A Quick Reference Guide to APA Format
There are two elements of the APA format: the in-text citation and the
list of references.
Use this when you are quoting or summarizing someone
else's ideas. You must also provide enough information so the reader
can easily locate the source of the information. There are three essential
pieces of information you must provide:
If you have already mentioned the author in the sentence, give the year
(1989). If you are paraphrasing someone's words but have not mentioned
the author's name previously, include the author's last name and year of
publication (Smith, 1989). For direct quotations, list the
author's name and page number(s) (Smith, 1989, p. 5). If you have quoted
an author in one sentence and are quoting another passage from the same
author, just write the page number (p. 5). All sentence- ending punctuation
goes outside the parentheses.
date of publication
page or page numbers of a quotation (if you are quoting directly
or even paraphrasing)
The following are common types of citations:
A Work by Two Authors
Use and in the text but & in parentheses.
Jones and Smith (1989) summarized the earlier research (pp. 44-59).
Although earlier research has been discussed, other points have been expanded
upon (Jones & Smith, 1989, pp. 44-59)
Two or More Works by the Same Author
If you are citing two works by the same author but from different years,
distinguish them by the date of publication. If the author has published
two separate works in the same year, you must list the works in alphabetical
order by title in your list of references, then assign each one a lowercase
(Jones, 1990a) discussed the research in his article, "Writing and Creativity,"
while (Jones, 1990b) refers to the writing process itself.
A Work by Three to Five Authors
Provide the names of all authors the first time you refer to a work,
but after the first reference give only the first of the names followed
by et al.
Jones, Smith, and Gooden (1992) believe that writing falls into three phases:
prewriting, writing, and rewriting. Like many other processes, this
one is the most common to all college students (Jones et al.).
A Work by a Corporate Author
Give a corporate author's full name in the first parenthetical reference.
Abbreviate the name, supplying it in brackets within the parentheses of
the first reference. Subsequently, use the abbreviation only.
PMLA (Modern Language Association [MLA], 1991) has published many articles
on the subject of the writing process. One of the most common of
the processes is the prewriting period, often referred to as brainstorming
Distinguishing Two Authors with the Same
Distinguish authors with the same last name by supplying first and
middle initials in each citation, such as (P. Jones, 1994) and (C.
K. Jones, 1995).
Two or More Sources in a Single Reference
Separate multiple sources in one citation by semicolons. List
authors alphabetically within the parentheses.
For preparing the page, title the list of references "References" on the
first line, centered. Leave two typed spaces to separate items in
an entry. Double-space throughout.
The writing process has brought about much change in the way writing is
taught in schools (Jones, 1995; Richards, 1994; Smith, 1990).
A Book: The information you should
include in an APA reference is the following:
Example: Williams, William Proctor, & Abbott, Craig S.
(1989) . An introduction to
Author's name. Put the last name first, followed by a comma,
and then the first name or initials.
Date. Give the year of publication in parentheses, followed
by a period. If your list includes several titles by the same author
that were published in one year, assign each book a lowercase letter.
Title of book. Underline the entire book title. Capitalize
only the first word in the title (except for proper names)
Publication information. Name the city of publication, followed
by a colon. Then give the full name of the publisher, but without
designations like co. or inc. If you need to go on to another line,
indent each subsequent line.
bibliographical and textual studies. New York: MLA.
A Periodical: List the following
Example: Hansen, W. Lee. (1993) . Teaching a writing intensive
course in economics. Journal of
Author's name. List the last name, a comma, and then the first
name or initials.
Date. List the date of publication in parentheses. If
it is a weekly or monthly publication, list the year, then a comma, then
the month and day.
Title of article. Capitalize only the first word of the title.
Do not put the title in quotations.
Title of periodical. List the title of the periodical and
underline it, and put a comma after it.
Volume number. After the comma, put down the number only without
abbreviations like "vol." Underline it with the periodical title.
If there's an issue number included, put it in parentheses after the volume
number (do not underline this). Put a comma after the number or parentheses.
Page numbers. Use the abbreviations p. or pp.
when referring to page numbers in a magazine or newspaper. Use no
abbreviations when referring to page numbers in a journal. Put a
period after the number. Indent any subsequent lines.
Economic Education, 5 (1), 213-229.
An Electronic Source: Begin with
the same information on author, title, and date. Following this initial
information and as part of the title (before the comma or period), list
Online or CD-ROM in brackets. You must end with the word Available
and the address of the source. For CD-ROM information, list the publisher.
Example of a CD-ROM source:
NCTE. (1987) . On
writing centers [CD-ROM] . Urbana: ERIC Clearinghouse
Resolutions on the Teaching of Composition. Silver Platter.
Example of an Internet source:
An abstract of an article: Show where
the abstract may be found at the end of the entry.
Tompkins, D. P. (1993,
June) . Thucydides constructs his speakers: The case of Diodotus.
Electronic Antiquity [Online ], 1 (1)
. Available FTP: into.utas.ed.au
Corcoran, K. J., & Carney, M. D. (1989) .
Alcohol consumption and looking for alternatives to
drinking in college students.
of Cognitive Psychotherapy, 3, 69-78. (From Excerpta
60, Abstract No. 1322)
A government publication:
National Institute of Mental Health. (1982) . Television
and behavior: Ten years of scientific
progress and implications
in the eighties (DHS Publication No. ADM 821195) . Washington,
DC: U.S. Government Printing
A film or videotape: Identify the
medium in brackets just after the title. For a TV or radio program,
include the date it aired.
Maas, J. B. (Producer), & Gluck, D. H. (Director) .
(1979) . Deeper into hypnosis [Film] .
Englewood Cliffs, NJ:
An information service:
Robertson, Linda R. (1981) . Stranger in a strange land,
or stimulating faculty interest in writing
across the curriculum.
(Report No. CS 206 717) . Portland, OR: Northwest Regional
Educational Lab. (ERIC
Document Reproduction Service No. ED 211 996)
A selection from an edited book or anthology:
the title of the book. The selection title, as with a periodical
article, is not underlined or enclosed in quotation marks. In APA
style, spell out the name of a university press.
Flower, Linda. (1995) . Writer-based prose: A cognitive
basis for problems in writing. In Robert
Connors & Cheryl Glenn
(Eds.) , The St. Martin's guide to teaching writing
New York: St. Martin's.
A corporate author: Alphabetize
the entry in the references list by the first significant word in the name,
which is given in normal order.
American Sociological Association. (1996) . Style guide.
Washington, DC: American Sociological
A government publication:
National Institute of Mental Health. (1990) . Clinical
training in serious mental illness. (DHHS
Publication No.ADM 90-16791)
In a citation for a work by a corporate author, alphabetize it by
the first significant word in its name.
If a book lists that it is a second, third, etc. edition, indicate the
edition in parentheses, following the book title, such as Post -traumatic
stress disorder: Diagnosis, treatment, and legal issues (2nd
For a book with two or more authors, list both authors by last name first,
then first name or initial. Before the last one listed, insert an
ampersand (&). List the authors in the order in which they are
printed in the source.
For more detailed Information, consult your department's writing
consultant or these sources:
American Psychological Association. (1996) . Publication
manual of the American Psychological
(4th ed.) . Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
American Sociological Association. (1996) . Style guide.
Washington, DC: American
© 1997 Kit O'Toole, all rights reserved.
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