References in APA Style

The following guidelines for APA-style references come from Chapters 6 and 7 of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th ed. Where applicable, the manual sections are included in brackets.

Periodicals - Print Format

In academia, a periodical is a resource like a journal that contains several articles by numerous authors. Each volume or issue is published regularly, typically by an organization comprised of experts in a field who review and edit the work before publication. [7.01]

Author, A. A. (Publication Date). Full title of the article: Including subtitle. Title of Periodical, volume(issue), first page-last page. doi:xx.xxxxxxxxxxx

  • Author(s): Use authors’ full last names plus first and middle initials with periods after each initial. [6.27]
    • For guidelines on how to format multiple authors, see the section on books.
  • Publication Date: Include all information regarding publication date (year, month, day, season, etc.) in parentheses followed by a period. [6.28]
    • Write out the full month: (2018, February 20)
  • Article Title: Only capitalize the first word, the first word after a colon, and proper nouns. Do not use quotation marks or other special formatting. [6.29]
  • Periodical Title: Italicize the periodical title and capitalize all major words. [6.29]
  • Volume/Issue: Italicize the volume number and, when available, include the un-italicized issue immediately after it (i.e. no space) in parentheses. [6.30]
    • Journal of American Nutrition, 5,
    • Journal of Consumer Psychology, 16(4),
  • Page Range: Include the first and last page of the source without “p.” or “pp.” except for newspaper articles. [7.01]
  • DOI: The doi, digital object identifier, is an identifying number for journal articles. [6.31]
Journal Article

With DOI

Trevors, G. J., Muis, K. R., Pekrun, R., Sinatra, G. M., & Winnie, P. H. (2016). Identify and epistemic emoticons during knowledge revision: A potential account for the backfire effect. Discourse Processes, 53(5-6), 339-370. doi: 10.1080/0163853X.2015.1136507

Without DOI

Nyhan, B. & Reifler, J. (2010). When corrections fail: The persistence of political misperceptions. Political Behavior, 32(2), 303-330.

Magazine Article

Kluger, J. & Sweetland Edwards, H. (2017, September 25). The angels of Irma. TIME, 190(12), 28-35.

Newspaper Article

Kaplan, S. (2018, February 26). Drugs to lull opioid urges given nod by FDA. The New York Times, p. A10.

Books – Print Format

Beyond traditional texts like reference, course, or discipline-specific books, use the following guidelines when referencing a chapter from a book like an edited book, a collection of article-length works by different authors in one text. [7.02]

Author, A. A. (Publication Year). Full title of the book: Including subtitle. Location: Publisher.

  • Author(s): Use authors’ full last names plus first and middle initials with periods after each initial. [6.27]
    • Use the ampersand (&) in place of the word “and” before the final author when there is more than one.
    • If a source has eight or more authors, include the first six, insert an ellipsis, and then include the final author’s name.
    • If the author is identified as anonymous, use that word in place of an author’s name.
    • If no author is identified, move the source’s title to the author position before the date followed by a period.
  • Publication Year: Include the year in parentheses followed by a period. [6.28]
  • Title: Only capitalize the first word, the first word after a colon (which indicates when the main title ends and the subtitle begins), and proper nouns. Italicize book titles, but do not use quotation marks or other special formatting around a chapter title. [6.29]
    • Book: The essential Aldo Leopold: Quotations and commentaries
    • Book Chapter: Wildlife ecology and management: Building the foundations of wildlife conservation
  • Location: Include city and country or city and U.S. state abbreviation. [6.30]
  • Publisher: Identify publishers by title, excluding terms like company or incorporated. [6.30]
No Author

Anonymous. (2007). The book with no name. London, England: Michael O’Mara Books.

Alcoholics Anonymous big book: Including personal stories for the year 2008 (Special ed.). (2007). Lincoln, England: Anybook.

1 Author

Haverbeke, M. (2015). Eloquent Javascript: A modern introduction to programming. San Francisco, CA: No Starch Press.

2 - 7 Authors

Juba, S., Vannahme, A., & Volkov, A. (2015). Learning PostgreSQL. Birmingham, England: Packt.

8+ Authors

Jackson, P., Wang, C., Michaels, T., Kim, P., Childress, C., Andrews, A., . . . Weston, S. (2018). A day in the life: Living in Canada’s northern territories. Madison, WI: State Street Books.

Book Chapter

Szymura, B., & Nęcka, E. (2005). Three superfactors of personality and three aspects of attention. In A. Eliasz, S. Hampson, & B. de Raad (Eds.), Advances in personality psychology (pp. 75-90). New York, NY: Psychology Press.

