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APA Style Help & Tools

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Academic Writer is the only authoritative and complete online environment for teaching, writing, and publishing in APA Style®, now updated to the 7th Edition. Designed to help users develop their writing and professional research skills, Academic Writer combines sophisticated learning and teaching tools, advanced writing and content management technology, and full integration of APA’s best-selling Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association® to create an unparalleled web-based suite of integrated services and tools.

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Academic Writer Documentation & Tips

The below links lead to more information, tips, and training about the basics of using Academic Writer.

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Using Academic Writer's Writing Tools

Academic Writer contains a Writing section where you can create and write a full APA-formatted paper.  You can write the entire paper in Academic Writer or just use it to setup the title page, headings, and references.  Export your work at any time to a Microsoft Word document.  Below are documents from Academic Writer about the essential features of their Writing tools.  

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  • Adding References to Papers (PDF)
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Basics of APA Style

Learn the basics of APA Style, including how to format a manuscript, understand the form and function of common manuscript parts, organize and express your thoughts clearly and precisely, employ the mechanics of style, use graphic elements effectively, credit sources and acknowledge the contributions of others, and construct a comprehensive and reliable reference list.

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How to Avoid Plagiarism and Self-Plagiarism

Learn how to avoid plagiarism and self-plagiarism, including how to identify plagiarism, understand its risks and consequences, cite sources properly, and develop sound writing practices.

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Learn how to set up the title page of an APA Style paper, including the page header and running head, title, author name and affiliation, and author note.

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Paper Template: ("Merenda" Sample Student Paper)

This sample response paper presents a university student's personal reaction to an article about whether medication is prescribed too often to young children to treat psychological disorders. The title page demonstrates the simple default layout for a student paper. The paper has a simple setup with only a title page, body of text, and references. No "running head"! Response papers typically do not include author notes or abstracts, though this may vary by assignment.

Visit the Writing Center

Need writing help?  Visit the Writing Center to contact a tutor, submit your paper for review and feedback, or ask APA Style-related questions, as well as access dozens of writing tutorials, videos, webinars, and other instructional resources.

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PG Writing Center's Top APA Links

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Zotero: Free Reference Management Tool

Zotero [zoh-TAIR-oh] is a free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources. This tool is especially popular for heavy researchers at the grad level and above.

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APA Formatting and Style (7th ed.) for Student Papers

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APA 7th ed. Fillable Word Template and Sample Paper

  • APA 7th ed. Template Download this Word document, fill out the title page and get writing!
  • Sample Paper APA 7th ed. Our APA sample paper shows you how to format the main parts of a basic research paper.
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APA Sample Paper from APA Style Online

The following PDF provides a sample paper written in the APA style to demonstrate visually how the guidelines work in action. This PDF is used with full credit to the  APA Style Online , which maintains a robust online guide to students and professionals alike who want to learn about writing and formatting in the APA style. This resource is strongly recommended as a resource if you need something more in depth than this guide provides.

APA Sample Paper from Purdue OWL (Online Writing Lab)

The following PDF provides a sample paper written in the APA style to demonstrate visually how the guidelines work in action. This PDF is used with thanks and full credit to the  Purdue OWL (Online Writing Lab) , which maintains a robust online guide to a variety of style guides, avoiding plagiarism, and writing at the academic level in general. They are strongly recommended as a resource if you need something more in depth than this guide provides.

“APA Sample Paper.”  APA Sample Paper - Purdue OWL® - Purdue University , Purdue OWL / Purdue University, 30 Jan. 2020, owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/apa_style/apa_formatting_and_style_guide/apa_sample_paper.html. Accessed on 2 Feb. 2024.

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Common Citations and References in APA Style (7th Ed.)

APA Common Citations & References (7th Ed.) PDF

The American Psychological Association (APA) established writing and documentation guidelines in 1929, so readers could easily understand the major points and findings in scientific research. Today, APA Style is used across the disciplines as a standard style for academic and professional writing. APA Style helps writers think critically, communicate clearly and precisely, and document sources ethically. This tutorial on APA citations and references follows the guidelines of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association seventh edition .

Citations and references are forms of documentation. We must document the ideas, theories, definitions, data, images, and other information in our writing that originated with other authors, researchers, and artists. For example, our work must include documentation when we quote, paraphrase, or summarize another’s ideas or when using data from others’ research. Documentation means including select information about a source “in text” and including additional bibliographic information about that source in a “reference list entry.” In APA Style, for every retrievable source cited in text, there is a corresponding reference list entry with that retrieval information.

Documentation is how we establish our credibility as researchers and writers. It is how we write ethically and with integrity. Writing often involves using the ideas, theories, definitions, data, and images of others in order to support or refute our theses. Documentation is how we give credit to others for their contributions to our work. Documenting sources also differentiates our original ideas from the source contributions and enables readers to locate the original source to learn more about it. Documenting sources with in-text citations and reference list entries also prevents plagiarism, which “is the act of presenting the words, ideas, or images of another as your own” (APA, 2020, p. 254).

APA Style in-text citations use the author-date system. In this APA Style in-text citations use the author-date system. In this system, the citation identifies a source used in the “text” (the body of a piece of writing) by providing the source’s author and the date of publication. Additional rules apply for in-text citations for varying source types and paraphrasing, but there are two primary types of in-text citations: narrative and parenthetical .

In narrative citations, the author’s name is part of a sentence and usually appears in a signal phrase that introduces the quoted, paraphrased, or summarized information. The second part of the citation, the publication year, then appears in parentheses immediately following the author’s name. Here is an example:

  • Smith (2010) recognized that more online learning opportunities are needed to reach marginalized high school students and decrease the dropout rate.

When citing a quotation using a narrative citation, the author’s name is used in the sentence, the date is given in parentheses after the author’s name, and the specific part of the source where the quote appears such the page, paragraph, time stamp on a video, or bar on a graph goes in parentheses after the quote and before any punctuation. Here are two examples:

  • Smith (2010) stressed, “The importance of dedicated study time for online courses is crucial for student success” (p. 3).
  • In his TEDX Talk video, Mulvey (2013) said, “Time is too long. Space is too large” (6:18).

In parenthetical citations, the author-date information goes after the paraphrase in parentheses as in the following example:

  • Online learning opportunities are needed to reach marginalized high school students and decrease the dropout rate (Smith, 2010) .

For a quotation, the parenthetical citation contains the author and date, and it also contains the specific part of the source such as the page or paragraph number or the timestamp of a video as in this example:

  • Many researchers have agreed: “Online education is a viable way to help working adults earn a college degree, but it is not for everyone” (Smith, 2010, p. 4) .

An author may be an individual, multiple people, or a group such as an organization, company, or governmental agency. In an in-text citation, the format is to use the author or authors’ last names or the group author name. See No Author if a source does not specify an author.

  • Individual Author: (Hannah, 2010)
  • Multiple Authors: (Hannah & Lay, 2015); (Hannah, Lay, & Sleder, 2010)
  • Group Author: (Hannah and Lay Company, 2020)

The URL, which stands for Uniform Resource Locator and is the web address for a source is not part of an in-text citation except in the rare cases that the URL is also the author’s name such as Drugs.com: (Drugs.com, n.d.).

The in-text citation for a quotation includes the part of the source where the information is found. Page numbers are common in printed books and articles; however, for electronic sources without page numbers, you will need to provide another way for a reader to locate the original passage being quoted. The following options are acceptable:

  • Paragraph number: (Mackenzie, 2018, para. 1)
  • Heading or section name: (Mackenzie, 2018, Highlands section). In this example, the information being cited can be found on the source website or page under a section named “Highlands.”
  • Both section and paragraph: (Mackenzie, 2018, Highlands section, para. 1)
  • For audiovisual works, provide the time stamp of when the quoted words begin: (Mulvey, 2013, 6:18).

A reference list entry should be provided for each source cited in text. Reference list entries have four elements: author, date, title, and source. The “source” here is the publication where the information was published such as a website, book, or periodical. Each element of the reference answers a question:

  • Author: Who is responsible for this work?
  • Date: When was this work published?
  • Title: What is this work called?
  • Source: Where can I retrieve this work?

Reference entries and in-text citations correspond: The author or title given in the in-text citation is the first element of the reference entry. Example reference entries are provided in the Common Citations and References section of this resource. The following formatting requirements apply to the reference list:

  • Label the reference list References in bold font, centered at the top of the page.
  • Double-space all reference list entries. Also use double spacing within entries. Do not use additional spacing between entries.
  • Reference entries are not numbered or bulleted.
  • Use a hanging indent for all references, so the first line of the entry is against the left margin and subsequent lines of the entry are indented 0.5 in.
  • Alphabetize the entries according to the author’s last name. If the entry does not include an author, begin the entry with the title followed by the year in parentheses, and alphabetize according to the first significant word of the title. If the title begins with the words “A,” “An,” or “The,” alphabetize using the next word in the title. Example: The title The Whales in the Ocean would be alphabetized using the letter “W” because “Whales” is the first significant word.

