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Quick Reference: APA Citations
How to Use This Guide||In Text Citations||Formatting Entries||Books|| Articles||Web Sites||APA Web Resources


  • The first section lists titles we hold in our library collection.
  • The second section explains the proper way to format In Text Citations using a signal phrase or parenthetical.
  • The third section briefly details how to set up your Reference List page according to APA standards.
  • The Formatting Entries section provides examples and explanations for the various elements of a complete citation that goes on a works cited page.
  • The APA Reference Examples section supplies templates for print, digital and multimedia resources for a paper's works cited page.
  • The final sections contains links to APA Web Resources that offer supplemental resources.

    Typically, the Behavior, Health and Social Sciences use the APA (American Psychological Association) style for research papers. The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association provides the formats for notes and citations. To supplement this manual, the APA published the Concise Rules of APA Style as an official pocket guide to be used as a quick reference tool.

    Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association

    Concise Rules of APA Style

    In text citations are references to another author's work within the body of a paper. These citations can either be direct quotes or paraphrasing of the author's work. They are often referred to as parenthetical citations. In text citations can be incorporated into papers through two different techniques. The first technique uses the author's name in a signal phrase. A signal phrase informs the reader of an upcoming paraphrase or quote by using the author's or creator's name to segue into the material. In APA style, the publication year is listed immediately after the author or creator in parentheses. The other technique is to use a parenthetical with the author's or creator's name and the publication date immediately after the paraphrase or quotation. Each parenthetic requires a page number. If a signal phrase is used then the page number is added as a separate parenthetical before the punctuation. In the event that there is no pagination, as is the case with most websites, use n.p. in place of page numbers.

    Type of Citation
    First citation
    Subsequent citations
    First parenthetical
    Subsequent parentheticals
    One author
    Szanto (2007)...
    (p. 593)
    Szanto (2007)...
    (p. 632)
    (Szanto, 2007, p. 593)
    (Szanto, 2007, p. 633)
    Two authors
    Dudrah and Desai (2008)...(p. 13)
    Dudrah and Desai (2008)...(p. 16)
    (Dudrah & Desai, 2008, p. 13)
    (Dudrah & Desai, 2008, p. 16)
    Three authors
    Culver, Arnow, and Ketter (2007)...(p. 39)
    Culver et al. (2007)...(p. 41)
    (Culver, Arnow, & Ketter, 2007, p. 39)
    (Culver et al., 2007, p. 41)
    Four authors
    Feldman, Cage, Brown, and Satie (2005)...(p.55)
    Feldman et al. (2005)...(p. 67)
    (Feldman, Cage, Brown, & Satie, 2005, p. 55)
    (Feldman et al., 2005, p. 67)
    Five authors
    Silva, Matzner, Diaz, Singh, and Dummit (1999)...(p. 34)
    Silva et al. (1999)...(p. 43)
    (Silva, Matzner, Diaz, Singh, & Dummit, 1999, p. 34)
    (Silva et al.,1999, p. 43)
    Six or more authors
    Duchamp et al. (2003)...(p. 66)
    Duchamp et al. (2003)...(p. 99)
    (Duchamp et al., 2003, p. 66)
    (Duchamp et al., 2003, p. 99)
    Groups as authors
    National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH, 2009)...(n.p.)
    NIMH (2009)...(n.p.)
    (National Institute of Mental Health [NIMH], 2009, n.p.)
    (NIMH, 2009, n.p.)

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    The reference list should be on a separate page at the end of the project with the label References centered at the top of the sheet.

    All reference entries should be hanging; first line flush with left margin, each additional line shall be indented 5 spaces from left margin.

    Reference entries should be double spaced.

    Entries should be alphabetized by authors last name. Unauthored entries should be alphabetized by the first significant title word.

    Sample APA Reference Page prepared by the Saint Joseph College Center for Excellence.


