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.
You may also be interested to find out Academic Writing Style Guide: How to Format APA Paper

WHAT IS Referencing The Basics: In-Text Quotations

  • Two authors. To perform in-text citations, both authors must be named in parentheses after the thought is complete. Instead of using “and”, use an ampersand to combine two last names. Then, enter a comma and include the year of publication.
Example: (Smith & Jones, 2002)

Example: “The Catcher in the Rye” (1951) and “To Kill a Mockingbird” (1960) are two very famous novels.

Example: According to Smith and Jones (2002), the state of …
  • Three, four or five authors. All authors must be listed regardless of whether you choose to use in-text citations or signal phrases when citing your quote or information. List everything except the last using comma. The last one should have a comma and an ampersand in front of it, followed by the year:
Example: (Brooks, Jones, Smith, & Orozco, 2009)

M. Smith et al. (2020)

Example: (Brooks et al., 2009)
  • Six or more authors. In this case, you may not include all authors in in-text citations. In parentheses, or in signal phrases, include the first author’s last name and “et al.”, along with the current year. This is the correct way to do in-text citations for multi-author publications:
Example: Brooks et al. (2009) Suggested …
(Brooks et al., 2009)
  • No authors. If it appears that some of your sources don’t have an author, in-text citations should be done using the name of the publication. In parentheses, you must enclose the first two words of the publication name in quotation marks, followed by the year. The same goes for signal quotes within text quotes, but without the parentheses:
Example: This research was conducted in a suitable environment (“Reduction Method”, 1996)
  • Citing an author with multiple works from the same year. In the rare case that you are citing multiple works by the same author, which also share the same publication date, you should use lowercase letters after the year (A, B, C, etc.) – depending on the order. The source Enter the reference list:
Example: The findings of this study are remarkable (Brooks, 1972A) …
Brooks’ (1972A) research findings …
  • Cite multiple works in parentheses. If your statement was compiled from several different sources, you will need to include all of them in parentheses from your in-text citations. You must list them alphabetically, the same way you would a reference list:
Example: (Brooks, 1995; Gandhi, 2004)
  • Quoting a group or organization . If the author of the publication is not a person but an organization or group, you must include the full name of the organization, along with the year of publication, in your in-text citation brackets:
Example: Act followed by Internal Revenue Service (2002) …
Laws followed by this organization (IRS, 2002) …
  • Citing secondary sources. To cite a source that you have found in another source, you must name your source in the signal phrase. Then, state the secondary source in parentheses, followed by the phrase “as cited”, the year of publication, and the page number:
Example: Brooks suggests that … (as cited in Smith, 2002, p.459)

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How to cite different types of sources

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”. https://www.examplewebsiteurlhere/quotingsourcedigital

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.

Example Citation: Smith, A.J. (2009). Economics in modern life: A guide to success. New York City; ManhattanPress.
  • 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.
Example Citation: Salinger, J.J. (1897). Glass family [Kindle DX version]. Retrieved from
  • 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”.
Example Citation: By Puff, E. W. (N.D.). Indian Lifestyle: Traditions and Myths. Retrieved 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:
Example Citation: Scraton, J. (1993). Eclipse of understanding. New Yorker Style, 21 (4) , 5-13.
  • 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.

Example Citation: Brownie, D. (2007). French Economy: Annotated bibliography. European Journal of Marketing, 41 , 1245-1283. DOI: 10.1108 / 03090560710821161

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:
Example Citation: Curtis, S. (2005, October 22). The fields grow to develop. Country today , p. 1a, 2a.
  • Citing a newspaper article found online identical to the printed version, although the home address must be added. The APA style format guidelines suggest using the homepage instead of the URL itself:

full/url Author, A. A. (2020, August). How to Make Delicious Brownies Cake. The New York Times. Retrieved from

Example: Galveston, T. (2008, Aug. 6). Psychology newsletter. The New York Times . Retrieved from

How to Reference a Magazine in APA format

  • Citing magazine articles in print. Magazine articles in print are required to have the following structure (according to APA format guidelines): Author, Year and Month of publication in brackets, article name, magazine name (italicized), issue number (reprinted), and page range:
Example Citation: Henry, W. A., (1990, April). Creating value in today’s schools. Time , 135, 28-31.
  • Citing a magazine article found online. For a magazine article found online, you will need to have the following components, according to the APA Format Guidelines: Author, Year and Month of publication in parentheses, article name, magazine name (italics), issue number (italics) and page range, followed by DOI :

Example Citation: Henry, W. A., (1990, April). Creating value in today’s schools. Time, 135. , 28-31. DOI: 10.1108 / 03090560710821161

How to cite a film / film in APA format

  • Movie quotes / movie quotes. If a film is one of the sources for your essay, it may be challenging to cite. To do so according to the APA format guidelines, you will need to include the following information about the reference page: producer name followed by “producer” in parentheses, director’s name followed by “Directors” in parentheses, date of publication” in parentheses, title (italicized ) -follow with “motion picture” in parentheses, the country of origin, and finally, the studio.

Example Citation: Carroll, G., Giler, D., & Hill, W. (Producer), & Scott, R. (Director). (1979). Foreign . United States of America: Twentieth Century Fox.
  • Quoting movies from YouTube. If you come across a YouTube video that looks like a credible academic source, feel free to include it. According to the APA format guidelines, you should start with the name of the person who published the video, followed by their nickname or username in parentheses, the date of publication in parentheses, the italicized name of the video and media type in parentheses, and the URL for it.

F.M. [Last name]. (2020, August 10). Video title [Video file]. Retrieved from

Example Citation: undefined Ribbon 14. . Retrieved from

How to quote TV / radio broadcasts in APA format

  • Quoting episodes from a TV or radio show. Quoting an episode of a TV or radio show must be done in the following format: Author last name and initials (S), followed by (author); Director’s last name and initials, followed by (Director); year of publication in brackets; episode name; series type; Producer Name, followed by (producer); italicized title; city ​​and country of origin; and the name of the studio or distributor:

Example Citation: Dick, L. (author), & Yaitanes, G. (Director). (2009). Simple explanation. At P. Attanasio (executive producer), Home, M.D. . Los Angeles, CA: Fox Broadcasting ..

How to cite a website in APA format

  • Cite website articles with an author. If you come across an article online that isn’t from a newspaper, magazine, or any periodical, the best way to cite it is as follows (according to APA format guidelines): Author, date of publication, parenthesis format, title, description format, and “Retrieved from ” with URLs:

Example Citation: Eco, U. (2015). How to write a thesis [PDF file]. (Farina C. M. & Farina F., Trans.) Retrieved from…/umberto+to+write/
  • Citing website articles without an author. If the article doesn’t have an author, cite it by page name, date in brackets or “n.d” for “no date”, and “Retrieved from” by URL:
Example Citation: Spotlight resources. (N.D.). Retrieved from

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