Resources available online have URLs, which are web links, or DOIs, which are unique strings of numbers that provide persistent and reliable links to resources. Here are some basic guidelines for URLs and DOIs in reference entries:

  • If a source has a DOI, include it in the reference entry. Some print texts also have DOIs. The DOI is often given near the copyright information at the beginning of a text.
  • Present DOIs and URLs as hyperlinks in the reference entry. Hyperlinks begin http:// or https:// . DOIs will begin https://doi.org/ . It is acceptable to use the shortDOI® Service to shorten long DOIs and an URL shortening service such as https://bitly.com/ to shorten URLs.
  • All hyperlinks should be live and may appear using the automatic formatting of the word processing program (for example in blue font and underlined), or they may appear in standard black font without an underline, but papers read online should have clickable, live links.
  • Do not include additional words before the hyperlink such as “Retrieved from” or “DOI.” Exception : If a characteristics of the source is that it is updated regularly, such a reference book with a group author (dictionary, encyclopedia, thesaurus) or a Facebook page, a retrieval date would provide valuable information to a reader who tries to locate your source and sees different content. In the reference, include the date you accessed the source in the following format for the URL element of the reference: Retrieved Month day, Year, from URL.

Common Citations and References (APA 7th Ed.)

Note: Most of the examples in this resource are fictional. Any similarities to real sources or names are coincidental.

In-Text Citation for Articles

  • Parenthetical: (Jensen, 2010, p. 5)
  • Narrative: Jensen (2010) stated, “The results of this global warming study are skewed to present a problem that has political pull” (p. 5).
  • Parenthetical: (Jensen, 2010)
  • Narrative: Jensen (2010) believes the results are being misconstrued to support a political agenda.

Reference for a blog article

Author, A. A. (Year, Month day). Title of article. Blog Title . URL

Wayne, J. M. (2010, January 3). Finding balance. Health for Life . http://wayne.blogger.com/longdays

Reference for an editorial article

Author, A. A. (Year). Title of article [Editorial]. Periodical Title , volume (issue), pages. DOI or URL

Michaels, J. C. (2020). The seeds of change [Editorial]. Nutrition Today , 10 (4). 2-3. https://doi.org/10.1199/001043456787654

Reference for a journal article with a nondatabase URL

Author, A. A. (Year). Title of article. Journal Title , volume(issue), pages. URL

Jones, L. (1990). How to eat and stay slim. Journal of Healthy Living, 4 (3), 120. http://journalofhealthyliving.org

Reference for a journal article without a DOI from a database__

Author, A. A. (Year). Title of article. Journal Title, volume (issue), pages.

Shultz, L. (2012). The traveling contractor. Urban Living , 3 (4), 1-15.

Reference for a print journal article with no DOI or URL

Author, A. A. (Year). Title of article. Journal Title , volume (issue), pages.

Shultz, L. (2012). The life of a traveling contractor. Urban Living , 3 (4), 12-15.

Reference for a print or online journal article with a DOI

Author, A. A. (date). Title of article. Journal Title, volume (issue), pages. DOI

West, B. I. (2019). A study of decisions. Academics Journal, 5 (10), 152- 155. https://doi.org/12345678910

Reference for a magazine from an online research database or in print

Author, A. A. (Year, Month day). Title of article. Periodical Title , pages. URL if online

Godwit, F. L. (2008, August 12). Epic journey of the Bar-Tail. Birding Magazine, 8 (1), 11-19. http://bit.ly.bar-tail-journey

Goldfinch, G. B. (2020, January 28). Bird migration: Tracking radar hampered by weather. The New Yorker . 12-13.

Note . Magazines may be published in regular issues and have volume and issue numbers like journals. Include the volume and issue if available in the format Title , Volume Number (Issue).

Reference for a newspaper article in print

Author, A. A. (Year, Month day). Article title. Newspaper Title . pages.

Fuller, C. (2009, August 17). Mismanagement of valley waterways causes havoc. The Clovis Herald , A3-A4.

Reference for a newspaper article online

Author, A. A. (Year, Month day). Title of article. Newspaper Title . URL

Brooks, D. (2008, December 27). Mental health issues raise concerns. New Brunswick Times . http://www.newbrunswicktimes.com

In-Text Citations for Audio Works

  • Parenthetical: (Clements, 2011, 00:54.)
  • Narrative: Clements (2011) said in his podcast, “To be terrific, you must be specific” (00:54).

Note . The citation includes the time stamp where the quoted part of the audio begins.

  • Parenthetical: (Clements 2011)
  • Narrative: Clements (2011) said in his podcast that precise wording is key to writing well.

Reference for a podcast

Host, H. H. (Host). (Year, Month day). Title of work [Description]. Publisher or Department Name, University Name. URL

Clements, K. (Host). (2020). Understanding documentation [Audio podcast]. Academic Success Center, Purdue Global. https://bit.ly/understandingdocumentation

Note . If an element shown in the template is not available, omit it from the reference entry.

Reference for a song or track

Artist, A. A. (Year). Title of song. On Title of album . Label. URL (if available)

Reference for a speech audio recording

Presenter, P. P. (Year, Month day). Title of speech [Speech audio recording]. Production Company or Site Name. URL

Kennedy, J. F. (1961). Presidential inaugural address [Speech audio recording]. American Rhetoric. https://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/jfkinaugural.htm

In-Text Citation for Books

  • Parenthetical: (Martinez, 2009, p. 3)
  • Narrative: Martinez (2009) said, “The way to learn APA is to use a guide as a cross-reference” (p. 3).
  • Parenthetical: (Martinez, 2009)
  • Narrative: Martinez (2009) said APA does not need to be memorized.

Reference for a book with an author, print or electronic.

Author, A. A. (Year). Title of work . Publisher. DOI (if it has one) or URL (if it is an e-book without a DOI)

Martinez, D. L. (2009). Writing with humor (2nd ed.). A1 Press. http//doi.org/10.1036/0091393733

Note . Print books may also have DOIs. Include the DOI if available.

Reference for a book with an editor, print or electronic

Editor, E. E. (Ed.). (Year). Title of work . Publisher. DOI (if it has one) or URL (if it is an e-book without a DOI)

Sexton, A. S. (Ed.). (2017). Transformational webinars. Simon and Schuster. https://doi.org/10.13232323232325

Reference for a chapter in a book with an editor

Author, A. A. & Author, B. B. (Year). Title of chapter. In E. E. Editor, F. F. Editor, & G. G. Editor (Eds.), Title of book (X ed., Vol. X, pp. xx-xx). Publisher.

Boone, J. A. & Cairns, C. A. (2008). Writer’s block demystified. In K. Clements, A. Sexton, & L. V. Hanson (Eds.), Writers write right (3rd ed., pp. 23-37). Genius Press.

Note . Omit missing elements from the reference entry, such as the volume number in this example.

Reference for an entry in a reference book with a group author (dictionary, encyclopedia, thesaurus)

Group Author. (Year, Month XX). Entry title. In Title of source . Retrieved Month day, Year, from URL

Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Diaspora. In Merriam-Webster.com dictionary . Retrieved February 28, 2020, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diaspora

Note . Use “n.d.” for “no date” for entries that are continuously updated.

Note . Provide a retrieval date before the URL when the site is continuously updated and does not provide a permanent, archived link (as in a Wikipedia entry reference.

Reference for a volume in a multivolume work and a book in a series

Author, A. A. & Author, B. B. (year). Title of work (Vol. X). Publisher. DOI (if it has one) or URL (if it is an e-book without a DOI)

Breiter, A. L. & Sexton, A. (1999). Writer’s block demystified (Vol. 1). Hachette Book Group. https://doi.org/10.132444463232325 .

Author, A. A. & Author, B. B. (year). Title (X ed.). Publisher. DOI (if it has one) or URL (if it is an e-book without a DOI)

Mason, R. J. & Schram, B. L. (2016). Restaurant management (5th ed.). Randolph Press. https://doi.org/10.13244456782325

Reference for a Wikipedia entry

Entry title. (Year, Month XX). In Wikipedia . URL

Diaspora. (2020, February 28). In Wikipedia . https://bit.ly/wiki-diaspora

Note . Wikipedia entries have permanent, archived links. On the Wiki page, select “View History” then the time and date of the version you used. The link in the address bar will be an archived link to that version.

In-Text Citation for Discussions and Course Resources

  • Parenthetical: (Sullivan, 2011, para. 3)
  • Narrative: Sullivan (2011) said, “Discussions help students learn from each other’s professional experience” (para. 3).
  • Parenthetical: (Sullivan, 2011)
  • Narrative: Sullivan (2011) believes peer-to-peer learning results from discussion forums.

Reference for a classroom discussion

Author, A. A. (Year, Month day). Title or content of the post up to the first 20 words . Site Name. Retrieved Date, from https://xxx

Sullivan, M. (2011, January 5). Prewriting feedback reflection. CM107 Unit 3 Discussion 1 . Retrieved January 29, 2020, from https://purdueglobal.brightspace.com/d2l/e/40068/discussions

Note . Use a reference for internal sources only when the reader can access the source. Otherwise, cite internal sources as a personal communication with an in-text citation but no reference entry.

Reference for a course resource

Author, A. A. (Year, Month day). Title of resource . Site Name. Retrieved Date, from https://xxx

Purdue Global. (n.d.) Learning outcomes and assessment UG . Course Resources. Retrieved January 29, 2020, from https://purdueglobal.brightspace.com/d2l/le/content

Note . Include a retrieval date when a source is updated regularly and may appear different to a reader who accesses it on a different date.

In-Text Citation for Personal Communications

Quotation or paraphrase.

