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Citation Styles and Guides

APA Quick Guide

APA citation style is most commonly used to cite sources in scientific fields and business. It originated in 1929 when a group of scientists, anthropologists, and business managers came together to create a set of styles that would fit scientific writing. Below you will find the most commonly used citation formats.

Purdue Owl Guide

Books (Print & Online)

 Book: General

 AuthorLastname, F. N. (Year). Book title. Location: Publisher.
 AuthorLastname, F. N. (Year). Book title. Retrieved from http://www.xxxxxxxx
 AuthorLastname, F. N. (Year). Book title. doi:xxxxx

 Entire Book: Print Version

 Gutman, R. W. (1999). Mozart: A cultural biography. New York: Harcourt Brace.

 Entire Book: Electronic Version

 Gutman, R. W. (1999). Mozart: A cultural biography. Retrieved from

 Gutman, R. W. (1999). Mozart: A cultural biography [Adobe Digital Editions version]. doi:10.1036/0034586772

 Entire Book:
 Print Version (Two Authors)

 Hock, R., & Price, G. (2004). The extreme searcher’s Internet handbook: A guide for the serious searcher. Medford: CyberAge Books.

 Entry in Online  Reference Work

 Graham, G. (2005). Behaviorism. In E. N. Zalta (Ed.), The Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy (Fall 2007 ed.). Retrieved from

 Entry in Online Reference Work (No Author)

 Trebuchet. (2009). In Merriam-Webster online dictionary (11th ed.). Retrieved from http://www.merriam

 No Author

 Begin citation with title. For example:

 NAICS Desk Reference: The North American industry classification system desk reference. (2000). Indianapolis: JIST  Works.

 Book: Multivolume

 When citing a multivolume work:

 Wright, Sewell. (1968-1978). Evolution and the Genetics of Populations. (Vols. 1-4). Chicago: University of Chicago  Press.

 When citing only one volume:

 Wright, Sewell. (1969). Theory of Gene Frequencies: Vol. 2. Evolution and the Genetics of Populations. Chicago:  University of Chicago Press.

 Chapter in a Book

 Willson, Jr., R. F. (2005). William Shakespeare's theater. In J. Rosenblum (Ed.), The Greenwood companion to  Shakespeare: A comprehensive guide for students (pp. 47-64). Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

For additional examples, see pages 202-208 in the APA Publication Manual (2010).


Journal Articles (Print & Online)

 Journal: General

 AuthorLastname, F. I. (Date). Article title. Journal Title, Vol, pages. doi:xx.xxxxxxxxxx

 (Note: Include the digital object identifier (DOI) if one is assigned. If you retrieved the article online and no DOI is available, include the journal's home page URL.)

 Journal Article with DOI

 Herbst-Damm, K. L., & Kulik, J. A. (2005). Volunteer support, marital status, and the survival times of terminally ill patients. Health Psychology, 24, 225-229. doi:10.1037/0278-6133.24.2.225

 Journal Article without DOI

 Graham, S. (2006). Impossible to hold: Women and culture in the 1960s. Journal of American Studies, 40, 156-159.

 Sillick, T. J., & Schutte, N. S. (2006). Emotional intelligence and self-esteem mediate between perceived early parental love and adult happiness. E-Journal of Applied Psychology, 2(2), 38-48. Retrieved from

 Journal with Non-Continuous  Pagination (each issue begins on page 1)

 Simmons, C., & Becker-Olsen, K. (2006). Achieving marketing objectives through social sponsorships. Journal of Marketing, 70(4), 154-169.

 Magazine Article

 Reed, S. (2006, August 21). Seeing past the war. Business Week, 16(4), 35-36.

 Online Magazine Article

 Clay, R. (2008, June). Science vs. ideology: Psychologists fight back about the misuse of research. Monitor on Psychology, 39(6). Retreved from

 Newspaper Article

 Seward, Z. (2006, December 14). Colleges expand early admissions. Wall Street Journal (Eastern ed.), pp. D1-D2.

 Online Newspaper Article

 Brody, J. E. (2007, December 11). Mental reserves keep brain agile. The New York Times. Retrieved from

For additional examples, see pages 198-202 in the APA Publication Manual (2010).


Audiovisual Media

 Entire Albums

 The Beatles. (1967). Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club band [Record]. United States: Capitol Records.

 Individual Songs

 Glover, Frank. (2009). One way ticket. On Politico [CD]. n.l.: Owl Studios.

 Rerecording by Artist other than Writer

 Goodenough, J. B. (1982). Tails and trotters [Recorded by G. Bok, A. Mayo, & E. Trickett]. On And so will we yet [CD]. Sharon, CT: Folk-Legacy Records. (1990)

 Spoken Word Recording

 Darling, S. (Speaker). (1988). To kill a mockingbird (Cassette). United States: Recorded Books.

 Musical Score

 Beethoven, Ludwig van. (1932). Symphony no. 7 in A Major, Op. 92. Boston: Oliver Ditson.