Edited Book

Eliasz, A., Hampson, S. E., & de Raad, B. (Eds.) (2005). Advances in personality psychology (Vol. 2). New York, NY: Psychology Press.

Electronic Sources

Electronic sources fall into two basic categories: those with print versions like electronic books and those without print forms like websites, blogs, podcasts, or films. For most sources with print versions, include the same information as a print source (see the book and periodical sections), a brief description of the format/medium in brackets, and the URL or doi if available. [6.31]

For purely electronic sources like webpages, discussion board comments, or audio files, include as much information as possible so a reader can find the source. Because the APA manual does not provide specific guidelines for all electronic material, follow the recommendations for similar sources.

  • Author(s): Use authors’ full last names plus first and middle initials with periods after each initial. [6.27]
    • For guidelines on how to format multiple authors, see the section on books.
    • Because electronic sources do not always have identifiable authors, identify the source’s creators in the author position and include their contribution role in parentheses the name.
      • Producer, P. P. (Producer), Director, D. D. (Director), & Writer, W. W. (Writer)
    • If none of this information is available, use the source’s title in place of the author.
  • Publication Date: Include all information regarding publication date (year, month, day, season, etc.) in parentheses followed by a period. [6.28]
    • Dates for electronic sources (posting date, copyright, update, etc.) can change like when an organization updates a page or removes content. Always check source content before submitting the document to ensure readers can find the material. [6.32]
    • Use n.d. when no date is available.
    • Retrieval Date: Do not include the date you found the source unless, as with wikis, the information may change over time. [6.32]
  • Source Title: Only capitalize the first word, the first word after a colon, and proper nouns. Do not use quotation marks or other special formatting. [6.29]
    • Be careful to distinguish between website and webpage titles, e.g. the difference between Wikipedia and a specific Wikipedia entry on nanotechnology.
  • Description of Form: Because electronic sources occur in so many forms, identify the source’s format in brackets after the source title. [6.29, p. 186; 7.01, p. 198]
    • Common forms include: [Audio podcast], [Video file], [Online forum], [Web log] (blog), [Electronic mailing list], [DVD], [Motion picture], [CD], [PowerPoint slides], [Computer software], [Tape recording], [Lecture notes], etc.
  • Publication Information: Where possible, include the same information as if the source were in print: Periodical title, volume, issue, page range, etc.
    • Database: Do not include database (EBSCOhost, Google Scholar, ERIC, etc.) information in most cases. [6.32]
  • URL: When using sources found online, include the URL, the uniform resource locator, for the website homepage if it has a search engine or the URL for the source itself if it is difficult to find. [6.32]
    • Do not stylize (underline, color in blue, etc.) the URL, and do not include a period after it. [6.32]
    • Check links before submission so readers can find the material.
Blog (Web log) Post

Blogger, B. (Posting Date). Title of the particular blog post [Web log] Retrieved from http://www.xxxx.

R. Debatty. (2018, February 28). Forensic fantasies, online scams and the fragilities of IoT: An interview with KairUs [Web log post]. Retrieved from


Screen-name. (Comment Date). Re: Title of the source that prompted the comment [Description of form]. Retrieved from http://www.xxxx

Postgradpanda. (2015, April 9). Re: I can’t find anything written on my topic…really? [Web log comment]. Retrieved from

Corporate / Government Report [7.03]

U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. (1964). Smoking and Health: Report of the Advisory Committee to the Surgeon General of the Public Health Service (Public Health Service Publication No. 1103). Retrieved from

U.S. Department of State, Office of the Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights. (2017). Trafficking in Persons Report. Retrieved from

McElroy, T. S., Monsell, B. C., & Hutchinson, R. J. (2018). Modeling of holiday effects and seasonality in daily time series (Research Report Series 2018/01). Retrieved from

Data Set [7.08]

Rights Holder, A. (Date). Title of the program (Version #) [Description of form]. Retrieved from http://www.xxxx

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. (2011). HUD median income estimates for AHS metropolitan areas, 1985-2009 [Data file]. Retrieved from

Dictionary / Encyclopedia

Heidler, J. T., & Heidler, D. S. (2017). War of 1812. In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from

Palimpsest. (2005). In Oxford English Dictionary (3rd. ed.). Retrieved from

Truncate. (n.d.) Retrieved from http://

Dissertation / Master's Thesis [7.05]

Gelaye, A. A. (2017). Upscaling of a thermal evolution experiment on shredded-tire monofills (Master’s thesis, University of Akron). Retrieved from

Porter, L. A. (2000). Elementary teachers’ perceptions of reading instruction with varied teacher backgrounds and varied ESL enrollments (Dissertation, Kent State University). Available from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. (UMI No. 9984877)


Simon, F. & Giovannetti, G. (2017). Managing biotechnology: From science to market in the digital age [Kindle Edition version]. Retrieved from

Simon, F. & Giovannetti, G. (2017). Managing biotechnology: From science to market in the digital age. Retrieved from /


As unrecoverable personal data, emails are not included in reference lists. Instead cite them in the text using writer, date, and the phrase “personal communication.”

