American Psychological Associations

APA (American Psychological Association) format is mostly used for social sciences courses. Its in-text and references page focuses on the date the material was created. The formatting style is currently in its sixth edition. For further resources, please see:

Mastering APA Style: Student’s Workbook and Training Guide
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The Little Seagull Handbook
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Rules for Writers
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Concise Rules of APA Style
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Purdue Owl
In addition to providing citation information for MLA, APA, and Chicago/Turabian formats, this resource covers grammar and the basics of writing a research paper.
The examples from this subject guide can be attributed to Purdue Owl:
The Writing Lab and OWL at Purdue and Purdue U. (2008). The Purdue OWL Family of Site. Retrieved December 12, 2018, from http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/
A picture of the side of various citation books - The Chicago Manual of Style, MLA handbook, The CSE Manual, etc.
In-text Citations
  • APA uses parenthetical citations. Use the last name of the author or authors and then cite the year of creation for the work (if applicable). Put a comma in-between the author and year. If it is a direct quote, put another comma and then p.(page number) where the quote can be found. For example:
    • “Contempt for the rule of law is deeply rooted in U.S. practice” (Chomsky, 2000, p.17).
  • When you already include the name of the author within the sentence, just include the year in the end citation. For example:
    • Chomsky theorized that “contempt for the rule of law is deeply rooted in U.S. practice” (2000, p. 17).
  • For long, direct quotes (40 words or longer) use a block of text written without quotation marks.
    • Indent each line of the quotation 1/2 inch from the left
    • Include in-text citation AFTER the punctuation mark
  • If a work has two authors mention both author’s names. If you mentioned them within the text, use “and” in between their names. If it is in the parenthetical citation, use the “&” sign.
  • If a work has three or more authors use the first authors last name followed by et al.
References
  • References appear on a separate page at the end of the paper.
  • Keep margins, font size, style, spacing, page numbers and running head all the same.
  • Title the page: References. Do not bold, italic, quote, or underline the title. Center it in the middle of the page.
  • Citations there should be listed alphabetically by the author’s last name. State the author’s first initial only and second initial if given; do not write their full first name.
  • If there is more than one author, list the authors in the order that they appear on the material cited. If a work is authored by an organization, corporation, or government department, use the name of the institution as the author name. If the author name is completely unknown, start the citation with the title.
  • Use the special indent feature called “hanging indent” on each citation.
  • Capitalize only the first word and proper nouns in the titles of materials.
  • If the publication date is not provided, use n.d. No publisher provided, use n.p.
  • DOIs and URLs should be should be presented as hyperlinks for electronic resources.
    • Do not use the label “DOI” or “URL” in the citation.
    • The words “retrieved from” should only be included when there is a retrieval date also included.
  • Basic formatting for citations:
    • Author and/or editor names by last name first.
    • (Date in parenthesis)
    • Title of the article
    • Title of book, journal, volume number of journal in italics.
    • Issue or edition number.
    • Publisher information, including the publisher name and date
    • URL, DOI, or permalink for electronic resources
Formatting Basics

For a more comprehensive formatting guide, please see the example paper on Purdue Owl.

