What is APA style? APA style (produced by the American Psychological Association) is a set of guidelines for organizing a paper and giving credit to sources used. Though often used to cite sources in the social sciences, APA isn't specifically reserved for use by these subjects. Any discipline can use APA style! Be sure to double-check what edition is required. APA recently switched to the 7th edition.
Check out these handy guides to APA-style references:
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When you cite, do it twice!
In-text citations are used within the body of your paper to identify the idea/phrase/quote that it is associated with. They include the author(s) last name(s) and the year of publication. Their full citations should be included in the Reference section.
You can include the author in the structure of your sentence, and cite the publication year immediately following: Example: Smith (2011) discussed the importance of citing sources correctly, so as to avoid plagiarism.
You may also include the author & publication year at the end of a sentence. When using direct quotes, be sure to include page numbers: Example: "Knowledge of physical laws can, in some cases, give you the confidence to confront surly people," (Tyson, 2017, p. 46)
Type of citation
Parenthetical format, first citation
Parenthetical format, next citations
Jones and Smith (1971)
Adapted from: American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association. (6th ed.). Washington: Author.
For more information on citation styles, see p. 169-192 in the APA manual.
References come at the end of the paper as a summary of all sources used.
The typical format is: Creator. (Creation date). Title. Place of publication: Publisher. However, this varies depending on what type of resource you are citing. Here are two common resources:
Physical Book: Tyson, N. D. (2017). Astrophysics for people in a hurry. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company.
Online Journal Article: Whitney, J., Thompson, K., & Park, J.H. (2019). A plan for a US space force: The what, why, how, and when. Air & Space Power Journal, 33(3), 83-95. Retrieved from https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=ip,shib&db=a9h&AN=13834973site=eds-live&scope=site&custid=egc1
Nothing; I’ve got all the pieces.
Title of document [Format].
Retrieved from http://URL
Author is missing.
Substitute title for the author.
Date is missing.
Use “n.d.” for No date.
Title is missing.
Describe the document inside square brackets.
[Description of document].
Retrieved from http://URL
Author and date are both missing.
Combine author and date methods.
Author and title are both missing.
Combine author and title methods.
Date and title are both missing.
Combine date and title methods.
Author, date, and title are all missing.
Combine all three methods.
From the American Psychological Association. You can also view/download the pdf version.
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