Guide to apa formatting

Download 141.06 Kb.
Size141.06 Kb.
1   2   3

Keywords. Double-spaced immediately below the abstract should be a short paragraph indicating about six keywords for the manuscript, that is, words that indicate the major topic areas and methods covered in the paper. In APA style, this paragraph is indented, the first word, Keywords, is capitalized and in italics, followed by a colon, also in italics, then the selected keywords. Refer to the abstract page to see the format of the Keywords paragraph.

Title on first page of text. The title is repeated verbatim from the title page at the top of the first page of the text, centered, and not in boldface.

Introduction. The text of your manuscript begins on the first page following the abstract, or the first page after the title page if there is no abstract. The paper opens with an introduction that presents the issue under study, but in manuscripts and journals that follow APA format, does not use a heading that labels it as the Introduction. This section of the paper is thus understood as the introduction by its position at the beginning of the paper. For short papers, the introduction may be only one or two paragraphs. For longer manuscripts, particularly for research papers, the introduction may be several pages long and includes a review of the relevant literature. Note that many journals are not formatted in APA style, and may therefore have a section labeled Introduction. This does not mean that it is acceptable to label a heading as “Introduction” for papers written in APA style.

All papers should have one or more introductory paragraphs before the first heading (Level 1) is used. This means that there should never be a heading directly under the title on the first page of your manuscript.

Other sections of the manuscript. If you are writing a research paper, the introduction will typically be followed by a Method section, a Results section, and a Discussion section. These sections use Level 1 headings, meaning that the headings are centered and in boldface.

Manuscripts other than research papers allow the author the flexibility to name sections following the introduction. Use the topic of the paper and the flow of the text to guide you in naming the sections. New sections of the text begin immediately following the previous section, not on a new page, and without extra space or paragraphs between headings or paragraphs.

References. Documenting references will be covered in detail later in this guide. Only general formatting rules are discussed here. All material cited in the text must be listed as a separate reference in the References section of the paper. This section begins on a new page immediately following the last page of text. All references use a “hanging indent” paragraph format, which means that the first line is at the left margin and following lines are indented. An example is shown below:

O’Reilly, C. A., III, Chatman, J., & Caldwell, D. F. (1991). People and organizational culture: A profile comparison approach to assessing person-organization fit. Academy of Management Journal, 34, 487-516.

To create a paragraph with a hanging indent using the ruler at the top of the working space, place the cursor in the affected paragraph, then at the left margin on the ruler, move the top indicator (downward-facing arrow) to the left margin, and the bottom indicator (upward-facing arrow) to ½ inch (being careful not to grab the box below the arrow, which will cause both arrows to move). Every new paragraph you create from this paragraph will have this format.

Tables and figures. In some classes, you may be required to create one or more tables or figures to supplement and elaborate on your text. Guidelines for creating tables and figures are beyond the scope of this guide, but are explained in detail in Chapter 5 of the publication manual (APA, 2010). In manuscripts, tables and figures are usually shown on separate pages after the References, although in Master’s theses and doctoral dissertations (and in this guide), the tables and figures are embedded in the body of the text. For capstone projects, your instructor may allow you to format your manuscript with embedded tables and figures if you wish to do so. Check with your instructor for guidance.

Appendices and supplemental materials. If included, appendices are the final sections of a manuscript. Appendices consist of supplemental material that the author believes should be included in the manuscript, but is too detailed or too long to fit readily in the main portion of the text. Examples of appendices are (a) questionnaires or scales used in your research, (b) results of detailed or supplemental analyses beyond the main thrust of the manuscript, (c) detailed descriptions of equipment or stimulus materials, (d) detailed demographic breakdowns, (e) lengthy verbal protocols used in experimental procedures, and (f) the informed consent form used in your research. (Note that the APA’s (2010) preferred spelling for the plural of appendix is “appendices” (p. 96), not appendixes.)

Each appendix begins on a new page, with Appendix, letter designation, and title capitalized, not in boldface, and centered at the top of the page. If you have only one appendix, label it “Appendix.” If you have more than one appendix, label them Appendix A, B, and so on, in the order that they are mentioned in the text, and they must be mentioned in the text. An appendix that includes writing is formatted in the same manner as the main text, including headings and subheadings, if appropriate. Often, a lengthy appendix will include tables or figures. If so, they are labeled with the letter of the appendix preceding the table or figure number. If your appendices consist of only a few tables or figures, the publication manual (APA, 2010) has recommended that each table or figure be a separate appendix, with the title of the table serving as the appendix title.

For published articles, authors may wish to publish online supplemental materials in place of appendices. Supplemental materials are similar to appendices, but may be even more detailed, including such additional materials as (a) computer coding, (b) expanded methodology sections, and (c) audio or video materials.


