How To Use #6 APA (American Psychological Assoc.)

Kinlaw Library - Asbury College
How To Use
APA (American
Psychological Assoc.)
The following guidelines and examples for the construction of a reference list and the use of the
author-date method of citation in text are taken from the 5th edition of the Publication Manual of
the American Psychological Association (Ready Reference 808.06615 A54p).
Whether paraphrasing or quoting an author directly, you must credit the source. For a
direct quotation in the text, the type of information provided will vary depending on if the
original document is in print or electronic form. For citing print sources, give the author, year,
and page number in parenthesis at the end of the quote, the end of the sentence, or at the end of
the block quote. (For further examples see p. 118 of the APA Publication Manual) Electronic
sources do not have page numbers and the citation should include a paragraph number with
either the abbreviation para or the paragraph symbol (¶). Following are some examples of how
this would look in a paper.
The APA Publication Manual states that the purpose of the reference citation in text is to
"identify the source for the reader and enable the reader to locate the source of information in the
alphabetical reference list at the end of the article or paper." For additional details and examples,
see the APA Publication Manual, Sections 3.94-3.103 (pp. 207-214).
One Work By A Single Author
Use the author-date method of citation that includes the surname of the author and the year of
publication inserted in the text at the appropriate point.
Despite originally strong family values, “Latinos in the second generations begin to
absorb the worst of America” (Leland and Chambers, 1999, p.20).
If the name of the author appears as part of the narrative, cite the year of publication and
page number in parentheses.
Miele (1993) found that “the placebo effect disappeared only when the behaviors
were studied in this manner” (p. 276).
One Work By Two Or More Authors
When a work has two authors, always cite both names every time the reference occurs in
text. When a work has more than two authors but fewer than six authors, cite all authors the
first time the reference occurs.
Williams, Jones, Smith, Bradner, and Torrington (1983) found...
In subsequent citations, include only the surname of the first author followed by "et al."
Williams et al. (1983) found...
Corporate Authors
The Publication Manual states "the names of corporate authors are usually spelled out each
time they appear in a text citation." When appropriate, the names of some corporate authors
are spelled out in the first citation and abbreviated thereafter. The guiding rule for
abbreviating in this manner is to supply enough information in the text citation for the reader
to locate the entry in the reference list without difficulty.
First text citation - (National Institute of Mental Health [NIMH], 1981)
Subsequent text citations - (NIMH, 1981)
Reference entries are not required for major classical works such as the Bible. Simply
identify in the first citation in the text the version you used. Parts are numbered
systematically across all editions, so use these numbers instead of page numbers when
referring to specific parts of your source.
In Paul’s love chapter he begins by saying “If I speak in the tongues of men and
of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal ” (Revised
Standard Version, 1 Cor. 13:1).
References cited in your research paper must appear in a reference list which identifies
the books, periodicals, and other materials which you have cited or consulted for your paper.
These citations are arranged alphabetically by author and appear at the end of your paper. The
APA Publication Manual explains that the "reference list at the end of a journal article
documents the article and provides the information necessary to identify and retrieve each
The examples below include the most common types of materials cited in the reference
lists of undergraduate student research papers. For additional details and examples, refer to the
Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Section 4.01 (Reference List).
Italics MUST be used for the titles of books, periodicals, or other works. Do not underline.
Basic Format
Author’s Last Name, Initial(s). (date of publication). Title of work. Location: Publisher.
No Author or Editor
College bound seniors. (1979). Princeton, NJ: College Board Publications.
One Author
Bernstein, T. M. (1965). The careful writer: A modern guide to English usage. New
York: Antheneum.
Two Authors
Strunk, W., Jr., & White, E. B. (1979). The elements of style (3rd ed.). New York:
Corporate Author, Author as Publisher
American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental
disorders (4th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.
Edited Book
Letheridge, S., & Cannon, C. R. (Eds.). (1980). Bilingual education: Teaching English
as a second language. New York: Praeger.
Holy Bible: Revised Standard Version (2nd ed.). (1971). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.
Elements of a reference to an essay or chapter in an edited book must include essay or
chapter authors, date of publication, essay or chapter title, book editor, book title, and essay
or chapter page numbers.
Three Authors
Hartley, J. T., Harker, J. O., & Walsh, D. A. (1980). Contemporary issues and new
directions in adult development of learning and memory. In L. W. Poon (Ed.), Aging
in the 1980s: Psychological issues (pp. 239-252). Washington, DC: American
Psychological Association.
Two Editors
Jacobson, Neil S., Ph.D. (1981). Behavioral marital therapy. In A. S. Gurman & D. P.
Kniskern (Eds.), Handbook of family therapy (pp. 556-591). New York:
Journal Article, One Author
Paivio, A. (1975). Perceptual comparisons through the mind's eye. Memory &
Cognition, 3, 635-647.
Journal Article, Two Authors
Becker, L. J., & Seligman, C. (1981). Welcome to the energy crisis. Journal of Social
Issues, 37(2), 1-7.
Journal Article, More Than Two Authors
Horowitz, L. M., Post, D. L., French, R. S., & Siegelman, E. Y. (1981). The prototype as
a construct in abnormal psychology: 2. Clarifying disagreement in psychiatric
judgments. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 90, 575-585.
Magazine Article (not usually a vol or issue # and not continuously paginated)
Gardner, H. (1981, December). Do babies sing a universal song? Psychology Today,
Newspaper Article, No Author
Study finds free care used more. (1982, April). APA Monitor, 14.
Newspaper Article, Letter to the Editor
O'Neill, G. W. (1982, January). In support of DSM-III [Letter to the editor]. APA
Monitor, 4.
Maas, J. B. (Producer), & Gluck, D. H. (Director). (1979). Deeper into hypnosis [Film].
Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Cassette Recording
Clark, K. B. (Speaker). (1976). Problems of freedom and behavior modification
(Cassette Recording No. 7612). Washington, DC: American Psychological
Computer Program
Fernandes, F. D. (1972). Theoretical prediction of interference loading on aircraft
stores: Part 1. Subsonic speeds [Computer program]. Pomona, CA: General
Dynamics, Electro Dynamics Division. (National Aeronautics and Space
Administration Report No. NASA CR-112065-1; Acquisition No. LAR-11249).
Review of a Book
Carmody, T. P. (1982). A new look at medicine from the social perspective [Review of
Social contexts of health, illness, and patient care]. Contemporary Psychology, 27,
Review of a Film
Bowers, K. S. (1982). Deeper into "Deeper into hypnosis" [Review of Deeper into
hypnosis]. Contemporary Psychology, 27, 223-224.
Published Interview, Untitled Work
Newman, P. (1982, January). [Interview with William Epstein, editor of JEP: Human
Perception and Performance]. APA Monitor, pp. 7, 39.
When citing legal articles in APA format, do not footnote but locate all such references in
the reference list. For additional examples of references to court cases and statutes, see
the APA Publication Manual, pp. 397-410.
U.S. Supreme Court Case (Citation to the United States Reports)
O'Connor v. Donaldson, 422 U.S. 563 (1975).
General Form for Electronic References
Note: Some elements of the 5th edition's style guidelines for electronic resources differ
from previously published guidelines.
Electronic sources include aggregated databases, online journals, Web sites or Web pages,
newsgroups, Web - or e-mail-based discussion groups, and Web- or e-mail-based newsletters.
Online periodical:
Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (2000). Title of article. Title of
Periodical, xx, xxxxxx. Retrieved month day, year, from source.
Online document:
Author, A. A. (2000). Title of work. Retrieved month day, year, from source.
At present, the majority of the articles retrieved from online publications in psychology
and the behavioral sciences are exact duplicates of those in their print versions and are unlikely
to have additional analyses and data attached. This is likely to change in the future. In the
meantime, the same basic primary journal reference (see Examples 15) can be used, but if you
have viewed the article only in its electronic form, you should add in brackets after the article
title "Electronic version" as in the following fictitious example:
VandenBos, G., Knapp, S., & Doe, J. (2001). Role of reference elements in the selection
of resources by psychology undergraduates [Electronic version]. Journal of
Bibliographic Research, 5, 117-123.
If you are referencing an online article that you have reason to believe has been changed (e.g.,
the format differs from the print version or page numbers are not indicated) or that includes
additional data or commentaries, you will need to add the date you retrieved the document and
the URL.
VandenBos, G., Knapp, S., & Doe, J. (2001). Role of reference elements in the selection
of resources by psychology undergraduates. Journal of Bibliographic Research, 5,
117-123. Retrieved October 13, 2001, from
Article in an Internet-only journal
Fredrickson, B. L. (2000, March 7). Cultivating positive emotions to optimize health and
well-being. Prevention & Treatment, 3, Article 0001a. Retrieved November 20,
2000, from
Article in an Internet-only newsletter
Glueckauf, R. L., Whitton, J., Baxter, J., Kain, J., Vogelgesang, S., Hudson, M., et al.
(1998, July). Videocounseling for families of rural teens with epilepsy -- Project
update. Telehealth News, 2(2). Retrieved from
Use the complete publication date given on the article.
Note that there are no page numbers.
In an Internet periodical, volume and issue numbers often are not relevant. If they are not
used, the name of the periodical is all that can be provided in the reference.
Whenever possible, the URL should link directly to the article.
Break a URL that goes to another line after a slash or before a period. Do not insert (or
allow your word-processing program to insert) a hyphen at the break.
Stand-alone document, no author identified, no date
GVU's 8th WWW user survey. (n.d.). Retrieved August 8, 2000, from
If the author of a document is not identified, begin the reference with the title of the document.
Document available on university program or department Web site
Chou, L., McClintock, R., Moretti, F., & Nix, D. H. (1993). Technology and education:
New wine in new bottles: Choosing pasts and imagining educational futures.
Retrieved August 24, 2000, from Columbia University, Institute for Learning
Technologies Web site:
E-Book from a subscription service such as NetLibrary
Dronke, P. (1968). Medieval Latin and the rise of European love-lyric. Oxford: Oxford
University Press. Retrieved March 6, 2001, from NetLibrary:
If a document is contained within a large and complex Web site (such as that for a university
or a government agency), identify the host organization and the relevant program or department
before giving the URL for the document itself. Precede the URL with a colon.
Electronic copy of a journal article retrieved from subscription database (i.e. EbscoHost)
Borman, W. C., Hanson, M. A., Oppler, S. H., Pulakos, E. D., & White, L. A. (1993).
Role of early supervisory experience in supervisor performance. Journal of Applied
Psychology, 78, 443-449. Retrieved October 23, 2000, from PsycINFO database.
Lanken. (1996, March-April). When the earth moves. Canadian Geographic, 66-73.
Retrieved April 15, 1998 from MasterFile Premier.
When referencing material obtained by searching an aggregated database, follow the format
appropriate to the work retrieved and add a retrieval statement that gives the date of retrieval and
the proper name of the database.
The examples in this STUDY GUIDE are based on the 5th edition of the Publication Manual of
the American Psychological Association. The APA format is only one of many formats
available to writers. If you need another format or writers' manual, please consult with a
Reference Librarian if you require additional assistance.
Go to: for more info and updated guides.
Created: 1/02
Revised: 10/08
Kinlaw Library, Asbury College, Wilmore, KY 40390