  • Parenthetical: (D. L. Martinez, personal communication, March 5, 2011)
  • Narrative: D. L. Martinez (personal communication, March 5, 2011) said, . . .

No Reference Entry

Works only accessible to an internal group that are not retrievable by other readers of your paper such as personal interviews, emails, text messages, conversations, memos, and lectures do not appear in a reference entry on the references page. These sources require an in-text citation only.

In-Text Citation for Reports

  • Parenthetical: (Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office [EERE], 2019, Supplementary Information, para. 5).
  • Parenthetical: (EERE, 2019, Supplementary Information, para. 5).

Note . Use brackets to enclose the abbreviation of a group author name when it is first mentioned in parentheses. Use only the abbreviation of a group author if it is well known or if the full name and abbreviation have already been used in the text.

  • Narrative: The Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office (EERE, 2019) reported “The cost for propane is derived from its price relative to that of heating oil”(Supplementary Information, para. 5).

Note . When page, numbers are not given, use the part of the source that would help a reader locate the quote such as the section heading and paragraph in the above examples. The cited information came from paragraph 5 under the section heading “Supplementary Information.”

  • Parenthetical: (Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office [EERE], 2019)
  • Narrative: The EERE(2019) based the cost of propane on the cost of oil.

Reference for a government report with an individual author

Author, A. A. & Author, B. B. (Year). Title of report (Report No. XXX if available). Publisher. DOI or URL

Burrows, M. J. & Peter, E. (2020). What world post-Covid-19? Three scenarios . Atlantic Council. https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/in-depth-research-reports/report/what-word-post-covid-19-three-scenarios/

Note . If the report does not include a report number, omit that element from the entry.

Reference for a government report with a group or agency author

Group Author. (Year). Title of report (Report No. XXX if available). Publisher. DOI or URL

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office. (2019). Energy conservation program for consumer products: Representative average unit costs of energy (Report No. 2019-04245). US Department of Energy. https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EERE_FRDOC_0001-1398

Note . If the author and publisher are the same, omit the publisher element from the entry.

Reference or an issue brief

Author, A. A. & Author, B. B. (Year). Title of brief [Issue brief] or (Issue Brief No. XXX if available) Publisher. DOI or URL

Salas, R. N., Knappenberger, P., & Hess, J. (2018). 2018 Lancet countdown on health and climate change brief for the United States of America [Issue brief]. Lancet Countdown. https://bit.ly/2018Lancet

In-Text Citation for Social Media

  • Parenthetical for individual author: (Hughes, 2020)
  • Parenthetical for group author: (PG Academic Success Center, n.d.)
  • Narrative for individual author: Hughes (2020) posted, “Support local businesses first! #takeouttuesday.”

Note . When quoting, include any emojis or hashtags and use the same spelling as the original post even if the spelling is incorrect.

  • Narrative for group author: PG Academic Success Center (n.d.) has on its Twitter profile that “Tutors are available throughout the week to assist and support Purdue Global students with their course work.”

Reference for a post on Facebook and others

Author, A. A. or Name of Group [Username]. (Year, Month day). Content up to the first 20 words [Description of audiovisuals such as Thumbnail with link attached, Video, or Infographic] [Type of post, for example Status update, Poll, Story]. Site Name. URL or Retrieved Month XX, Year from URL if the page (Timeline, Album, Home . . .) is regularly updated

APA Style [APAStyle]. (2020, March 16). For an #APAStyle reference to a webpage, although there may seem to be no individual authors, the author is very [Thumb-nail with link attached] [Status update]. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/APAStyle/photos/a.419499744742118/4211771922181529/?type=3&theater

Reference for a page on Facebook and others

Author, A. A. or Name of Group [Username]. (Year, Month day). Page Name such as Home, Timeline, About. . . . Site Name. Retrieved Month XX, Year from URL

Purdue University Global [PurdueGlobal]. (n.d.). Home [Facebook page]. Facebook. Retrieved May 4, 2020 from https://www.facebook.com/PurdueGlobal/

Reference for a post on Twitter and Instagram

Author, A. A. [@username] or Group [@username]. (Year, Month day). Content up to the first 20 words [Description of audiovisuals such as an Infographic] [Type of Post]. Site Name. URL or Retrieved Month XX, Year from URL if an Instagram Highlight-a story featured on the Instagram profile

PG Academic Success Center [@PurdueGlobalASC]. (2020, March 23). Action plans for online learners: New video series [Thumb-nail with link attached] [Tweet]. Twitter. https://bit.ly/actionplansontwitter

Purdue University Global [@purdueglobal]. (n.d.). Study break [Highlight]. Instagram. Retrieved April 20, 2020 from https://www.instagram.com/stories/highlights/18021688519263190/

Reference for online forums

Author, A. A. [Username] or Name of Group [Username]. (Year, Month XX). Content of the post up to the first 20 words [Type of post]. Site Name. URL or Retrieved Month XX, Year from URL if referencing a page that is regularly updated.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration [nasa]. (2020, March 17). We are the NASA and university scientists who study exoplanets, the weird and wonderful planets beyond our solar system [Online forum post]. Reddit. https://reddit.com/r/space/comments/g35wtm/we_are-the-nasa-and_university-scientists_who/

In-Text Citation for Video Works

  • Parenthetical: (Lessard, 2016, as cited in Michigan DNR, 2016, 0:27)

Note . See the Primary Sources sectin of this article for more about the “as cited in format. In this example, Lessard is a primary source speaking in a vido by the Michigan DNR, which is the secondary source. Include the publication date of the primary source when available.

  • Narrative: Rebecca Lessard, Founder/Director of Wings of Wonder, (2016, as cited in Michigan DNR, 2016) said, “The mission here is really about education” (0:27).
  • Parenthetical: (Lessard, 2016, as cited in Michigan DNR, 2016)
  • Narrative: Rebecca Lessard, Founder/Director of Wings of Wonder (2016, as cited in Michigan DNR, 2016) described the mission as one that teaches people to respect and appreciate raptors.

Reference for a film

Director, D. D. (Director). (Year). Title of work [Film]. Production Company. URL if film is accessible by an URL

Gondry, M. (Director). (2004). Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind [Film]. Anonymous Content.

Reference for a recorded webinar

Instructor, I. I. (Year, Month day). Title of work [Webinar]. Publisher. URL

Huston, T. (2020, March 17). Critical thinking and writing [Webinar]. Purdue Global Academic Success Center. https://bit.ly/asc-criticalthinking

Note . If the webinar is not retrievable at a link online, cite it as a personal communication.

Reference for a YouTube video or other streaming video

Reference for a recorded webinar (if the recording is retrievable; otherwise, cite as a personal communication.) Instructor, I. I. (Instructor) (Year, Month XX). Title of work [Webinar]. Publisher. URL

Huston, T. (Instructor). (2020, March 17). Critical thinking and writing [Webinar]. Academic Success Center, Purdue Global. https://bit.ly/asc-criticalthinking

Reference for a YouTube video or other streaming video Artist, A. A. [username]. (year, Month XX). Title [Video]. Production Company, Label, or Site. URL

Michigan Department of Natural Resources [MichiganDNR]. (2016, November 10). Wings of Wonder: Raptor education, rehabilitation and research. [Video]. YouTube. https://youtu.be/m4jgfaxfo4k

In-Text Citation for Visual Works

  • Parenthetical: (Park, 2015, slide 9)
  • Narrative: During her presentation, Park (2015) stated, “All parties must be equally represented at all meetings” (slide 9).
  • Parenthetical: (Park, 2015)
  • Narrative: Park (2015) said representation of every member is important at meetings.

Reference for a photograph

Artist, A. A. (Year). Title [Photograph]. Publisher or Site Name. URL

Cairns, C. (2015). Lilies after rain. [Photograph]. Flickr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/scotlandcairns/19461114229/

Note. Using a photograph in your work that is not yours, is not in the Public Domain, or that does not have a Creative Commons license that permits use, requires permission to use in addition to a copyright note. If you have permission to use the image or the image is licensed for sharing, include a copyright notice underneath or aligned with the image in your text. The example below shows how to cite or quote from a PowerPoint or presentation slide.

Template and Examples for a Copyright Note in Text beginning with the label “ Note. “:

Note . Title and description. From (or “Adapted from” if you changed or cropped the original), Title of Image, by Name of A. Artist, Year. (URL). Copyright by Copyright Holder or Creative Common License abbreviation or In the public domain. Reprinted with permission (if permission was sought and granted).

Note . Tiger lilies holding water droplets. From Lilies After Rain , by C. Cairns, 2015. https://flic.kr/p/vDHife . CC BY 2.0.

Reference for a PowerPoint or presentation slide

Instructor, I. I. (Year, Month XX). Title [PowerPoint Slide]. Production Company or Department Name, University Name. URL

Park, L. (2011). Effective working teams [PowerPoint slides]. Bus Purdue Global. http://www.company.meetings/teams

In-Text Citation for Webpages and Websites

  • Parenthetical: (Smith & Jay, 2013, para. 10)
  • Narrative: Smith and Jay (2013) are sure that the best way to “preserve nature is to plant native trees” (para. 10).

Note . When page numbers are not given, use the section heading and/or paragraph number.

  • Parenthetical: (Smith & Jay, 2013)
  • Narrative: Smith and Jay (2013) believe the seeds of native trees are the key to environmental salvation.