General Citation Rules

With the exception of material that is considered common knowledge, every mention of external sources of information in the text must be cited. With only two exceptions, the reference for each citation must appear in the reference section. The exceptions are (a) personal communication, and (b) citations of classic works such as the Bible or Qur’an (Koran). If you do cite a specific part of the Bible, you should indicate the book, chapter, and verse, and if relevant, the Bible version or translation in parentheses following the citation. Analogous notation applies to the Qur’an.

With the first mention of a cited author’s name in any paragraph, there must be a formal citation. When citing in text, use only the author’s last name, followed immediately by the year of publication. Some beginning writers have a tendency to mention the author’s name at the start of a sentence without the publication date, and then provide a formal citation in parentheses with the author name and publication date. This format is incorrect. The first mention of the author’s name is the point at which the formal citation must occur, and the publication date must appear immediately after the name. Subsequent mention of the author’s name in the same paragraph does not require a formal citation unless it is needed to avoid reader confusion. (This topic is covered in more detail below under the heading Citing the same reference more than once in a paragraph.). Each new paragraph requires a formal citation with the first mention of an author’s name, regardless of how many times the author has been mentioned in previous paragraphs..

With each citation, only the author’s last name is used. Often new writers want to use an author’s first name or initials, perhaps to indicate the author’s importance or to personalize the name to the reader. However, unless someone is the subject of the article, or perhaps a famous name in history, it is contrary to accepted practice to include the author initials or given name in the text, especially in a formal reference. There is, however, one exception to this rule. If your manuscript has two first authors with the same last name, you must include the initials for these authors each time you cite them. For example, if your manuscript has references by J. C. Smith and B. R. Smith as first authors, you need to include their initials in every formal citation.

As shown in several examples in this section, when paraphrasing, you do not need to use the page number, although it is allowed if the writer believes it facilitates finding the cited material. But when directly quoting your source, you must cite the page number. Quotations will be covered later in this section. (If you are citing from a book, it may be useful to cite the page number(s), even when only paraphrasing, because it may otherwise be difficult to find the source in a large book that has an inadequate index without the page number(s). For example, material from the publication manual referred to here has shown page numbers so readers of this guide can easily obtain more detailed information from the manual.) Remember that when you use the author’s name (or organizational author) in the wording of a sentence, insert the year in parentheses immediately following the author’s name, not at the end of the sentence.

Citation Formats

One author. There are two general ways to cite the author name(s). You can (a) use the name(s) in the text of a sentence, or (b) place the author name(s) in parentheses. The examples below illustrate this principle:

The first method is as follows: Feldman (1984) proposed that norms are developed in four ways.

This is the second method: Norms are developed in four ways (Feldman, 1984).

Two authors. If a work has two authors, provide both authors’ names in every citation. If the authors are cited within a sentence, use “and” to separate the author names. If authors are cited in parentheses, separate the author names with an ampersand (&). The examples below illustrate each type of citation:

According to Kaufman and Kaufman (2005), when conducting research with children, a researcher must follow standards and regulations established by professional organizations.

Research has shown that there is a need for specificity in stating the attitude-behavior relationship (Ajzen & Fishbein, 1973).

Three to five authors. If there are between three and five authors, cite the surnames of all authors the first time, with a comma between each author name. Then, in subsequent citations, cite only the surname of the first author, followed by et al. (no period after “et” and a period after “al”). When citing in parentheses, this is followed by a comma, then the year of publication. If citing in a sentence, omit the comma and place the year in parentheses after et al. The examples below are illustrative:

O’Reilly, Chatman, and Caldwell (1991) have defined values as internalized normative beliefs.

O’Reilly et al. (1991) also indicated that shared values are the basis for social expectations or norms.

However, these statements appear to assert that team members exhibit perfect concordance of values because of accepted norms (O’Reilly et al., 1991).

After the first citation, when citing authors in text (but not in parentheses), some writers occasionally use the following variation to make text a little less formal and more readable.

O’Reilly and his colleagues (1991) also indicated that shared values are the basis for social expectations or norms.

Six or more authors. To cite a reference with six or more authors in text, use the surname of the first author only, followed by et al. and the year, even with the first citation. The following citation is of a journal article with six authors:

Hops et al. (1987) conducted research on the way depressed women interact with family members.

For rules on formatting references with two through six authors, and seven or more authors, note the format in the Documenting References section and in the reference list. You may also wish to refer to the publication manual (APA, 2010, p. 175).

Group or organizational authors. The name of a group or organizational author is spelled out the first time, and if it is a long name, followed by the shortened or abbreviated name in parentheses, or in brackets if already within parentheses. In subsequent citations, use the abbreviated name. For example, the first citation of the publication manual would be: (American Psychological Association [APA], 2010), and following citations would be: (APA, 2010). If you cite the group or organizational author only once in your manuscript, do not abbreviate the name, because the only purpose of abbreviating is to simplify subsequent citations. (This rule also applies to other terms that you might abbreviate in your manuscript: Abbreviate only if the term will be used later in the manuscript.)

