J. APA Style


This is a partial list of APA format styles. More information on the APA style can be found here.

Parenthetical Citation:

The APA system of citing sources indicates the author’s last name and the date, in parentheses, within the text of your paper.

A. A typical citation of an entire work consists of the author’s name and the year of publication. Example:
Charlotte and Emily Bronte were polar opposites, not only in their personalities but in their sources of inspiration for writing (Taylor, 1990).

Use the last name only in both first and subsequent citations, except when there is more than one author with the same last name. In that case, use the last name and the first initial.

B. If the author is named in the text, only the year is cited. Example:
According to Irene Taylor (1990), the personalities of Charlotte. . .

C. If both the name of the author and the date are used in the text, parenthetical reference is not necessary. Example:
In a 1989 article, Gould explains Darwin’s most successful. . .

D. Specific citations of pages or chapters follow the year. Example:
Emily Bronte “expressed increasing hostility for the world of human relationships, whether sexual or social” (Taylor, 1988, p. 11).

E. When the reference is to a work by two authors, cite both names each time the reference appears. Example:
Sexual-selection theory often has been used to explore patters of various insect mating (Alcock & Thornhill, 1983) … Alcock and Thornhill (1983) also demonstrate …

F. When the reference is to a work by three to five authors, cite all the authors the first time the reference appears. In a subsequent reference, use the first author’s last name followed by et al. (meaning “and others”). Example of a subsequent reference:
Patterns of byzantine intrigue have long plagued the internal politics of community college administration in Texas (Douglas et al., 1997)

When the reference is to a work by six or more authors, use only the first author’s name followed et al. in the first and all subsequent reference. The only exceptions to this rule are when some confusion might result because of similar names or the same author being cited. In that case, cite enough authors so that the distinction is clear.

G. When the reference is to a work by a corporate author, use the name of the organization as the author. Example:
Retired officers retain access to all of the university’s educational and recreational facilities (Columbia University, 1987, p. 54).

H. Personal letters, telephone calls, and other material that cannot be retrieved are not listed in References but are cited in the text. Example: Jesse Moore (telephone conversation, April 17, 1989) confirmed that the ideas. …

I. Parenthetical references may mention more than one work, particularly when ideas have been summarized after drawing from several sources. Multiple citations should be arranged as follows. Examples:

  1. List two or more works by the same author in order of the date of publication:
    (Gould, 1987, 1989)
  2. Differentiate works by the same author and with the same publication date by adding an identifying letter to each date:
    (Bloom, 1987a, 1987b)
  3. List works by different authors in alphabetical order by last name, and use semicolons to separate the references:
    (Gould, 1989; Smith, 1983; Tutwiler, 1989).

Reference: Single-Author Book & Part of a Book:

Alverez, A. (1970). The savage god: A study of suicide. New York: Random House.

Garner, B. A. (2003). Garner’s Modern American Usage. New York: Oxford University Press.

Notice that words like “University” and “Press” are not abbreviated (unlike the MLA style, in which such words are abbreviated without a period), but abbreviations such as “Co.” and “Inc.” are omitted. Notice, too, that the period after the title is part of the italicized portion of the citation.

If the material cited is from a foreword, preface, introduction, or afterword, list the name of the author of the book element you are citing. Follow the date (which might be different from the actual publication date) with the name of the element, the title of the book, and, in parentheses, the page number or page range on which the element appears (with p. or pp. to indicate page or pages)

Pepin, R.E. (2003). Introduction. Selected Poetry of Charles Darling: 1977–2002 (pp. iv–xxii). Colchester, CT: Colophon Books.


Reference: Book with Two or More Authors:

Natarajan, R., & Chaturvedi, R. (2003). Geology of the Indian Ocean Floor. Hartford, CT: Merganser University Press.

Ligon, M., Carpenter, K., Brown, W., & Milsop, A. (1983). Computers in the world of business communications. Hartford, CT: Capital Press.