    Author's and editor's names are always inverted. List the last name first, followed by a comma, then their initials and a period after them for up to and including seven authors or editors. In instances where the references have two to seven authors, use an ampersand (&) before the last author. For editor(s), the abbreviation should be placed parenthetically after the name, e.g. (Ed.) followed by a period.

    Example 1: Beckett, S.

    Example2: Bloom, H. (Ed.)

    If there are eight or more author/editors, include the first six authors then insert three ellipses (...)and list the last author's name.

    Example 3: Feldman, M., Cage, J., Brown, E., Satie, E., Wolff, C., Blum, E...Ziegler, M.

    Publication dates are always placed in parentheses immediately after the author(s) or editor(s) and are followed by a period.

    Example 4: Evans, K. (2008).

    If there is no publication date or if the publication date is unknown simply use n.d.

    Example 5: Pangloss, D. (n.d.).

    Book titles should always be italicized. The first word of a title should be capitalized along with the first word of a subtitle. Proper nouns in the title are always capitalized.

    Example 6: Szanto, A. (Ed.). (2007). What Orwell didn't know : Propaganda and the new face of American politics.

    Publisher cities should be listed first followed by a common then the two letter abbrevation for the state. The location information should always be followed with a colon.

    Example 7: Culver City, CA:

    Publishers are listed for books without including Co., Inc., Publishers, etc... in the entry. A period follows the listing.

    Example 8: Random House., Harvard University., Plain Press.

    Journal titles are italized and all major words in the journal title are capitalized. The titles of individual essays from journals are not italicized but should follow the APA title capitalization format (see Ex. 6).

    Example 9: Journal of Cognitive Dissonance Theory.

    Citations for journal articles should include the italicized volume and issue number (if there is one) in parentheses followed by a comma then the page number.

    Example 10: 39(13), 139-153.

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    APA Reference Examples


    Szanto, A. (Ed.). (2007). What Orwell didn't know : Propaganda and

           the new face of American politics. New York, NY: PublicAffairs.

    Joiner, T.E., Brown, J.S., & Kistner, J. (Eds.). (2006). The interpersonal,

           cognitive, and social nature of depression . Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence


    Mishra, V. (2008). Towards a theoretical critique of Bombay cinema.

           In R. Dudrah & J. Desai (Eds.), The Bollywood reader (pp. 32-45).

           Berkshire, England: Open University Press.

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    Articles retrieved from databases or from the web are cited in 3 different ways. If the article has a DOI (digital object identifier) then use the first example below. However,if no DOI is assigned then follow the second example. Finally, if the article is retrieved from a subscription database, use the third example.

    Culver, J. L., Arnow, B. A., & Ketter, T. A.. (2007). Bipolar disorder:

           Improving diagnosis and optimizing integrated care. Journal of

           Clinical Psychology,63(1), 72-93. doi:10.1002/jclp.20333

    Silva, R.R., Matzner, F., Diaz, J., Singh, S., & Dummit III, E.S. (1999).

           Bipolar disorder in children and adolescents: A guide to diagnosis

           and treatment. CNS Drugs,12(6), 437-450. Retrieved from


    Hauser, M. U. (2013). The significance of at-risk or prodromal symptoms for

           bipolar I disorder in children and adolescents. Canadian Journal Of

           Psychiatry, 58(1), 22-31. Retrieved from Psychology and Behavioral Sciences


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    National Institute of Mental Health. (2009, August 14). Bipolar disorder.

           Retrieved from


    World Health Organization. (2009). Psychotropic drugs. Retrieved


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    The Owl at Purdue: APA Formatting and Style Guide ( a handy APA resource developed by Purdue University.

    APA Style Manual ( a useful PDF created by the librarians at Bowling Green State University.

    Learning APA Style ( Tutorials and products created by the American Psychological Association to facilitate learning the APA style.

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    Questions or comments, contact:
    Michael Billings, Reference Librarian

    Lakeland Community College Library
    440.525.7424 (Circulation) | 440.525.7425 (Reference)