Citing two or more sources together. When you have gathered similar information from two or more sources, you may wish to cite these sources together. Because it can be cumbersome to indicate several sources in text, multiple citations are usually placed in parentheses. When citing in parentheses, alphabetize the citations by the last names of the first authors, and separate each source with a semicolon. This is illustrated in the example below. Also shown in this example is the method for citing two works by the same author in one citation:

In this research, Jackson’s (1966, 1975) return potential model was integrated with expectancy theory (Vroom, 1964), as refined by Nebeker and his colleagues (De Young, 1991; Ilgen, Nebeker, & Pritchard, 1981; Riedel, Nebeker, & Cooper, 1988).

Material with no author identified. When citing material that lists no author, use the title (or just the first few words if it is a long title) in place of the author’s name in the text, followed by the year. When citing an article or a book chapter, place quotation marks around the title or shortened title in the citation. When citing a book, italicize the book title, capitalizing all important words, not as shown in the References section. Except when citing references in which no author is shown, it is not standard practice to refer to titles in text. Do not use Anonymous as an author name unless the source specifically uses that term to refer to the author. When citing using the article title, or shortened title, place the title in quotation marks, as shown below.

Sometimes people do not communicate successfully, then blame others for not paying attention, when the actual fault lies with the speaker (“Communication with Peers,” 2005).

Citing an author within a secondary source. Whenever possible, you should cite from the actual source (often referred to as the primary source) of the information you have obtained. Sometimes, however, as a last resort, you may need to cite an author for whom the information is available only through a secondary source. In these cases, list the author’s name, and use the phrase “as cited in” to let the reader know that the original author was not your source for the information. In the References section, list the reference for the journal or book in which you found the original author’s work. Although using a secondary source is sometimes necessary, it is not the best practice, and should be used sparingly, and effort should be expended tracking down the original source. Using a secondary source is an undesirable substitute for obtaining information from the primary source, because it forces you to depend on the secondary author’s interpretation of the original author’s words. The method for citing a primary source through a secondary author is shown in the example below:

North (as cited in Butler et al., 2002) focused on the interpersonal aspects of forgiveness in the definition that he provided.

In this case, your reference list would contain the Butler et al. reference, not North, because Butler et al. is the source of your information. The Butler et al. reference is shown in the References section of this guide.

Citing the same reference more than once in a paragraph. When you wish to refer to an author more than once in a paragraph, you may not need to use a formal citation every time. But the only way you can avoid using formal citations after the first citation in a paragraph is to use the author’s name in the actual text of a sentence. Any citation in parentheses must be a formal citation. The following example illustrates an informal second citation within a paragraph:

If one accepts that roles are summations of norms, it might follow that both norms and roles may be seen as a result of interaction that help define the structure of the organization (Johnson & Johnson, 1991). However, Johnson and Johnson adopted a hybrid view, by defining norms and roles differently, and accepting that norms may be different for different group members acting in different roles.

Note: If other, intervening citations in the paragraph make it unclear who is being cited, use a second formal citation within the paragraph.


A quotation reproduces the actual words of a source verbatim. According to APA ;guidance, any time you repeat three or more words in succession from an original author, you must cite it as a quotation. Each quotation requires a full citation, including, “the author, year, and specific page of the citation. . .in the text, and include[s] a complete reference in the reference list” (APA, 2010, p. 170). Quotations from electronic resources that do not have page numbers are cited using a paragraph number, as in: (para. 3).

Students are often unsure of their ability to express themselves effectively, preferring instead to use a cited author’s words by quoting. In addition, some students use quotations as a way to extend the text of an assignment to make a paper meet a minimum length assigned by the instructor. For these reasons, using quotations is very popular with students. However, APA has cautioned against the overuse of quotations. In scholarly and scientific writing, it is preferred that you paraphrase, stating the cited author’s ideas in your own words instead of quoting. Do not use quotations simply because you are unsure how to paraphrase the cited author’s ideas. Make sure that you understand the cited material, because paraphrasing (i.e., restating those ideas in your own words) indicates your understanding and interpretation of the material. Paraphrasing also enhances the natural progression of the text, while quoting can interrupt the flow of the narrative. When you do quote, make sure to integrate quotations into the manuscript, rather than just inserting them with no introduction or transition. Below are examples of different types of quotations.

Short quotations. Short quotations consist of fewer than 40 words. The quotation should be integrated into the text and enclosed by double quotations marks. It may be introduced by citing the author name(s) in text before the quotation, as shown in the Citation Formats section beginning on p. 20, in which case, only the page number appears after the quotation, in parentheses, followed either by continuing the sentence, or by a period ending the sentence. The following quotation states the rule and illustrates it at the same time. Note that in the example below, it is correctly indicated that the quotation happened to stretch from one page to the next.

