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Waidner-Spahr Library

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Citing Sources: APA (7th Edition)

Citing Sources in APA (American Psychological Association)

General Information

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

Current copies of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association are 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), 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.

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

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 or more authors, include the name of only the first author plus "et al." in every citation--even the first!

Group Author 

When a group or organization authors a paper (e.g. Centers for Disease Control, World Health Organization, United States Department of Agriculture, etc.), use the group name and year in the in-text citation. For example:

(Dickinson College, 2019)

If the group or organization has a commonly used abbreviation--such as CDC, WHO, and USDA, for the above examples--define the abbreviation once in the text. Use square brackets for the abbreviated format if defining it in a parenthetical citation; use parentheses if defining in the sentence itself. See the following examples.

(Centers for Disease Control [CDC], 2019)

or

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC, 2019),....

In subsequent citations, use only the abbreviated form:

(CDC, 2019)

or

According to the CDC (2019),....

Specific Information about the Reference List

Authors' Names

In each citation, the authors' last names always come first, followed by their initial(s). For example:

Suppok, R.H. 

Names of any subsequent authors are separated by a comma, and the final author is preceded by an ampersand (&). 

Suppok, R.H., Lonergan, N., & Bombaro, C. 

Authors' first and middle names are never spelled out in APA style. Initials are always used for first and middle names.

Include the last names and initials for up to and including 20 authors (note: this is a change from the 6th edition). When there are 21 or more authors, include the first 19 authors' names, insert an ellipsis, and then add the final author's name. There will be no ampersand (&) in this case.

Formatting

The reference list is arranged in alphabetical order by authors’ last names.

Second and all subsequent lines are always indented (a hanging or reverse indent). See these steps for creating a hanging indent in Microsoft Word (including Word for Office 365 and for Mac).

Do not include a period after a DOI or URL, as they will be the last item in a reference and additional punctuation can interfere with retrieval.