A Quick Reference Guide to APA Format

Table of Contents:

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:
  author 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.

The following are common types of citations:

 A Work by Two Authors
Use and in the text but & in parentheses.


 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 letter.

 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.

 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.

Distinguishing Two Authors with the Same Last Name
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.
  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
                 bibliographical and textual studies.  New York:  MLA.

A Periodical: List the following information:

Example: Hansen, W. Lee.  (1993) .  Teaching a writing intensive course in economics. Journal of
             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 for
                Resolutions on the Teaching of Composition.  Silver Platter.

  Example of an Internet source:
        Tompkins, D. P.  (1993, June) .  Thucydides constructs his speakers: The case of  Diodotus.
                Electronic Antiquity   [Online ],   1   (1) .  Available FTP: into.utas.ed.au
                dpartments/classics/antiquity/1,1- June1993/(4)-Articles/Tompkins-Thucydides

An abstract of an article: Show where the abstract may be found at the end of the entry.
 Corcoran, K. J., & Carney, M. D.   (1989) .  Alcohol consumption and looking for alternatives to
        drinking in college students. Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy,  3,  69-78.  (From Excerpta
        Medica,  1989,  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 Office.

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:   Prentice-Hall.

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: Underline 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  (pp. 277-298)
        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)

Miscellaneous Concerns:

For more detailed Information, consult your department's writing consultant or these sources:

American Psychological Association.  (1996) .  Publication manual of the American Psychological
        Association  (4th ed.) .  Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

American Sociological Association.  (1996) .  Style guide.  Washington, DC: American
        Sociological Association.

© 1997 Kit O'Toole, all rights reserved.

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