 Van Nuys, D. (Producer). (2007, December 19). Shrink rap radio [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from

 Motion Picture  Spielberg, S. (Director). (1982). E.T. the extra-terrestrial [Motion picture]. United States: Universal Pictures.

 Ryan, K. O., & Schrank, L. (Writers). (2008). Body language I: Beyond words [DVD]. Available from

 Single Episode from Television Series

 David, L., & Seinfeld, J. (Writers). (1995). The soup nazi [Television series episode]. In Seinfeld. New York: NBC.

 Images and Tables Retrieved Online

 If you use an image, table, or figure (or some data in a table or figure) from another source, then you must acknowledge your source in a note below the table or figure.

 Map Retrieved  Online

 Lewis County Geographic Information Systems (Cartographer). (2002). Population density, 2000 U.S. Census [Demographic map]. Retrieved from

List the primary contributors in the author position and use parentheses to identify their contribution.

For more on Tables, Figures, and Images, click here.

For additional examples, see pages 209-210 in the APA Publication Manual (2010).


Other Online Sources

 Online Posting: General

 AuthorLastname, F. I. (Year, Month Day). Title of post [Description of form]. Retrieved from http://www.xxxx

 (If only author's screen name is available, use that for the author's name.)

 Entire website

 It is sufficient to give the website address in the text (in parentheses).

Message Posted to Newsgroup, Discussion Group, Online Forum, etc.

 Rampersad, T. (2005, June 8). Traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions [Online forum comment]. Retreived from

 Message Posted to Electronic Mailing List

 Smith, S. (2006, January 5). Re: Disputed estimates of IQ [Electronic mailing list message]. Retrieved from

 (Note: "Listserv" is a trademarked name for a specific software program, so use "electronic mailing list" instead.)

 Blog Post

 MiddleKid. (2007, January 22). Re: The unfortunate prerequisites and consequences of partitioning your mind  [Web log message]. Retrieved from

 (Note: "MiddleKid" is a screen name, which the author used when posting to this blog.)

For additional examples, see pages 214-215 in the APA Publication Manual (2010).


Performances & Personal Communications

Personal communications may be private letters, memos, non-archived electronic communications, personal interviews, etc. Because they do not provide recoverable data, they are not included in the reference list. The same is true of live performances.

Instead, you should cite these sources in your text with initial and last name of the communicator and as exact a date as possible.


M. E. Daniels, Jr. (personal communication, July 4, 2009), explained in an email that . . .

(Butler Ballet, performance, December 13, 2008)

If you are citing a recording or archived copy of the performance or personal communication, these forms are recoverable and should be referenced in your Works Cited list as a video, online forum post, tape recording, etc.


Basic In-Text Citation Styles

 Type of Citation  First Citation in Text  Subsequent Citations in Text  Parenthetical Format, First Citation in Text  Parenthetical Format, Subsequent Citations in Text
 One work by one author  Walker (2007)  Walker (2007)  (Walker, 2007)  (Walker, 2007)
 One work by two authors  Walker and Allen (2004)  Walker and Allen (2004)  (Walker & Allen, 2004)  (Walker & Allen, 2004)
 One work by three to five authors  Bradley, Ramirez, and Soo (1999)  Bradley et al. (1999)  (Bradley, Ramirez, & Soo, 1999)  (Bradley et al., 1999)
 One work by six or more authors  Wasserstein et al. (2005)  Wasserstein et al. (2005)  (Wasserstein et al., 2005)  (Wasserstein et al., 2005)
 Groups as authors (readily identified through abbreviation)  National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH, 2003)  NIMH (2003)  (National Institute of Mental Health [NIMH], 2003)  (NIMH, 2003)
 Groups as authors (no abbreviation)  University of Pittsburgh (2005)  University of Pittsburgh (2005)  (University of Pittsburgh, 2005)  (University of Pittsburgh, 2005)

Source: American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. Washington, D.C.: Author.

Direct Quotations and Paraphrasing

In-Text Citations

APA Style uses parenthetical, author-date citations. After a quote, add parentheses containing the author's name, the year of publication, and the page number of the work.

Example: "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (Seuss, 2007, pp. 7-8).

If you use more than one work by the same author, use the letters a, b, etc., after the year.

Example: "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (Seuss, 2007a, pp. 7-8).

If more than one author has the same last name, add their first initial.

Example: "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (D. Seuss, 2007, pp. 7-8).

If two or more authors wrote the work, see the chart below.

If using the author's name in your text, do not include it in the parentheses.

Example: In his scholarly study, Dr. Seuss observed that "the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (2007, pp. 7-8).
Example: In 2007, Dr. Seuss suggested that "the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (pp. 7-8).

If no author name is available, use the first few words of the reference list entry (usually the title). Use quotation marks around titles of articles or web pages and italicize titles of books, periodicals, etc.

Example: "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (Fox in Socks, 2007).

If no pagination information is available, use paragraph numbers instead.

Example: "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (Seuss, 2007, para. 5).

Note: When paraphrasing or mentioning another work, it is helpful to still provide pagination information if the source text is long or difficult, or if it would help the reader find the text being paraphrased.