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Citing Your Sources: APA Style

Need help with citations? Use this guide to help with APA, MLA, Chicago Style and other various formats!

Wardman Library APA Style Guide

This guide shows you some of the most frequently used citation or style questions in APA format.

APA Style Web Sites

What is a DOI?

The 2010 APA Publication Manual (6th edition) says: Use a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) in citing articles whether accessed in the print or electronic form. A DOI is prefereable to a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) when citing an online resource.

A DOI is a digital object identifier – a unique alphanumeric code that gives a persistent link to the web location for an electronic item. At this point, more and more journal articles are assigned DOIs.  DOIs are commonly seen on current electronic journal articles, but are often also included in the print version of the article.  Here is an example of a DOI:



How do I find the DOI for an article?


  1. First, the first page of the article may have a DOI.  A DOI is identified as such on the first page; i.e.,  DOI: 10.1016/j.anireprosci.2006.12.005   
  2. DOIs are often included in database records.  Thus, if you are searching a library database like Academic OneFile or ERIC, if a DOI is assigned to an article, you will find in the database record for that article.
  3. DOIs may also be found in the bibliography of an article – as authors are now using DOIs as a citation tool.  If you find a DOI in a bibliography and want to find the actual article (or at least further citation information), you need to use a DOI resolver (see
  4. If all else fails, search for the article via Google Scholar and go to the journal's website to find the article DOI. 

How to Read APA Citations


Author’s last name, Author’s first initial (and middle name initial). (Year). Title. State of publication, City: Publisher.

Davidson, I. (2016). The French Revolution: from Enlightenment to tyranny. New York, NY: Pegasus Books.  

Journal from an Online Database

Author’s last name, Author’s first initial (and middle name initial). (Year). Title. Periodical, volume number (issue if available), pages. doi: (no period after)

Deb, A.K. (2018). ‘Surrender to nature’: Worldviews and rituals of the small-scale coastal fishers of Bangladesh. Marine Policy, 92, 1-12. doi: 10.1016/j.marpol.2018.01.01

Reference List - Basic Rules

A few general rules about creating citations in APA style:

  • All lines after the first line of each entry in your reference list should be indented one-half inch from the left margin. This is called hanging indentation.
  • Always include author, year of publication, article title, journal title and publishing date (volume, issue & page numbers)
  • If no author exists for a piece, unless it is specifically signed Anonymous, do not use anonymous as the author. Simply move the title of the journal article to the place of the author.
  • Always give both volume number and issue number.
  • When citing an electronic journal article, a DOI is preferable to a URL.
  • If no DOI exists and you retrieve an electronic version of the article, include the URL of the for the home page of the journal.
  • If citing a print journal article, and there is a DOI on the first page of the article, include the DOI in the citation.
  • After a DOI or URL in a citation, there is no ending punctuation.
  • Always double space citations.

Citing Books

Single author

Shotton, M. A. (1989). Computer addiction? A study of computer dependency. London, England: Taylor & Francis.

Book Chapter

Haybron, D. M. (2008). Philosophy and the science of subjective well-being. In M. Eid & R. J. Larsen (Eds.), The science of subjective well-being (pp.17-43). New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Collected Works (e.g. books with different authors for each section/chapter)

VandenBos, G. R. (Ed.). (2007). APA dictionary of psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Encyclopedia or Dictionary Entry

Bergmann, P.G. (1993). Relativity. In The new encyclopaedia britannica (Vol. 26, pp. 501-508). Chicago: Encyclopaedia; Britannica.

Citing Articles

Scholarly Journal Articles

Herbst-Damn, K. L., & Kulik , J. A. (2005). Volunteer support, martial status, and the survival times of terminally ill patients. Health Psychology, 24, 225-229.

Scholarly Journal Article from Library Database

Herbst-Damn, K. L., & Kulik , J. A. (2005). Volunteer support, martial status, and the survival times of terminally ill patients. Health Psychology, 24, 225-229. doi:10.1037/0278-6133.24.2.225.

Note: The DOI (digital object identifier) is preferable to the URL.

Magazine Articles

Chamberlin, J., & Price, M. J. (2008, May 9). Enhancing worker well‐being in dangerous work environments. Newsweek, 155, 26‐29.

Newspaper Articles

Schwartz, J. (1993, September 30). Obesity affects economic, social status. The Washington Post, pp. A1, A4.

Review Articles

Baumeister, R. F. (1993). Exposing the self-knowledge myth [Review of the book The self-knower: A hero under control]. Contemporary Psychology, 38, 466-467.

Citing Web Sites

Bernstein, M. (2002, August 16). 10 tips on writing the living Web. Retrieved from


APA Publication Manual


Call Number: BF76.7 .P83 
Located behind the Information Desk
ISBN: 978-1433805615

In-Text Citations

Rule #1 of APA Text Citations

For each in-text citation there must be a corresponding citation in the reference list and for each reference list citation there must be a corresponding in-text citation. Each corresponding citation must have identical spelling and year. The purpose of the in-text citation is to briefly give readers the identity of the information you are citing, and allow them to find the information you provide in the reference list that enables readers to locate the exact piece of literature you used.

Rule #2 of APA Text Citations

Each text citation must include at least two pieces of information:

  • author(s)
  • year of publication

Many times, this information will appear like this (Smith, 2006). However, the same information may appear in other ways. Consult chapter 6 of the 6th Edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association for more details.


One author

Most citations only require the author and the date of publication:  

Kessler (2003) found that among epidemiological samples


    Two or more authors

    For two authors, cite both names every time there is a reference.

    Kisangau, Lyaruu, Hosea, and Joseph (2007) found that  


      More than two authors

      Cite all authors the first time a reference appears, and then only the first author with et al. appended.

      Kisangau et al. (2007) found that