APA guide

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The APA citation and referencing system (from the American Psychological Association) is used internationally for academic writing in the social sciences and education fields, including psychology, linguistics, education, and others, and sometimes in health sciences, nursing, and business. It is a parenthetical name+date system, that is, author names and publication dates are cited in parentheses within the body of a paper, and full bibliographic information is provided in the references section at the end of the paper. Currently, the 6th edition of the APA is commonly used, which was published in 2009[1].

The APA guide contains specifications for in-text source citations and end references. The APA system puts more emphasis on the author and date in the in-text citations and end references (in that the author and date are the first two elements of each end reference), since this information is more important in social sciences. In such fields, researchers and scholars generally expect academic research to rely on citations from fairly recent papers - some from the past five years, and the majority of sources not being older than twenty years (some older works if they are important in the research field). The APA also provides specifications for paper format or layout (particularly for course papers, theses and dissertations, and paper drafts submitted to journals).

Outline:

  1. Overview of in-text citations and end references
  2. In-text citation details
  3. End reference details
  4. Details for different types of source


Contents

1 Overview

The APA style specifies how sources are cited in the text of a paper, by means of in-text citations and end references.

1.1 In-text citation of sources

Works are cited within the text of a paper with author name(s) and publication year in parentheses, or the author name(s) stated directly in the sentence with years in parentheses. Usually only surnames (family names or last names) are given (but see below for more complex cases). Ampersands (&) are used only inside parentheses for multiple authors, while 'and' is used for names outside of parentheses.

  • At least one recent applied phonology text by Yavaş (2011) has addressed this issue …
  • A recent survey (Nevalainen & Traugott, 2012) notes that ...
  • A recent survey by Nevalainen and Traugott (2012) notes that ...
  • One recent study (En, Brebner & McCormack, 2014) reported that ...

The in-text citation goes inside the sentence, and if it comes at the end, it still is placed before final punctuation (inside a final period, that is, the period comes after the closing parenthesis of the citation). In the example below, the names and years can all be inside parentheses, or if the name is directly used in the sentence, then the year immediately follows in parentheses.

Such widely skewed distributions have been noted by several recent surveys (Wolfson, 1998; Johns et al.; 2001; Manatee, 2004). However, some like Wolfson (1998) arguing for a best fit from a logistic distribution, while others (Johns et al., 2001; Karpo, 2008) argue for a binomial distribution.

For citing multiple sources together, each entry is separated by a semi-colon, and they are ordered alphabetically according to the first author.

Recent studies have shown that East Asian students overuse certain transitional items (Ahn & Lee, 2001; Kim, 2004; Lee & Smith, 2003; Lee et al., 2008) due to …

For verbs used in paraphrasing, see the page on reporting verbs (introduction) and the detailed listing on the page for reporting verbs.


1.2 End references

At the end of a paper, a section called 'References' appears (or 'Reference', if only one source is used). Full bibliographic information appears here for all sources cited in the text (and only for those cited in the text). Authors' given names are initialized (abbreviated) and the year appears in parentheses. The titles of books, magazines, and scholarly journals are italicized, followed by the volume number (for journals or other periodicals) and the page numbers. Titles of articles or chapters are not italicized. When the citation is longer than one line, the second line is indented five spaces or one tab space – a hanging indentation format, like below.

References

En, L.G.W., Brebner, C., & McCormack, P. (2014). A preliminary report on the English phonology of typically developing English–Mandarin bilingual preschool Singaporean children. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, 49(3), 317-332.

Nevalainen, T., & Traugott, E. C. (2012). The Oxford handbook of the history of English. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.


The end references are not numbered, but use a hanging indent layout (the first line aligns with the left margin, and the rest of the entry is indented about 1.25 cm to the right). In MS Word, right-click for paragraph properties, and for paragraph format, chose handing indent, and use the default 1.25 cm (1/2 inch) setting. In LibreOffice, edit the paragraph properties or bibliography format properties; manually create a 1.25 cm text indent, and a -1.25 cm reverse indent for the first line. For papers in university and graduate school courses, this section is usually on a separate sheet of paper; for a master's thesis or doctoral dissertation, it forms a separate section or chapter. The bibliographic entries are generally double-spaced, at least in course papers and theses, but are often single-spaced in published journal articles and books.

In official APA, author's given names are abbreviated in the end references. This can sometimes be confusing; see below for details on confusing or complicated cases.


1.2.1 Journals

Journals are cited according to this framework, and the journal name and volume number are italicized. After the volume number, the issue number is in parentheses (i.e., 14(2) = issue two of volume 14, or the 14th year of the journal's publications), followed by page numbers. The issue number can be omitted if it is not known.

Surname, A., Surname2, B., & Surname3, C. (Year). Article title. Name of Journal, vol.(issue#), page#s.

Zorg, J., Delitz, K., Regan, R., & Krum, A. (1998). Sociocultural aspects of economic growth in ex-Soviet republics. Journal of European Economic and Policy Studies, 14(2), 556-598.

1.2.2 Popular periodicals

Popular periodicals, such as newspapers and magazines, include the date of the particular issue after the year in parentheses. See below for more on online periodicals.

Surname, A. (Year, Date). Article title. Name of Periodical, vol.. Page#s. Retrieved from URL

Surname, A. (Year, Date). Article title. Name of Periodical, vol., page#s.

Springen, K. (1990, December 31). A 100 mile race? No sweat. Newsweek, p. 84.

1.2.3 Books

Books consist of author name(s), year, title, place of publication, and name of publisher.

Surname, A., Surname2, B., & Surname3, C. (Year). Book title. Location: Publisher.

Nevalainen, T., & Traugott, E. C. (2012). The Oxford handbook of the history of English. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Yavaş, M. (2011). Applied English Phonology. Malden, MA: John Wiley & Sons.

1.2.4 Edited volumes and anthologies

An edited volume is an academic book that consists of original research papers by various authors, often with one or more editors. The page numbers are in parentheses after the book title. The editors' names are initialized and indicated with '(Ed)' or '(Eds.)' for one or more editors.

Surname, A., Surname2, B., & Surname3, C. (Year). Article title. In Surname4, D., & Surname5, E. F. (Eds.), Book title (pp. 000-999). Location: Publisher.

Ringbom, H. (1999). High frequency verbs in the ICLE corpus. In A. Renouf (Ed.), Explorations in corpus linguistics (pp. 191-200). Amsterdam: Rodopi.

2 In-text citation details

2.1 Citing authors and sources

2.1.1 Multiple authors & citations

For books by multiple authors (five or less), in-text citations include all names with the ampersand (&) if the names are in parentheses, or with the word and if the names appear directly in the sentence.

One recent study by Smith and Jones (2014) concluded that unobtanium should have an atomic mass somewhere in the next periodic series.

One recent study (Smith & Jones, 2017) concluded that unobtanium should have an atomic mass somewhere in the next periodic series.

For several citations by the same author, these are listed in reverse chronological order.

Several studies of unusual intransitive verb syntax in this language have appeared in recent years (Zhou, 2015; Zhou, 2014).

For citing two sources by the same author for the same year, the sources can be distinguished with letters, e.g., (Zhou, 2016a) and (Zhou, 2016b), and so on. These are alphabetized by the title of the work, and are ordered and listed similarly in the end references.

This was first reported in Zhou (2016a) and thereafter confirmed in a follow-up study (Zhou, 2016b).

For a source with three to five authors, all authors are listed the first time the source is cited. If the same source is cited later, the subsequent citation contains the first author followed by the abbreviation 'et al.' for the other names (from Latin et alia = ‘and others’) instead of writing out all the names.