Note. Use the title in the in-text citation for a work without an author as shown below.

  • Parenthetical: ( Raising Roofs , n.d.)
  • Narrative: Following the county’s affordable housing initiative, Raising Roofs (n.d.) reported 100 new homes have been built.

Reference for a website or webpage with an individual author

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Year or Year, Month day if available). Title of work . Site Name. URL or Retrieved Month XX, Year from URL if website is regularly updated.

Smith, M., & Jay, J. (2013). Growing a better forest . Leelanau Trees. http://www.leelanautrees/plant-native-trees.com

Reference for a website or webpage with a group author such as an organization or company

Author. (Year, Month day). Title of page . Site Name. URL or Retrieved Month XX, Year from URL if page is regularly updated.

National Geographic. (2011a). Hybrid Cuban-American crocodiles on the rise . http://bit.ly/24ndK95

National Geographic. (2011b). Iceman’s stomach sampled – filled with goat meat . http://bit.ly/1QAf58E

Note . When using two or more sources with the same author and year, add lowercase letters after the year (2015a, 2015b, etc.). First alphabetize the references by author name and then by title to determine which is “a” and which is “b.” Then also add the letters to the corresponding in-text citations. If the site name is the same as the author, omit the site name element from the reference.

Reference for a webpage with no individual or group author

Title of page . (Year, Month XX or n.d. if a date isn’t available). Site Name. URL or Retrieved Month XX, Year from URL if citing a page that is regularly updated.

Raising roofs . (n.d.). http://www.raisingroofs.com

Sometimes there is missing information when formatting in-text citations and references. The following serves as guidance on how to handle those situations.

Missing month and/or day; missing volume and/or issue number; other missing information from template of reference citation : If a reference entry template shows to include information that is not available, omit the missing elements from the entry.

If a work does not specify an author, use the title in place of the author.

In-Text-Citation

  • For a paraphrase from an article with no author: (“Whales in the Ocean,” 2020)
  • For a quotation from a book with no author: ( Plant-Based Cooking , 2020, para. 9)

Reference Entry

  • The reference list entry for an article with no author begins with the title in sentence case (capitalizing the first word only and any proper nouns):

Whales in the ocean. (2020). Ocean Life Magazine . https://www.oceanlife.com

  • The reference list entry for a book, webpage, or other whole work without an author begins with the title in sentence case and italics:

Plant-based cooking . (2020). https://www.plant-basedcookingebook.com

  • Only use “Anonymous” as the author if the work specifically names the author as “Anonymous”: (Anonymous, n.d.).

If no date is provided on the source, use n.d. in the date spot for both in-text citations and reference list entries. For example, an in-text citation would look like this: (Hendrix, n.d.).

Primary sources are original reports, findings, and research studies. Secondary sources are works that refer to primary sources and other secondary sources. If you are using a secondary source for your research, and it refers to another source or a primary source, whenever possible, locate the original source of the desired quote or paraphrase. If the original source is not available, use this “as cited in” method by citing the secondary source that you have while still attributing the quote in text to the original author or source.

In-Text Citation for Primary Sources

  • Parenthetical: (Wright, 2012, as cited in Bragdon, 2013, p. 223).
  • Narrative: Wright’s report (2012, as cited in Bragdon, 2013) showed that “obesity research indicates people need to drink more water” (p. 223).

Note . Omit the year for the primary source from the citation if the year is unknown.*

  • Parenthetical: (Wright, 2012, as cited in Bragdon, 2013).
  • Narrative: Wright (2012, as cited in Bragdon, 2013) showed dehydration was a common problem for those with obesity.

Reference for the Secondary Source

Follow the template for the type of source it is. The example shows the format for a journal article without a URL or DOI.

Bragdon, A. A. (2013). Obesity research. Medical Journal 23 (4), 223-227.

Note . Only list the source named after the “as cited in” phrase on the reference list.

Multiple Authors

Two authors.

For in-text citations, cite both names every time:

  • (Rios & Sexton, 2010) or Rios and Sexton (2010) contend . . .

Note . The ampersand (&) is used between two authors when their names are written in parentheses but not when the names are written in the narrative of the sentence.

For reference list entries, cite both authors’ names (with the ampersand [&] between the names):

Rios, C. A. & Sexton, A. (2010). Fun and easy APA . Oxbow River Press.

Three or More Authors

For in-text citations, cite only the first author followed by et al.:

  • (Cairns et al., 2019)
  • Cairns et al. (2019) studied . . .

Note . Et al. is a Latin abbreviation for “and others.”

For a reference list entry, cite the first 20 author names. Use an ampersand (&) before the last author’s name:

Author, A. A., Author B. B., Author, C. C., Author, D. D., Author, E. E., Author, F. F., Author, G. G., Author, H. H., Author, I. I., Author, J. J., Author, K. K., Author, L. L., Author, M. M., Author, N. N., Author, O. O., Author, P. P., Author, Q. Q., Author, R. R., Author, S. S., & Author, T. T.

For 21 or more authors, use three spaced ellipsis points ( . . . ) after the 19th author and then cite the last author’s name without an ampersand (&):

Author, A. A., Author B. B., Author, C. C., Author, D. D., Author, E. E., Author, F. F., Author, G. G., Author, H. H., Author, I. I., Author, J. J., Author, K. K., Author, L. L., Author, M. M., Author, N. N., Author, O. O., Author, P. P., Author, Q. Q., Author, R. R., Author, S. S., . . . Author, W. W.

Authors With the Same Surname

If you have two or more different sources that have authors with the same surname, include the author’s first name initial in the in-text citation for the source used even if the date is different like this: (D. Martinez, 2001).

A narrative citation would look like this:

  • D. Martinez (2001) disagreed with S. Martinez (2003) in the findings . . .

In the reference list, D. Martinez would be alphabetized before S. Martinez.

Same Author and Year

To tell references and in-text citations apart when the author and year are the same, add lowercase letters after the year (2011a, 2011b, etc.). On the references list, first list the references in alphabetical order by the authors’ last names, then alphabetize the references by the title to determine which is “a” and which is “b.”

Hood, R. M. (2011a). Where do I place commas? [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/123comma

Hood, R. M. (2011b). The writing process [Video]. YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/abc-thewritingprocess

Then, add the letters to the corresponding in-text citations: (Hood, 2011a) (Hood, 2011b).

Sample Title Page for Student Papers n APA Style

Sample Title Page APA 7th Ed.

Notes on this sample title page for student papers:

  • In the header of the document at the right margin, insert the page number.
  • In the upper half of the page, three to four lines down from the header, provide the title of the paper in bold, Title Case.
  • Double-space the title page and entire paper, adding an additional double-spaced line between the title and the “byline”—author name.
  • Provide the byline and related information in regular font. First provide the author’s name and affiliated university.
  • Next, provide the course number and name (Course Number: Name), the professor for the course, and due date.
  • Always check with your instructor about additional information required on this page.

Sample Text Page for a Student Paper in APA Style

Sample Body Page APA 7th Ed.

Notes on this sample text (body) page for student papers:

  • The font should be the same throughout the paper. A default word processing font such as 11-point Calibri is recommended. Other acceptable fonts are 11-point Arial, 12-point Times New Roman,10-point Lucida Sans Unicode, 11-point Georgia, or 10-point Computer Modern.
  • Use 1-in. (2.54-cm) margins all around.
  • The text should align with the left margin and be uneven along the right margin with one space between words and after punctuation.
  • Double-space the entire paper without extra spacing between paragraphs.
  • Indent the beginning of each paragraph 0.5 in., which is typically one click of the Tab key.

Sample Reference List for Student Papers in APA Style

Sample Reference List APA 7th Ed.

Notes on this sample reference list for student papers:

  • The reference list begins on a new page at the end of the paper before any tables or appendices.
  • The right margin of the header provides the page number, continued from the previous page.
  • The word References is centered on the first line under the header in bold font.
  • The citations are formatted using a “hanging indent” where the second and subsequent lines are indented 0.5 in. under the first line in order to improve readability.
  • Double-space the reference list, including within a reference entry.
  • Two or more works by the same author are ordered chronologically by publication date.
  • References with the same first author and a different second author are alphabetized by the second author.

American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association: The official guide to APA style (7th ed.). https://doi.org/10.1037/0000165-000

© 2020 by Purdue Global Academic Success Center and Writing Center

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How to reference this resources in APA Style 7th Ed.

Purdue University Global Academic Success Center and Writing Center. (2020). Common citations and references in APA style (7th ed.). Purdue Global Academic Success and Writing Resource Center and Blog. https://purdueglobalwriting.center/common-citations-and-references-in-apa-style/

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APA Citation Generator

Keep all of your citations in one safe place

Create an account to save all of your citations

Don't let plagiarism errors spoil your paper

A comprehensive guide to apa citations and format, overview of this guide:.

This page provides you with an overview of APA format, 7th edition. Included is information about referencing, various citation formats with examples for each source type, and other helpful information.

If you’re looking for MLA format , check out the Citation Machine MLA Guide. Also, visit the Citation Machine homepage to use the APA formatter, which is an APA citation generator, and to see more styles .

Being responsible while researching

When you’re writing a research paper or creating a research project, you will probably use another individual’s work to help develop your own assignment. A good researcher or scholar uses another individual’s work in a responsible way. This involves indicating that the work of other individuals is included in your project (i.e., citing), which is one way to prevent plagiarism.

