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APA Referencing Style Guide

An overview of APA format

An inseparable part of a perfectly formated APA paper is the reference list. Every reference entry needs to go with a corresponding in-text citations. It is vital that each of the references be used to complete the paper and be formatted accordingly. While there are a number of rules for different types of sources for the reference list, the rules are a lot simple for in-text citations.

Basic in-text citation comprises of author last name, year of publication, page number. For example: (Johnson, 1948, p. 214). That's it! As simple as that. However, there are some possible variants. Here is a table to make it clearer:

Basic In-text

(Johnson, 1948, p. 214)

Two authors

(Johnson & Smith, 1948, p.214)

Three to five authors

(Johnson, Smith, Hall & King, 1948, p.214)

The first in-text citation needs to have all the authors, the in-text citations to follow can just be (Johnson et al., 1948, p.214)

Six or more authors

(Johnson et al., 1948, p.214)

Unknown Author

If there is no author for the work, cite it using the title.

("APA Format," 2013)

Anonymous author indicated

(Anonymous, 2002)

Unknown author and date

(“In-text Citations in APA Format,” n.d.)

Electronic source with no pages

When you have an online article without pages, in order for the reader to be able to find what you are referring to indicate the paragraph it can be found it: 1st, 2nd, 3rd... by using para.

(Smith, 2012, para. 5)

Keep in mind that the page number needs to be indicated for direct citations or paraphrases of a particular part of a book. If you are referencing a general idea suggested by the author, the page number is not a must.

The reference list of the paper needs to be located on a separate page in the end. It is created for the user to be able to find the materials you used to complete the paper. Each source cited in the paper, needs to have a corresponding entry in the reference list; likewise, each entry of the reference list, needs to correspond to an in-text citation in the paper.

The reference page needs to start on a new page after the text of the paper and be labeled “References”. The word should be centered. There is no need to bold it, underline it or make any other highlights.

Basic rules to keep in mind

1. Each of the entries in the reference list should be indented one-half inch from the left margin, a so-called hanging indentation.

2. Authors' names need to come last name first followed by their initials: Smith A.K. Up to 7 authors can be listed, if the book has more than 7, list the first 6 authors followed by an ellipses after which the last author's name should be mentioned.

3. The entries in your reference list need to be alphabetized by the last name of the first author mentioned in the entry.

4. If you use several works by the same author, then they should be listed chronologically based on the year of publication. If the year of publication is the same, organize them alphabetically based on the title of the work.

5. The title of the works needs to be full. For journals include all possible punctuation and capitalization.

6. All major words in journal titles need to be capitalized. For books, chapters, article and web pages, only the first word of the title needs to be capitalized.

Follow the standard format

There is a basic format of referencing for books, which can be used as the basis for most references:

Author, A.A. (Year of publication). Title of work: Capital letters also for subtitle. Location: Publisher.

However, even more than with in-text citations, there are many different variants of reference entries depending on the number of authors and type of source. For your convenience, we've included them in a table.

One author

Culligan, M. (1993). Management 101. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall.

Two authors

Mill, J., & Ashley, W. (1965). Principles of political economy. New York: A.M. Kelley, bookseller.

Three to seven authors

Wang, J., Ding, Z., Zou, L., & Zuo, J. Proceedings of the 17th International Symposium on Advancement of Construction Management and Real Estate.

More than seven authors

Miller, F. H., Choi, M. J., Angeli, L. L., Harland, A. A., Stamos, J. A., Thomas, S. T., . . . Rubin, L. H. (2009). Web site usability for the blind and low-vision user. Technical Communication, 57, 323-335.

Organization as the author

American Psychological Association. (2012).

Unknown author

Merriam-Webster's collegiate dictionary (10th ed.).(1993). Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster.

Periodical articles

Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume number(issue number), pages. http://dx.doi.org/xx.xxx/yyyyy

Encyclopedia entry

Bergmann, P. G. (1993). Relativity. In The New Encyclopedia Britannica. (Vol. 26, pp. 501-508). Chicago, IL: Encyclopedia Britannica.

Dissertation abstract

Yoshida, Y. (2001). Essays in urban transportation. Dissertation Abstracts International, 62, 7741A.

Published dissertation

Lastname, F. N. (Year). Title of dissertation (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from Name of database. (Accession or Order Number)

Unpublished dissertation

Lastname, F. N. (Year). Title of dissertation (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Name of Institution, Location.

Online periodical article

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of article. Title of Online Periodical, volume number(issue number if available). Retrieved from

Article form a Database

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of article. Title of Journal, volume number, page range. Retrieved from http://www.somewebsite.com/full/url/

Newspaper Article

Author, A. A. (Year, Month Day). Title of article. Title of Newspaper. Retrieved from

Electronic book

Greetham, B. (2013). How to Writer Better Essays (3rd ed.). London: Palgrave Macmillan. Retrieved from https://books.google.com/books?id=cjcdBQAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=Writing+an+essay&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false

Motion Picture

Producer, P. P. (Producer), & Director, D. D. (Director). (Date of publication). Title of motion picture [Motion picture]. Country of origin: Studio or distributor.

TV Broadcast or Series Episode

Writer, W. W. (Writer), & Director, D. D. (Director). (Date of broadcast or copyright). Title of broadcast [ Television broadcast or Television series]. In P. Producer (Producer). City, state of origin: Studio or distributor.

One episode or a TV series

Writer, W. W. (Writer), & Director, D. D. (Director). (Date of publication). Title of episode [Television series episode]. In P. Producer (Producer), Series title. City, state of origin: Studio or distributor.

Music Recording

Songwriter, W. W. (Date of copyright). Title of song [Recorded by artist if different from song writer]. On Title of album [Medium of recording]. Location: Label. (Recording date if different from copyright date).

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