One study with Serbian and Slovakian readers (Svrto, Kalus & Paplovsky, 2013) reported slightly different reading patterns with the Cyrillic script than with non-Cyrillic writing systems. .... However, the Serbian study (Svrto et al., 2013) did not adequately control for possible L2 or bilingual interference effects.

For sources with six or more authors, the list is abbreviated with 'et al.' after the first name ('et al.' = Latin, "and others"). Of course, all names are listed in the end references.

An eye-tracking study on Russian native speakers (Rayner et al., 2015) used a masked priming technique to investigate … An eye-tracking study on Russian native speakers by Rayner et al. (2015) used a masked priming technique to investigate …

In the older APA style, the rule is to use 'et al.' for three or more authors. In the newer APA style (particularly used in psychology), this is used for six or more authors (since psychology researchers often publish many multi-author articles, so “Smith et al., 2002” might apply to multiple papers by Smith and colleagues in 2002).


2.1.2 Similar author names

The APA system of initializing author names in the end references can lead to confusion when similar names are cited in the text, especially similar East Asian names. In that case, in-text citations can, in addition to the family name, contain an initial or even a full name if necessary, to distinguish different authors with the same family names, especially for two sources from the same year.

One study (H. Lee, 2005) found that …, while another (S. Lee, 2005) reported that …


2.1.3 Authorless or undated sources

For sources with no authors, the title or the first few words of the title can be cited in the in-text citation. Undated works can be cited with “n.d.” This occurs mainly with electronic sources; see the section on electronic sources below.

These particle meanings have been classified in a few reference works (e.g., Oxford Phrasal Verbs Dictionary, 2006) in less than intuitive ways.

Recent stories illustrate the problems of trying to confine octopi, such as the popular story of an octopus escaping its aquarium in New Zealand (“Renegade octopus,” 2016). Numerous other historical accounts exist of octopods escaping their tanks or aquariums (Smith, n.d.).


2.2 Direct quotations

One usually reports the ideas, findings, or work of others by paraphrasing and summarizing the relevant information, in one’s own words. Occasionally, one might want to provide a direct quotation, if the way the original writer stated it is particularly important or noteworthy. In the in-text citation, the page number from which the quotation comes is given after the year, e.g., “...(Marion, 1997, p. 34)...” for a quotation from page 34, or “...(Marion, 1997, pp. 34-35)...” for pages 34-35. The end reference will be as usual – page numbers for citations are given only in the in-text citation, not in the end references. Shorter quotations can be included in a regular paragraph, but if a quotation would run three lines or more (or 40+ words), it is placed in a separate block-indented paragraph (each line indented about 1.25 cm from the left margin), with the citation at the end of the quotation, as shown here, or before the quotation in the preceding paragraph. In the first example, the page numbers appear after the final sentence punctuation in the quotation.



Short quotations
1       McMahon (2005) concluded that "The current system in inexorably corrupt and ethically opaque" (p. 343).
2 One survey study concluded that "The current system in inexorably corrupt and ethically opaque" (McMahon, 2005, p. 343).

Long quotations
3 Regarding this phenomenon, after surveying the previous studies, McMahon (2005) concluded the following, as stated in a previous report:

The current system in inexorably corrupt and ethically opaque, with the major corporations essentially chipping away at the regulatory structures and entities that are supposed to hold them in check. (p. 343)

4 Regarding this phenomenon, after surveying the previous studies, concluded the following, as stated in a previous report:

The current system in inexorably corrupt and ethically opaque, with the major corporations essentially chipping away at the regulatory structures and entities that are supposed to hold them in check. (McMahon, 2005, p. 343)

5 Regarding this phenomenon, after surveying the previous studies, McMahon (2005, p. 343) concluded the following, as stated in a previous report:

The current system in inexorably corrupt and ethically opaque, with the major corporations essentially chipping away at the regulatory structures and entities that are supposed to hold them in check.


Direct quotes are fairly common in humanities fields, less common in social science fields, and rather rare in science fields.

If using direct quotations, you must make sure that you have correctly reproduced the quote accurately (aside from minor modifications of end punctuation or beginning capitalization). An ellipsis (...) can be used to exclude less relevant parts of the quoted text. Brackets can be used to add needed comments to a quote, such as corrections, necessary clarifications, or a note that you added emphasis to the text. An error (or an erroneous or offensive statement) in the original text can be indicated with the Latin term sic (="thus, thusly"), to distance yourself from the quoted error.

McMahon (2005) concluded that "The current system in inexorably corrupt and ethically opaque ... and in dire need of immediate reform" (p. 343).

The authors reported that "the subjects [in the third group] never exhibited [emphasis added] any such behaviors after the treatment, even when not given the reel [sic] treatment, in contrast to their previous study" (Klaus, 1999, p. 333).

2.2.1 Unpaginated sources

If the source has no page numbers, e.g., an online source, then you must include other information to identify the location of the quotation. This could be a paragraph number (abbreviated as para.), or in a longer text, the name of a chapter, the name of a section, or the shortened name of a longer section, and the paragraph number in that section from which the quote comes.

McGruber (2015, para. 5) reported that ...

McMahon (2014, EU Anti-corruption laws, para. 5) notes that ...

Vendler (2011, Discussion section, para. 2) contrasted these two hypotheses, in that ...

2.2.2 Charts, diagrams, picture, graphics, etc.

If you directly copy any charts, pictures, graphics, figures, or tables from another source into your paper, the page number should be cited in the in-text citation, just as for direct quotations. These could appear in the text of a paragraph, or in a caption below the figure.

2.2.3 Older APA format

In older versions of APA, colons were used for page numbers after the year, e.g., (Smith 2015:245) would now be rendered as (Smith 2015, p. 245).


2.3 Secondary citations

Sometimes you will find a good piece of information that someone else cites, but you can’t find the source that s/he cited. For example, you read of an interesting finding or piece of data discovered by Smith (2002), but the Smith article is not available online or at your library; you only know if it because it is cited by someone else like Jones (2004). This is an indirect or secondary source, and would be cited as a secondary citation in your paper, as below. The primary source that you directly cited (the Jones example) would appear in the end references section.

An older study found that 80% of stressed words in a corpus were nouns, followed by 12% verbs, and 8% other word classes (Smith, 2002, as cited in Jones, 2004).
or
… (Jones, 2004, citing Smith, 2002)
When a number of secondary sources are involved, it may not be worth the effort to list all the secondary citations, as one one author cites a number of other authors for relevant information. In that case, something like this will do:
...(Jones, 2004, and references therein)
or
...(see Jones, 2004 for further references)


2.4 Informal and non-referenced sources

Some undocumented sources may be cited in a paper, but because they are unpublished and undocumented, they are excluded from the end references. One informal source might be by means of personal communication that you had with a scholar, researcher, or other reputable or authoritative person, e.g., via email or personal verbal communication. This can be cited in the text “personal communication” or “p.c.” , e.g., (Smith, p.c.); this is not listed in the end references.

According to Hack (p.c.), Silurians use this pronoun quite commonly.

2.4.1 Informal sources used as data

Sometimes researchers or scholars may want to cite informal, non-academic sources as examples of a phenomenon being discussed, but without including these in the formal referencing system. For example, a linguist might write about the colloquial usage of a particular English expression, and would cite academic linguistic sources that pertain to the linguistic analysis of the expression, but the writer would also cite many examples from colloquial sources but without mixing these with the academic sources. In that case, these popular examples can simply be footnoted; the footnotes provide URLs or a APA-like references for the sources, but these can be excluded from the end references. (This is not established in the APA manual, but this is common practice in certain fields like linguistic pragmatics.)

