Bakersfield College

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APA Style Guidelines

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

        Collection 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 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,

        575-580. doi:10.1111/j.1746-1561.2008.00348.x.  

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

        illegal drugs.

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

        NetLibrary database.

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

        http://web address

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)

Motion picture

Scorsese, M. (Producer), & Lonergan, K. (Writer/Director). (2000). You

        can count on me [Motion picture]. United States: Paramount


Television broadcast 

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

Kern Community College District