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APA Style Guide


This is a guide to citing sources commonly used in academic papers in APA Style (7th ed., 2020). For more information see the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association or the APA Citation Guide. 

When you use another person's words, ideas, or images in your paper you must cite (i.e. credit) the source. This is true even when you paraphrase. Avoid plagiarism by citing all of your sources.

Additional reference examples can be found here:

In-Text Citations

In-text citations are brief credits in the body of a paper. APA Style uses the author-date citation system.

In-text citations are made up of the name of the author and the date of publication of a source. 

  • Parenthetical Citation. The author and date are in parenthesis. 
  • Narrative Citation. The author is part of the text of the paper and the date is in parenthesis.

Page Numbers. Page numbers are required for quotations.  Provide a heading or section name or a paragraph number for sources without page numbers.                                                                   

(Smith, 2020, p. 5)

Group Authors. When an author is a group the name can be abbreviated. For the first in-text citation, provide the full name of the group followed by the abbreviation:

(American Psychological Association [APA], 2018)

Use the abbreviation for subsequent citations: (APA, 2018)


References are full credits for all sources cited in a paper. References are listed at the end of the paper. All of the elements needed to identify and access an information source are included in a reference:

Author: The individual(s) or group(s) responsible for creating the source

  • List authors by surname and use initials for given names: Author, A. A., & Author, B. B.
  • List up to 20 authors in a reference
  • Write out the names of group authors in full
  • If no author can be identified begin the reference with the title

Date: The date a source was published

  • Put the date in parentheses: (2020)
  • Dates may include the month, day, and/or season
  • For online sources, use the date last updated, if given
  • Use (n.d.) for “no date” if the date of publication is unknown

Title: The title of the work being cited

  • Titles of journal articles, book chapters, and other works that are part of a greater whole are not italicized or put in quotation marks but are capitalized using sentence case:

           Petting away pre‐exam stress: The effect of therapy dog sessions on student well‐being

  • Capitalize the first word in a subtitle
  • Titles of books, reports, and other works that stand alone are italicized and are capitalized using sentence case:

          The handmaid's tale

Source: How access is provided to a cited work URL & DOI

  • Include a DOI, if given, for works from library databases
  • Begin a DOI with  Do NOT include a URL for works from most library databases
  • Include a URL for sources from a website
  • Hyperlinks can be displayed as live links (blue font, underlined) or as plain text
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