The publication manual (APA, 2010) stated that “if the quotation appears in mid-sentence, end the passage with quotation marks, cite the source in parentheses immediately after the quotation marks, and continue the sentence” (pp. 170-171), as is done here.

Another alternative for citing short quotations, also stating and illustrating the rule in a single quotation, is to place the entire citation after the quotation. Note below that, although the end of the quoted sentence is actually at the end quotation mark, by virtue of now being in the manuscript, the period ending the sentence is placed after the citation.

“If the quotation appears at the end of a sentence, close the quoted passage with quotation marks, cite the source in parentheses immediately after the quotation marks, and end with a period or other punctuation outside the final parentheses” (APA, 2010, p. 171). If there is a question mark or exclamation mark at the end of the quotation, it should remain in the quotation.

Long quotations (block quotations). For long quotations (40 words or more), use a double-space block format with no quotation marks. Left indent the entire paragraph 0.5 in., but do not further indent the first line of the paragraph. If the quotation includes more than one paragraph, indent the first line of the second and succeeding paragraphs an additional half inch (APA, 2010, p. 170). When citing a long quotation, the period is placed before the citation/page number. To indent an entire paragraph, in the ruler, use the cursor to set both the upper and lower arrows to 0.5 inch. The following is a block quotation from the publication manual (APA, 2010) with two paragraphs:

Direct quotations must be accurate. Except as noted. . . , the quotation must follow the wording, spelling, and interior punctuation of the original source, even if the source is incorrect.

If an incorrect spelling, punctuation, or grammar in the source might confuse readers, insert the word sic [italics in original], italicized and bracketed, immediately after the error in the quotation. . . .Always check the manuscript copy against the source to ensure that there are no discrepancies. (p. 172)

If it is more convenient for your sentence structure, the entire citation for the above quotation may be placed with the page number at the end of the quote, as in (APA, 2010, p. 172). Note the difference in the placement of the period in long quotes and short quotes. In contrast to short quotations, long quotations retain the punctuation from the original quotation exactly as it is in the source, and the citation or page number appears outside the punctuation.

Quotations within quotations (nested quotations). To enclose additional quoted material within a short quotation, you will have to change double quotation marks to single quotation marks (Books published in the United Kingdom (U.K.) will already have primary quotations within single quotation marks, because their rule for single/double quotation-mark usage is the opposite of U.S. usage.). Notice the single and double quotation marks in the example below.

“She appeared in the doorway of the office and asked, ‘Where would you like me to sit?’” (Morrison, 2001, p. 492).

When quoting material within a long (block) quotation, use double quotation marks. This rule means that quotation marks do not have to be changed from the original source of the quotation (unless quoting from a book published in the U.K.).

Inserting material into a quotation. Use brackets [ ], not parentheses ( ), to enclose clarifying material that you have inserted into a quotation. For an example of inserted material, see the quotation in the section on Adding emphasis within a quotation, below.

Omitting material from a quotation. APA allows quoting material from the middle of a sentence without leading or following ellipsis points, and allows capitalizing or un-capitalizing letters at the beginning of the quotation to conform to proper usage within the syntax of your sentence. The only time ellipsis points are used is to indicate omitted material in the middle of a quotation, with three ellipsis points (with a space between each, a small point often missed by writers) within a sentence, and four points between sentences. For an example of omitted material, note the end of the first line in the quotation in the section on adding emphasis, immediately below.

Adding emphasis within a quotation. If there are words inside a quotation that you wish to emphasize, you are allowed to italicize them, but the change must be noted. Directly after the italicized words, place the words “[emphasis added]” within brackets to indicate your emphasis. If material was italicized in the original quotation, insert within brackets, following the italics, the words “[emphasis in original].” The quotation below provides an example of inserted material and added emphasis.

“Dependent behavior is [often] found in several Axis I conditions and disorders. . .

including [but not limited to] Somatization Disorder and Agoraphobia. The person with the secondary psychosis [emphasis added] in ‘Shared Psychotic Disorder’ often has a dependent personality [as well]” (Morrison, 2001, p. 492).

Documenting References

The reference list, or References section, catalogs all material cited in the manuscript. The reference list is titled References (unless there is only one reference, in which case it is titled Reference), and is centered at the top of the first new page following the body of the manuscript. The title References is not in boldface, and it is not underlined or italicized. Unless your manuscript includes tables, figures, or appendices, these are the final pages of the manuscript. A correct reference list provides the reader with all information necessary to retrieve the sources that the author has cited in the manuscript, so you must ensure that online citations take the reader to the exact uniform resource locator (URL; sometimes referred to as universal resource locator) for the reference if it is available. In addition, unless the manuscript describes a meta-analysis, the reference list includes only sources actually cited in the paper. (Articles reporting a meta-analysis include references for all sources used in the meta-analysis, but they do not have to be cited in the body of the article. References used only in a meta-analysis are usually indicated by an asterisk preceding the reference, which is noted in the text of the manuscript.)

