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Martha S. Grafton Library

Citation Help: APA

Information on properly citing research.

What is APA Style?

The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association is most often used by scholars and students in psychology, political science, and other social sciences. APA style uses parenthetical in-text citations.

Additional Resources for Citing in APA

Print Vs. Electronic Sources

Print sources that you find on the shelves in the library won't have DOI (Digital Object Identifiers) or URLs for you to list in their citations. That's okay, just list the information you have about the source's publication. 

When you access a source online, be sure to include information about where you found it. If the article has a DOI, include this. If not, or if it is a source for which a DOI does not apply (eBooks or Websites), list the URL. 

Look for a stable or permanent URL to list with your citations for articles and books you find in library databases, as the URL generated in your address bar doesn't always work a few hours or days later. 

Citation Examples

Example In-Text and Bibliographic Citations:

In-Text Citations

In-Text Citations

Citing paraphrased information

Your in-text citations for paraphrased information should include the author’s last name and year of publication. Your in-text citation should go inside the period at the end of your sentence.

(Last name, Year of Publication).
Inportant information is often contained in your syllabus (Jones, 2016).

Citing directly quoted information

When quoting directly, enclose the quoted text in quotation marks and include the Author’s last name, date of publication and page number or numbers where the information is found.

(Last Name, Year of Publication, p. Page Number).
“Assigned readings can be found in Blackboard” (Jones, 2016, p. 42).

Signal Phrases

When you use information from other sources, you must cite it. However, the author’s name isn’t required to be in parenthetical citations (in parenthesis, like this!). You can instead use a signal phrase, where you introduce the author in your own words before presenting the borrowed information. When you do this in APA, the year of publication should come right after the author’s name.

Jones (2016) “Assigned readings and your grades can be found in Blackboard” (p. 42).

Journal Articles

Journal Articles

Author(s). (Publication Year). Article title. Journal Title, Volume #(Issue #), page numbers. doi: DOI

Herbst-Damm, K. L., & Kulik, J. A. (2005). Volunteer support, marital status, and the survival times of terminally ill patients. Health Psychology, 24(2), 225-229.

Newspaper Articles

Newspaper Articles

Author(s). (Publication Year, month & day). Article Title. Newspaper Title, pp. page numbers.

Schwartz, J. (1993, September 30). Obesity affects economic, social status. The Newsleader (Staunton, VA), pp. A1, A4.



Author(s). (Year of publication). Book Title: And subtitle. Publisher.

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

Book Chapters

Book Chapters

Chapter Author(s). (Year of Publication). Chapter title. In Editor(s) (Ed.), Book title (pp. chapter pages). Publisher.

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). Guilford Press.

APA Website Example


Before you cite your website, make sure its not one of the following: 

  • Article in an online database 
  • Scholarly article on a websites 
  • Magazine article on a website 
  • Newspaper article on a website 
  • Blog 
  • Twitter 
  • Any other form of media (such as a video, slideshow, sound recording, image, etc.) 

These types of sources need to be cited primarily as their format type (journal article, magazine article, book, etc.). Websites, on the other hand, are primarily cited as being websites.

Author(s). (Year, Month Day). Title of Work. Site Name. http://www.xxxx

The World Bank. (n.d.). What we do.


PDF handout made by Grafton Library. These handouts are also available in print by the reference desk.

Formatting Tips

List authors as ordered in your source. Authors are identified by their full last name and initials for first and middle names. List last name, then first and middle initials separated by a comma. If multiple authors, separate names with commas and connect the second to last and last author’s names with & Sec. 9.8

Only capitalize proper nouns and the first letter of the first word of the title and subtitle. Sec. 6.17

Book titles, journal titles and volume numbers are italicized. Sec. 6.22

Omit the words Co., Publishers, and Inc. Sec 9.29

When no publication date, use (n.d.) sec. 9.17

Sometimes an author isn’t a person. In these cases you can list an organization as the author.

Formatting your References List

Title your list of citations: References.  Alphabetize your References List by Author's last name. Use a 1/2 inch hanging indent and double space your citations.