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Citing Sources: APA References

Guides for citing sources in MLA and APA format

APA Publication Manual

APA Manual Front Cover


This page is based on the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th ed. (2009).

How to set up Word 2013 for APA Style

Book Citations

Basic Format

Author last name, initials. (year). Title of the book. Place of Publication: Publisher.

Example 1 (two authors)

Shotton, M. A., Jr., & Brown, S. (1989). Computer addiction? A study of computer dependency.

        London, England: Taylor & Francis.

Example 2 (editor, no author)

Freedheim, D. K. (Ed.). (1994). History of psychotherapy: A century of changeWashington, DC:

        American Psychological Association.

eBook Citations from Databases

APA notes that "in general, it is not necessary to include database information."  However, most instructors on campus prefer to know where you accessed your information. Accepted practice is using Retrieved from (URL or database name) as seen in the examples below.

Examples -- ProQuest eBook Central 

Colvin, R. (2008). Overcoming prescription drug addiction: A guide to coping and

understanding. (3rd ed.). Omaha, NE: Addicus. Retrieved from eBook Central database.

Dunning, T. (2013). Care of people with diabetes. Somerset, NJ: Wiley. Retrieved from

eBook Central database.

Lemus, R. (2013). Nutrient management in biofuel crop production. In B. Singh (Ed.),

Biofuel crop sustainability (pp. 301-324). Somerset, NJ: Wiley. Retrieved from

eBook Central database.

Examples -- Gale Virtual Reference Library

Food-safety issues related to plant foods at farms. (2017). In R. K. Gupta,

     P. Dudeja, & A. S. Minhas (Eds.), Food Safety in the 21st Century: Public Health

     Perspective (pp. 179-191). London: Academic Press. Retrieved from https://link.galegroup.


Furness, A. Arrested development. In T. Riggs (Ed.), St. James Encyclopedia of Popular

Culture. (2nd ed.). Detroit, MI: St. James. Retrieved from GVRL database.

Spohn, C. (2013). Criminality and social factors. In P. L. Mason (Ed.), Encyclopedia

of Race and Racism (2nd ed., Vol. 1, pp. 459-462). Detroit: Macmillan Reference

USA. Retrieved from GVRL database.

Examples - Opposing Viewpoints

Edelman, G. (2017). Reforming sentences for nonviolent drug offenders won’t fix mass

         incarceration. In Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection. Detroit: Gale. (Reprinted

         from The real answer to mass incarceration, The New Yorker, 2015, July 17)

         Retrieved from Opposing Viewpoints In Context database.

Lee, J. (2016). Secure the US-Mexico border: Open it. In N. Berlatsky (Ed.), Opposing

          Viewpoints. Slavery and Human Trafficking. Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven

           Press. (Reprinted from 2013, February 25) Retrieved from Opposing Viewpoints

           in Context database. 

Article Citations

APA notes that "in general, it is not necessary to include database information."  However, most instructors on campus prefer to know where you accessed your information. Accepted practice is using Retrieved from (URL or database name) as seen in the examples below.

  • "When the document is not easily located through its primary publishing channels, give the home or entry page URL for the online archive." (p. 192)
  • "Do not include retrieval dates unless the source material may change over time (e.g., Wikis)." (p. 192)


Basic Format

Author's last name, initials. (date). Title of the article. Name of Journalvolume(issue)page

        number(s). doi: doi number [if available]

Example 1 (scholarly journal, print or database, without DOI)

Light, M. A., & Light, I. H. (2008). The geographic expansion of Mexican immigration in the

        United States and its implications for local law enforcement. Law Enforcement

        Executive Forum Journal, 8(1), 73-82. 

Example 2 (scholarly journal with DOI)

If a journal article has a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) listed, you will always include this identifier in your reference.  You will not have to include the URL of the journal's home page or of the database from which you retrieved the article if a DOI is available.

Chary, M., Genes, N., Mckenzie, A., & Manini, A. F. (2013). Leveraging social

       networks for toxicovigilance. Journal of Medical Toxicology, 9(2), 184-91.


Herbst-Damm, K. L., & Kulik, J. A. (2005). Volunteer support, marital status, and the survival

        times of terminally ill patients. Health Psychology, 24(2), 225-229. doi:


Example 3 (magazine article from library database)

Quintana, H. (2008, June 30). Take a three-martini nap. Newsweek, 151(26), 56Retrieved

        from ProQuest Central database.

Moving toward a recovery paradigm. (2018, March). Psychology Today, 51, pp.14. Retrieved from


Example 4 (newspaper article, no author)

Outraged officials: FutureGen scrubbed. (2008, January 30). Pantagraph [Bloomington, Ill],

        A1 Retrieved from Gale Academic OneFile database.