  • The entire paper should have 1 inch margins on all sides (top, right, left, bottom)
  • The entire paper should be Times New Roman, 12-point font, double spaced
  • According to the new 7th edition, headings formally know as “running heads” are no longer required for student papers. Running heads should only be added at the request of the instructor.
  • The page number should be on the right side. Page numbers begin at 1.
  • The title page should include the title in upper and lowercase lettered centered in the upper half of your page.
    • Centered on the lower half of the page: the authors name (your name), institutional affiliation (the college), any author note (usually the name of your professor and/or course), and the due date (Month Day, Year).
  • The abstract page beings with the word “Abstract” centered on the page. Do not bold, underline, or italicize it. Begin writing a concise summary of your paper on the next line.
  • The body of your page should restate the title centered on the top, do not bold or underline or italicize.
  • Appendices are used to display charts, graphs, tables, etc. These come after the references page. Label each Appendix, starting with “A”, such as “Appendix A”, and also title them according to their content, such as “Charts & Graphs.”
Literature Review
  • Some APA papers are Literature Reviews. These papers are a critical summary of what existing research says about your topic/question.
  • Includes:
    • Title Page
    • Optional Abstract (depends upon professor)
    • Introduction
    • Body
    • References
    • Optional Appendices (if you have tables/charts to add to the paper)
Experimental Report
  • Some APA papers are Experimental Reports. These papers are lab reports, which show empirical research.
  • Includes:
    • Title Page
    • Abstract: 100 word summary of what the stuyd is about.
    • Introduction. Has three parts: The opening statement, literature review, and study overview.
      • Literature Review: discuss the literature/previous studies that have been done in relation to your topic. Discuss how your work will be different.
      • Study Overview: includes a hypothesis and a description of your methods.
    • Methods: over view of how you will go about conducting your research. Discuss your participants, the apparatus (equipment), materials (surveys, software,etc.), and procedure (the process you took, step-by-step, and your variables).
    • Results: the results of the experiment, written and with statistics. Discuss how they compare to your hypothesis.
    • Discussion: summarize the research and findings, and discuss the meanings of your results and how they will impact existing literature.
Section Headings
  • Used to improve readability
  • Example of way to distinguish between the different sections/headings:
    • Level 1: Centered, Bold, Titlecase
    • Level 2: Flush Left, Bold, Titlecase
    • Level 3: indented, bold, lowercase with a period.
    • Level 4: indented, bold, italicized, lowercase with a period.
    • Level 5: indented, italicized, lowercase heading with a period.
Books
One Author
References
Author Last, First Initial. (Year). Title. City of publication, publisher.
Example
Pollan, M. (2006). The omnivore’s dilemma: A natural history of four meals. New York, NY: Penguin Group.
In-text
(Author Last, Year)
Example
(Pollan, 2006)
Two Authors
References
Author Last, First Initial & Author Last First Initial. (Year). Title. Publishing City: Publisher.
Example
Bernstein, C. & Woodward B. (1974). All the president’s men. New York: Simon & Schuster.
In-text
(Author Last & Authors Last, Year)
Example
(Berstein & Woodward, 1974)
Three or More

If there are more than seven authors, after the sixth author put an ellipses (…) and then list the last author’s name.