Plagiarism? What is it?

The word plagiarism is derived from the Latin word, plagiare , which means “to kidnap.” The term has evolved over the years to now mean the act of taking another individual’s work and using it as your own, without acknowledging the original author (American Psychological Association, 2020 p. 21). Plagiarism can be illegal and there can be serious ramifications for plagiarizing someone else’s work. Thankfully, plagiarism can be prevented. One way it can be prevented is by including citations and references in your research project. Want to make them quickly and easily? Try the Citation Machine citation generator, which is found on our homepage.

All about citations & references

Citations and references should be included anytime you use another individual’s work in your own assignment. When including a quote, paraphrased information, images, or any other piece of information from another’s work, you need to show where you found it by including a citation and a reference. This guide explains how to make them.

APA style citations are added in the body of a research paper or project and references are added to the last page.

Citations , which are called in-text citations, are included when you’re adding information from another individual’s work into your own project. When you add text word-for-word from another source into your project, or take information from another source and place it in your own words and writing style (known as paraphrasing), you create an in-text citation. These citations are short in length and are placed in the main part of your project, directly after the borrowed information.

References are found at the end of your research project, usually on the last page. Included on this reference list page is the full information for any in-text citations found in the body of the project. These references are listed in alphabetical order by the author's last name.

An APA in-text citation includes only three items: the last name(s) of the author(s), the year the source was published, and sometimes the page or location of the information. References include more information such as the name of the author(s), the year the source was published, the full title of the source, and the URL or page range.

Two example in-text citations.

Why is it important to include citations & references

Including APA citations and references in your research projects is a very important component of the research process. When you include citations, you’re being a responsible researcher. You’re showing readers that you were able to find valuable, high-quality information from other sources, place them into your project where appropriate, all while acknowledging the original authors and their work.

Common ways students and scholars accidentally plagiarize

Believe it or not, there are instances when you could attempt to include in-text and full references in the appropriate places, but still accidentally plagiarize. Here are some common mistakes to be aware of:

Mistake #1 - Misquoting sources: If you plan to use a direct quote, make sure you copy it exactly as is. Sure, you can use part of the full quote or sentence, but if you decide to put quotation marks around any words, those words should match exactly what was found in the original source. Here’s a line from The Little Prince , by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry:

“Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them.”

Here’s an acceptable option:

“Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves,” stated de Saint-Exupéry (1943, p. 3).

Here’s a misquote:

“Grown-ups barely ever understand anything by themselves,” stated de Saint-Exupéry (1943, p. 3).

Notice the slight change in the words. The incorrect phrasing is an instance of accidental plagiarism.

Mistake #2 - Problems with paraphrasing: When we paraphrase, we restate information using our own words and writing style. It’s not acceptable to substitute words from the original source with synonyms.

Let’s use the same sentence from The Little Prince .

A correct paraphrase could be:

de Saint-Exupéry (1943) shares various ways adults frustrate children. One of the biggest being that kids have to explain everything. It’s too bad adults are unable to comprehend anything on their own (p. 3).

An incorrect paraphrase would be:

de Saint-Exupéry (1943) shares that adults never understand anything by themselves, and it is exhausting for kids to be always and forever clarifying things to them (p.3).

Notice how close the incorrect paraphrase is from the original. This is an instance of accidental plagiarism.

Make sure you quote and paraphrase properly in order to prevent accidental plagiarism.

If you’re having a difficult time paraphrasing properly, it is acceptable to paraphrase part of the text AND use a direct quote. Here’s an example:

de Saint-Exupery (1943) shares various ways adults frustrate children. One of the biggest being that kids have to explain everything, and “it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them” (p. 3).

Information About APA

Who created it.

The American Psychological Association is an organization created for individuals in the psychology field. With close to 121,000 members, they provide educational opportunities, funding, guidance, and research information for everything psychology-related. They also have numerous high-quality databases, peer-reviewed journals, and books that revolve around mental health.

The American Psychological Association is also credited with creating their own specific citation and reference style. Today, this format is used by individuals not only in the psychology field, but many other subject areas as well. Education, economics, business, and social sciences also use APA style quite frequently. Click here for more information . This guide covers general information about the style, but is not affiliated with the American Psychological Association.

Why was this style created?

This format was first developed in 1929 to form a standardized way for researchers in science fields to document their sources. Prior to the inception of these standards and guidelines, individuals were recognizing the work of other authors by including bits and pieces of information in random order. There wasn’t a set way to format citations and references. You can probably imagine how difficult it was to understand the sources that were used for research projects!

Having a standard format for citing sources allows readers to glance at a citation or APA reference and easily locate the title, author, year published, and other critical pieces of information needed to understand a source.

The evolution of this style

The guide below is based on APA style 7th edition, which was released in 2020. In previous versions of APA format, researchers and scholars were required to include the publisher location for books and the date that an electronic resource was accessed. Both are no longer required to be included.

Details on the differences between the 6th and 7th editions is addressed later in this guide.

Citations & References

The appearance of citations & references.

The format for references varies, but most use this general format:

%%Author’s Last name, First initial. (Date published). Title . URL

Researchers and scholars must look up the proper format for the source that they’re attempting to cite. Books have a certain format, websites have a different format, periodicals have a different format, and so on. Scroll down to find the proper format for the source you’re citing or referencing.

If you would like help citing your sources, CitationMachine.com has a citation generator that will help make the APA citation process much easier for you. To start, simply click on the source type you're citing:

  • Journal articles

In-text citations

An APA in-text citation is included in research projects in three instances: When using a direct quote, paraphrasing information, or simply referring to a piece of information from another source.

Quite often, researchers and scholars use a small amount of text, word for word, from another source and include it in their own research projects. This is done for many reasons. Sometimes, another author’s words are so eloquently written that there isn’t a better way to rephrase it yourself. Other times, the author’s words can help prove a point or establish an understanding for something in your research project. When using another author’s exact words in your research project, include an APA in-text citation directly following it.

In addition to using the exact words from another source and placing them into your project, these citations are also added anytime you paraphrase information. Paraphrasing is when you take information from another source and rephrase it, in your own words.

When simply referring to another piece of information from another source, also include a citation directly following it.

Citations in the text are found near a direct quote, paraphrased information, or next to a mention of another source. To see examples of some narrative/ parenthetical citations in action, look at the image above, under “All About Citations & References.”

Note: *Only include the page or paragraph number when using a direct quote or paraphrase. Page numbers have a p. before the number, pp. before the page range, and para. before the paragraph number. This information is included to help the reader locate the exact portion of text themselves. It is unnecessary to include this information when you’re simply referring to another source.

Examples of APA in-text citations:

“Well, you’re about to enter the land of the free and the brave. And I don’t know how you got that stamp on your passport. The priest must know someone” (Tóibín, 2009, p. 52).
Student teachers who use technology in their lessons tend to continue using technology tools throughout their teaching careers (Kent & Giles, 2017, p. 12).

If including the author’s name in the sentence, place the year in the parentheses directly next to his or her name. Add the page number at the end, unless it’s a source without any pages or paragraph numbers (See Section 8.10 of the Publication manual for more details).

In-text citation APA example:

According to a study done by Kent and Giles (2017), student teachers who use technology in their lessons tend to continue using technology tools throughout their teaching careers.

The full references, or citations, for these sources can be found on the last part of a research project, titled the “References.”

Here’s how to create in-text citations for specific amounts of authors:

APA citation with no author

When the source lacks an author’s name, place the title, year, and page number (if available) in the text. The title should be in italics if it sits alone (such as a movie, brochure, or report). If the source is part of a whole (as many web pages and articles are), place the title in quotation marks without italics (See Section 8.14 of the Publication manual ).

Structure of an APA format citation in the text narratively, with the author's name missing:

Title of Source (Year) or “Title of Source” (Year)

Structure of an APA style format citation, in parentheses at the end of the sentence, with the author’s name missing: (Title of Source, Year) or (“Title of Source,” Year)

Structure for one author

In the text, narratively: Last name of Author (Year)...(page number).

In parentheses, at the end of the sentence: (Last name of Author, Year, page number).

Structure for two authors

Place the authors in the order they appear on the source. Only use the ampersand in the parenthetical citations (see Section 8.17 of the Publication manual ). Use ‘and’ to separate the author names if they’re in the text of the sentence.

In the text, narratively: Last name of Author 1 and Last name of Author 2 (Year)....(page number).

In parentheses, at the end of the sentence: (Last name of Author 1 & Last name of Author 2, Year, page number).

Structure for three or more authors

Only include the first listed author’s name in the first and any subsequent citations. Follow it with et al.

(Last name Author 1 et al., Year, page number)

(Agbayani et al., 2020, p. 99)

Last name of Author 1 et al. (Year)...(page).

Agbayani et al. (2020)...(p. 99)

One author, multiple works, same year

What do you do when you want to cite multiple works by an author, and the sources all written in the same year?

Include the letters ‘a’ ‘b’ ‘c’ and so on after the year in the citation.

(Jackson, 2013a)

Jackson (2013a)

Writers can even lump dates together.

Example: Jackson often studied mammals while in Africa (2013a, 2013b).

On the APA reference page, include the same letters in the full references.