List references in alphabetical order by the first author’s surname, double space, and use a hanging indent for each citation. With this format, the first line of a reference is flush left, and all subsequent lines of this entry are indented. To create a hanging indent, with the cursor within the intended paragraph, in the ruler at the top of the working area, drag the top (down-facing) arrow to the left margin. Then drag the bottom (up-facing) arrow to one half inch, being careful not to grab the box beneath the arrow. This has created a hanging indent. All new paragraphs created from this formatted paragraph will have this same format. To see how this format looks, you can view either the examples below or in the References section of this guide. (Some users prefer a hanging indent of .3 for References, which is acceptable.)

Do not include material you have read but not cited, because the References section is not a bibliography. In other words, there should be a reference for each citation, and at least one citation for each reference. It is incumbent on you as the author of the manuscript to ensure that the reference list is correct. One of the quickest (and most common) ways to lose your credibility as an author is to provide a reference list that is incorrect, not only by omitting references, but in providing incorrect material in the references cited, such as incorrect page numbers or volume numbers. It is extremely frustrating for a reader (or instructor) to search for a reference you have provided, and not be able to find it because the information in the reference is incorrect.

List references in alphabetical order by first author’s surname, double space, and use a hanging indent for each citation. The hanging indent facilitates finding references that are cited in the manuscript. The reference examples provided below cover the major examples that you are likely to use in classes here at National University. A more complete list of reference examples may be found in the publication manual (APA, 2010, see pp. 198-224).

Journal Articles

Journal references use the following general format: (a) author’s last name, followed by a comma and all author initials, followed by a period after each initial (there must be a space between initials); (b) if there is more than one author, follow the previous author’s initials with a comma, then list succeeding authors in the same manner as the first author, with the final author’s name preceded by an ampersand (&); (c) year of publication in parentheses, followed by a period; (d) article title, not in italics (capitalize only the first word of title, the first word after a colon, dash, question mark, or exclamation point, and proper nouns; some journals use a style that shows the title in all capital letters, but that does not mean that it should be in all capital letters in APA style); (e) italicized name of the journal, followed by a comma (all major words are capitalized; omit “The” at the beginning of journal names); (f) volume number in italics, followed by a comma; (g) beginning and ending page numbers, separated by a hyphen and followed by a period, and (h) the digital object identifier (DOI) if the journal article has one. This format omits the journal issue number within the volume. This is so because most refereed journals are continuously paginated, meaning that issues after the first issue in a volume do not start over numbering with page 1, but rather begin with the page number immediately following the last page of the previous issue. Make an effort to determine whether your citation is from a continuously paginated journal. Below is an example of a reference of a continuously paginated journal, a repeat of an earlier example. Note the proper positioning of III (and Jr.):

O’Reilly, C. A., III, Chatman, J., & Caldwell, D. F. (1991). People and organizational culture: A profile comparison approach to assessing person-organization fit. Academy of Management Journal, 34, 487-516.

Compare this with the format of a journal reference that is not continuously paginated:

O’Reilly, C. A., III. (1989). Corporations, culture, and commitment: Motivation and social control in organizations. California Management Review, 31(4), 9-25.

Magazines, less formal journals, and some regionally published journals, as shown above, do not have continuous pagination, meaning that each new issue within a volume begins with page 1. In these cases, the issue number must be included in the reference to help the reader find the article. As can be seen in the above example this format adds the issue number in parentheses immediately after the volume number (without a space between the volume and the opening parenthesis), and not in italics. Now that many journals are accessed electronically, it is not always easy to determine whether a journal is continuously paginated. One means of determining pagination is to search for the journal table of contents of any issue of a volume after the first issue. If the first article does not start at or near page 1, then the journal is continuously paginated and the issue number is not shown in the reference. (To keep the following references simple, DOIs will be excluded from reference examples until DOIs are discussed beginning on p, 36,)

One author. In addition to the example shown below, the two examples immediately above are either one-author journal and magazine articles. Additional examples may be found in the References at the end of this guide.

Seikkula, J. (2002). Open dialogues with good and poor outcomes for psychotic crises: Example from families with violence. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 28, 263-274.

Two through seven authors. The most noticeable addition in journal articles with two through seven authors is the requirement to place an ampersand before the last author’s surname:

Hops, H., Beglan, A., Sherman, L., Arthur, J., Friedman, L., & Olsteen, V. (1987). Home observations of family interactions of depressed woman. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 55, 341-346.