References
Author Last, First Initial, Last, First Initial, & Last, First Initial. (Year). Title. Publisher City: Publisher.
Example
McAllister, R.M., Horowitz, S.T, & Gilden, R.V. (1993). Cancer. New York: Basic Books.
In-text
For three to five authors, list every author the first time you use the reference, and then for every subsequent time, use only the first author’s name followed by et. al. For six plus authors, every reference will be the first authors name followed by et al. Then follow all names by the year.
(Author Last et al., Year)
Example
(McAllister, Horowitz, & Gilden, 1993) followed by (McAllister et al., 1993)
Author with Editor
References
Author Last, First Initial. (Year). Title. Editor First Initial Last Name (Ed.). Publishing city: Publisher/
Example
Poston, T. (2000). First draft of history. K.A. Hauke (Ed.). Athens: University of Georgia Press.
In-text
(Author Last, Year)
Example
(Poston, 2000)
Author with Translator
References
Author Last, First Initial. (Year). The Title. (Translator First Initial Last Name, Trans.) Publishing City: Publisher.
Example
Laplace, P.S. (1902). A philosophical essay on probabilities. (F.W. Truscott & F.L. Emory, Trans.) London: John Wiley & Sons.
In-text
(Author Last, Year)
Example
(Laplace, 1902)
Editor, No Author
References
Author Last, First Initial (Eds.). (Year). The Title. Publishing city: Publisher.
Example
Duncan, G.J., & Brooks-Gunn, J. (Eds.). (1997). Consequences of growing up poor. New York, NY: Russel Sage Foundation.
In-text
(Editor Last, Year)
Example
(Duncan & Brooks-Gunn, 1997)
Work In an Anthology
References
Author Last, First Initial. (Year). Title of individual work. In Editors First Initial Last Name (Ed.), Title of Complete Work (pp. Page selection of work). Publishing city: Publisher.
Example
Harris, M. (2000). Talk to me: Engaging reluctant writers. In B. Rafoth (Ed.), A tutor’s guide: helping writers one to one (pp. 24-34). Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
In-text
(Author Last, Year)
Example
(Harris, 2000)
Edition Other Than First
References
Author Last, First Initial. (Year). Title (Number ed.). Publishing city: Publisher.
Example
Helfer, M.E., Kempe, R.S., & Krugman, R.D. (1997). The battered child (5th ed.). Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
In-text
(Author Last, Year)
Example
(Helfer, Kempe, & Krugman, 1997)
Multivolume Work
References
Editor Last, First Initial (Ed.). (Year). Title. (Number of volumes 1-?). Publishing City: Publisher.
Example
Wiener, P. (Ed.). (1973). Dictionary of the history of ideas (Vols. 1-4). New York, NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons.
In-text
(Editor Last, Year)
Example
(Wiener, 1973)
Foreword, Introduction, Preface, or Afterword
References
Section Author Last, First Initial. (Year). Section Type. In Author First Initial Last Name, Title (pp. page selection). Publishing city: Publisher.
Example
Duncan, H. D. (1984). Introduction. In K.Burke (Ed.), Permanence and Change: An Anatomy of Purpose (pp. xiii-xliv). Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
In-text
(Section Author Last, Year)
Example
(Duncan, 1984)
Online
General
References
Author (Year [use n.d. if not given]}. Article or Page Title. Larger Publication Title, volume number (issue number). Retrieved Date [Month Day, Year], from http://url address.
In-text
If author is applicable, use this. If not, use editor. If neither are, use the article or website name.
(Author Last OR Editor Last OR Article Name OR Website Name, year (if present, if not use n.d.)
Entire Website
References
Editor, author, or compiler name (if available) Last, First Initial. (Year of Publication/Last Update). Name of Entire Site. Retrieved Date [Month Day, Year], from http:// url address.
Example
The Writing Lab and OWL at Purdue and Purdue U. (2008). The Purdue OWL Family of Sites. Retrieved December 12, 2018, from http://owl.english.purdue.edu.owl/
In-text
(Author Last or Editor Last or Article Name or Website Name, Year)
Example
(Purdue OWL, 2018)
Webpage
References
Editor, author, or compiler name (if available) Last, First. “Title of Webpage.” (Year & Month of Publication/Last Update). Article Title. Name of Site. Retrieved from: http:// URL address.
Example
Shiva, V. (2006, February). Bioethics: A third world issue. Nativeweb. Retrieved from http://www.nativeweb.org/pages/legal/shiva.html
In-text
(Author Last or Editor Last or Article Name or Website Name, Year)
Example
(Shiva, 2006)
Webpage, Unknown Author
References
Title of Webpage. (Year). Name of institution/organization affiliated with the site (sponsor or publisher). Retrieved from http:// URL address
Example
Media Giants. (2001). PBS Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/cool/giants
In-text
(“Article Name”, Year)
Example
(“Media Giants”, 2001)
Image from Website
References
Creator’s Last, First Initial. (Year). Title of the digital image. Title of the website, Name of institution/organization affiliated with the site (sponsor or publisher). http:// URL address.
Example
Goya, F. (1800). The family of Charles IV. Museo National del Prado. Retrieved from http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/goya/hd_goya.htm
In-text
(Creator Last Name, Year)
Example
(Goya, 1800)
Online Book
References
Author Last, First Initial. (Year). The Title. Retrieved from http:// URL address
Example
Delabastita, D., & L.D’hulst. (1990). European Shakespeares. translating Shakespeare in the romantic age. Retrieved from http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/purdue/detail.action?docID=842928.
In-text
(Author Last, Year)
Example
(Dirk & D’hulst 325)
Portion of an Online Book
References
Author Last, First Initial. (Year). “The Section Title.” In The Book Title. Retrieved from http:// URL address.
Example
Adams, H. (1918). “Diplomacy.” In The education of Henry Adams. Retrieved from http://www.bartleby.com/159/8.html.
In-text
(Author Last, Year)
Example
(Adams, 1918)
Blog Post
References
Author Last, First Initial. (Year, Month Date). Title of Post. [Web log post]. Blog Title. Retrieved from http:// URL address
Example
Mayer, C. (2006, May 24) Stamps to become a marketing vehicle.[Web log post]. The Checkout. Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn-content/article/2006/05/23/AR2006052301593.html?noredirct=on. Accessed 5 December 2018.
In-text
(Author Last Name, Year)
Example
(Mayer, 2006)
Email
References
Do not include in references. In-text citation only
In-text
(Author First Initials Last Name, personal communication, Month Date Year)
Example
(J. Smith personal communication, December 12, 2018)
Government Document Online
References
Name of Government Department, Agency or Committee. (Year of Publication, Month Day). Title. Retrieved Month Day, Year, from http:// url address.
Example
Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services. (2010, April 27). Your preschool child’s speech and language development. Retrieved April 1, 2013, from http://www.children.gov.on.ca/htdocs/English/topics/earlychildhood/ speechlanguage/brochure_preschool.aspx