Some users have begun to use this discourse marker at every possible juncture, e.g.: “Like, you know, like, I think, like, it ain’t cool, like, you know?1

The above footnote then gives the website or popular source location for this quote, and this information is excluded from the in-text citations and end references.


3 End reference details

3.1 Author names

In official APA, author’s given names are initialized, i.e., abbreviated in the end references, e.g., the name John Smith is written as “Smith, J.” This can of course become rather annoying, because “Smith, J.” could also be Jennifer Smith, Jack Smith, Jacqueline Smith, or others. The confusion becomes worse when East Asian names are abbreviated as required by the APA.

Zorg, J., Delitz, K., Regan, R., & Krum, A. (1998). Sociocultural aspects of economic growth in ex-Soviet republics. Journal of European Economic and Policy Studies, 14, 556-598.

3.1.1 Multiple authors

Authors are separated by commas, with an ampersand before the last author.

Edwards, A. J., Weinstein, C. E., Goetz, E. T., & Alexander, P. A. (2014). Learning and study strategies: Issues in assessment, instruction, and evaluation. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Marsh, H. W., & Martin, A. J. (2011). Academic self‐concept and academic achievement: Relations and causal ordering. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 81(1), 59-77.

Monroe, J., Meredith, C., & Fisher, K. (1977). The science of scientific writing. Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt.

Torgersen, E. N., & Szakay, A. (2012). An investigation of speech rhythm in London English. Lingua, 122(7), 822-840.

Within the text of the paper, the last one is cited as “ … (Torgersen & Szakay, 2012) … ”, or, e.g., “Torgersen and Szakay (2011) found that … ”. See the notes above about in-text citations of multiple-author works.


3.1.2 Multiple sources by the same author

Sources by the same author are also separated by semi-colons in the in-text citation and listed in reverse chronological order, e.g., “...(Zhou, 2004; Zhou, 2003). In the references section, they are listed in reverse chronological order, i.e., starting from the most recent works to earlier works. Hence, in-text: (Zhou, 2004; 2003).

Zhou, M. (2004). Analysis of Martian compound verbs. Extraterrestrial Linguistics, 14, 128-132.

Zhou, M. (2003). Aspects of Venutian verb morphology. Journal of Exobiology and Linguistics, 5, 11-15.

The same author(s) may publish multiple works in the same year. They are then alphabetized by title and enumerated with lower case letters in the year.

Zhou, M. (2004a). Analysis of Martian compound verbs. Extraterrestrial Linguistics, 14, 128-132.

Zhou, M. (2004b). Comparison of North and South Martian dialects. Journal of Extraterrestrial Language and Sociology, 7, 101-119.

These would be cited in the text as “(Zhou, 2004a)” and “(Zhou, 2004b)”.


3.1.3 Authorless or anonymous sources

Instead of an author, a group, organization, corporation, or other entity can be used as a group author. If no individual or group authors can be identified, then the entry begins with the title of the work (this is more common with popular periodicals). In the in-text citation, the title or a shortened form of the title is used instead of an author name.

National Research Council. (2000). How People Learn. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.

Renegade octopus escapes tank into drainhole. (2016, May 28). News Web Site. Retrieved from http://www.newswebsite.com/world/asia/20160528

3.1.4 East Asian names

With East Asian names, initializing names is cumbersome, and can be confusing (as there could be, e.g., multiple C.J. Kim's in one field); this is one area where APA fails in its attempts to be either concise or politically correct. Asian names are initialized depending on whether the first names are hyphenated or written together; e.g., Heekyoung = ‘H.’ and Hee-kyoung = ‘H.-K.’ and Hee Kyoung = ‘H. K.’

Cho, H. (2012). Phonation of Korean glottalized stops. Asian Phonetics Quarterly, 9, 125-134.

Kim, H.-K. (2012). Socioloinguistic contrasts between Nepali and Tibetan EFL learners in Nepal. Sociolinguistics of Asia, 12, 78-85.

Kim, H.K. (2012). The syntax of Middle Korean ergative verbs. Theoretical and Historical Linguistics, 14, 398-407.

How the name is initialized depends on how the person has chosen to romanize it (i.e., transcribe it in Latin letters). However, if the person has not published anything in English, you may not be able to find his/her preferred romanization, and in that case, you have to make your best guess; probably the hyphenated abbreviation is the best default option.

  • Single capital: Lee Heekyoung → Lee, H.
  • Separate capitals: Lee Hee Kyoung → Lee, H.K.
  • Hyphenated abbreviation: Lee Hee-kyoung → Lee, H.-K.


3.1.5 Dutch and German prefixed names

Some Dutch names and a few German names have prepositional prefixes that are generally in lower case (i.e., not capitalized), and are generally ignored when alphabetizing references. These include de, der, van, von and a few others. Notice how these are alphabetized by ignoring the prefixes.

Oh, H.K. (2012). The syntax of Middle Korean ergative verbs. Theoretical and Historical Linguistics, 14, 398-407.

van Pelt, L., (2015). Textual semantics in Beethoven's use of Schiller's poetry. Journal of Ethnomusicology and Culture, 2,(2), 145-153.

van der Sandt, R. A. (1992). Presupposition projection as anaphora resolution. Journal of Semantics, 9(4), 333-377.

Tau, M. (2004a). Analysis of Martian compound verbs. Extraterrestrial Linguistics, 14, 128-132.

However, if the author is, say, a North American of Dutch or German origin, s/he might have a prefixed name but treats it as a regular surname. In that case, the entry could be treated like a double surname, e.g., Van Pelt, L.


3.2 Capitalization

Note the capitalization patterns in these examples. The names of journals or periodicals follow traditional capitalization rules, known as title case, where important words (like all nouns) are capitalized. However, titles of books and articles follow sentence case, where only the following are capitalized: (1) the first word of the title, (2) a word after a colon, semi-colon, or dash, and (3) proper nouns; all other words are not capitalized.

Title case
All content words or longer words are capitalized - for names of journals and periodicals. Content words include nouns, main verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. Subordinating conjunctions (because, that) are also capitalized. "Longer words" refers to words four letters or more in length. The first word and last word of the title are capitalized. Both words of a compound hyphenated word are capitalized, e.g., Self-Report [2].
  • Journal of European Economic and Policy Studies
  • Washington Post
  • The New York Times
Sentence case
Only initial words, proper nouns, and abbreviations are capitalized - for titles of books, articles, and other works. The first word of the title, and the first word after a colon, semi-colon, or dash are capitalized.
  • High frequency verbs in the ICLE corpus
  • Seeds of change: Tracing language evolution and agriculture
  • Handbook of psycholinguistics


3.3 URLs and DOI numbers

For electronic sources, a locator is required - either a URL or a DOI number. If a journal article is referenced which is also published regularly in print, then no URL is needed, but a DOI should be given, if available. Otherwise, a URL is needed if the source is mainly electronic, such as online-only journals, electronic books, and other online media. The URL is preceded by "Retrieved from" and the http:// prefix. URLs (and DOIs) are not underlined, and there is no period at the end.

It is increasingly common to see DOI (digital object identifier) numbers for journal articles for international journals, increasingly for smaller regional and national journals, and for some academic books in electronic or online forms. This is a permanent link to the online version; a publisher might change the actual URL of an article, but a DOI is a permanent link to the article regardless of URL changes. Thus, if a DOI is available, it should be used instead of a URL. APA requires these when they are available (particularly for international journals), and a DOI can also be used instead of a URL for an online journal. As with URLs, no period is used at the end of a DOI, and the DOI follows the format of doi:xx.xxx/xxxxxxx without the http:// prefix.

