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Citation Guide

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

Overview: APA Citation Style

Seventh Edition

Disciplines within the Social Sciences typically use the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA) as the preferred style of citation.

APA Article (Academic Journal & Magazine) Citation

I. Journal Article Basic Format:

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

  • 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: Always include the DOI (Digital Object Identifier), when available. Not all articles have a DOI. Use this formula:
  • Do not include a URL 1) when an article is from a database (including Limestone's library databases) or 2) if the article includes a DOI (even if it is from a non-database source). 

Examples of Journal Articles from a database:

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

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

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. 

Multiple Authors

Two Authors

For two authors, include both last names and initials with an ampersand (&) between them:

Crone, D. L. & Levy, N. L. (2019). Are Free Will Believers Nicer People? (Four Studies Suggest Not). Social Psychological & Personality Science10(5), 612–619.

Three to Twenty Authors

For works with three to twenty authors, include all the author's names (last name and initials), with an ampersand before the final author's name:

Kruglanski, A. W., Jasko, K., Milyavsky, M., Chernikova, M., Webber, D., Pierro, A., & di Santo, D. (2018). Cognitive Consistency Theory in Social Psychology: A Paradigm Reconsidered. Psychological Inquiry29(2), 45–59.

More than Twenty-one Authors

For works with more than twenty authors, APA requires the use of an ellipsis (. . .) between the nineteenth author's name and the final author's name:

Pegion, K., Kirtman, B. P., Becker, E., Collins, D. C., LaJoie, E., Burgman, R., Bell, R., DelSole, R., Min, D., Zhu, Y., Li, W., Sinsky, E., Guan, H., Gottschalck, J., Metzger, E. J., Barton, N. P., Achuthavarier, D., Marshak, J., Koster, R., . . .  Kim, H. (2019). The subseasonal experiment (SubX): A multimodel subseasonal prediction experiment. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society100(10), 2043-2061.

II. Magazine Article Basic Format:

AuthorLastName, FirstInitial. (Year, Month Day). Title of article. Title of MagazineVolume(Issue), Pages. DOI

AuthorLastName, FirstInitial. (Year, Month Day). Title of article. Title of Magazine, URL

  • A published magazine article follows a similar format as an academic journal.
  • Include the month and day with the year, when available (see below examples). 
  • If you are citing a magazine article that you read on the magazine's website, include the URL. Sometimes, online-only editions will not include an volume and issue number.
  • When you are citing a magazine with a volume and issue number that you accessed from a database or in print, do not include a URL.
  • Do not include an access date for published sources, such as magazines.


Fry, E. (2020, March). The grim business of containing an epidemic. Fortune, 181(3), 17–19. 

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

Har'el, Alma (2020, March 5). Why women's history should be everyone's history. Time. 

APA Book Citation

Book Citation Basic Format:

AuthorLastName, FirstInitial. SecondInitial. (PublicationYear). Book title. Publisher. DOI.

  • 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.)

Example of a Book Citation:

Feist. (2006). The psychology of science and the origins of the scientific mind. Yale University Press.

* Omit the DOI when not available.

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. Dutton.

Example of a Book in Translation:

Mathiez, A. (1964). The French revolution (C. Phillips, Trans.). 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.). Rogers.

APA Newspaper Citation

Newspaper Article Basic Format:


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


AuthorLastName, FirstInitial. (Year, Month Day). Title of article. Title of Newspaper, URL


Associated Press. (2020, March 26).  What you need to know today about the virus outbreak. Associated Press,

Burkholder, S., Eldred, S., Belz, K. H., Keppler, N., Kreidler, M., Majchrowicz, M., Martin, B., Wang, S., Eilperin, J., Santamarina, D., & Fischer-Baum, R. (2020, March 25). What is an essential business in 10 U.S. cities. The Washington Post,

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

Casselman, B., Cohen, P., & Hsu, T. (2020). ‘It’s a wreck’: 3.3 million file unemployment claims as economy comes apart. The New York Times.

Website Citation

I. Websites with an Author or Group Author (or Organization) and a Date:

When a website includes a publication date or last date of revision, use this citation template. Only include an access date if the website does not give a date of creation. Note: sometimes the date may be at the bottom of the page. If no individual name(s) are listed as authoring the content, the name of the group or organization that manages or owns the website.

Basic Format:

AuthorLastName, FirstInitial. (Year, Month Day). Title of work, Site Name. URL

Name of Group. (Year, Month Day). Title of work, Site Name. URL


Harmeet, K. (2020, April 15). A zoo is struggling so much that it may have to feed some animals to other animals. CNN.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2020, April 10). COVID-19 guidance for older adults. CDC.

II. Websites without a Date:

If a website does not give a creation date, include an "retrieval date" before the URL of the day you accessed the website if the website is likely to change over time. If you expect that the website will be archived or not altered, you can instead include as the date (n.d.), meaning "no date." The first example below is to a source likely to change, and includes a retrieval date. The second source is unlikely to be updated and/or is likely to exist in archived format. N.d. is the appropriate "date marker" for that website.


American Veterinary Medicine Association. COVID-19: What vetrinarians need to know. AVMA. Retrieved April 15, 2020.

National Nurses United. (n.d.) What employers should do to protect nurses from Zika.

APA Video Citation

APA Citation for Online Streaming Video:

  • Including, 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, using "and" between them (notice the use of the ampersand, &, in the parenthetical citation):

Parenthetical: (Jones & Smith, 2011). 

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

A Work by Three or More Authors

For works by three or more authors, list only the first author (last name and initials) and include "et al."

For example, a work by (Dexter, Hardwick, Jones, McMillan, & Smith, 2018) would be cited in this way:

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."


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. . . . 

APA Format for Student Papers

I. Paper Format:

  • Use double spacing throughout the document.
  • Include the page number in the upper left-hand corner. Do not include the author's last name beside the page number.
  • Include a title page and reference list, when applicable.

What not to include:

  • Unlike in previous editions of the APA manual, student papers do not usually include a running head (header) or abstract.

II. Title Page:

Most student papers include a separate title page, although some instructors allow students to include the title page information on the same page as the first paragraph of the paper.

  • On the title page, include the title in boldface and center it three or for lines down from the top of the document.
    • The title should be descriptive of the content of the paper. Avoid titles like "Essay 1."
    • Include the subtitle after a colon, when applicable. 
    • Example title: The Psychology of Pandemic Fatigue: A Study of College Students During the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • On a new line, include the author's name (centered, normal font).
  • On a new line, include the name of the author's school (centered, normal font).
  • On a new line, include the course name and number (centered, normal font).
    • Example: PS 101
  • On a new line, include the instructor's name (centered, normal font).
  • On a new line, include the due date (centered, normal font).
    • Use the "American" format for the date: Example: March 17, 2021

III. Reference List:

On a new page, include your reference list, which is your bibliography. 

  • Label the list References (bold font and centered).
  • Each reference must be set to "hanging indent" and double spaced.
    • In Microsoft Word, go to Paragraph>Special>Hanging.

Other APA Resources

Purdue OWL

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

If you are experiencing problems with our guides and databases, please contact ProfessorJanet S. Ward,, Assistant Director of the Library and Web Services Librarian.