Example 5 (online encyclopedia article)

Graham, G. (2005). Behaviorism. In E. N. Zalta (Ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of

        Philosophy (Fall 2007 ed.) Retrieved from

Example 6 (journal article with many authors/editors)

If more than seven authors/editors, list the first six authors in the reference, and then include

ellipses and the last author/editor. 

Trigo, J. M., Soliman, A., Quilty, L. C., Fischer, B., Rehm, J., Selby, P., . . . Foll,

     B. L. (2018). Nabiximols combined with motivational enhancement/cognitive

     behavioral therapy for the treatment of cannabis dependence: A pilot

     randomized clinical trial. PLoS One, 13(1) doi:


Web Page Citations

Basic Format 

Author. (year written/updated). Title of the page. Retrieved from http://address

If your source is missing a lot of these components, perhaps it isn't the best source to use? Evaluation of a source is difficult with no author available. 

Example 1

Mitchel, S. D. (2000). The import of uncertainty. Retrieved from http://news.ninemsn.

Example 2 (organization as author)

American Library Association. (2009). ALA library fact sheet 7. Retrieved from

National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018, June 6). Understanding drug use and addiction.

     Retrieved from

     drug-use-addiction on 2018, September 4

Example 3 (no author)

New child vaccine gets funding boost. (2001). Retrieved from http://philsci-archive.

Drug addiction (substance use disorder). (2018). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from


Example 4 (no author)

Anorexia. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Twelve powerful home remedies for drug addition. (2018, March 27).  Organic Facts.

     Retrieved from

Example 5 (online encyclopedia)

Concrete. (n.d.). In Encyclopædia Britannica online. Retrieved from

Example 6 (online magazine)

Osborne, H. (2018, September 3). Climate change is about to transform Earth into an unrecognizable,

     alien landscape. Newsweek. Retrieved from


Example 7 (online newspaper)

Gray, B. (2018, September 4). Proposed Metro East wind farm brings an old debate to a

     new area. Journal Gazette & Times-Courier. (Reprinted from St. Louis Post-Dispatch).

     Retrieved from


Video Citations

Basic Format

Producer, A. A. & Director, B. B. (year). Movie title [Motion Picture]. Place of Origin: Studio.

Example 1 (film)

Sandler, M. W. (Executive Producer) & Shapiro, D. (Producer). (1988). 150 years

    of photography [Motion Picture]. Rochester, NY: Eastman Kodak Co.

Example 2 (online video)  This follows the Web Site format more than the video format

Norton, R. (2006, November 4). How to train a cat to operate a light switch

[Video file]. Retrieved from

Ekstrom, A. (2015, January). Andreas Ekstrom: The moral bias behind your search

results [Video file]. Retrieved from


sepsisXIII. (2006, December 16). How to train a cat to operate a light switch.

[Video file]. Retrieved from

Example 3 (video from database)

Cerebellum Corporation (Producer). (2011). What your body does with food.

     [Streaming video] Retrieved from




An interview can't be found again, so it does not appear on the reference list.  You can, however, refer to it in the body of your paper by using (S. Hill, personal communication, June 4, 2011). 

Image Citations

Remember that researchers can't just do an image search online to find the perfect picture--you need to find an image that you can use responsibly.  For that, try to do a search in creative commons.  There are several places to do this: FlickR Creative Commons is a great source! Once there, choose what you plan on doing--if you are just going to cite the image in your paper and not alter it, you can use any of them listed--just choose See More and then do a search for your topic.  All the images in Flickr have the information you need to cite the source correctly--owner/author/creator, publication date (you can estimate), title of the image in italics, and a retrieved from URL.  You might also try Wikimedia Commons.  You can also use Google Image Search--complete your search, click on Tools and select an option under Usage Rights. 

Photograph (from book, magazine or webpage)

Brown, L. A. (2002). Donald. [digital image]. Museum of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia. Retrieved from

Artwork - from library database

Brown, L. A. (c.a. 1980's). Woman dancing. [photograph]. Bright House, Albany, NY. Retrieved from ProQuest

Artwork - from website

Brown, L. A. (2002). Woman dancing[photograph]. Museum of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia. Retrieved from

General Rules of APA References

A DOI is a digital object identifier that APA uses to identify electronic sources. If your source has a DOI, include it in your citation.

Articles from library online databases can be cited just as print versions--no database info is required. However, most of our instructors want to know what database you used. 

Always double space. The second and any subsequent lines in an entry should be indented.

Authors are always written with last name, then initials.

     (Smith, B. H.)

Book and periodical titles are in italics.

For book and article titles, only capitalize the first word, the first word after a colon or dash, and proper nouns. (Ex: Are we Rome? The fate of America). For periodical titles, capitalize all major words (Ex: Psychology, Public Policy, and Law.) 

Give the name of the publisher in as brief a form as possible (omit terms such as Publishers, Co., or Inc.)

For most online sources, a retrieval date is no longer needed. Exceptions to this are pages that are frequently edited, such as a Wikipedia page.