Austin, A. E. (2002). Preparing the next generation of faculty: Graduate school as socialization to the academic career. Journal of Higher Education, 73(1), 94-122. Retrieved from https://muse.jhu.edu/article/14831/summary

Weiss, C. S. (1981). The development of professional role commitment among graduate students. Human Relations, 34(1), 13–31. doi:10.1177/001872678103400102

4 Types of sources

4.1 Books & monographs

Monographs are academic books by researchers written for an academic audience, which usually present the author's original research. General books might also be cited, particularly those written by academic experts for a less academic audience. The end reference consists of the author, year, book title, location (where it was published, or at least the publisher's main location), and the name of the publisher. The location might consist of city and country or just the city for well known cities (e.g.: Chicago) or city and state or province abbreviation for lesser known places, e.g., Hillsdale, NJ. Standard postal abbreviations are now preferred for US states, so 'Malden, MA' is preferable to 'Malden, Mass.' in the current APA.

Edwards, A. J., Weinstein, C. E., Goetz, E. T., & Alexander, P. A. (2014). Learning and study strategies: Issues in assessment, instruction, and evaluation. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Hattie, J. (2014). Self-concept. East Sussex, UK: Psychology Press.

Yavaş, M. (2011). Applied English phonology. Malden, Mass.: John Wiley & Sons.

Zarkin, H., & Colton, R. R. (1963). Tables for statisticians. New York: Barnes & Noble.

Sentence case is followed for book titles (initial words are capitalized, others are in lower case); i.e., only the first word, a word after a colon (:) and proper nouns are capitalized; other common nouns are in lower case (however, the references in some journals or books may follow the older style of capitalizing all content words and longer words).


4.1.1 Edited volumes & anthologies

These are books in which recent research of multiple authors is published in the form of separated articles in a single anthology, which is overseen by an editor or editors. This is usually a one-time book, but sometimes a series. Occasionally you might see the word ‘Festschrift’ (German for 'celebratory writing'), which is a special collection of research articles published in honor of a famous scholar. The end reference includes the initialized names of the editor (Ed.) or editors (Eds.), and the page numbers of the chapter or section immediately follow the book title.

Author, A. B. (Year). Chapter or entry title. In A. Editor1, B. Editor2, & C. Editor3 (Eds.), Book title (pp. xxx-yyy). Location: Publisher.

Author, A. B. (Year). Chapter or entry title. In A. Editor1, B. Editor2, & C. Editor3 (Eds.), Book title (pp. xxx-yyy). Retrieved from URL

Author, A. B. (Year). Chapter or entry title. In A. Editor1, B. Editor2, & C. Editor3 (Eds.), Book title (pp. xxx-yyy). doi:xxxxx.xxxxx

Ringbom, H. (1999). High frequency verbs in the ICLE corpus. In A. Renouf (Ed.), Explorations in corpus linguistics (pp. 191-200). Amsterdam: Rodopi.

Zhou, M. (2005). Syntactic complexities of Martian linguistics. In Brandt, W. & Schroeder, W. (Eds.), Survey of Martian Linguistics (pp. 245-499). New Jersey: Erlbaum Publishers.

If an entire book is used, rather than just a chapter, either the normal book/monograph can be used, or the editor(s) can be used as author name(s).

Editor, A. (Ed.) (Year). Book title. Location: Publisher.

Walker, M.A., Joshi, K. & Prince, E.F. (Eds.) (1997). Centering in Discourse. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

In older versions of APA, page numbers were indicated like so:

Ringbom, H. (1999). High frequency verbs in the ICLE corpus. In A. Renouf (Ed.), Explorations in corpus linguistics, 191-200. Amsterdam: Rodopi.


4.1.2 Theses & dissertations

Occasionally one might cite a doctoral dissertation, primarily if the contents have not been published as a monograph or journal articles; citing a master's thesis is quite rare, as these are novice research efforts by newer graduate students. Dissertations might be cited via (1) a dissertation abstract database, or more commonly, (2) a dissertation that is available electronically, or (3) an unpublished hard copy dissertation. The title of an actual dissertation (not an abstract) is italicized.

Aloe, Y. (2011). Skin treatment with extracted succulent chemicals. Dissertation Abstracts International, 72, 2215A.

Flintstone, F. (2009). Bedrock underlying urban infrastructures. (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from XYZ Dissertation Database. (Accession no. 54321001)

Sprocket, S. (2017). European technopop in American pop culture. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


4.1.3 Other books

4.1.3.1 Encyclopedias

Holz, Z. (2017). Wood carving. In Encyclopedia Catalonica, (Vol. 28, pp. 123-124). Glasgow, Scotland: McBenton Foundation.

4.1.3.2 Translations & classic works

Spinoza, B. (1996). Ethics (E. M. Curley, Trans.). New York, NY: Penguin Classics. (Original work published 1677)

Note: If the original and translation dates are available and are different, then both dates can be included in the end reference, and both should be cited in the in-text citation, e.g., "Spinoza (1677/1996)."

4.1.3.3 Multiple editions

Buss, D. M. (Ed.). (2015). The handbook of evolutionary psychology (2nd ed.). Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons.

4.1.3.4 Multi-volume work

For citing & using not just one, but more than one volume.

Buss, D. M. (Ed.). (2015). The handbook of evolutionary psychology (2nd ed.) (Vols. 1-2). New York, NY: Scribner's.

4.1.3.5 Electronic books

These are cited as "retrieved from" if both a hard copy and electronic version exist, and "available from" if it is only available electronically. For certain formats like Kindle, the specific version is cited. URLs do not need to be underlined (if they appear underlined here, check your browser settings). For some newer electronic books, DOI numbers are available, which can be used instead of a URL.

The Oxford handbook of Spinoza. (n.d.). Oxford University Press. Available from http://www.oxfordhandbooks.com/view/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195335828.001.0001/oxfordhb-9780195335828

Poe, E. (n.d.). The fall of the house of Usher. [Kindle DX version]. Retrieved from Amazon.com

Poe, E. (n.d.). The tell-tale heart. Retrieved from http://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/tell-tale-hear-edgar-allan-poe/2972675.html

Vendler, Z. (2017). Building warp drive engines: A beginner's guide. Retrieved from doi: 10.9999/999-1-4648-0403-88

The in-text citation for the first one would be: "(The Oxford handbook of Spinoza” n.d.)".


4.2 Academic journal articles

The author and year are followed by the title of the article, the name of the journal in italics, the journal volume number, with the issue number (which is optional) in parentheses, and the page numbers of the article. The volume number is italicized along with the journal title, but the issue number is in plain font.

Cinque, G. (2014). The semantic classification of adjectives: A view from syntax. Studies in Chinese Linguistics, 25(1), 1-30.

This would be cited within the paper, e.g., as “...(Cinque, 2014)...” or “...Cinque (2014)...” Journals start a new volume every year, and the issue number is optional in the end references. Articles might be paginated by issue, meaning that each issue begins with page 1, or they might be paginated continuously by volume, i.e., page numbering goes continuously through all issues of the same volume (e.g., if issue 1 ends at page 200, then issue 2 starts at p. 201, and so on).

Flax, M. J. (2002). A rhetorical analysis of post-reunification German parliamentarians. Textual analysis, 28(1), 10-17.

Lauterberg, R. U. (1983). A statistical analysis of the popularity of North American plural pronoun substitutes. International Review of Dialect Studies, 38(1), 93-107.

