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Citation Guide

Discover and explore the basics of why and how to cite.


APA Citation Style

Disciplines within the Social Sciences typically use the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA) as the preferred style of citation.  This style is used when citing materials, creating a bibliography or setting up the structure of a research paper for assignments. 

The examples give an overview of APA citation style for in-text citation and the reference list at the end of the paper. 

Click to view the: APA STYLE TUTORIAL

APA Article (Academic Journal & Magazine) Citation

Journal Article Basic Format:

AuthorLastName, FirstInitial. (Year). Title of article. Title of JournalVolume(Issue), Pages.

Retrieved from URL

  • Italicize the Journal Title, and Volume.
  • Article Title Capitalization: Capitalize only the first word of the article's title, the first word of the subtitle, proper nouns, and acronyms. 
  • DOI: When the article was accessed online, include the DOI (Digital Object Identifier), when available. Not all articles have a DOI.
  • URL: Include the URL only if the article does not have a DOI. APA does not require you to include the proxy server information (i.e. as a part of your URL, but note that removing this information also removes the "Persistent Link" to the article in Limestone's database subscription. Use this formula: Retrieved from http://www.xxxxxxxx


Crosby, O., & Moncarz, R. (2006). The 2004-14 job outlook for college graduates. Occupational Outlook Quarterly, 50(3), 42-57. Retrieved from 

Geller, J. D. (2018). Introduction: The transformative powers of aesthetic experiences in psychotherapy. Journal Of Clinical Psychology, 74(2), 200–207.

Harrary, K. (n.d.). The truth about Jonestown. Psychology Today, 25(2), 62. Retrieved from

Johnson, D. R. (2018). Playing off the beat: Applying the jazz paradigm to psychotherapy. Journal Of Clinical Psychology, 74(2), 249–260.

Morici, G. Gruttad'Auria, C., Baiamonte, P., Mazzuca, E., Castrogiovanni, A., & Bonsignore, M. (2016). Endurance training: Is it bad for you?. Breathe, 12(2), 141-148. doi:10.1183/20734735.007016 


APA Book Citation

Book Citation Basic Format:

AuthorLastName, FirstInitial. SecondInitial. (PublicationYear). Book title. City: Publisher.  

Note on Capitalization of the Title: only the first word of the title is capitalized. However, proper nouns and the first letter of the subtitle (if included) are also capitalized. Capitalize acronyms as well (e.g., FDA).

Every line after the first line should be indented, called a hanging indent. (Found under "paragraph" -> "indent" in Word.)


McMillan, M. (1970). A history of Limestone College: 1845-1970. Columbia, SC: R. L. Bryan Company.

Turabian, K. (2010). Student's guide to writing college papers. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.

Example with a subtitle: (the subtitle always follows a colon)

Levitin, D. J. (2016). A field guide to lies: Critical thinking in the information age. New York, NY: Dutton.

Example of a book in translation: 

Mathiez, A. (1964). The French revolution (C. Phillips, Trans.). New York, NY: Grosset & Dunlap. (Original work published 1928)

Example of a book in an edition other than the first: 

Jones, R. (2008). A handbook of photography (5th ed.). New York, NY: Rogers.

APA Newspaper Citation

Newspaper Article Basic Format:

AuthorLastName, FirstInitial. (Year, Month Day). Title of article. Title of Newspaper, p(p). Page(s).


Levitz, J. (2017, September 11). Seeking: Part-time workers in bad jobs. Wall Street Journal. pp. A1, A10.

* If the article is from the newspaper's website or a database, include "Retrieved from URL"

Levitz, J. (2017, September 11). Seeking: Part-time workers in bad jobs. Wall Street Journal. pp. A1, A10. Retrieved from

APA Video Citation

APA Citation for Online Streaming video (E.g., YouTube, non-commercial videos, and videos only available trough streaming):

Author, A. A. [User name]. (year, month day). Title of video [Video file]. Retrieved from http://xxxxx

Sample APA Online Video Citation:

Carmelina Films (Producer). (2011). Open source revolution [Video file]. Retrieved January 12, 2018, from

APA Citation for a Feature film:

Producer, A. A. (Producer), & Director, B. B. (Director). (year). Title of motion picture [Medium: DVD, video file, etc.]. Retrieved from http://xxxxx

APA In-text Citation & Quotations

APA uses an author-date citation style. To correctly use APA, a short in-text citation is used consisting of the author's last name and the year of publication. A full citation is included on the References list.

Basic Format

(AuthorLastName, Year). When a page number is included: (AuthorLastName, Year, p. #).

APA style prefers that the name of the author who is being cited should be included in the text of the sentence itself. If both the author and year of publication are stated in the sentence, no additional parenthetical citation is required (unless a page reference is included).

When to include a page number: If a direct quotation is included, a page reference (when available) must also be included in the in-text citation. Although not explicitly required, APA encourages the inclusion of page numbers for paraphrased passages or other direct references. 


  • Preferred APA in-text citation style (where no page number is required/included): 

Parker (2018) argues that colleges should require students to carry computers to class.

  • Preferred APA in-text citation including a direct quotation (in which case a page reference is required):

According to Parker (2018), "students who own laptops perform better on average in their courses than those who do not own their own computers" (p. 198). 

  • Notice that page references follow the close parenthesis, even when the sentence does not end:

According to Parker (2018) "students have a responsibility to care for their equipment" (p. 121), which she also notes is not always a top priority for every student.

  • An in-text citation where the author's name is not mentioned:

Additionally, she stated, "most students are perfectly responsible" (Jones, 2018, p. 121).

Works by Multiple Authors

Two Authors: 

For works by two authors, include both names in alphabetical order, including an "&" between them.

Parenthetical: (Jones & Smith, 2011). 

In a sentence: According to Jones & Smith (2011), . . . 

Three to Five Authors: 

For works by three to five authors, include all the authors' names the first time only. E.g., (Dexter, Hardwick, Jones, McMillan, & Smith, 2018).

In subsequent mentions of the same author, use et al. in place the second, third, fourth and fifth names.

Parenthetical: (Dexter et al., 2018)

In a sentence: According to Dexter et al. (2018), . . . 

et al. (et alia) is Latin for "and others," and is used to avoid printing all the names of the authors of a source. A period does not follow "et," only "al."

Six or More Authors:

If a work has six or more authors, use et al. from the first time the source is cited. See the section on three or more authors above.

E.g. (Kim et al., 2017)

Long Quotations 

Although it is best to avoid long quotations in an APA paper, if you include a quotation of more than 40 words, it must be included in a separate block of text. Indent the entire block quotation by one-half inch (the same as the standard tab indent), maintain double-spacing, and place the citation at the end in parentheses after the period or punctuation from the quotation. Do not include quotation marks. In good APA style, the quoted author should be introduced before the quotation begins.


According to Kim et al. (2017): 

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The remainder of the paper continues as normal. . . . 



Citing Special/Unusual Formats

APA Manual

Purdue OWL

Purdue OWL is an excellent website for locating in-depth APA information and finding APA examples. 

APA Research Paper Example

  • From Purdue Owl  Provides an excellent example of how a research paper should be structured using APA 6th ed. standards.

APA Style Blog

APA Style Blog - The APA Style Blog is the official companion to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition.

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