APA Style Guidelines
American Psychological Association.
(Based on 6th ed., revised April 2011)
For more examples, see:
Format Guidelines for Reference List:
- Double-space the References page.
- One space follows a period.
- Use a hanging indent format (first line is flush left, all other lines are indented .5 inch. In MS Word, USE Format-->Paragraph-->Hanging Indent).
- Arrange the list of references alphabetically by authors' last names (or by title if no author).
- Authors' names are inverted, followed by the initials of their first and middle names (Last name, A.A.).
- If no author is listed, list the source by title.
- The date of publication follows the author's name in parentheses.
- Capitalize only the first word of the title and subtitle of a book or article.
- Capitalize the titles of journals, magazines, and newspapers normally.
- Italicize titles of books, journals, magazines, etc., and the volume numbers of journals as well.
The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th edition) provides extensive examples covering a wide variety of sources. Some of the most commonly cited kinds of sources are included on this page. If your particular source is not listed, check the Publication Manual [Ref BF 76.7 .P83 2010] or consult the APA style website.
Basic Formats for Sources in Print and From Subscription Databases
(Note: When using a print version, omit the "retrieved from" information.)
A journal article
Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical,
volume number (issue number, if paginated by issue), pages. Retrieved from
NOTE: List only the volume number if the periodical uses continuous pagination throughout a volume. Unlike book or article titles, periodical titles are capitalized.
Journal article, one author
Nichols, S. (2008). An exploration of students' belongingness beliefs in
one middle school. Journal of Experimental Education 96, 145-169.
Retrieved from EBSCOhost Psychology and Behavioral Sciences
NOTE: APA states that including database information in citations is not essential. However, the library recommends including information about databases so readers can easily locate the article.
Journal article, two authors, paginated by issue
Conner, M. & White, J. (2007). Fatherhood in contemporary black
America: An invisible presence. Black Scholar 37 (2), 2-8.
Retrieved from EBSCOhost Psychology and Behavioral
Sciences Collection database.
NOTE: If each issue begins with page 1, then list the issue number.
Journal article, three to six authors
Rehm, J., Room, R. & Taylor, B. (2008). Method for moderation:
Measuring lifetime risk of alcohol-attributable mortality as a
basis for drinking guidelines. International Journal of
Methods in Psychiatric Research, 17, 141-151. Retrieved from
EBSCOhost Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection
Journal article, more than six authors
Naar-King, S., Wright, K., Parsons, J., Frey, M., Templin, T., Lam, P.,
et al. (2006). Healthy choices: Motivational enhancement therapy
for health risk behavior in HIV-positive youth. AIDS Education
& Prevention, 18, 1-11. Retrieved from EBSCOhost Psychology
and Behavioral Sciences Collection database.
Journal article with DOI (Digital Object Identifier)
Anderson, J.E. & Mueller, T.E. (2008). Trends in sexual risk behavior
and unprotected sex among high school students, 1991-2005:
The role of substance abuse. Journal of School Health,78,
NOTE: When DOI is given in the citation, make no reference to the database used.
Sample in-text citation for paraphrased evidence from the journal article above:
Anderson and Mueller (2008) assert that regardless of the type of
illegal drug used, high school-aged drug users engaged in
unprotected sex more often than those students who did not use
A magazine or newspaper article
Magazine article, one author
Bowers, C. (2005, July). Address thoughts and actions of teens with
addicted parents. Addiction Professional, 3 (4), pp. 42-43.
Retrieved from Gale Academic ASAP database.
Newspaper article, one author
Carey, B. (2006, March 21). Revisiting schizophrenia: Are drugs
always needed? New York Times, p. F1. Retrieved from
EBSCOhost Newspaper Source Plus database.
Magazine or newspaper article, no author named
Setback for equality: Voters in three states approve bans on same-sex
marriage. (2008, November 9). The Washington Post, p. B6.
Retrieved from EBSCOhost Newspaper Source Plus database.
NOTE: The date includes the month and day of the issue, but the order
is inverted (Year, Month Day). Also, the citation for this source would
include a shortened form of the title and date: (Setback, 2008). Page
numbers are preceded by either p. for a single page or pp. for multiple
pages for magazine and newspaper articles.
A book or part of a book
A book with a single author
Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of work: Capital letter also for
subtitle. City of publication, State: Publisher.
NOTE: For city of publication, always use the first city listed; also include the state, abbreviated.
Nydegger, R.V. (2008). Understanding and treating depression: Ways to
find hope and help. Westport, CT: Praeger.
Part of a book or an essay from an edited collection or reference book
Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Year of publication). Title of chapter.
In A. Editor & B. Editor (Eds.), Title of book (pp. of chapter).
City, State: Publisher.
NOTE: Only specify page numbers when you are referring to parts of books: (pp. 1-21).
Essay in an edited collection
O'Neil, J. M., & Egan, J. (1992). Men's and women's gender role
journeys: Metaphor for healing, transition, and transformation.
In B. R. Wainrib (Ed.), Gender issues across the life cycle
(pp. 107-123). New York, NY: Springer.
Article from a reference book
Weinstein, R. M. (2001). Deinstitutionalization movement. In C. D.
Bryant (Ed.) Encyclopedia of criminology and deviant behavior
(Vol. 4, pp. 171-174). Philadelphia, PA: Brunner-Routledge.
An essay or article from a book published in a subscription database
Carl Gustav Jung. (1998). In Encyclopedia of world biography (2nd ed.)
Detroit, MI: Gale. Retrieved from Gale Biography Resource Center
An eBook from Bakersfield College Library's collection
Author, A. A. (Date of publication). Title of Book. Retrieved from
Edmiston, B. (2008). Forming identities in early childhood play.
Retrieved from NetLibrary database.
NOTE: APA states that including database information in citations is not essential. However, the library recommends including information about databases so readers can easily locate the book.
Basic Forms for Internet Documents and Audiovisual Media
A Web Page or Internet Document (see APA publications for more information)
Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of document.
Retrieved from http://web address
NOTE: Provide a URL that links directly to the section, not the home page of the website.
Web pages with complete information
Phelps, J. (2007, November). Weight gain and bipolar disorder
treatment. Retrieved from
Web pages with no author or date listed
Title of document. (n.d.). Retrieved month, day, year, from
NOTE: When the author is not listed, begin the entry with the title. When the publication or update date is unavailable, use (n.d.) for no date and use the date of retrieval in the citation.
Fact sheet: Sexaual abuse of boys. (n.d.). Retrieved April 15, 2009,
Audiovisual media (See APA publications for more information)
Scorsese, M. (Producer), & Lonergan, K. (Writer/Director). (2000). You
can count on me [Motion picture]. United States: Paramount
Egan, D. (Writer), & Alexander, J. (Director). (2005) Failure to
communicate [Television series episode]. In D. Shore (Executive
producer), House. New York, NY: Fox Broadcasting.
Reformated and modified with permission from the Purdue University Online Writing Lab