In much older versions of APA, volume-issue numbers would look like ‘38:1’ instead of ‘38(1)’.


4.2.1 Monograph or supplement as part of a journal

Occasionally a journal will publish a special issue as a monograph or special supplement. Depending on how it is published and serialized, it may be cited like so.

Janeway, C. M. (2017). Cultural policy: Special problems in novel contexts [Monograph]. Cultural Interface, 23, 144-225.

Kim, H. (2017). Special problems of inter-ethnic romantic relationships. Cultural Interface, 24(3, Pt. 2), 498-505.

Tuvak, G. (2017). Cultural policy: Some measured responses. Cultural Interface, 24(4, Serial No. 132), 601-609.

4.2.2 Unpublished journal articles

An article might have been accepted by a journal, and even published on its website, but the actual published copy has not yet appeared, so the article may have no official date, volume, issue, or pagination information. This can be cited in the text as in press, e.g., "According to Khan (in press), ..." The end reference may appear as follows.

Picard, J. L. (in press). Problems of cultural policy in new contact situations. Cultural Interface. Retrieved from http://example.com/pcpncs.pdf

Picard, J. L. (2017). Problems of cultural policy in new contact situations. Cultural Interface. Advance online publication. doi:11.1057f/ci.picard.5113

4.2.3 Unpublished and informally published manuscripts

This format is especially used for a paper that is available from an author's website or an electronic archive, which has not yet been published, or a paper that is in the process of being submitted or reviewed by a journal, but has not yet been accepted or published. If a paper has not been accepted or published by a journal, the journal should not be cited. Since these have not been peer reviewed, these may not be ideal sources for your paper.

Author, A. (Year). Title of manuscript. Unpublished manuscript. Retrieved from URL

Author, A. (Year). Title of manuscript. Manuscript submitted for publication.

Author, A. (Year). Title of manuscript. Manuscript in preparation.

Some unpublished papers may be found on a database like ERIC; the database file number is included at the end.

Lee, A. (2005). Use of discourse markers in cross-cultural dialogue. Retrieved from ERIC database. (ED465501A)


4.3 Technical and research reports (institutes, government agencies, etc.)

Technical or special reports from governmental agencies, organizations, or corporations can be cited based on one or more of the following templates. These kinds of sources may present original research, but may not be peer reviewed. If no author is identified, then the organization or agency can serve as a group author in the in-text citation and end references. The following is the general format for such works.

Author, A. B. (2017). Title of report (Report No. xxxx). Location: Publisher.

Author, A. B. (2017). Title of report (Report No. xxxx). Retrieved from website-name: URL

Organization-name, Name of dept./section/task force. (2017). Title of report (Issue Brief No. xxxx). Retrieved from URL

Author, A. B. (2017). Title of report (Report No. xxxx). Retrieved from URL

For in-text citations, if no author is named, cite the agency or organization as the author. For the first in-text citation, the full name is given, but an abbreviation can be given and used in subsequent citations.

The official recommendations on this (American Psychiatric Association, 2000) are based on ...

The most comprehensive study on this so far (National Institute of Health [NIH], 2010) concluded that ... However, more recent findings call for a slight readjustment to the original agency recommendations (NIH, 2010)...

4.3.1 Government documents and reports

National Institute of Mental Health. (1990). Clinical training in serious mental illness (DHHS Publication No. ADM 90-1679). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. (2003). Managing asthma: A guide for schools (NIH Publication No. 02-2650). Retrieved from http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/prof/lung/asthma/asth_sch.pdf

4.3.2 Reports from private or other institutions

American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Practice guidelines for the treatment of patients with eating disorders (2nd ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Ebert, S. A., & Davey, C. M. (2013). The contribution of microfinance institutions to poverty reduction in Tanzania (Research Report No. 63). Retrieved from Research on Poverty Alleviation website: http://www.repoa.or.tz/documents/Publications/Reports/63.pdf


4.4 Popular periodicals (magazines, newspapers)

Since popular periodicals generally do not follow a volume+issue# format, these are distinguished from other sources in the end references by including the specific publication date after the year (month, or month and day, depending on how it is published). Volume numbers are included if available, and page numbers are included for print editions. The abbreviations p. and pp. are used for newspapers.

Author, A. (Year, Month Day). Article title. Name of periodical, page#s.

Author, A. (Year, Month Day). Article title. Name of periodical, Retrieved from URL.

Springen, K. (1990, December 31). A 100 mile race? No sweat. Newsweek, 84.

Traurig, S. (2017, January 10). Superman's bittersweet victory over Lex Luthor. Metropolis Daily, Retrieved from http://www.metrodaily.com/20170110/Supermans-victory

Zelig, Z. (2001, August). Understanding intelligence. Observer, p. 239.

Zorn, Q. (2015, October 1). Is this the end? The Gotham Daily Gazette, pp. 1A-2A.

Cite the Springen article in the text as (Springen, 1990), or, e.g., “...Springen (1990) has noted that...”.


4.5 Electronic, undated, and authorless sources

Writers should first consider whether a particular website or electronic source is credible, a primary source (not just information from elsewhere that is repeated), and worth citing, especially if it is not an academic website. Electronic versions of academic journals and books are cited and referenced exactly like their print counterparts. There might be a few journals or sources that are only online or electronic, and thus have no page numbers, and these can be cited as described below. Sources lacking page numbers, volume numbers, author names, or dates are less common in academic writing (except in certain humanities fields), as they may not be very scholarly, peer reviewed sources. If you have many such sources, especially for a paper in a humanities field, using the MLA or Chicago style may be more appropriate, as these systems can better accommodate such sources.

The general formats for electronic sources is like so, for sources with or without an author. Some of these elements may be omitted of such information is unavailable, e.g., exact date, author, organization, or the overall name of a website. When possible, a URL, a DOI, or other identifier should be provided. An element like "Retrieved from" with the download date is not necessary, unless the source material changes over time.

Author, A. (Year, Month Day). Article title. Retrieved from URL

Author, A. (Year, Month Day). Article title. Website name. Retrieved from URL

Article title. (Year, Month Day). General website name. Retrieved from URL

Organization-name. (Year, Month Day). Article title. Retrieved from URL

Website-name. (Year, Month Day). Article title. Retrieved from URL

For authorless or anonymous sources in APA, a title or website name appears first, before the date in the end reference. Note that no period follows the URL. URLs do not need to be underlined (if they appear underlined here, check your browser settings), and are not indicated with any other special formatting or punctuation. Note: if you use a referencing website to create an APA end reference for you, it might add unnecessary text formatting or punctuation for such sources.

Renegade octopus escapes tank into drainhole. (2016, May 28). News Web Site. Retrieved from http://www.newswebsite.com/world/asia/20160528

In the in-text citation, the title can be abbreviated and put inside quotation marks, like so:

Recent stories illustrate the problems of trying to confine octopi, such as the popular story of an octopus escaping its aquarium in New Zealand (“Renegade octopus,” 2016).

4.5.1 No date or author

Cite the web page name in the in-text citation, with “n.d.” for no date, e.g., (Smith, n.d.). No periods follow after the URL in the end reference.

Shigol University’s 8th WWW user survey. (n.d.). Retrieved August 8, 2000, from http://www.shigol.ac.kr/survey/user.survey.2000.08

4.5.2 Daily newspaper article, electronic version

Hilts, P.J. (1999, February 16). In forecasting their emotions, most people flunk out. New York Times. Retrieved November 21, 2000, from http://www.nytimes.com/1999/02/16/science/in-forecasting-their-emotions-most-people-flunk-out.html

4.5.3 Blog post

Language Log. (2013, January 15). Bad science reporting again: The Eskimos are back [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=4419

4.5.4 Message from an online discussion group or SNS post

Lewis, A (2001, May 10). Changing names and its effects on the professional status of newly married women. Message posted to http://www.careerandmarriage.com/discussgroup.