More than seven authors. When there are more than seven authors, list the first six authors and the last author, with three ellipsis points separating the sixth and final author’s name. Thus, for these references, there is no way from the reference to tell exactly how many authors there are. The example from the publication manual (APA, 2010, p. 198) indicates the format:

Gilbert, D. G., McClernon, J. F., Rabinovich, N. E., Sugai, C., Plath, L. C., Asgaard, G., . . . Botros, N. (2004). Effects of quitting smoking on EEG activation and attention last more than 31 days and are more severe with stress, dependence, DRD2 A1 allele, and depressive traits. Nicotine and Tobacco Research, 6, 249-267.

The above example also had a DOI that was not shown in order to simplify the current example for illustrative purposes. An example of a reference with a DOI is shown below.

Journal article obtained from an online database. In contrast to guidance from the 5th edition if the APA manual, the current edition (APA, 2010) has specified that for articles accessed via an online database such as EBSCOHost or ProQuest, “it is not necessary to include database information” (p. 192). In the rare case that you are referencing an archival article that is “not easily located through its primary publishing channels, give the home or entry page URL for the online archive” (p. 192).

What is a digital object identifier (DOI)? The DOI is a unique alphanumeric string of numbers, letters, and/or symbols referenced in print publications that provides a means of ordering the article. Beginning in the year 2000, subscribing journals began listing the DOI on the first page of the articles, often in the top right corner along with copyright information. In addition, DOIs have now been assigned retroactively to articles from subscribing journals published in some cases as far back as the 19th Century. All DOIs begin with a 10 followed by a period, and contain a prefix and a suffix separated by a slash. When a DOI is used, no further retrieval information is necessary to identify or locate the article, but the standard reference information for a journal article should be provided. As mentioned in the previous section, if you accessed the article via an online database, such as ProQuest or EBSCOHost, a uniform resource locator (sometimes referred to as universal resource locator; URL) is unnecessary, because these online databases are not unique sources for the article, and source information may change over time. Regardless of whether the article has a DOI, always show the journal name, volume, issue (if appropriate), and page numbers (see APA, 2010, pp. 188-192 for information on DOIs).

Journal article with a DOI. For journal articles obtained over the internet that have DOIs, show the DOI (preceded by “doi” in all lower case letters, and a colon) at the end of the reference in place of internet retrieval information, as shown in the reference below. It is recommended in the current edition of the APA manual (APA, 2010) that you display the DOI even if you obtained a hard copy of the article. To reiterate, if the article has a DOI, do not use a “Retrieved from” statement with the URL. As a practical matter, articles available from open-source websites rarely have DOIs anyway, and they do require a retrieval statement. To display the DOI, use the format shown in the reference below and in the references at the end of this guide.

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

In order to find a DOI, the easiest, and generally the best, means of finding it is the by using a website that conducts an automatic search. If you have the entire reference, the best means of conducting a search is by accessing a website ( called “free DOI lookup” sponsored by CrossRef, a registration agency for scientific articles. This website provides a means of entering information into various parts of the page to search for a DOI, but the most efficient means of searching for a DOI is by typing, or copying and pasting the reference into the block under the heading Automatic parsing of a formatted reference, near the bottom of the web page. By clicking on the SEARCH button, the site will search for a DOI and either provide the DOI or state that one cannot be found, usually within 5 seconds .If the article has a DOI, you can use it to order a hard copy of the article. The CrossRef website and some journal article websites include the prefix before the DOI, which converts it into a URL, a website where you can order the article. Prices may vary, but are usually between $10 and $30. Of course, if you have already accessed the article via one of NU’s online databases, you will not need to purchase the article.

Journal article from an internet-only journal without a DOI. When you access an internet-only journal, you will need to indicate the URL via a “Retrieved from” statement. Do not end the retrieval statement with a period, because it could be confused as being part of the URL. Below is a typical internet-only reference:

Selänne, H., Ryba, T. V., & Leppäluoto, J. (2013). Common features in overtrained athletes and individuals with professional burnout: Implications for sports medical practice. Athletic Insight: The Online Journal of Sport Psychology, 15(3). Retrieved from

Article from an annual publication. There are approximately 50 annual reviews published in the social sciences, biomedical and life sciences, and physical sciences. These annual reviews contain articles covering various areas of each scientific discipline. Articles in these and other annually published scientific edited books should be referenced in the same manner as journals. One such reference is shown below:

Prusiner, S. B., & DeArmond, S. J. (1994). Prion diseases and neurodegeneration. Annual Review of Neuroscience, 17, 311-339. doi: 10.1146/


The basic format for book references is generally as follows: (a) author’s last name, followed by a comma and all initials, followed by a period after each initial (there must be a space between initials); (b) year of publication in parentheses, followed by a period; (c) book title, in italics (capitalize only the first word of the title, proper nouns, and the first word after a colon, dash, or question mark), ending with a period; (d) city and state of publication, using the two-letter Postal Service abbreviation (or country, for books not published in the U.S.), followed by a colon; and (e) the name of the publisher, given “in as brief a form as is intelligible. Write out the names of associations, corporations, and university presses, but omit superfluous terms such as Publishers, Co., and Inc. . . . Retain the words Books and Press” (APA, 2010, p. 187).

