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Citation

About APA 7th ed.

This guide is a quick introduction to the American Psychological Association (APA) Style for references and citations. Be sure to consult the Publication Manual of the APA or the APA Style website for detailed standards and procedures. 

In-text Citations

When you reference another source use an in-text citation in the body of your paper. 

Basic Format:
(Author's Last Name(s) or Organization, Year).

I'm using...

If you're quoting the exact words of someone else, introduce the quote with an in-text citation in parentheses. Any sentence punctuation goes after the closing parenthesis.

  • According to Brown (2019), "Direct quote" (p. 1021).
  • Brown (2019) found that "Direct quote" (p. 1021).
  • [Some other introduction] "Direct quote" (Brown, 2019, p. 1021).

 

If you're directly quoting more than 40 words, use a blockquote. Block quotes don't need quotation marks. Instead, indent the text 1/2" as a visual cue that you are citing. The in-text citation in parentheses goes after the punctuation of the quote.

Shavers (2007) study found the following:

While research studies have established that socioeconomic status influences disease incidence, severity and access to healthcare, there has been relatively less study of the specific manner in which low SES influences receipt of quality care and consequent morbidity and mortality among patients with similar disease characteristics, particularly among those who have gained access to the healthcare system. (p. 1021)

Toro Tip: Use direct quotes sparingly! Focus on summarizing the findings from multiple research studies. In the sciences and social sciences, only use the exact phrasing or argument of an individual when necessary.

Paraphrasing or summarizing the main findings or takeaways from a research article is the preferred method of citing sources in an APA paper. Always include the last name of the author(s) and the year of the article, so your reader can find the full citation in the reference list.

According to Shavers (2007), limitations of studying socioeconomic status in research on health disparities include difficulties in collecting data on socioeconomic status and the complications of classifying women, children, and employment status.

 

In-text citations differ depending on the number of authors listed for a work, and if there is a group author.

I'm citing a work with...

You only need the author's last name and the year.

(Abrams, 2018)

Connect both authors' last names with & (ampersand) and include the year.

(Wegener & Petty, 1994)

If there are 3 or more authors use et al., which means "and others."

(Harris et al., 2018)

First time with an abbreviation:

(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2019)

Then all subsequent citations: (CDC, 2019)

References

Include the complete citation at the end of your paper in a references section. References are organized by the author's last name in alphabetic (A-Z) order. Use an hanging indent to separate each list item.

Basic Format:
Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date). Title of the work. Source where you can retrieve the work. URL or DOI if available

I'm citing a...

  1. Author(s). Note: List each author's last name and initial as Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. Use an ampersand (&) before the final author's name. Read more from the APA Style website if there are 21 or more authors.
  2. (Year).
  3. Title of the article. Note: For works that are part of a greater whole (e.g. articles, chapter), use sentence case. Only the first word of the title and subtitle and proper nouns are capitalized.
  4. Title of the Journal, Note: Italicize and capitalize each word in the journal.
  5. Volume Note: Italicize the journal volume. If there is no issue, include a comma before the page range.
  6. (Issue), Note: If there is a issue number in addition to a volume number, include it in parentheses.
  7. Page range.
  8. DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Read more about DOIs from the APA Style wesbite.

 

Ashing‐Giwa, K. T., Padilla, G., Tejero, J., Kraemer, J., Wright, K., Coscarelli, A., Clayton, S., Williams, I., & Hills, D. (2004). Understanding the breast cancer experience of women: A qualitative study of African American, Asian American, Latina and Caucasian cancer survivors. Psycho‐Oncology, 13(6), 408-428. https://doi.org/10.1002/pon.750
  1. Author(s). Note: List each author's last name and initials as Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. Use an ampersand (&) before the final author's name.
  2. (Year, Month Date). Note: You do not need to abbreviate the month.
  3. Title of the article. Note: For works that are part of a greater whole (e.g. articles, chapter), use sentence case. Only the first word of the title and subtitle and proper nouns are capitalized.
  4. Title of the Newspaper or Publication. Note: Italicize and capitalize each word in the publication.
  5. URL

 

