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APA (American Psychological Association) is a citation style commonly used to cite sources for papers in the social sciences.
Citing in-text sources in APA citations
When referencing a work or quoting from a work you should cite APA in author-date-page number format e.g. (Freud, 1927). Citing sources within the text should include the author’s last name and year of publication. If the author is already mentioned in the sentence, there is no need to mention the author again, insert the year of publication in parentheses after mentioning the author.
Page number before sentence period e.g. (p. 00)
According to Freud (1927), “religion is comparable to childhood neurosis” (p. 53).
Freud (1927) compares religion to childhood neurosis (p. 53).
He said, “Religion is comparable to childhood neurosis” (Freud, 1927, p. 53) which I disagree with.
APA Works Cited Page
At the end of your paper, you should have a work cited page in APA Citation. It should start on a new page and be titled “Reference”. It should be centered at the top of the page. Do not bold, underline, or quote the title. Some APA works citation generators are used, but this is usually done by hand.
General rules for reference lists in APA citations:
Spacing should be double spaced.
The indent of the entry should be a hanging indent.
List entries alphabetically by author’s last name.
If you have multiple sources by one author, order them starting with the earliest publication.
Capitalize key words for journal titles only. Do not capitalize prepositions/conjunctions unless they are the first word of headings/subheadings.
For books, chapters, or articles in books and magazines or web pages, capitalize only the first letter of the title and subtitle.
Capitalize the correct noun.
Italicize the titles of longer works such as books and journals.
Titles of short works such as poems, stories, journal articles, and essays should not be italicized, underlined, or enclosed in quotation marks.
Examples of APA Citations
Books in APA Citation
Author Surname, First Name Initials. (Year of publication). Title of work: Also capital letter for subtitle. City, State Abbreviation: Publisher.
If not in the US, just write the city.
Moran, A. (2012). Sport and exercise psychology: A critical introduction (2nd Ed). London: Routledge.
If there is an edition other than the first, add the edition in parentheses after the title of the work.
Write the authors’ surnames and initials; Use an ampersand instead of the word “and”.
Kitchener, KS, & Anderson, SK (2012). Foundations of Ethical Practice, Research, and Teaching in Psychology and Counseling. London: Psychology Press.
Three to seven authors:
Separate authors with commas. The last letter should be preceded by an ampersand instead of “and”.
Keith-Spiegel, P., Whitley, BE, Balogh, DW, Perkins, DV, & Wittig, AF (2002). The Ethics of Teaching: A Casebook. London: Psychology Press.
More than seven authors:
Cite the last author after the first six followed by “…”. No need to use an ampersand.
Keith-Spiegel, P., Whitley, BE, Balogh, DW, Perkins, DV, Miller, FH, Harland, AA,… Wittig, AF (2002). The Ethics of Teaching: A Casebook. London: Psychology Press.
Edited Book Chapter or Article:
Only the first word of a chapter title and subtitle should be capitalized. Only the first word in a book should be capitalized. For multiple authors, follow the format above. For many editors, separate with commas and ampersands when applicable.
Seligman, M. (1992). Positive psychology, positive prevention and positive therapy. Snyder, CR and Lopez S. (Eds.), In Gender handbook of positive psychology. (pp. 107-123). Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania.
Journal articles in APA style citations
The journal is italicized with all key words capitalized. Only the first word in an article title should be capitalized.
Author Surname, AA (year of publication). The title or chapter of the article. Journal, Volume (Issue if available), Pages.
Brandon, N. (2012). Predicting adolescent persistence, nonpersistence, and recent initiation of nonmedical use of opioids and stimulants. Addictive Behavior, 37 (6), 716-721.
Like how you would APA cite a book. Separate with an ampersand.
Brandon, N., & Rogers, P., (2012). Predicting adolescent persistence, nonpersistence, and recent initiation of nonmedical use of opioids and stimulants. Addictive Behavior, 37 (6), 716-721.
For three or seven authors, follow the author list as you would to cite a book in APA. The same rule applies to seven or more authors.
Use “nd” if date is not available. Include the full URL where readers can find it.
Smith, D. (2008). Where to find happiness. Available from URL_GOES_HERE
Newspapers in APA Citation
Newspaper articles can usually be several pages long. If there is only one page, use p. For multiple pages, pp for APA citations. use
Single page : p. A2
Multiple pages: pp. C2, C5-C7
Mention complete date (year, month date) e.g. (2006, March 26)
Example APA citation:
Richards, S. (2007, April 28). Alcohol policies around the world. Washington Post, pp. 2A, 3A.
Include the full URL
Tierney, J. (2011, May 16). A new gauge to see what lies beyond happiness. The New York Times. Retrieved from URL_GOES_HERE
Magazine in APA Citation
Basic Format (Print):
Borgia, M. (2000, April 9). Passes the mark for global schools. Newsweek, 135, 26-28.
Use np if the publisher’s name is not given and nd if the publication date is not available. Add the full URL to cite in APA.
Ronalds, TM, Peters, A., and Ricci, D. (2008). Abnormal eating in adolescents. Cosmopolitan Online, 10(3), 35-36. Retrieved from
WEBSITE in APA Citation
Include the date of access because web sites are often updated. Add the full URL of the site.
Use nd if publication date is not given.
Author, A. (date if available). Title of document/article/or page. Retrieved from URL_GOES_HERE
Evans, E. (2010, May 5). Soup for the Soul. Retrieved from URL_GOES_HERE
Evans, E. (n.d.). Soup for the Soul. Retrieved from URL_GOES_HERE
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