Groups and organizations

Write out the full name of the group or organization in the first citation and place the abbreviation next to it in brackets. If the group or organization is cited again, only include the abbreviation. If it doesn’t have an abbreviation associated with it, write out the entire organization’s name each and every time (see Section 8.21 of the Publication manual ).

First APA citation for an organization with an abbreviation: (World Health Organization [WHO], Year)

World Health Organization (WHO, Year)

Notice in the example directly above, the name of the organization is written out in full in the text of the sentence, and the abbreviation is placed in parentheses next to it.

Subsequent APA citations in the text for an organization with an abbreviation: (WHO, Year) OR WHO (Year)

All citations in the text for an organization without an abbreviation: (Citation Machine, Year) or Citation Machine (Year)

One in-text citation, multiple works

Sometimes you’ll need to cite more than one work within an in-text citation. Follow the same format (author, year) format but place semicolons between works (p. 263).

(Obama, 2016; Monroe et al., 1820; Hoover & Coolidge, 1928)

Reminder: There are many citation tools available on CitationMachine.com. Head to our homepage to learn more, check out our APA citation website, and cite your sources easily! The most useful resource on our website? Our APA citation generator, which doesn’t just create full references, it’s also an APA in-text citation website! It’ll do both for you!

Click here to learn more about crediting work .

Reference list citation components

References display the full information for all the citations found in the body of a research project.

Some things to keep in mind when it comes to the references:

  • All references sit together on their own page, which is usually the last page(s) of a paper.
  • Title the page ‘References’
  • Place ‘References’ in the center of the page and bold it. Keep the title in the same font and size as the references. Do not italicize, underline, place the title in quotation marks, or increase the font size.
  • The entire page is double spaced.
  • All references are listed in alphabetical order by the first word in the reference, which is usually the author’s last name. If the source lacks an author, alphabetize the source by the title (ignore A, An, or The)
  • All references have a hanging indent, meaning that the second line of text is indented in half an inch. See examples throughout this guide.
  • Remember, each and every citation in the text of the paper MUST have a full reference displayed in the reference list. The citations in the text provide the reader with a quick glimpse about the sources used, but the references in the reference list provide the reader with all the information needed to seek out the source themselves.

Learn more about each component of the reference citation and how to format it in the sections that follow. See an APA sample paper reference list at the end of this entire section.

Author’s names

The names of authors are written in reverse order. Include the initials for the first and middle names. End this information with a period (see Section 9.8 of the Publication manual ).

Format: Last name, F. M.

  • Angelou, M.
  • Doyle, A. C.

Two or more authors

When two or more authors work together on a source, write them in the order in which they appear on the source. You can name up to 20 authors in the reference. For sources with 2 to 20 authors, place an ampersand (&) before the final author. Use this format:

Last name, F. M., & Last name, F. M.

Last name, F. M., Last name, F. M., Last name, F. M., Last name, F. M., & Last name, F. M.

Kent, A. G., Giles, R. M., Thorpe, A., Lukes, R., Bever, D. J., & He, Y.

If there are 21 or more authors listed on a source, only include the first 19 authors, add three ellipses, and then add the last author’s name.

Roberts, A., Johnson, M. C., Klein, J., Cheng, E. V., Sherman, A., Levin, K. K. , ...Lopez, G. S.

If you plan on using a free APA citation tool, like the one at CitationMachine.com, the names of the authors will format properly for you.

###No authors

If the source lacks an author, place the title in the first position in the reference (Section 9.12 of the Publication manual ). When the source’s title begins with a number (Such as 101 Dalmatians ), place the reference alphabetically as if the number was spelled out. 101 Dalmatians would be placed in the spot where ‘One hundred’ would go, but keep the numbers in their place.

Additionally, if the title begins with the words ‘A’, ‘An,’ or ‘The,’ ignore these words and place the title alphabetically according to the next word.

See the “Titles” section below for more information on formatting the title of sources.

###Corporate/Organization authors

On an APA reference page, corporate authors are always written out in full. In the text of your paper, you may have some abbreviations (such as UN for United Nations), but in the full references, always include the full names of the corporation or organization (following Section 9.11 of the official Publication manual ).

%%United Nations. (2019). Libya: $202 million needed to bring life-saving aid to half a million people hit by humanitarian crisis. https://news.un.org/en/story/2019/02/1031981

Publication date & retrieval date

Directly after the author’s name is the date the source was published. Include the full date for newspapers and magazine articles, and only the year for journals and all other sources. If no date is found on the source, include the initials, n.d. for “no date.”

%% Narducci, M. (2017, May 19). City renames part of 11th Street Ed Snider Way to honor Flyers founder. The Philadelphia Inquirer . http://www.philly.com/

If using our APA Citation Machine, our citation generator will add the correct format for you automatically.

Giving a retrieval date is not needed unless the online content is likely to be frequently updated and changed (e.g., encyclopedia article, dictionary entry, Twitter profile, etc.).

%%Citation Machine [@CiteMachine]. (n.d.). Tweets [Twitter profile]. Twitter. Retrieved October 10, 2019, from https://twitter.com/CiteMachine

When writing out titles for books, articles, chapters, or other non-periodical sources, only capitalize the first word of the title and the first word of the subtitle. Names of people, places, organizations, and other proper nouns also have the first letter capitalized. For books and reports, italicize the title in the APA citation.

Strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Roots: The saga of an American family.

For articles and chapters in APA referencing, do not italicize the title.

Wake up the nation: Public libraries, policy making, and political discourse.

For newspapers, magazines, journals, newsletters, and other periodicals, capitalize the first letter in each word and italicize the title.

The Seattle Times.

A common question is whether to underline your title or place it in italics or quotation marks in the reference list. Here’s a good general rule: When a source sits alone and is not part of a larger whole, place the title in italics. If the source does not sit alone and is part of a larger whole, do not place it in italics.

Books, movies, journals, and television shows are placed in italics since they stand alone. Songs on an album, episodes of television shows, chapters in books, and articles in journals are not placed in italics since they are smaller pieces of larger wholes.

The Citation Machine citation generator will format the title in your citations automatically.

Additional information about the title

If you feel it would be helpful to include additional information about the source type, include a descriptive noun or two in brackets immediately following the title. Capitalize the first letter.

%%Kennedy, K., & Molen, G. R. (Producers), & Spielberg, S. (Director). (1993). Jurassic Park [Film]. USA: Universal.

Besides [Film], other common notations include:

  • [Audio podcast]
  • [Letter to the editor]
  • [Television series episode]
  • [Facebook page]
  • [Blog post]
  • [Lecture notes]
  • [PowerPoint presentation]
  • [Video file]

If you are using Citation Machine citing tools, additional information about the title is automatically added for you.

Publisher information

For books and reports, include the publisher name but not the location (see Section 9.29 of the Publication manual ). Older editions of the style required the city, state and/or country, but this hasn't been the case since the 7th edition was released.

It is not necessary to include the entire name of the publisher. It is acceptable to use a brief, intelligible form. However, if Books or Press are part of the publisher’s names, keep these words in the reference. Other common terms, such as Inc., Co., Publishers, and others can be omitted.

For newspapers, journals, magazines, and other periodicals, include the volume and issue number after the title. The volume number is listed first, by itself, in italics. The issue number is in parentheses immediately after it, not italicized. There is no space after the closing parenthesis and before the volume number.

%%Giannoukos, G., Besas, G., Hictour, V., & Georgas, T. (2016). A study on the role of computers in adult education. Educational Research and Reviews , 11 (9), 907-923. https://doi.org/10.5897/ERR2016.2688

After including the publisher information, end this section with a period.

Perseus Books.

Electronic source information:

For online sources, the URL or DOI (Direct Object Identifier) are included at the end of an APA citation.

DOI numbers are often created by publishers for journal articles and other periodical sources. They were created in response to the problem of broken or outdated links and URLs. When a journal article is assigned a DOI number, it is static and will never change. Because of its permanent characteristic, DOIs are the preferred type of electronic information to include in APA citations. When a DOI number is not available, include the source’s URL (see Section 9.34 in the Publication manual ).

For DOIs, include the number in this format:

http://doi.org/xxxx

For URLs, type them in this format:

http:// or https://

Other information about electronic sources:

  • If the URL is longer than a line, break it up before a punctuation mark.
  • Do not place a period at the end of the citation/URL.
  • It is unnecessary to include retrieval dates, unless the source changes often over time (like in a Wikipedia article).
  • It is not necessary to include the names of databases

If using the Citation Machine APA citation website autocite features, the online publication information will be automatically replaced by the DOI. The Citation Machine APA template will properly cite your online sources for you.

The image shows an example APA student page that is formatted using the guidelines described under the heading Paper Formatting.

Make sure you run your completed paper through the Citation Machine Plus smart proofreader, which scans for grammar, spelling, and plagiarism. Whether it’s an adjective , verb , or pronoun out-of-place, our technology helps edits your paper for you!

Annotated bibliographies:

An APA annotated bibliography is a full bibliography that includes a small note for each reference citation. Each note should be short (1-2 paragraphs) and contain a summary or your evaluation about each source. When creating your citations on CitationMachine.net, there is a field at the bottom of each form to add your own annotations.

Follow the publication manual guidelines on paper format and writing style. Let your instructor guide other details about your annotations. Still confused? Read our guide on annotated bibliographies .