In-text</dt
(Government Department, Year)
Example
(Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services, 2010)
Example from: APA Citation Guide (6th Edition): How Do I Cite. (2018, Dec 4). Coumbia College. Retrieved from https://columbiacollege-ca.libguides.com/apa/how.
Articles
Magazine Article
References
Author Last, First Initial. (Year, Month Date). The Title. Magazine Title, Volume Number(Issue Number), page selection.
Example
Poniewozik, J. (2000, November 20). Election 2000: TV makes too-close call. Time, 156(21), 70-71.
In-text
(Author Las, Year)
Example
(Poniewozik, 2000)
Article in an Online Magazine/Newspaper
References
Author Last, First Initial. (Year, Month Date). The Title. Magazine Title. Retrieved from http:// URL address.
Example
Bernstein, M. (2002). 10 tips on writing the living web. A list apart: for people who make websites. Retrieved from http://www.alistapart.com/articles/writeliving
In-text
(Author Last, Year)
Example
(Bernstein, 2002)
Scholarly Journal Article
References
Author Last, First Initial. (Year). Article Title. Journal Title, Volume Number(Issue Number), page selection.
Example
Bagchi, A. (1996). Conflicting nationalisms: the voice of the subaltern in Mahasweta Devi’s Bashai Tudu. Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature, 15(1), 41-50.
In-text
(Author Last, Year)
Example
(Bagchi, 1996)
Article in an Online Journal/From a Database
References
Author Last, First Initial. (Year). Article title. Journal Title, volume number(Issue number), page selection. DOI OR http:// URL
Example
Bent, H. (1959). Professionalization of the ph.d. degree. The Journal of Higher Education, 30(3), 140-145. http://www.jstor.org/stable/1978286.
In-text
(Author Last, Year)
Example
(Bent, 1959)
Newspaper Article
References
Author Last, First Initial. (Year, Month Date). Article Title. Newspaper Title, p. page number.
Example
Krugman, P. (2007, May 21). Fear of eating. New York Times, p. A1.
In-text
(Author Last, Year)
Example
(Krugman, 2007)
Editorial in Newspaper, No Author
References
Editorial: Title [Editorial]. (Year, Month Date). Newspaper/Magzine Title, p. page number.
Example
Editorial: Of Mines and Men [Editorial]. (2003, Oct 24). The Wall Street Journal, p. A14.
In-text
(“Title”, Year)
Example
(“Of Mines and Men”, 2003)
Letter to the Editor
References
Author Last, First Initial. [Letter to the editor]. (Year, Month Date). Newspaper/Magazine Title, p page number.
Example
Hamer, J. [Letter to the editor]. (2006/2007, December/January). American Journalism Review, p. 7
In-text
(Author Last, Date)
Example
(Hamer, 2006)
Book/Film Review
References
Author Last, First Initial. (Year, Month Date) The Title. [Review of Original Material Title, directed by/written by First Last Name, Year of original’s creation] Periodical Title, page number or Retrieved from URL.
Example
Seitz, M. Z. (2007, May 30). Life in the sprawling subarbs, if you can really all it living. [Review of Radiant City, directed by Gary Burns and Jim Brown, 2006]. New York Times, p. E1.
In-text
(Author Last, Year)
Example
(Seitz, 2007)
Media
General
References
Creator Last, First Initial (Title of role). (Year). Title. [Media Type]. Publishing/production city: Publisher/Sponsor/Institute. Retrieved from http:// URL address OR DOI.
In-text
(Creator Last, Year)
Video/Film
References
Creator Last, First Initial (Title of Role – Producer, Director, Writer). (Year). Title [Media Type]. Production City of Country: Studio.
Example
Kokin, K. (Producer), & Singer, B. (Director). (1995). The Usual Suspects [Motion Picture]. USA: Polygram.
In-text
(Producer/Director/Writer, Year)
When including a direct quote, also state the time stamp of the quote.
If there is a producer, director, and writer identifiable, include all three, in that order. Treat it as though they are three authors for a book.
Example
(Kokin & Singer, 1995)
Podcast/YouTube
References
Creator Last, First Initial. (Year, Month Date). Title. [Media Type]. Channel. Retrieved from http:// URL address.
Example
UW Tacoma Multimedia Lab. (2015, September 30). Videography tips and tricks to produce a documentary profile piece. [YouTube Video]. UW Tacoma. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_fiNRFcbwy
In-text
(Creator Last Name, Year)
Example
(UW Tacoma Multimedia Lab, 2015)
Television Shows
References
Creator Last Name, First Initial – Producer, Director, Writer. (year). “Episode Title.” Series Title. [Media Type]. Production location: Studio.
Example
Bright, K. (Director). (2004). “The one where Chandler can’t cry.” Friends: The complete sixth season [Television series]. Burbank, CA: Warner Brothers.
In-text
(Producer/Director/Writer Last Name, Year)
When including a direct quote, also state the time stamp of the quote.
If there is a producer, director, and writer identifiable, include all three, in that order. Treat it as though they are three authors for a book.
Example
(Bright, 2004)
Song or Album
References
Songwriter Last, First Initial. (Year). Song Title. [Recorded by First Name last Name of Performer/Group]. On Album Title (if applicable). Production City: Studio.
Example
Cobain, K. (1991). Smells like teen spirit. [Recroded by Nirvana]. On Nevermind. Santa Monica, CA: DGC Records.
In-text
(Performer Name, Year)
Include timestamp or track number on album if applicable.
Example
(Nirvana, 1991)
Lecture
References
Speaker Last, First Initial. (Year, Month Date). Lecture Type on Title. Panel name, Conference name, Location, City, State.
Example
Stein, B. (2003, May 23). Keynote Address on reading and writing in the digital era. Discovering Digital Dimensions, Computers and Writing Conference, Union Club Hotel, West Lafayette, IN.
In-text
(Speaker Last Name, Year)
Example
(Stein, 2003)
Advertisement
References
Name of Company That Owns the Product. (Year, Month Date). Name of advertisement [Advertisement]. Name of Journal, Magazine or Newspaper, Volume(Issue), page number advertisement is found on.
Example
BMW. (2011, June 4). Diesel reinvented [Advertisement]. Fictional Magazine, 7(1), p. 17.
In-text
(Name of Company That Owns the Product, Year)
Example
(BMW, 2011)
Example from: APA Citation Guide (6th Edition): How Do I Cite. (2018, Dec 4). Coumbia College. Retrieved from https://columbiacollege-ca.libguides.com/apa/how.
Twitter
References
Twitter user name. (Year tweet was posted, Month Day). Text of post [Twitter post]. Retrieved from Twitter Account’s URL
Example
rickmercer. (2010, May 3). The only thing i have achieved today is ignoring my list. And that’s not on the list [Twitter post]. Retrieved from http://twitter.com/RICKMERCER
In-text
(Twitter handle, Year)
Example
(rickmercer, 2010)
Example from: APA Citation Guide (6th Edition): How Do I Cite. (2018, Dec 4). Coumbia College. Retrieved from https://columbiacollege-ca.libguides.com/apa/how.
Charts, Tables, Graphs, and Images