Book with no author identified. Books with no author listed are extremely rare, but are seen occasionally. However, even when a book has no author shown, often, it is most appropriate to list a group or corporate author, such as Time Life Books, or National Geographic. A book that has no identifiable author and the publisher does not appear to be an appropriate corporate author, the book title is moved to the author spot, and the first important word in the title is used for alphabetizing the reference. Do not use “Anonymous” as the book author unless it is specifically listed that way. A recent search found no books that could truly be considered as having no author, either individual or otherwise, except for yearbooks or Navy cruise/unit deployment books. There are other problems with citing these books, however, because it is often impossible to determine the title or the publisher.

Book with one author. Following the format outlined one-author articles above, the example below shows the format of a book with one author. The reference provides an example of the fact that some books, particularly textbooks and reference books, are republished more than once in new editions. The reference below is one such example. Note that the edition number appears in parentheses immediately following the title, followed by “ed.” as the standard abbreviation for edition. The period concluding the title section follows the parentheses. The complete name of the publisher is F. A. Davis Company, but as stated above, the term Co. (or Company) should be omitted from the reference. This publisher cannot be referred to simply as Davis because there are other publishers that include the word Davis in the company name.

Venes, D., Thomas, C. L., & Taber, C. W. (2001). Taber's cyclopedic medical dictionary (19th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: F. A. Davis.

Book with two or more authors. As with journal articles, in books with two or more authors, use an ampersand before the last author’s surname. If you happen across reference lists in published material before 2010, you may notice that the state is not mentioned after some cities, such as New York, Boston, and San Francisco. The reason for this is that earlier editions of the publication manual specified seven U.S. cities (and six foreign cities) as major publishing centers for which the state (or country) name was to be omitted. This special treatment of some cities was rescinded in the 6th edition of the publication manual, and now all U.S. cities are to be followed by the two-letter state abbreviation, and all foreign cities are to include the country.

As indicated above, the name of the publisher should be stated as briefly as possible. In the example below, the complete publisher name is John Wiley & Sons, Inc., but because it is a well known publisher, it can be identified without ambiguity simply as Wiley. Other major publishers, such as Sage, Dell, Penguin, Random House, and HarperCollins, should also be mentioned in an abbreviated fashion.

Katz, D., & Kahn, R. L. (1978). The social psychology of organizations (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Wiley.

Book by a group or organization. The publication manual is a good example of a book by an organization. In addition to the group or organization authorship, two elements of the reference are worth noting. Although words other than the first word are capitalized, that is because they are proper nouns (and “proper adjectives,” to be precise), as the name of the organization. Also, note that the publisher is listed as Author, rather than repeating American Psychological Association as the publisher. As stated in the publication manual, “when the author is also the publisher, use the word Author [italics in original] to indicate the publisher” (APA, 2010, p. 187).

American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Book indicating “with” author(s). If a book indicates one or more authors preceded by the word with, the author(s) should be shown in parentheses (APA, 2010, p. 184). When citing such a book, only the primary author’s name is shown. The reference for a book of this type uses the following format:

Adler, N. J. (with Gundersen, A.). (2008). International dimensions of organizational behavior (5th ed.). Mason, OH: South-Western.

Article or chapter in an edited book. The format for referenced material from an edited book is different from other book references. The general format is as follows: (a) chapter or article author name(s) and publication date listed in the same manner as for book or journal article authors; (b) the article or chapter title, not in italics, followed by a period; (c) the word “In” and editor name(s), with initials before the surname(s), followed by “Ed.” or “Eds.” in parentheses, and a comma; (d) the book title in italics, followed in parentheses by the edition number, if one is mentioned, a comma, and inclusive page numbers of the article (all within the same parentheses), followed by a period; and (e) the publisher location and publisher name as with other books. Note that “Ed.” with a capital “E stands for editor, while “ed.” with a lower case “e” stands for edition.

Bednar, R. L., & Kaul, T. J. (1978). Experiental group research: Current perspectives. In S. L. Garfield & A. E. Bergin (Eds.), Handbook of psychotherapy and behavior change (2nd ed., pp. 115-162). New York, NY: Wiley.