In the references section, items like “retrieved from” or the date retrieved or downloaded can sometimes be omitted, especially when APA is followed less strictly.

4.5.5 Chapter or section of an online source

Engelshcall, R. S. (1997). Module mod_rewrite: URL Rewriting Engine. In Apache HTTP Server version 1.3 documentation (Apache modules). Retrieved from http://httpd.apache.org/docs/1.3/mod/mod_rewrite.html

4.5.6 Online reference work

Feminism. (n.d.). Retrieved April 15, 2015 from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminism


4.6 Conferences or symposia: Talks, papers or proceedings

Conference presentations may be cited as a presentation itself, or as a published conference paper or poster. Conference materials often represent informal or preliminary reports of someone’s research, and are not screened with as much scrutiny as journal articles, so scholarly articles or books are preferred when possible.

4.6.1 Presentation or poster

For some conferences, presenters do not submit an actual paper that is published, but mere give an informal or preliminary report of their research, in the form of a talk or a poster. In that case, the format will contain most elements of this template, though this may vary; e.g., there may not be a chairperson to cite. In some cases, you may simply find an online abstract or paper version of the presentation, in which case the URL is included. The title of the talk or poster is italicized.

Contributor1, A., Contributor2, B., & Contributor3, C. (Year, Month). Title of talk. Title of conference. Paper/poster presented at Conference Name, Location.

Contributor1, A., Contributor2, B., & Contributor3, C. (Year, Month). Title of talk. In A. A. Chairperson (Chair), Title of symposium. Symposium conducted at the meeting of Organization Name, Location.

Decker, Q. (1996, October). A demotivational approach to teaching Latin grammar. Paper presented at 24th National Conference on Classics Pedagogy, Purdue University, Indiana.

Lindenberg, U. (2007, March). Contributions of tourists to cross-cultural interaction. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research on Tourism, Chicago, IL.

Grimm, J., & Grimm, W. (2006, June). The effect of surprise elements in denoument. Paper presented at the annual meeting of XVth Biennial International Conference on Fiction Studies, Kyoto, Japan. Abstract retrieved from http://www.example.com/meta/12345.html

4.6.2 Conference paper

At many conferences, an actual paper may be presented. This may also be published in a collection of conference papers known as conference proceedings. If the proceedings are published more like an edited volume, then the edited volume format above may be suitable. If the conference location is known, it is included at the end of the reference. The publication title is italicized.

Deci, E.L., & Ryan, R.M. (1991). A motivational approach to self: Integration in personality. In R. Dientsbier (Ed.), Nebraska Symposium on Motivation: Vol. 38. Perspectives on Motivation (pp.237-288). Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press.

Milton, J. C. P., & Tsang, E. S. C. (1993). A corpus-based study of logical connectors in EFL students’ writing: Directions for future research. Proceedings of a seminar on lexis organized by the Language Centre of the HKUST (pp. 215-246). Hong Kong: HKUST.

Narita, M., Sato, C., & Sugiura, M. (2004). Connector usage in the English essay writing of Japanese EFL learners. Fourth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (pp. 1171-1174).


For the end reference style for conference papers and presentations, some journals may deviate from the official APA style, so you will see different formats for conference presentations.


4.7 Other shorter articles or documents

4.7.1 Abstracts

If only the abstract is used, rather than the full text of a work that is available, cite it like an electronic source, with the designation "[Abstract]" after the title. If an abstract from a database is used (and no full text is available), you can cite the database as a secondary source.

Sarek, V. (2010). Life expectancy in the Epsilon Eridani system. Gerontologist, 50(8), 1284-1304. Abstract retrieved from Abstracts in Social Gerontology database. (Accession No. 90360869b)

Tuvak, G. (2008). How well do those with Pa'nar syndrome cope in long-term care? [Abstract]. British Journal of Learning Disabilities, 36(5), 554-564.

4.7.2 Review articles

Square brackets are used to indicate that the article is a book review.

Lee, K. (2009). [Book review of Brinton (2008), The comment clause in English.] Studies in Language, 33, 1004-1011. doi: 10.1075/sl.33.4.09lee.

4.7.3 Reprints and translations

Piaget, J. (1988). Extracts from Piaget's theory (G. Gellerier & J. Langer, Trans.). In K Richardson & S. Sheldon (Eds.), Cognitive development to adolescence: A reader (pp. 3-18). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. (Reprinted from Manual of child psychology, pp. 703-732, by P. H. Mussed, Ed., 1970, New York, NY: Wiley).

4.7.4 Archival documents and collections

These sources can include letters, unpublished manuscripts, pamphlets, in-house documents from corporations and institutions, and other materials that are no longer in the possession of the original author, but have been archived. The reference format can include elements from this template.

Author, A. (Year, Month Day). Title of material or document. [Description of material type]. Name of Collection. (Call # / File name / File # / Box # / etc.) Name of Repository, Location.

The following examples are taken directly from the APA reference manual (APA, 2009, pp. 213-214).

Allport, G. W. (1930-1967). Correspondence. Gordon W. Allport Papers (HUG 4118.10). Harvard University Archives, Cambridge, MA.

Frank, L. K. (1935), February 4). [Letter to Robert M. Ogdon]. Rockefeller Archive Center (GEB series 1.3, Box 371, Folder 3877), Tarrytown, NY.

Zacharius, G. P. (1953, August 15). [Letter to William Rickel (W. Rickel, Trans.)]. Copy in possession of Hendrika Vande Kemp.

Individual letters in an archive can be cited in text like so.

(Allport, G. W., 1930-1967, Allport to E. G. Boring, March 1, 1939)

Other archived sources can include unpublished papers, sources where author or date information is probably known but not stated in the document (indicated with question marks or the Latin abbreviation ca. for circa "approximately), documents with groups or organizations as authors, interviews, periodical articles, uncirculated or unpublished documents, and photographs (see also media materials section for referencing photographs).

[Allport, A.?] [ca. 1937]. Marion Taylor today - by the biographer. Unpublished manuscript, Marion Taylor Papers. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe College, Cambridge, MA.

[Photograph of Robert M. Yerkes.] (ca. 1917-1954). Robert Mearns Yearkes Papers (Box 137, Folder 2292). Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library, New Haven, CT.

Psychoanalysis institute to open. (1948, September 18). [Clipping from an unidentified Dayton, OH newspaper]. Copy in possession of author.

Sci-Art Publishers. (1935). Sci-Art Publications [Brochure]. Cambridge, MA: Author. A. A. Roback Papers (HUGFP 104.50, Box 2, Folder "Miscellaneous Psychological Materials"). Harvard University Archives, Cambridge, MA.

Subcommittee on Mental Hygiene Personnel in School Programs. (1949, November 5-6). Meeting of Subcommittee on Mental Hygiene Personnel in School Programs. David Shakow Papers (M1360). Archives on the History of American Psychology, University of Akron, Akron, OH.

Smith, M. B. (1989, August 12). Interview by C. A. Kiesler [Tape recording]. President's Oral History Project, American Psychological Association. APA Archives, Washington, D.C.

Sparkman, C. F. (1973). An oral history with Dr. Colley F. Sparkman/Interviewer: Orley B. Caudill. Mississippi Oral History Program (Vol. 289), University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg.