Reference: An Edited Volume (Anthology or Reference Book):

Stanton, D. C., & Farbman, E. (Eds.). (2003). The female autograph: Theory and practice of autobiography. Middletown, CT: Ibis Bookstore Press.If you are referring to an article or signed chapter in an edited volume, your reference would look like this:

Pepin, R. E. (2002). Uses of time in the political novels of Joseph Conrad. In C. W. Darling, Jr., J. Shields, & E. C. Farbman (Eds.), Chronological looping in political novels (pp. 99-135). Hartford: Capital Press.

Notice that there are no quote marks around the title of the article and that only the first word of a title is capitalized. The names of editors are listed first-initials-first (not reversed). The inclusive page numbers are preceded by the abbreviations for “pages”: pp.


Reference: Secondary Resources:

O’Connor, C. O. & DeLoatch, K. L. (2003). Whatever happened to the humanities? In I. Rubenzahl (Ed.), Studies in Byzantine Intrigue (pp. 235–278). Hartford, CT: Merganser University Press.

To use material that is quoted or paraphrased elsewhere when you do not use the original resource, your reference will include the source of your language (or idea).

In your text, you would quote or paraphrase the idea that O’Connor and others have quoted or used, as follows:

As Villa trenchantly points out, “Perhaps the conflict seems so strong because the stakes are so low” (as cited in O’Connor & DeLoatch, 2003).


Reference: Magazines/Periodicals:

Wheatcroft, G. (2004, June). The Tragedy of Tony Blair. The Atlantic, 293 56–72.

Thomas, E. & Hosenball, M. (2004, May 31). Bush’s Mr. Wrong: The Rise and Fall of Chalabi. Newsweek, 143, 22–32.

Use inclusive page numbers. Do not use the abbreviations “p.” or “pp.”


Reference: Electronic and Online Resources:

A. General Information

Electronic correspondences, such as e-mail or discussions on bulletin boards or discussion groups, is regarded by the APA as personal communication (like phone conversations or memos), because it is not recoverable by others. Personal communications are cited only within the text and not on the reference page.

However, if the information is, in fact, retrievable, the following elements are necessary for the reference page:

Author(s), I. (date —or “n.d.” if not date is posted). Title of work. (Online), date retrieved. Name of Database or Internet address of the specific document. Specify URLexactly. [Do not end your entry with a period when ending with an URL.]

The date should be the year of publication or the most recent update. If the date of the source cannot be determined, provide the exact date you retrieved the information on the Internet.

The path information should be sufficient for someone else to retrieve the material. For example, specify the method used to find the material: the protocol (HTTP, Telnet, FTP, etc.), the directory, and the file name. Do not end the path statement with a period after a file name or Web address.

Just about everything of serious interest on the Internet is now available through the hypertext transfer protocol (the familiar HTTP). Some items, however, may still be discovered through FTP, GOPHER, TELNET, etc. (For instance, some universities might enable a professor to archive articles, etc. on a server accessible only through File Transfer Protocol (FTP). If you need to cite such sources, ask your instructor or consult the AP Publication Manual. It is not a good idea to cite resources that are available only with a password, unless that password can be established freely and easily (some online newspapers have password-protected archives like that). Also, do not refer your reader to a course Website that is password protected unless you know that all your potential readers have access to that material.

B. Sample References:

Online article: Central Vein Occlusion Study Group. (1993. October 2). Central vein occlusion study of photocoagulation: Manual of operations [675 paragraphs]. Online Journal of Current Clinical Trials [On-line serial]. Available: Doc No. 92

On-line abstract: You can cite an entire Web site within your text, but do not include it in your list of References. For instance, you could say something incredibly profound you learned from this Web page, and cite the URL at the end of the paragraph (http://www.ccc.commnet.edu/apa/). If a line-break is necessary when you cite an URL, make the break immeidately after a slash mark and carefully avoid the insertion of a hyphen where none is appropriate.

Electronic Database: College and public libraries subscribe to electronic databases such a sEBSCO, LexisNexis, OCLC, WilsonWeb, SIRS, etc. There are also online databases such as ERIC, PsychINFO, and Public Affairs Information Service (PAIS). These databases contain full-text articles and article abstracts.

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