Entire edited book. Occasionally you may find the need to reference an entire edited book. In this case, the editor name(s) should be moved to the author position, with surname first, and initials after, followed by “(Ed.)” for editor and a period. The remainder of the reference is the same as for any book references, as follows:

Garfield, S. L. & Bergin, A. E. (Eds.). (1978). Handbook of psychotherapy and behavior change (2nd ed.). New York NY: Wiley.

Magazine Articles

Magazine articles are referenced similarly to journal articles. In many cases, it is difficult to find the magazine volume and issue number, but you can usually find them on or near the table of contents page, either near the magazine title or among the small print. The difference between journal and magazine articles is that for magazines, in addition to the volume and issue number, the month (and the day, for weekly magazines) is also listed. In magazines, there may not be a colon between the first and second parts of the title, or between title and subtitle. In these cases, assume the title and subtitle are separated by a colon. Most magazine articles indicate an author or authors, but in some cases no author is listed.

Authored magazine article. An example of an authored magazine article is shown below. In this article, there was no colon after the word “home,” so one was added to indicate separation between title and subtitle. Also, “Our” was capitalized in keeping with APA guidance to capitalize words after a dash.

Haass, R. (2011, August 8). Bringing our foreign policy home: A doctrine of restoration can strengthen the U.S. position abroad by focusing on nation building–Our own. Time, 178(5), 42-43.

Magazine article with no author identified. Although it is not as common as in the past, some magazines have articles that do not list an author. In these cases, the article title is moved to the author position, and the first important word in the title is used to determine the article’s alphabetical position in the references. An example of an article with no author shown appears below. Because of the length of the article title, when citing, use only the first few words in the citation.

The business of healing hearts: Cardiac care is a money-making machine that too often favors profit over science. (2011, September). Consumer Reports, 76(9), 26-31.

Newspaper Articles

Articles from print newspapers contain many of the elements of journal and magazine articles, but are also different in some ways. First, as with magazines, the exact date of the article is listed, as shown below. Second, even though most newspapers have volume and issue numbers, they are not listed. Third, unlike journals and magazines, pages for newspaper articles are preceded by “p.” (one-page article) or “pp.” (multi-page article). If the page numbers are discontinuous, list all pages and separate the page numbers with a comma and a space.

Associated Press. (2014, April 26). Russia faces new sanctions: G-7 nations vow response to actions in Ukraine. U-T San Diego, pp. A1, A3.

Online Articles

Online articles may be published in (a) online journals, (b) online magazines, (c) online newspapers or newsletters, (d) online newsgroups, discussion groups, or mailing lists, (e) blog posts, or (f) other similar online sources.

Online journal, magazine, newspaper, or newsletter article. To the extent possible, document these articles in the same way as you would an article from a hard-copy version of these sources. Usually, there is an author name, but if no author is shown, either (a) use a group author such as American Psychological Association or National University (as with this guide), or, if a group author is not identifiable, (b) move the article title to the author position in the reference and alphabetize the reference by the first word or words of the title. If there is an exact publication date, enter the entire date, with the year first, followed by a comma, then the month and day. If you cannot find a publication date, often there is a copyright year or range of years, usually at the bottom of the web page. In that case, use the most recent copyright year as the publication date. If no date can be found, but the material is current information, list the year of retrieval as the publication date. The online journal, magazine, newspaper, or newsletter should appear in the normal position in italics. If it is an online journal or magazine, provide the volume number in italics if there is one. There may or may not be page numbers.

If the article can easily be found by accessing the home page of the online journal, magazine, or newspaper/newsletter, a “Retrieved from” statement with the home-page URL will be sufficient. However, if possible, it is preferable to provide a “Retrieved from” statement with the exact URL of the article.

Online article from a sponsored or titled website. Very similar to newsletter articles are articles that are published on titled websites, typically indicating a catchphrase or sponsor name. These sites are usually regularly updated, and tend to carry articles written by professionals offering practical information and advice regarding particular fields of interest. Follow the guidelines stated in the previous section for listing these references, including the recommendations for deciding authorship for articles without a listed author, and the method of dating the article. Place the webpage title in the journal/magazine/newsletter position. For these articles, provide the exact URL so the article can be accessed directly.

Website article/information with no author identified. Websites (URLs) that do not publish on a periodic basis cannot be considered online publications. When these sites post information without indicating an author, list the website’s sponsoring organization as the author, as shown below:

National Osteoporosis Foundation. (2004). Fast facts. Retrieved from

Undated articles. If no article date can be found, even using the techniques described in the section titled Online journal, magazine, newspaper, or newsletter article, beginning on p. 40, but the material is current information, list the year of retrieval as the publication date. If the material is archival and no date can be found, write “n.d.” (indicating “no date”) in parentheses in place of a year of publication.

Download 141.06 Kb.

Share with your friends:
1   2   3

The database is protected by copyright © 2022
send message

    Main page