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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. A parenthetical citation includes both the author’s last name and year of publication, separated by a comma, in parentheses at the end of the sentence.

Parenthetical Example:

Research suggests that the Purdue OWL is a good resource for students (Atkins, 2018).


  • Narrative Citation A narrative citation includes the author’s name directly in the sentence, with the year of publication directly following the author’s last name.

Narrative Example: 
Atkins (2018) suggests that the Purdue OWL is a good resource for students

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)



Short Quotations

  • Introduce the quotation with a signal phrase
  • If using the parenthetical citation, include the author, date of publication, and page number at the end of the quotation.

Parenthetical Example:

As scientific knowledge advances, “the application of CRISPR technology to improve human health is being explored across public and private sectors”(Hong, 2018, p. 503).

  • If using the narrative-style citation, include the author’s last name in the signal phrase, with the page number at the end of the quote.

Narrative Example:

Hong (2018) stated that “the application of CRISPR technology to improve human health is being explored across public and private sectors” (p. 503).

APA 8.26 pp. 270-27

Block Quotations - Longer than 40 words

  • Do not use quotation marks to enclose a block quotation.
  • Start a block quotation on a new line and indent the whole block 0.5 in. from the left margin.
  • Double-space the entire block quotation.
  • Do not add extra space before or after it.
  • If there are additional paragraphs within the quotation, indent the first line of each subsequent paragraph an additional 0.5 in. See an example in Section 8.27 of the Publication Manual.
  • Either (a) cite the source in parentheses after the quotation’s final punctuation or (b) cite the author and year in the narrative before the quotation and place only the page number in parentheses after the quotation’s final punctuation.
  • Do not add a period after the closing parenthesis in either case.

Parenthetical Example


Researchers have studied how people talk to themselves:

      Inner speech is a paradoxical phenomenon. It is an experience that is central to many people’s everyday lives, and yet

      it presents considerable challenges to any effort to study it scientifically. Nevertheless, a wide range of methodologies

      and approaches have combined to shed light on the subjective experience of inner speech and its cognitive and neural

      underpinnings. (Alderson-Day & Fernyhough, 2015, p. 957)


Narrative Example


Flores et al. (2018) described how they addressed potential researcher bias when working with an intersectional community of transgender people of color:

     Everyone on the research team belonged to a stigmatized group but also held privileged identities. Throughout the

     research process, we attended to the ways in which our privileged and oppressed identities may have influenced the

     research process, findings, and presentation of results. (p. 311)

APA 8.27 pp. 272-273



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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