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Waidner-Spahr Library

Citing Sources: APA (6th Edition)

Specific Information about in-text citations

In APA Style, quotations and borrowed phrases are indicated as such within the text, with the author's name and page number cited in parentheses. This pattern is used instead of footnotes or endnotes.

When quoting or paraphrasing an author, begin the sentence by including the author's name followed by the date of publication in parentheses. At the end of the quote or paraphrase, include the page number(s) in parentheses. See example below.

According to Carey (2008), while "fire exits provide patrons with escape routes in the case of an emergency, they also provide thieves with multiple exits, many of which are unwatched by staff" (p. 133).

If the name of the author is not included within the sentence, include the author's name and the publication year at the end of the sentence with the relevant page number(s). For example:

While "fire exits provide patrons with escape routes in the case of an emergency, they also provide thieves with multiple exits, many of which are unwatched by staff" (Carey, 2008, p. 133).

Multiple Authors

To cite a publication with two authors, include both authors' last names either within the sentence or in parentheses at the end of the sentence.

For publications with 3-5 authors, include the last name of each author the first time the publications is cited. For subsequent citations include only the last name of the first author and the phrase et al.

For publications with 6 or more authors, list the name of the first author followed by the phrase et al. for all citations.


Specific Information about the Reference List

  • The reference list is arranged in alphabetical order by authors’ last names.
  • In each citation, the authors' last names always come first, followed by their initial(s). Names of subsequent authors are separated by a comma, and the final author is preceded by an ampersand (&).
  • Authors' first and middle names are never spelled out in APA style. Initials are always used for first and middle names.
  • Second and all subsequent lines are always indented.

Citing Sources in APA (American Psychological Association)

General Information

APA citation style is typically used by the sciences and psychology.

The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association is available only in print.  Please see the Sample Citations drop down menu on the APA tab above for examples of this style if you do not have access to a copy or contact your librarian for help.

  • A book citation must always include author(s), title (and subtitle), city of publication, publisher, and date of publication. Other necessary elements, if applicable, include editor, translator, edition, revision, and volume number.
  • An article citation must always include author, title (and subtitle), title of journal/magazine, date of publication, volume/issue number, and page numbers.
  • Capitalize the first letter of the first word of the title and any subtitles (indicated by a colon) and all proper nouns.
  • Titles of books and journal are always italicized.
  • States are not necessary unless the city is not well known. Use postal abbreviations for the state.

See the drop-down menu under this tab for specific examples of citations in APA.


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Zotero is a free, open source Bibliographic Management Tool recommended by Dickinson librarians. Please visit the Zotero Guide for more information about what Zotero is and how to use it.