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Citation Styles

Learn how and why to cite your sources


In-Text (Parenthetical) Citation Basics

When you paraphrase or directly quote another author’s work in your paper, APA format requires the use of in-text citations, also called parenthetical citations. These citations include the author’s last name and the year of publication for the source, e.g. (Smith, 2008). When using a direct quotation, the page number is also included (preceded by “p.”), as in the following examples.

Direct quotation with author’s name as part of the narrative:

According to Jones (1998), "Students often had difficulty using APA style, especially when it was their first time" (p. 199).

Direct quotation with parenthetical citation:

Jones (1998) found "students often had difficulty using APA style" (p. 199).

Paraphrase or summary of information from another author:

 APA style is a difficult citation format for first-time learners (Jones, 1998).

When citing multiple authors

Any reference with more than three authors can now be shortened to the first author followed by et al.

Two authors: Giving credit to another author's work by citing the text is an essential part in writing papers (Johnson and Williams, 2009).

Three or more authors: The humanities has a positive effect on well-being of individuals, communities, and societies (Vaziri et al. 2018).

Reference List Basics

Each source you cite in your paper must be included in your reference list. The reference list should begin on a new page at the end of your essay; label the page “References” in bold and centered at the top of the page.

Basic guidelines: 

  • Double-space (Please note: all examples shown here are single spaced – be sure to double-space your list!) 
  • Use a hanging indent ‚Äč(the first line of each reference entry is flush left and subsequent lines are indented by 0.5 inch) 
  • Authors’ names are inverted (last name, initials)  
  • Entries are alphabetized by the last name of the first author of each work 
  • For a work with more than 20 authors, include up to 20 names only 


It might be easier to think that a reference entry answers the following questions: 

Who   When   What   Where


Following are examples of the basic citation formats for books, for articles in periodicals, and for websites. To see more examples of citations for different types of resources, you can consult the APA style manual or one of the web resources listed in this guide.



Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle. Publisher.

Young, M. A. (1970). Buttons are to push: Developing your child’s creativity. Pitman.

Book Chapters

Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of chapter. In A. A. Editor & B. B. Editor (Eds.), Title of book (pp. pages of chapter). Publisher.

Pincus, D., & Guastello, S. J. (2013). Complexity science in the future of behavioral medicine. In J. P. Sturmberg & C. Martin (Eds.), Handbook of systems and complexity in health (pp. 889-909). Springer.


Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle. Publisher. http://www.publisherhomepageurl

Cain, S. (2012). Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking. Broadway Books. 


If the e-book is from an academic research database, cite it like the printed version. Include the DOI link if available.

Scholarly Journal Articles

Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume number(issue number), page numbers or Article number. DOI or URL link if available.

Janzen, L. A. (2010). The evolution of clinical child neuropsychology. The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 24(2), 358-360.

Sakai, C., Ishida, M., Ohba, H., Yamashita, H., Uchida, H., Yoshizumi, M., & Ishida, T. (2017). Fish oil omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids attenuate oxidative stress-induced DNA damage in vascular endothelial cells. PLoS ONE, 12(11), Article e0187934.


Magazine Articles

Author, A. A. (Year, Month Date). Title of article. Title of Magazine, volume number(issue number), pages.

Kluger, J. (2007, January 18). The new map of the brain. Time, 169(5), 56.

Website Pages

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of document. Name of Website. http://Web address

American Heart Association. (n.d.). Nutrition basics.


*The examples shown above are single-spaced. Be sure to double-space your list and use a hanging indent (the first line of each reference entry is flush left and subsequent lines are indented by 0.5 inch). 

APA Style 7th

The APA has provided a handy handout to show us how to format a paper in APA Style.

Sample Student Paper

Reproduced with permission from Copyright © 2020 American Psychological Association. 

More information about the APA Style 7th is available on the APA Websites.


Purdue OWL

The Purdue Online Writing Lab provides a comprehensive formatting and style guide for APA format, including examples of citations for books, articles, electronic resources and other non-print sources.

Sample student paper

Purdue OWL also provides a sample student paper written in APA format.


Print Resources for APA Style

In addition to these web resources, the library has two print editions of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7tEdavailable at the Reference Desk (BF76.7 .P83 2020) and the 2nd Floor Social Science Library (BF76.7 .P83 2020 c.2). Both copies are library use only.

Finding a DOI

When creating a reference list with APA 7th editon, you will have to add the DOI, or digital object identifier, to the citation.

This article was found on the library's database. You can find the DOI number on the abstract page.


You can turn any DOI into a URL by adding before the DOI. For example this article has the DOI:10.1111/j.1540-6563.2007.00196.x and would be written as a hyperlink:

Here is the full citation:

Szasz, F. M., & Takechi, I. (2007). Atomic Heroes and Atomic Monsters: American and Japanese Cartoonists Confront the Onset of the Nuclear Age, 1945-80. Historian, 69(4), 728–752.


Some articles might have the DOI displayed on the the article page as shown below:


If you are reading a PDF of an article, the DOI may be found on the top or bottom of the page. See the example below:


Keep in mind that not every article will have a DOI assigned to them. For works without DOIs from academic research databases, do not attach a URL. Instead, cite the work the same as the printed version.