These types of projects look different depending on the style you’re using. Use the link at the top of the page to access resources related to the Modern Language Association’s style. Here’s information related to Chicago citation style .

Page formatting

Need help with the design and formatting of your paper? Look no further! This section provides the ins and outs of properly displaying the information in your APA essay.

  • Times New Roman, 12-point size.
  • Calibri, Arial, or Georgia, 11-point size
  • Lucida, Sans Unicode, or Computer Modern, 10-point size
  • Indents = Every paragraph should start with an indent.
  • Margins = 1 inch around the entire document
  • Spacing = Double space everything!

Arrange your pages in this order:

  • Page 1 - APA Title Page (see below for information on the title page)
  • Page 2 - Abstract (If your professor requests one)
  • Page 3 - First page of text
  • References begin on their own page. Include the list of references on the page after the text.
  • Tables and figures

Keep in mind that the order above is the recommendation for papers being submitted for peer review. If you’re writing an APA style paper for a class, your professor may be more lenient about the requirements. Also, if you’re submitting your paper for a specific journal, check the requirements on the journal’s website. Each journal has different rules and procedures.

Just a little nudge to remind you about the Citation Machine Plus smart proofreader. Whether it’s a conjunction or interjection out of place, a misspelled word, or an out of place citation, we’ll offer suggestions for improvement! Don’t forget to check out our APA citation maker while you’re at it!

Running heads

In older editions of APA, running heads were required for all papers. Since the 7th edition, that’s changed.

  • Student paper: No running head
  • Professional paper: Include a running head

The running head displays the title of the paper and the page number on all pages of the paper. This header is found on every page of a professional paper (not a student paper), even on the title page (sometimes called an APA cover page) and reference list (taken from Section 2.8 of the Publication manual ).

It's displayed all in capital letters at the top of the page. Across from the running head, along the right margin, is the page number.

  • Use the header feature in your word processor. Both Google Docs and Word have these features available.
  • Use one for the recommended fonts mentioned under "Page formatting."

Title pages

A title page, sometimes called an APA cover page, graces the cover of an essay or paper. An APA title page should follow rules from Section 2.3 of the official Publication manual and include:

  • Page number, which is page 1
  • Use title case and bold font
  • The title should be under 12 words in length
  • The title should be a direct explanation of the focus of the paper. Do not include any unnecessary descriptors such as “An Analysis of…” or “A Study of…”
  • Exclude any labels such as Mr., Ms., Dr, PhD...
  • Name of the school or institution
  • Course number and/or class name
  • Name of your instructor, including their preferred honorifics (e.g., PhD, Dr., etc.)
  • Paper’s due date
  • If this is a professional paper, also include a running head. If this is a student paper, do not include one.

Follow the directions for the running head and page number in the section above. Below the running head, a few lines beneath, and centered in the middle of the page, should be the title. The next line below is the author’s name(s), followed by the name of the school or institution, the class or course name, your instructor’s name, and the paper’s due date.

All components on this page should be written in the same font and size as the rest of your paper. Double space the title, names, name of school or institution, and all other information on the page (except for the running head and page number).

Example - Student Title Page APA:

The image shows an example APA student title page that is formatted using the guidelines described above under the heading Title Pages.

Example - Professional Title Page APA:

The image shows an example APA professional title page that is formatted using the guidelines described above under the heading Title Pages.

If you’re submitting your paper to a journal for publication, check the journal’s website for exact requirements. Each journal is different and some may request a different type of APA format cover page.

Looking to create an APA format title page? Head to CitationMachine.com’s homepage and choose “Title Page” at the top of the screen.

An abstract briefly but thoroughly summarizes dissertation contents. It’s found in the beginning of a professional paper, right after the title page. Abstracts are meant to help readers determine whether to continue reading the entire document. With that in mind, try to craft the lead sentence to entice the reader to continue reading.

Here are a few tips:

  • Be factual and keep your opinions out. An abstract should accurately reflect the paper or dissertation and should not involve information or commentary not in the thesis.
  • Communicate your main thesis. What was the examined problem or hypothesis? A reader should know this from reading your abstract.
  • Keep it brief. Stick to the main points and don’t add unnecessary words or facts. It should not exceed 250 words.
  • Consider your paper’s purpose. It’s important to cater your abstract to your paper type and think about what information the target audience for that paper type would want. For example, an empirical article may mention methodology or participant description. A quantitative or qualitative meta-analysis would mention the different variables considered and how information was synthesized.
  • Use verbs over noun equivalents, and active voice. Example: “There was research into…” becomes “We researched…”

Formatting guidelines:

  • The abstract goes after the title page.
  • It should have the same font (size and type) as the rest of the paper.
  • It should stick to one page.
  • Double-space all page text.
  • Center and bold the word “Abstract” at the top of the paper.
  • Don’t indent the first line of the abstract body. The body should also be in plain text.
  • For the keywords, place it on the line after the abstract and indent the first line (but not subsequent lines). The word “Keywords:” is capitalized, italicized, and followed by a colon. The actual keywords are sentence case and in plan font.
  • List each keyword one after the other, and separate them by a comma.
  • After the last keyword, no ending punctuation is needed.

The image shows an example APA abstract page that is formatted using the guidelines described above under the heading Abstracts.

Tables & Figures

If your paper includes a lot of numerical information or data, you may want to consider placing it into a table or a figure, rather than typing it all out. A visual figure or simple, organized table filled with numerical data is often easier for readers to digest and comprehend than tons of paragraphs filled with numbers. Chapter 7 of the Publication manual outlines formatting for tables and figures. Let's cover the basics below.

If you’d like to include a table or figure in your paper, here are a few key pieces of information to keep in mind:

  • At the end of the paper after the APA reference page
  • In the text after it is first mentioned
  • The table first mentioned in the text should be titled ‘Table 1.’ The next table mentioned in the text is ‘Table 2,’ and so on. For figures, it would be 'Figure 1,' 'Figure 2,' and so forth.

The image shows that an APA paper with tables can be organized as follows – 1. Title page, 2. Text of paper, 3. References, 4. Table 1, 5. Table 2.

  • Even though every table and figure is numbered, also create a title for each that describes the information it contains. Capitalize all important words in the title.
  • For tables, do not use any vertical lines, only use horizontal to break up information and headings.
  • Single spacing is acceptable to use in tables and figures. If you prefer double spacing your information, that is okay too.
  • Do not include extra information or “fluff.” Keep it simple!
  • Do not include the same exact information in the paper. Only include the complete information in one area—the table or the text.
  • All tables and figures must be referenced in the text. It is unacceptable to throw a table or figure into the back of the paper without first providing a brief summary or explanation of its relevance.

Example of formatting a table in APA style.

Publication Manual 6th Edition vs 7th Edition

The 6th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association was released in 2009. The current 7th edition came out in the fall of 2019 and was designed to be more student focused, provide more guidance on accessibility, and address changes that have developed over the last 10 years.

Below, we’ve listed what we feel are the most relevant changes related to APA format.

Journals and DOIs

DOI stands for “digital object identifier.” Many journal articles use and have a unique DOI that should be included in a full citation.

When including a DOI in a citation, format it as a URL. Do not label it “DOI.” Articles without DOIs from databases are treated as print works. For example:

6th edition:

%%Gänsicke, B. T., Schreiber, M. R., Toloza, O., Fusillo, N. P. G., Koester, D., & Manser, C. J. (2019). Accretion of a giant planet onto a white dwarf star. Nature, 576 (7785), 61–64. doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1789-8

7th edition:

%%Gänsicke, B. T., Schreiber, M. R., Toloza, O., Fusillo, N. P. G., Koester, D., & Manser, C. J. (2019). Accretion of a giant planet onto a white dwarf star. Nature, 576 (7785), 61–64. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-019-1789-8

Citing Books

There are few new guidelines when you are citing a book. First, the publisher location no longer needs to be indicated.

%%Zack, P. O. (2001). The shoals of time. Bloomington, IN: First Books Library.

%%Zack, P. O. (2001). The shoals of time. First Books Library.

Second, the format of an ebook (e.g., Kindle, etc.) no longer needs to be indicated.

%%Niven, J. (2012). Ada Blackjack: A true story of survival in the Arctic [Kindle].

%%Niven, J. (2012). Ada Blackjack: A true story of survival in the Arctic .

Lastly, books from research databases without DOIs are treated the same as print works.

When using a URL in a citation, you no longer need to include the term “Retrieved from” before URLs (except with retrieval dates). The font should be blue and underlined, or black and not underlined.

6th Edition:

%%Flood, A. (2019, December 6). Britain has closed almost 800 libraries since 2010, figures show. The Guardian . Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/dec/06/britain-has-closed-almost-800-libraries-since-2010-figures-show

7th Edition:

%%Flood, A. (2019, December 6). Britain has closed almost 800 libraries since 2010, figures show. The Guardian . https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/dec/06/britain-has-closed-almost-800-libraries-since-2010-figures-show

Within a full APA citation, you may spell out up to 20 author names. For two to 20 authors, include an ampersand (&) before the name of the last author. For sources with 21 or more authors, structure it as follows:

Structure: First 19 authors’ names, . . . Last author’s name.

7th edition example: Washington, G., Adams, J., Jefferson, T., Madison, J., Monroe, J., Adams, J. Q., Jackson, A., Van Buren, M., Harrison, W. H., Tyler, J., Polk, J. K., Taylor, Z., Filmore, M., Pierce, F., Buchanan, J., Lincoln, A., Johnson, A., Grant, U. S., Hayes, R. B., Garfield, . . . Trump, D.