A. A. Author (personal communication, March 28, 2018)

(A. A. Author, personal communication, March 28, 2018)


Producer, P. P. (Producer), & Director, D. D. (Director). (Year). Film Title: Including subtitle [Motion picture]. Country: Production Company.

Thomas, E. & Nolan, C. (Producers), & Nolan, C. (Director). (2017). Dunkirk [Motion picture]. United Kingdom: Syncopy.

Journal Article

With DOI

Leifeld, P., Cranmer, S. J., & Desmarais, B. A. (2018, February). Temporal exponential random graph models with btergm: Estimation and bootstrap confidence intervals. Journal of Statistical Software, 83(6), 1-36. doi: 10.18637/jss.v.083.i06

Without DOI

Magazzù, L., Talkner, P., & Hänggi, P. (2018, March 5). Quantum Brownian motion under generalized position measurements: A converse Zeno scenario. New Journal of Physics, 20, 1-13. Retrieved from

Magazine Article

Payne, K., Niemi, L., & Doris, J. M. (2018, March 27). How to think about “implicit bias”: Amidst a controversy, it’s important to remember that implicit bias is real—and it matters. Scientific American. Retrieved from

Newspaper Article

Wingfield, N. (2017, November 3). The disappearing American grad student. The New York Times. Retrieved from


Carr, M. (Senior Producer). (2018, March 13). The man, the myth, the laser: The disputed origin story of one of the 20th century’s most important inventions [Audio podcast]. Distillations Podcast, 229. Retrieved from

Qleek pt. ii: What happened after The Pitch [Audio podcast]. (2018, February 21). The Pitch, 27. Retrieved from

PowerPoint Presentation

Creator, C. (Presentation Date). Title of the Presentation [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from http://www.xxxx

Desai, A. (2008, February 6). Carbon dioxide, friend or foe? The terrestrial carbon cycle and a climate for life on earth [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from

TV Series Episode

Writer, W. W. (Writer), & Director, D. D. (Director). (Date). Title of the episode [Television series episode]. In E. Producer (Executive producer), Title of the Television Series. Location: Network.

Sorkin, A. (Writer), & Misiano, C. (Director). (2011). Isaac and Ishmael [Television series episode]. In A. Sorkin, T. Schlamme, & J. Wells (Executive producers), The West Wing. Burbank, CA: Warner Bros. Television

Video Clip

Known Contributor / Presenter

Contributor, C. (Posting Date). Title of the video [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.xxxx

Joseph, M. B. (2018, March 27). What soccer can teach us about freedom [Video file]. Retrieved from

Unknown Contributor / Presenter

Title of the video [Video file]. (Posting Date). Retrieved from http://www.xxxx

Academic and career planning video scribe [Video clip]. (2018, February 5). Retrieved from


Author, A. (Date, Posting or Copyright). Title of the webpage [Description of form, if applicable]. Retrieved from http://www.xxxx

Lucas, J. (2014, September 4). What is aerospace engineering? Retrieved from

The value of stem cells. (2015). Retrieved from


For a brief reference to an entire website, refer to the site’s name in text and include the URL in parentheses.

Some professors recommend Wikipedia ( as a good starting place to learn about a topic while others vehemently oppose its use in academic research.

Reference List Order

Use the following guidelines when organizing sources in a reference list. [6.25]

  • Alphabetize: Alphabetize sources according to the first significant word in each entry: first author’s last name, first word in an organization title, first significant word in a source title, etc.
  • Same First Author: When using several sources by the same first author, formatting depends on the number of authors the source has and how many are the same.
One Author / Same Authors for all Sources

Author, A. A. (2017).

Author, A. A. (2018).

One vs. Multiple Authors

Author, A. A. (2018).

Author, A. A., & Contributor, C. C. (2016).

Author, A. A., & Writer, W. (2018).

Multiple Authors

Author, A. A., Contributor, C. C., & Producer, P. P. (2016).

Author, A. A., Contributor, C. C., & Writer, W. W. (2017).

Same Author / Same Year

Author, A. A. (2018a).

Author, A. A. (2018b).

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