4.8 Media sources and unpublished materials

If you have many such sources, especially for a paper in a humanities field, using the MLA or Chicago style may be more appropriate, as these systems can better accommodate such sources. Otherwise, you may have to adapt the examples below as best you can for your type of source, or refer to the the Purdue OWL website for more information. It may be necessary to provide translations of foreign media sources; see the next section for examples.

4.8.1 Films

The basic format is like this, for internationally available films. For films that are not available internationally, the following information, if available, can also be added at the end: (Available from Distributor name, full address and zip code).

Producer, P. P. (Producer), & Director, D. D. (Director). (Date of publication). Title of motion picture [Motion picture]. Country of origin: Studio or distributor.

Smith, J. (Producer), & Jones, A. (Director). (2017). Big horror movie with piranhas and zombies [Motion picture]. United States: Zenith Pictures.

Zeebob, J. (Producer), & Zebedee, B. (Director). (2016). Weird existential movie [Motion picture]. Germany: Quatsch und Unsinn Studios. (Available from Deutscher Verlag, Borgweg 22, Hamburg, Germany, 22303)

4.8.2 TV or radio broadcasts

Follow one of these formats, as appropriate, with all the information that is available.

Schwartzwelder, J. (Writer), & Archer, W. (Director). (1990). Bad dream house [Television series episode]. In Groening, M. (Executive Producer), The Simpsons [Television series]. Los Angeles, CA: 20th Century Fox Television.

Schmidt, F. (Producer). (2015, December 3). The news hour [Television broadcast]. New York, NY: Public Broadcasting Service.

Schmidt, F. (Producer). (2015). Sesam Strasse [Television series]. Berlin, Germany: Irgendeine Broadcasting Company.

Smith, A. B. (Writer), & Jones, E. E. (Director). (2016). Alligators in NYC sewers [Television series episode]. In Q. Bush (Producer), New York Tonight. New York City, New York: Big Apple Studios.

Smith, A. B. (Writer), & Jones, E. E. (Director). (2016). Piranhas in NYC sewers [Television broadcast]. Q. Bush (Producer). New York City, New York: Big Apple Studios.

Smith, A. B. (Writer), & Jones, E. E. (Director). (2016). People of New York City Sewers [Television series]. Q. Bush (Producer). New York City, New York: Big Apple Distributors.

4.8.3 Music recording

Songwriter, W. W. (Copyright date). Song title [Recorded by artist if different from song writer]. Album title [Recording medium]. Location: Label. (Recording date if different from copyright date).

Gilbert, G., Hook, P., Morris, S., & Sumner, B. (1986). Bizarre love triangle. [Recorded by New Order]. State of the Nation [CD]. London: Factory Records.

4.8.4 Photograph

Photographer, A. (Photographer). (Year, Month Day). Title of photograph [photograph]. City, State of publication: Publisher/museum.

Photographer, A. (Photographer). (Year, Month Day). Title of photograph [digital image]. Retrieved from URL

Title of photograph [photograph]. City, State of publication: Publisher/museum.

Sasse, A. (Photographer). (1951, March 14). Einstein sticking out tongue [digital image]. Retrieved from https://iconicphotos.wordpress.com/2009/06/01/einstein-sticks-his-tongue-out/

4.8.5 Online video

The channel name or screen name may or may not be the same as the author; an author name or screen name may not be available, so include whichever pieces of information that are available. The date refers to the date of publication or when the video was uploaded.

Author, A. [screen name].(Year, Month Day). Video title [Video file]. Retrieved from URL

Oliver, J. [LastWeekTonight]. (2016, May 8). Scientific Studies: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Rnq1NpHdmw&list=LLIh8_rWISO_qsqaO6cgTd9A&index=2

4.8.6 Interviews

Sanders, B. (2017, January 5). Personal interview.

4.8.7 Online PPT slides or lecture notes

Note that PPT slides and lecture notes are usually not a credible source for an academic paper. In less formal papers, published or online lecture notes might be cited, e.g., “According to Hack (lecture notes), this language community shuns the outside world.”

Author, A. (Year). Title of lecture [file format]. Retrieved from URL

Hack, F. (2014). The languages of Qonos [lecture notes]. Retrieved from http://www.englishwiki.com/qonos.pdf

Smith, E. (2003). PowerPoint is evil [PPT]. Retrieved from http://www.englishwiki.com/ppt.evil.ppt

4.8.8 Data sets, software, equipment, etc.

These can include elements of these templates, as appropriate.

Rightsholder, A. (Year). Title of program (Version number) [Description of form]. Location: Name of producer.

Rightsholder, A. (Year). Title of program [Description of form]. Retrieved from URL

For example:

ASA Research Center. (2004). A survey of hackers and cultural attitudes [Data file]. Retrieved from http://www.example.com/asa/datasets/hackers.2004.db

E-Prime (Version 3.0) [Computer software]. Sharpsburg, PA: Psychology Software Tools.

Eyelink II [Apparatus and software]. (2004). Mississauga, Ontario, Canada: SR Research.


4.9 Sources in other languages

For sources that are written in languages that use the Latin alphabet, the end reference looks similar, but with a translation in square brackets for titles of works, and for names of journals or books when appropriate. The translations are not italicized.

Elsner, D. (2006). Hörverstehen im Englischunterricht der Grundschule [Listening comprehension in the English instruction of primary school]. Berne, Switzerland: P. Lang.

For sources in languages that use non-Latin alphabets, all information in the reference should be romanized, i.e., transliterated into the Latin alphabet. Then a translation is provided in brackets for titles, books, and names of publications. For regional publications aimed at those familiar with the language, this rule might not be followed, and so the reference might not be romanized (first example); for an international audience, it should be romanized (second version).

Park, T.-S., & Oh, C. (2015). 영어에의 자연노출이 한국인 학습자의화용적 인식과 문법적 인식에 미치는 영향 [The effect of natural exposure to English on Korean learners` pragmatic and grammatical awareness]. 언어연구 [Journal of Studies in Language], 31(3), 663-682.

Park, T.-S., & Oh, C. (2015). Yeongeoeui jayeonnochuri hangugin hakseupjaui hwayongjeong insikgwa munbeopjeong insige michineun yeonghyang [The effect of natural exposure to English on Korean learners` pragmatic and grammatical awareness]. Eoneo Yeongu [Journal of Studies in Language], 31(3), 663-682.

Occasionally, a journal may have an official English name that differs slightly from its original name, as in the example above. For Korean, romanization may be tricky. Korean linguistics papers tend to follow the Yale Romanization system for Korean, which looks rather awkward (e.g., 어 = ‘e’, 에 = ‘ei’, 우 = ‘uw’). For Chinese, the Pinyin romanization is preferred, especially for sources from mainland China.

4.9.1 Foreign media sources

Translations and transliterations are provided when appropriate. Sometimes an official English translation is available for major foreign films that actually differs from the original language title.

Kwak, J.-Y. (Director). (2001). Yeopgijeogin geunyeo [My sassy girl; Motion picture]. South Korea: Shin Cine Communications.

Verhoeven, M. (Director). (1990). Das schreckliche Mädchen [The nasty girl; Motion picture]. Germany: Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF).

4.10 Legal materials

Legal research and scholarship typically follows the Bluebook system for references and citations via in-text footnotes, rather than APA. Otherwise, the APA will follow templates adapted from the Bluebook system, and the Bluebook [3] should be consulted for more guidance. The following examples are from the APA manual (APA, 2009, pp. 217-224).