When creating an in-text citation for a source with 3 or more authors, use “et al.” after the first author’s name. This helps abbreviate the mention.

6th Edition: (Honda, Johnson, Prosser, Rossi, 2019)

7th Edition: (Honda et al., 2019)

Tables and Figures

Instead of having different formats for tables and figures, both use one standardized format. Now both tables and figures have a number, a title, name of the table/figure, and a note at the bottom.

If you’re still typing into Google “how to cite a website APA” among other related questions and keywords, click here for further reading on the style .

When you’re through with your writing, toss your entire paper into the Citation Machine Plus plagiarism checker , which will scan your paper for grammar edits and give you up to 5 suggestions cards for free! Worry less about a determiner , preposition , or adverb out of place and focus on your research!

American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.) (2020). American Psychological Association. https://doi.org/10.1037/0000165-000

Updated March 3, 2020

Written and edited by Michele Kirschenbaum and Wendy Ikemoto. Michele Kirschenbaum has been an awesome school librarian since 2006 and is an expert in citing sources. Wendy Ikemoto has a master’s degree in library and information science and has been working for Citation Machine since 2012.

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Purdue Owl: APA Formatting & Style Guide

Developed by Purdue's Online Writing Lab. Contains resources on in-text citation and the references page, as well as APA sample papers, slide presentations, and the APA classroom poster.

Author/Editor (By:)

Contributor, corporate author, related organizations, citation type.

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APA Style: Purdue OWL

  • Why Document Sources?
  • Differences Between the 6th and 7th edition
  • Two Kinds of Citations
  • What happens if you are missing a part of the reference?
  • Periodicals
  • Legal References
  • Other Resources
  • Citation and Grammar helps
  • EasyBib | APA Format for Students & Researchers
  • American Psychological Association
  • Video and PowerPoint Tutorials
  • Preferred Spellings
  • Missing a part of the citation
  • Videos on APA Style
  • How to Cite ChatGPT

The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University houses writing resources and instructional material, and we provide these as a free service of the Writing Lab at Purdue. Students, members of the community, and users worldwide will find information to assist with many writing projects. Teachers and trainers may use this material for in-class and out-of-class instruction.

  • APA Style General Formatting and Style Guide 7th ed
  • Purdue OWL Purdue OWL is an online writing reference that provides detailed information on APA 7th, MLA 9th, Chicago 17th styles of citation as well as general citation and research assistance.
  • Purdue Owl | APA Guide | Examples

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  1. APA Sample Paper

    Media Files: APA Sample Student Paper , APA Sample Professional Paper This resource is enhanced by Acrobat PDF files. Download the free Acrobat Reader. Note: The APA Publication Manual, 7 th Edition specifies different formatting conventions for student and professional papers (i.e., papers written for credit in a course and papers intended for scholarly publication).

  2. APA Formatting and Style Guide (7th Edition)

    APA Stylistics: Basics. APA Stylistics: Avoiding Bias. Footnotes & Appendices. Numbers & Statistics. Additional Resources. APA Headings and Seriation. APA PowerPoint Slide Presentation. APA Sample Paper. Tables and Figures.

  3. APA Style Introduction

    APA Style Introduction. These OWL resources will help you learn how to use the American Psychological Association (APA) citation and format style. This section contains resources on in-text citation and the References page, as well as APA sample papers, slide presentations, and the APA classroom poster.

  4. Sample papers

    These sample papers demonstrate APA Style formatting standards for different student paper types. Students may write the same types of papers as professional authors (e.g., quantitative studies, literature reviews) or other types of papers for course assignments (e.g., reaction or response papers, discussion posts), dissertations, and theses.

  5. Library: Purdue Global Library: APA Style Help & Tools

    Learn the basics of APA Style, including how to format a manuscript, understand the form and function of common manuscript parts, organize and express your thoughts clearly and precisely, employ the mechanics of style, use graphic elements effectively, credit sources and acknowledge the contributions of others, and construct a comprehensive and reliable reference list.

  6. APA Style Guide

    The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Seventh Edition is the official source for APA Style. Purdue's OWL (Online Writing Lab) provides instruction on how to use APA 7th. Below are a few topics covered by the OWL. APA Style Introduction APA 7th.

  7. Research and Citation Resources

    APA Style (7th Edition) These OWL resources will help you learn how to use the American Psychological Association (APA) citation and format style. This section contains resources on in-text citation and the References page, as well as APA sample papers, slide presentations, and the APA classroom poster.

  8. PDF Sample Student Paper

    Sample Student Paper (continued) 66 • PAPER ELEMENTS AND FORMAT journal article reference, 10.1 YouTube video reference, 10.12 short URL, 9.36 book reference, 10.2 report reference, 10.4 blog post reference, 10.1 conference presentation reference, 10.5 edited book chapter reference, 10.3 shortDOI, 9.36 ELEMENTS & FORMAT

  9. APA: Overview of Purdue's Online Writing Lab (OWL)

    This tutorial will get you familiarized with the Purdue OWL Formatting and Style Guide. A resource for applying APA formatting to your papers, citations, ref...

  10. Purdue OWL: APA Formatting

    This vidcast discusses how to format a paper using Microsoft Word according to APA style. To learn more about APA style, please visit the following resource ...

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    The Purdue OWL offers global support through online reference materials and services. A Message From the Assistant Director of Content Development The Purdue OWL® is committed to supporting students, instructors, and writers by offering a wide range of resources that are developed and revised with them in mind. To do this, the OWL team is ...

  12. APA Citation Style

    Purdue OWL (Online Writing Lab) tutorials ... Download the Guidelines for APA Writing Style and Format file. Using APA to Cite Sources. Avoiding plagiarism, self-plagiarism, and other questionable writing practices: A guide to ethical writing ... EndNote Web, and Zotero. Also provided is contact information for Purdue librarians available to ...

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    Sample Paper APA 7th ed. Our APA sample paper shows you how to format the main parts of a basic research paper. APA 7th Sample Papers from Purdue Owl << Previous: Block Quotations; Next: Government Documents and Legal Materials >> Last Updated: May 3, 2024 2:22 PM;

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    Purdue OWL: APA. APA Guidlines; Videos on the Basics of APA; General Format. In-Text Citations: The Basics ... APA Changes 6th Edition. General APA Facts. APA Sample Paper. APA Formatting - The Basics. APA Formatting: Reference List Basics. APA References List: Complex Authors. APA References: Periodicals. APA References Entries for Books ...

  15. Research Guides: Citation Guides: APA Sample Paper

    The following PDF provides a sample paper written in the APA style to demonstrate visually how the guidelines work in action. This PDF is used with thanks and full credit to the Purdue OWL (Online Writing Lab) , which maintains a robust online guide to a variety of style guides, avoiding plagiarism, and writing at the academic level in general.

  16. APA Citation Format

    APA Citation Format; Search this Guide Search. Psychological Sciences: Major Research Sources. ... APA 7th Edition Citation Format instructions--Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) APA Style Manual. ... Purdue University Libraries is a congressionally designated depository for U.S. Government information.

  17. Purdue OWL: APA Formatting: Reference List Basics

    This vidcast introduces the viewers to the basics of APA style documentation, focusing on the reference list. For more information on this, please see the fo...

  18. APA Style (7th Edition)

    APA Sample Paper; Tables and Figures; Abbreviations Statistics in APA; APA Classroom Poster; Changes in the 7th Edition; General APA FAQs; Reference List: Textual Sources; Reference List: Online Media; APA Formatting and Style Guide (7th Edition) Suggested Resources Style Guide Overview MLA Guide APA Guide Chicago Guide OWL Exercises. Purdue ...

  19. Common Citations and References in APA Style (7th Ed.)

    In parenthetical citations, the author-date information goes after the paraphrase in parentheses as in the following example: Online learning opportunities are needed to reach marginalized high school students and decrease the dropout rate (Smith, 2010).; For a quotation, the parenthetical citation contains the author and date, and it also contains the specific part of the source such as the ...

  20. Citation Machine®: APA Format & APA Citation Generator

    See an APA sample paper reference list at the end of this entire section. Author's names. The names of authors are written in reverse order. Include the initials for the first and middle names. End this information with a period (see Section 9.8 of the Publication manual). Format: Last name, F. M. Example: Angelou, M. Doyle, A. C. Two or more ...

  21. Purdue Owl: APA Formatting & Style Guide

    Developed by Purdue's Online Writing Lab. Contains resources on in-text citation and the references page, as well as APA sample papers, slide presentations, and the APA classroom poster. 55 49613

  22. Purdue OWL

    APA Style. The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University houses writing resources and instructional material, and we provide these as a free service of the Writing Lab at Purdue. Students, members of the community, and users worldwide will find information to assist with many writing projects. Teachers and trainers may use this material for ...

  23. PDF APA 7th Edition Style

    Reference Format: Book title: Subtitle. (Year). Publisher. DOI (if there is one) Examples: Merriam-Webster's collegiate dictionary (11th ed.). (2005). Merriam-Webster. The complete encyclopaedia of garden flowers. (2003). Bateman. Chapter in an Edited Book In Text Format: (Author Last Name, Publication Year, p. Page Number) Examples