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Citing Sources: APA

American Psychological Association (APA), 6th Edition.

The APA style is used by students and scholars in the social sciences, especially in the fields of psychology and sociology.

APA style guides

APA style guide coverPublication Manual of the American Psychological Association

6th ed.

Information desk: BF76.7 .P83 2010
check the library catalog.

Concise rules of APA style

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More guides to APA style

How to Cite sources in APA

APA requires that you document your sources by including parenthetical references in an author-date format in the text and a comprehensive list (titled References) at the end of the paper (in hanging indent style). 

In text - parenthetical

Core elements: The general format for in-text references in APA is author's last name and year of publication.

Special Note: In APA, you don't typically include specific page numbers in your parenthetical references. If you are referencing a specific quote, graph, or page in the text, however, include the page number after the author and date. Ex: (Barton, 2001, p. 123). 
For additional info on citing in text, see Chapter 6 of the APA Publication Manual (6th ed.).

Single author Note
(Barton, 2001) In subsequent references, continue to use (Barton, 2001).
2 authors Note
(Ault & Multhaup, 2009) In subsequent references, continue to use (Ault & Multhaup, 2009).
3, 4, or 5 authors Note
(Ault, Multhaup, & Kello, 2006) In subsequent references, use (Ault et al., 2006).
(Ramirez, Multhaup, Smith, & Kello, 1999) In subsequent references, use (Ramirez et al., 1999).
(Tonidandel, Multhaup, Smith, Kello, & Palmer, 1999) In subsequent references, use (Tonidandel et al., 1999).
6+ authors Note
(Munger et al., 2005) Use "et al." for a source with 6+ authors in the text. There are different rules for listing multiple authors in the bibliography. 
Group - Corporate author Note
(National Institute of Mental Health [NIMH], 2011) In subsequent references, use abbreviation : (NIMH, 2011)
Anonymous - No known author Note
(Anonymous Study, 2009) Books: Include a shortened form of the title in italics, followed by the year referenced.
("Psychological Study," 2001) Articles: Include a shortened form of the article title in quotes, followed by the year referenced.
Multiple sources, same author Note
(Dilbert, 2004a, 2004b) If you are referencing multiple sources by the same author/s in the same year, use 'a' 'b' 'c' to distinguish sources. Use 'a' for the first entry in the References list, 'b' for the second, etc.
Multiple sources referenced Note
(Johnson & Johnson, 2010;  Miller, 2001; Palmer, 2009) If you are citing multiple sources in the same parenthetical reference, list authors alphabetically and separate each source with a ";".

References: books

Core elements: Author/s (Last name, first initials), date (in parentheses), Book title (in italics), publication information (location: publisher name), and a doi (digital object identifier) when assigned.

Special note: Include a doi (digital object identifier) if one is available, regardless of whether you used an ebook or print version. If no doi is available for an ebook, include the homepage URL for the publisher preceded by "Retrieved from".

Book with a single author
Marti, G. (2009). A mosaic of believers: Diversity and innovation in a multiethnic 
church [ebrary version]. Retrieved from
Munger, M. P. (2003). The history of psychology: Fundamental questions. New 
York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Book with 2+ authors
Osberg, T. M., Thompson, B., & Munger, M. P. with Peter Gray. (1999). Instructor's 
resources to accompany Peter Gray's Psychology (3rd ed.) [ebrary version]. Retrieved from
Osberg, T. M., Thompson, B., & Munger, M. P. with Peter Gray. (1999). Instructor's
resources to accompany Peter Gray's Psychology (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Worth.
Edited book
Berry, G. L., & Asamen, J. (Eds.). (1993). Children and television: Images in a
changing sociocultural world. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
Chapter in a book
Palmer, E. L., Smith, T., & Strawser, K. S. (1993). Rubik's tube: Developing 
a child's television world view. In G. L. Berry & J. Asamen (Eds.), Children and television: Images in a changing sociocultural world (pp.143-154). Newbury Park, CA: Sage. 

References: articles

Core elements: Author (Last name, first initials), Date (in parentheses), Article title, Journal Title (in italics), volume number (in italics), pages, doi (digital object identifier). 

Note: If each issue begins with page 1, include the volume number (in italics) followed by the issue number in parentheses.   

Special note: Include a doi (digital object identifier) if one is available, regardless of whether you used an online or print version. If no doi is available for an article retrieved online, include the homepage URL for the journal preceded by "Retrieved from".

