APA Citation Guide

The APA Style Format includes headings, citing sources, and layout formatting. It also includes rules for using in-text citations and reference lists at the end of the paper.

The APA format is one of the most commonly used styles for citing sources in academic writing. It is a widely accepted standard at most universities and academic institutions, and is also used by many scientific journals. In order to properly cite a source, you must ensure that you include information about the original source from which you obtained the information. This includes the author’s name, year of publication, book or article title, and URL (if applicable). Citations in APA format usually begin with the author’s name and the year of publication. If the quote is longer than 40 words, it should be inserted into the text as separate paragraphs by indenting 1 inch (2.5 cm) from the left margin. This quote should be intended as a direct quote and should be accompanied by the page number from which the information was taken. Example: According to Smith (2020), “This new policy will have a significant impact on the industry.” (page 12). If you use information but don’t do it directly, then it’s called an indirect quote or paraphrase. In this case, you still need to provide a reference to the original source but you don’t need to include the page number. Example: Smith (2020) notes that the new policy will have a significant impact on the industry.

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APA Reference Basics: Reference List

1. References should be at the end of your essay, after the text and after the bibliography if any. 2. The list of references must be collected alphabetically based on the name of the first author mentioned in the source. 3. Each reference list entry must begin with the author’s name mentioned first, followed by the year of publication, title, and other relevant information. 4. Each reference list entry must be separated from each other by one line. 5. If there is more than one source with the same author’s name, the entries must be sorted by year of publication (newest to oldest).
  • First, the reference page is always the last page in your essay. At the top of the page, put the word “reference”. Don’t make it bold or underline. All of the text on this page should be evenly spaced with the rest of your essay.
  • In a list of references, the author’s last name comes first and then the first name.
  • Each resource on the referenced page must start on a new line. If the source requires more than one line, all lines following the first must be indented half an inch from the left.
  • If there are multiple works by the same author, they should be listed in chronological order, from earliest to newest.
  • On the references page, sources should be listed according to the last name of the author (or the first author, if there are multiple authors for a single source).
  • Always write out each title in full, and be sure to stick to the punctuation and capitalization used by the author.
  • Longer source titles, such as books and journals, should be italicized.


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How to cite different types of sources

Citing sources appropriately is crucial in academic and professional writing to give credit to the original authors and provide a way for readers to locate the sources you used. The citation style you use depends on the guidelines provided by the publication, institution, or professor.

1. Citing Print Sources: To cite print sources, you must include the author’s name, book title, and other relevant information. If no author is credited, use the publisher’s name instead. The format for citing print sources is as follows: Author (or Publisher if no author). Publication Year. Book title. Publisher City: Publisher Name. Examples: Gaiman, Neil. 2005. Anansi Boys. New York: HarperCollins Publishers. 2. Cite a Digital Source: To cite a digital source, you must include the name of the author or organization responsible for the content, the title of the article/web page, the date the web page was last updated and the URL. The format for citing digital sources is as follows: Author (or Organization). Last Updated Date (if available). Title of Article/Web Page. Example URLs: Smith, John. April 5, 2020. “How to Cite Digital Sources”.

How to cite a book in APA format

  • Quoting a book in print. Citing a book follows this specific format:

Author, A. A. (2020). Title of Work: Capitalize Also for Subtitles. London: Publishers.

Smith, J. (2020). Book Title: Subtitles. Location: Publisher.

  • Quoting e-books from e-readers. If your source is a book from an e-reader such as Kindle, the following information should be included: Author, publication date in brackets, title, e-book version, and the digital object identifier (DOI) (DOI) number or placeholder where you downloaded the book That. This information is used in place of information about the publisher.
  • Cite the book found in the database. If the book you are using in your essay comes from a school library database or online database, you should cite it in the following format: Author last name, initial(s), italics owned, and “taken from”, followed by a link to the website web. If the book you are using must be purchased, it is recommended to put “available from”, rather than “taken from”.

How to cite a journal article in APA format

  • Cite a journal article in print. For printed articles to be cited, the following format should be used: author with initial(s), date of publication in parentheses, title, journal title (italics), volume number, and page range:
  • Citing a journal article found online. According to the APA format guidelines, if a journal article is found online, the following format should be followed: Author with initial(s), date of publication in parentheses, title, journal title (italics), issue number, page range, and DOI.

DOI is a unique string assigned to each digital object, such as journal articles, books, and more. This allows readers to easily access online resources. The DOI is usually located at the top of the first page of an article or at the bottom of a web page.

How to Reference Newspapers in APA format

  • Quoting a newspaper article in MICK. 
  • According to the APA Format Guidelines, an article taken from a newspaper in print must be cited as follows: Author, Year and Month of Publication, article name, newspaper name (Italic), and Page.