Label all images, charts, or graphs with Fig. #, starting at 1. The caption for a image goes below the image, beginning with its Fig. # label, then a short descriptor, followed by a citation of the image. If the image was found in another source, say “Adapted from” and then cite the source. It does not have to be in both. Follow the same model for charts and graphs. Tables follow nearly an identical model, but the tables must be labeled with the Table #, stating with Table 1.Example:

A woodblock painting of a Japanese woman from the from the series Anthology of Poems: The Love Section, titled Deeply Hidden Love.

Figure 1. Kitagawa Utamaro. (c. 1793-94). Deeply Hidden Love; from the series Anthology of Poems: The Love Section (Kasen koi no bu; Love Deeply Concealed: Great Love Themes of Classical Poetry). [print]. Retrieved from https://library.artstor.org/asset/ARMNIG_10313470243

A table from the Pew Research Center, title #Ferguson used Differently on Twitter and Instagram, based on a study ran from March 3-25, 2015. On Twitter, 86% were related to the Ferguson saga, and on Instagram, it was 38%, respectively 14% unrelated and 62% unrelated. On Twitter, 71% conveyed information about a specific event, and 36% on Instagram. 29% on Twitter were about a theme or idea, an 64% on Instagram. This table is just an example.

Table 1. Adapted from Hitlin, P. & J. Holcomb. (2015, April 6). From Twitter to Instagram, a different #Ferguson conversation. Pew Research Center. Retrieved from http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/04/06/from-twitter-to-instagram-a-different-ferguson/.

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