4.10.1 Court decisions (Bluebook rule 10)

Citing and referencing court cases and decisions can be complicated, as a case may have multiple dates and rulings by different courts. In the template below, the specific court issuing a ruling is given in parenthesis along with the date. Court cases are often italicized in text and in in-text citations, and multiple dates can be given in the text. Cases may also be cited from legal databases like LEXIS or Westlaw.

Type End reference In-text citation
Basic template Name v. Name, Volume Source Page (Court Date) (a) ... Smith v. Jones (2000)...
(b) ... (Smith v. Jones, 2000) ...
Basic citation Lessard v. Schmidt, 349 F. Supp. 1078 (E.D. Wis. 1972). (a) ... Lessard v. Schmidt (1972) ...
(b) ...(Lessard v. Schmidt, 1972) ...
Appealed case Durflinger v. Artiles, 563 F. Supp. 322 (D. Kan. 1981), 'aff'd, 727 F.2d 888 (10th Cir. 1984). (a) ...Durflinger v. Artiles (1981/1984)
Unpublished decision or case
Gillard v. Oswald, No. 76-2109 (2d Cir. Mar. 16, 1977). (a) ...Gillard v. Oswald (1977)
Unpublished decision from a database, with or without record numbers Dougherty v. Royal Zenith Corp. No. 88-8666, 1991 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10807, at *2 (E.E. Pa. July 31, 1991).

Gustin v. Mathews, No. 76-7-C5 (D. Kan., Jan. 31, 1977) (LEXIS, Genfed library, Dist file).

(a) ... Dougherty v. Royal Zenith Corp. (1991) ...

(b) ... (Gustin v. Mathews, 1977) ...

Other examples:

Type End reference
State trial court Casey v. Pennsylvania-American Water Co., 12 Pa. D. & C.4th 168 (C.P. Washington County 1991).
Federal district court opinion Davis v. Monsanto Co., 627 F. Supp. 418 (S.D. W. Ca. 1986).
Case appealed to state supreme court Compton v. Commonwealth, 239 Ca. 312 S.E.2d 460 (1990).
Case appealed to state court of appeals Texas v. Morales, 826 W/2d 201 (Tex. Tc. App. 1992).
US Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Educ., 347 U.S. 483 (1954).

Maryland v. Craig, 110 S. Ct. 3160 (1990).


4.10.2 Statues (Bluebook rule 12)

Type End reference
Basic template Name of Act, Volume Source § section number (Year).
Statute example Mental Health Systems Act, 42 U.S.C. §9401 (1988).
Statute in a state code Mental care and Treatment Act, 4 Kan. stat. Ann. §§ 59-2901-2941 (1983 & Supp. 1992).
Statute in a federal code Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C.A. §12101 et seq. (West 1993).
Session law citation Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Pub. L. No. 101-336,§2, 104 Stat. 328 (1991).

In-text citation: "Mental Health Systems Act of 1988" or "Mental Health Systems Act (1988)"


4.10.3 Legislative materials (Bluebook rule 13)

This includes hearings, testimony, unenacted legislation, resolutions, federal reports, etc.; general templates:

Type End reference In-text citation
Hearing, testimony Title, xxx Cong. (Date).

RU486: The import ban and its effect on medical research: Hearings before the Subcommittee on Regulation, Business Opportunities, and Energy, of the House Committee on Small Business, 101st Cong. 35 (1990) (testimony of Ronald Chesemore).

(a) ... RU486: The Import Ban (1990) ... or
(b) ... (RU486: The Import Ban, 1990) ...
Unenacted bills, resolutions Title [if relevant], bill or resolution number, xxx Cong. (Year).

S. 5936, 102d Cong. § 4 (1992).

(a) ...Senate Bill 5936 (1992)" or
(b)...(S. 5936, 1992)...
Enacted bills xx. Res. xxx, xxx Cong., Volume Source page (Year) (enacted)

S. Res. 107, 103d Cong., 139 Cong. Rec. 5826 (1993). (enacted)

(a) ... Senate Resolution 107 (1993) ... or
(b)... (S. Res. 107, 1993) ...
Federal reports & documents xx. Rep. No. xx-xxx (Year).

S. Rep. No. 102-114, at 7 (1991).

(a) ... Senate Report No. 102-114 (1991) ... or
(b)... (S. Rep. No. 102-114, 1991) ...


4.10.4 Administrative and executive materials (Bluebook rule 14)

Type End reference In-text citation
Federal regulation: Basic template Title/Number, Volume Source § xxx (Year).

Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System, 73 Fed. Reg. 82,082 (proposed Jan. 11, 2008) (to be codified at 45 C.F.R. p. 1355).

FDA Prescription Drug Advertising Rule, 21 C.F.R. § 202.1 (2006).

(a) ... (Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System, 2008) ...

(b) ... FDA Prescription Drug Advertising Rule (2006) ...

Executive order Exec. Order No. xxxxx, 3 C.F.R. Page (Year).

Exec. Order No 11,609, 3 C.F.R. 586 (1971-1975), reprinted as amended in 3 U.S.C. 301 app. at 404-07 (1994).

(a) ... Executive Order No. 11,609 (1994)

(b) ... (Executive Order No. 11,609, 1994) ...


4.10.5 Patents

The issue date, not the application date, is given. The end reference includes the inventor(s) and the official source where the patent information can be found.

Type End reference In-text citation
Basic template Inventor, A. (Year). Patent No. xxx. Location: Source.

Smith, I. M. (1988). U.S. Patent No. 123,445. Washington, DC: U.S. patent and Trademark Office.

(a) ... U.S. Patent No. 123,445 (1988) ...

(b) ... (U.S. Patent No. 123,445, 1988) ...

5 Paper format

The APA guide contains guidelines for paper format, which are mainly used for course papers, theses and dissertations, and paper drafts submitted to journals. These guidelines are also used for course research papers, where they may be followed less strictly. These include guidelines for academic style and wording, title pages, the typical sections of a research paper, paper margins, page numbering, and headers and subheaders for paper sections. See [1] for general layout, and [2] for detailed examples and explanations.


6 Variations on APA

Some older APA conventions may be seen in older publications. In some linguistics journals, these may still be followed, and other APA conventions may be ignored. Some of these might be used when writing a paper by hand.

  • No parentheses around years in end references
  • Older APA style for volume and issue numbers in end references, e.g., 53:1 instead of 53(1)
  • Full names of authors in end references; e.g., "Smith, John" instead of "Smith, J."
  • Use of et al. for three or more authors for any in-text citations of multiple-author works; e.g., (Smith et al.)
  • Older style for pages of an article from an edited volume; e.g., "in Smith, J. (Ed.), Title of edited volume, 125-128" instead of "(pp. 125-128)."
  • In end references, book titles may be in title case instead of sentence case; e.g., Foundations of Language instead of Foundations of language.
  • End references might be single-spaced.
  • In the end references, underlining might be used instead of italicizing. In the days before modern word processors, underlining was used as a substitute when using typewriters, and today you can still use underlining if you are writing a paper by hand. Underlining continued to be used in APA style until the later 1990s.
  • Block quotations (longer quotations, block indented) might be single-spaced
  • Page numbers at the bottom of the page instead of the top corner


7 See also

  • PDF version of this page (forthcoming)

7.1 References and notes

  1. American Psychological Association. (2009). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th Edition. (2009). American Psychological Association (APA).
  2. See http://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2012/03/title-case-and-sentence-case-capitalization-in-apa-style.html regarding capitalization rules for APA.
  3. Harvard Law Review Association. (2015). The bluebook: A uniform system of citation. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Law Review.

7.2 Other pages on referencing / citation systems and source use