Kennedy, M. (2018, October 15). To prevent wildfires, PG&E pre-emptively cuts power to thousands in California. NPR. https://www.npr.org/2018/10/15/657468903/to-prevent-wildfires-pg-e-preemptively-cuts-power-to-thousands-in-california
  1. Author(s). Note: List each author's last name and initials as Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. Use an ampersand (&) before the final author's name.
  2. (Year).
  3. Title of the book. Note: For works that stand alone (e.g. books, reports), italicize the title. Only capitalize the first word of the title and subtitle and any proper nouns.
  4. (Edition). Note: If there is an edition or volume, include it in parentheses and use abbreviations of ed. or vol.
  5. Publisher. Note: You do not need to include the publisher location or databases where you retrieved it.
Schmidt, N. A., & Brown, J. M. (2017). Evidence-based practice for nurses: Appraisal and application of research (4th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning, LLC.
  1. Author(s). Note: List each chapter author's last name and initials as Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. Use an ampersand (&) before the final author's name.
  2. (Year).
  3. Title of the chapter. Note: For works that are part of a greater whole (e.g. articles, chapter), use sentence case. Only the first word of the title and subtitle and proper nouns are capitalized.
  4. In Editor(s), Note: List each editor's last name and initials as A. A. Editor, B. B. Editor, & C. C. Editors, include (Ed.) or (Eds.) in parentheses, and end with a comma.
  5. Title of the book Note: For works that stand alone (e.g. books, reports), italicize the title. Only capitalize the first word of the title and subtitle and any proper nouns.
  6. (pp.xx-xx).
  7. Publisher. Note: You do not need to include the publisher location or databases where you retrieved it.

 

McCormack, B., McCance, T., & Maben, J. (2013). Outcome evaluation in the development of person-centred practice. In B. McCormack, K. Manley, & A. Titchen (Eds.), Practice development in nursing and healthcare (pp. 190-211). John Wiley & Sons.
  1. Author(s). Note: List each author's last name and initials as Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. If there is no author, spell out the name of the organization or site.
  2. (Year, Month Date). Note: Read more about date formats from the APA Style website. Provide as specific a date as is available. Use the date last updated, but not the date last reviewed or copyright date. If there is no date, use (n.d.).
  3. Title of page or section. Note: Italicize the title of the page.
  4. Source. Note: Usually the official name of the website. If the source would be the same as the author, you can omit the source to avoid repetition.
  5. URL

 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). Preventing HPV-associated cancers. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/hpv/basic_info/prevention.htm/
  1. Author(s). Note: List each author's last name and initials as Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. If there is no author, spell out the name of the organization that published the report.
  2. (Year, Month Date). Note: Provide as specific a date as is available.
  3. Title of the report or document. Note: For works that stand alone (e.g. books, reports), italicize the title. Only capitalize the first word of the title and subtitle and any proper nouns.
  4. Source. Includes the names of parent agencies or other organizations not listed in the group author name here.
  5. URL
Los Angeles County Deptartment of Public Health. (2017, January). Key indicators of health by service planning area. http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/ha/
  1. Author. Note: List the author's last name and initials as Author, A. A. There is usually only one author for a thesis or dissertation, you don't need to include any faculty advisers.
  2. (Year, Month Date). Note: Provide as specific a date as is available.
  3. Title of the dissertation or thesis [Doctoral dissertation or Master's thesis, Name of University]. Note: For works that stand alone (e.g. books, dissertations, theses), italicize the title. Only capitalize the first word of the title and subtitle and any proper nouns. The title page will indicate whether it's a Doctoral dissertation or Master's thesis and list the name of the university granting the degree.
  4. Source. Note: Include the name of the database or institutional repository where you can access the work (e.g. ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global, PQDT Open, CSU ScholarWorks) here.
  5. URL Note: If available it's available.
Valentin, E. R. (2019, Summer). Narcissism predicted by Snapchat selfie sharing, filter usage, and editing [Master's thesis, California State University Dominguez Hills]. CSU ScholarWorks. https://scholarworks.calstate.edu/concern/theses/3197xm925?locale=en

Check out more examples for citing dissertations and theses on the APA Style site.

Citing a letter, photograph, text document, graphic material, or ephemera? Consult the Gerth Archives APA Citation Guide for Archival Materials.

Formatting Your APA Paper

What does an example APA paper look like? 

APA Style offers sample student and professional papers, including a free annotated student sample paper.

How do I make a hanging indent in Word?

1. Highlight the citaiton with your cursor. 

2. Right click. 

3. Select Paragraph.

4. Under Indentation, select Special and Hanging.

Animated gif of creating a hanging indent in Word. Highlight the full citation. Right click. Go to Paragraph. To to the Special drop down menu, select Hanging. Select Okay.

How can I save time formatting my paper? 

Microsoft Word and Google Docs have a Format Painter tool that will copy and apply basic formatting to any text! 

1. Highlight the formatting you want to apply. 

2. Select Format Painter

3. Highlight the text you want to change. 

Note: If using the Format Painter on the Reference List, you'll need to go back and add italics. 

Animated gif of using the Format Painter tool in Word.

Creative Commons License CC by NC 4.0 This guide was created by Tessa Withorn at CSUDH Library and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.