital status, and the survival times of terminally ill patients. Health Psychology, 24, 225-229. doi:10.1037/0278-6133.24.2.225

Without DOI: (APA manual p. 198-199)

  • Author, A.A. (Date of Publication). Title of Article. Title of the journal, volume #. Retrieved from
  • Sillick, T. J., & Schutte, N. S. (2006). Emotional intelligence and self-esteem mediate between perceived early parental love and adult happiness. E-Journal of Applied Psychology, 2(2), 38-48. Retrieved from
  • Black, P. (2009). Culture and religious beliefs in stoma care nursing. British Journal of Nursing, 18(13), 790-793. Retrieved from Academic Search Complete.

A newspaper article: (APA manual p. 200 )

Fixmer, R. (1998, September 29). Tiny new chip could pit protection of property against right of privacy. New York Times, p. B14.

An online newspaper article: (APA manual p. 200)

Brody, J. E. (2007, December 11). Mental reserves keep brain agile. The New York Times. Retrieved from

Websites, blogs, etc. (APA manual p. 214)

General Rule: Author’s last name, Initial(s). (Date). Document title [type of post, if blog]. Retrieved from http://www.xxxx It is recommended that students remove the hyperlinks from each url.


  • Cain, A. , Burris, M. (1999, April). Investigation of the use of mobile phones while driving. Retrieved from       
  • Resnick Library. (2009, August 7). New online databases and trials [Web log message]. Retrieved from