Journal article with a single author
Online and print
Kelly, H. (2010). 'The way we found them to be': Remembering E. Franklin 
Frazier and the politics of respectable black teachers. Urban Education, 2, 142-165.
Journal article with 2+ authors
Online and print
Kaufman, G., & Uhlenberg, P. (1998). Effects of life course transitions on the 
quality of relationships between adult children and their parents. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 4, 924-938.
3-7 authors (no doi available)
Ramirez, J. J., Caldwell, J. L., Majure, M., Wessner, D. R., Klein, R. L., Meyer, E. 
M., & King, M. A. (2003). Adeno-associated virus vector expressing nerve growth factor enhances cholinergic axonal sprouting after cortical injury in rats. Journal of Neuroscience, 7, 2797-2803. Retrieved from
8+ authors
Campbell, A.M., Ledbetter, M. S., Hoopes, L. L., Eckdahl, T. T., Heyer, L. J., 
Rosenwald, A., . . . Gottfried, G. (2007). Genome consortium for active teaching (GCAT): Meeting the goals of BIO2010.  CBE—Life Sciences Education, 6, 109-118.
Note: Only list 7 authors. For articles that have 8 or more authors, list "[6 authors], . . . [last author]"
Online and print
Tonidandel, S., LeBreton, J. M., & Johnson, J. W. (2009). Determining the 
statistical significance of relative weights. Psychological Methods, 14, 387-399.
Newspaper article
Online (no doi available)
Tamura, L. (2010, December 13). Exercises for cognitive and physical fitness. 
The Washington Post. Retrieved from
Amy, J. (2006, October 29). Beyond cognitive disability barriers. The 
Washington Post, p. F4.
Magazine article
Online (no doi available)
Dumas, D. (2008, November 24). The curious case of reverse-aging Brad Pitt. 
Wired. Retrieved from
Dumas, D. (2008). Screen Life In Reverse. Wired16(12), 66.
Article in a reference source
Online (no doi available)
Kello, J. E. (2007). Assessment center. In S.G. Rogelberg & C. Reeves (Eds.), 
Encyclopedia of industrial and organizational psychology (Vol.1, pp. 30-34). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Retrieved from
Tonidandel, S. (2007). Computer assessment. In S.G. Rogelberg & C. Reeves 
(Eds.), Encyclopedia of industrial and organizational psychology (Vol.1, pp. 89-91). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Book review
Ault, R. L., & Multhaup, K. S. (2009). No "thanks for the memories" [Review of
the book Remembering our childhood: How memory betrays us, by K. Sabbagh]. PsycCRITIQUES, 54(43).
Angell, J. (1904). Review of 'Experimental Psychology and its Bearing upon 
 Culture'. Psychological Bulletin1(1), 21-25. 

References: online sources

Core elements: In APA, including a doi (digital object identifier) is preferred for online sources. If no doi is available, include the full URL or the site’s home page URL, whichever takes you to the source more reliably, preceded by "Retrieved from". Unless the content is subject to change, as in a wiki entry, no access date is required. Use the update for electronic sources, the APA Style Guide to Electronic References.

Online (no doi available)
American Psychological Association. (2012). Research in psychology [Website]. 
Retrieved from
Journal article online
Barton, C., Alexander, J. F., & Turner, C. W. (1988). Defensive 
communications in normal and delinquent families: The impact of context and family role. Journal of Family Psychology, 1, 390-405.   
Online (no doi available)
Marti, G. (2009). A mosaic of believers: Diversity and innovation in a 
multiethnic church [ebrary version]. Retrieved from
Magazine article online
Online (no doi available)
Hutson, M. (2008). Making foresight 20/20. Psychology Today, 41(6), 53. 
Retrieved from
News article online
Online (no doi available)
Kurutz, S. (2011, May 11). Children of hoarders leaving the cluttered nest. The 
New York Times. Retrieved from

References: media (video, audio, & image)

The APA Manual does not have extensive coverage of citing media sources, but some common examples are listed below. Use the update for electronic sources, the APA Style Guide to Electronic References, when appropriate. See both guides for additional examples.

Heyman, D. (Producer), & Yates, D. (Director). (2010). Harry Potter and the 
deathly hallows: Part 1 [Motion picture]. United States: Warner Brothers.
Online Video
DavidsonCollegeNC. (2011, November 14). Prof. Julio Ramirez receives
prestigious Society for Neuroscience Award [Video file]. Retrieved from 
Perry, D. (Producer). (2009, September 9). Ethics and war in comparative religious 
perspective [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from
Audio Recording
Bieber, J. (2010). Eenie meenie. On My world 2.0. [CD]. New York, NY: Island.
Art - Image
Gormley, A. (2005). You [Sculpture]. Retrieved from

References: primary sources & other

The APA style manual does not go into great detail regarding how to cite primary sources (see 7.10 of the manual for primary source coverage). 

Freud, S. (1938, December 7). Interview of Sigmund Freud by the BBC [MP3]. 
Retrieved from
Government Document
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service. 
(2011). Barbecue and food safety. Retrieved from
Lincoln, A. (1863, January 26). [Letter to Joseph Hooker]. Lincoln's Letters, 
Alfred Whital Stern Collection of Lincolniana, Library of Congress, Washington, DC. Retrieved from
Conference Presentation
Smith, M. A., & Roberts, D. C. S. (2008, August). Cocaine self-administration and 
wheel-running in rats responding in a discrete-trials procedure. Paper presented at the 116th Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association, Boston, MA.

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