APA is the standard documentation format used by the American Psychological Association. This method of producing research papers is most widely used in the social sciences such as psychology, anthropology, and sociology, as well as education and other areas.
General Guide: In-Text Citation
When utilizing APA formatting, everything you use throughout your work must be cited in two different ways. One of them is the in-text citation, which requires you to provide the author’s name as well as the year of publication anytime you mention a source in the body of your paper, and it can be parenthetical or narrative, for example:
- Parenthetical: People who use their cell phones in bed take longer to sleep (Cleveland, 2019).
- Narrative: According to Cleveland (2019), people who use cell phones in bed take longer to sleep.
The number of authors also influences how in-text citations should be formatted; see the following examples.
Use the title and the year of publication in this case.
- (“How to Make Citations using APA Formatting: A Guide”, 2022).
Simply use the author’s name and the year the book was published.
- (Rowling, 1998).
- Rowling (1998) explained that…
Provide the last names of both authors as well as the publication date.
- (Ross and Hudson, 2004).
- Ross and Hudson (2004) hypothesized…
Three or more authors
When there are three or more writers, it is necessary to include the last name of the first author, et al., as well as the publishing date.
- (Ross et al., 2005).
- Ross et al. (2005) found…
If you need to cite an author who is an organization or an entity, include the entire name of the organization as well as its abbreviation the first time you cite the source in-text.
- (American Psychological Association [APA], 2000)
- The American Psychological Association (APA, 2000) reported…
The following citations should just include the acronym and the publication date.
- (APA, 2020).
- APA (2020) reported…
General Guide: Reference List
The reference list should be included at the end of your paper. It gives the reader all information they need to find and obtain any materials you mention in the body of the paper. As previously said, anything you use in your work must be cited in two separate ways. The first is an in-text citation, and the second is a reference list citation.
The reference list must be on a different page from the body of your paper, labeled “References” in bold, and centered at the top of the page. All text, like the rest of your paper, should be double-spaced.
- After the first line of each reference, all lines must be indented one-half inch.
- Names are inverted, the last name should be placed first (Johnson, D.).
- First and middle names should be written as initials.
- Include the last name and initials of the first six authors if a source includes seven or more authors.
- The reference list must be alphabetized by the last name of the first author of each reference.
- If you reference multiple works by the same author, list them in time order, beginning with the oldest and ending with the most recent.
- Longer works’ titles should be italicized, such as books.
- For more than one author, add their names according to in-text citation rules, as explained above.
Citing Articles using APA Format
Author Last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year Published). Title of article. Title of Periodical, Volume(Issue), page range.
Citing Books using APA Format
Author Last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year Published). Title of work. Publisher.
Author Last Name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year Published). Title of work. DOI or URL.
Citing Print Sources using APA Format
Magazine, Newspaper and Journal
Author Last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year Published). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume number(issue number), pages.
Artist or Author Last name, First initial, Middle initial. (Year of image creation). Description or title of image [Image format]. In Author or Editor, Title of Book (pages). Location: Publisher, Year Published.
Citing Electronic Sources using APA Format
Author Last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year, Month, Day). Title of document. Retrieved from URL.
Online journal or magazine
Author Last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year Published). Title of article.Title of Journal, volume number, page range. Retrieved from URL.
Author Last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year, Month, Day). Title of article. Title of Newspaper. Retrieved from URL.
Citing Audiovisual media using APA Format
Contributor’s Last name, First initial, Middle initial. (Contribution, e.g. Director). (Year Published). Title, [Description of work]. Publisher. Retrieved from URL.
Citing Social Media using APA Format
Author Last name, First initial. Middle initial. [Network handle]. (Year, Month, Day). Title. Attachments. Format. Retrieved from URL.
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