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APA Citation Examples

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APA (American Psychological Association) style is most frequently used within the social sciences, in order to cite various sources. This APA Citation Guide provides the general format for in-text citations and the reference page. For more information, please consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th ed.

In APA style, two citations are used to cite a source:

  1. A short citation used in the text (called the in-text citation).
  2. A full citation (called the reference) in the reference list at the end of a paper.

The in-text citation is a short citation that is placed next to the text being cited. The in-text citation lets the reader know that the information came from the cited source. The reference list entry provides complete details of a source and is shown at the end of a document.

In order to properly cite a source in APA style, you must have both citation types in your paper. Every in-text citation has a reference list entry. Every reference list entry has at least one (maybe more) corresponding in-text citation.

In-text citations

The basic elements needed for an in-text citation are the author’s surname and the publication year. Sometimes, page numbers are also included, especially when quotes are mentioned in the text. In-text citations are mentioned in the text in two ways: as a narrative citation or a parenthetical citation.

Narrative

Narrative citations are incorporated into the text and act as a part of the sentence. Usually, narrative citations use the author’s name in the text and the publication year is enclosed in parenthesis after the name. An example of a narrative citation for one author is given below:

Barbarin (2013) examined socioemotional learning in African boys.

Parenthetical

Parenthetical citations add the author’s name and the publication year at the end of the sentence in parenthesis. An example of a parenthetical citation is given below:

Inhibition and working memory in young children were studied extensively (Aase, 2014).

When are page numbers are included?

Page numbers are referred to within in-text citations when quotes are used. Examples of both narrative citations and parenthetical citations are given below.

Narrative:

Ahmed (2004, p. 44)

Ahmed (2004, pp. 53–56)

Parenthetical:

(Ahmed, 2004, p. 44)

(Ahmed, 2004, pp. 53–56)

Examples of in-text citations

Here are a few examples of in-text citations for a different number of authors:

One author

Use the surname of the author in in-text citations. Use a comma before the publication year in parenthetical citations.

Narrative: 

Bucher (2018)

Parenthetical: 

(Bucher, 2018)

Two authors

Separate the author surnames with an “and” in narrative citations. Use an ampersand symbol (&) in parenthetical citations.

Narrative:

Popescu and Pennacchiotti (2010)

Parenthetical:

(Popescu & Pennacchiotti, 2010)

Three or more authors

Use the first author surname name followed by et al.

Narrative:

van Dijck et al. (2018)

Parenthetical:

(van Dijck et al., 2018)

Group author

Treat the group author similar to how you would treat author names.

Narrative:

Auger Collaboration (2003)

Parenthetical:

(Auger Collaboration, 2018)

No author

If there is no author for the source, use the source title in place of the author’s name. In general, sources with no author appear as parenthetical citations.

When you add such in-text citations, you will either italicize the text or place it in quotations. If the source title is italicized in the reference list entry, italicize the title in the in-text citation. If the title is not italicized, place it in quotation marks.

Parenthetical, book:

(Nothing here, 1997)

Parenthetical, journal article:

(“Examination of parrotfish impact on coral reefs,” 2018)


Reference list entries

Reference list entries are also called full citations. There are four main details that most reference list entries have:

  1. The author field.
  2. The publication year.
  3. The title of the work (italicized or in “quotation marks”).
  4. The source from where the reference can be obtained (e.g., URL, DOI, etc.).

Depending on the source type, you will also need additional details like volume number, publication title, contributors, medium, etc.

Examples of reference list entries

Below are a few examples of different types of reference entries along with their templates. The examples given are for one author. Note that “F” and “M” in the templates denote the first and the middle initials of an author’s name.

Book

The title of the book is set in italics and sentence case.

Template:

Author Surname, F. M. (Publication Year). Title of the book. Publisher.

Example:

Ahmed, S. (2014). The cultural politics of emotion. Edinburgh University Press.

Journal article

The title of the article is in sentence case. The first word of a subtitle is capitalized. The journal title and the volume number are set in italics. If an article has a DOI it should always be included. Use “https://doi.org/” before the DOI. If there is no DOI for an online journal, include the URL instead. Do not use a period after the DOI or URL.

Template:

Author Surname, F. M. (Publication Year). Article title: Subtitle. Journal Title, Volume(issue), page range. URL or DOI

Example:

Collins, R. (2004). Rituals of solidarity and security in the wake of terrorist attack. Sociological Theory, 22(1), 53–87. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9558.2004.00204.x

Newspaper or magazine article

Newspaper and magazine articles take the same style. The title of the article is in plain text and sentence case; the title of the newspaper or the magazine is set in italics. Follow the format given in the template and example for setting the date, month, and year.

Template:

Surname, F. M. (Date of publication). Title of the article. Title of the Newspaper or Magazine. URL

Example:

TNN. (2021, July 18). Parents have a habit of comparing kids to others but you don’t need to. The Times of India. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com//home/sunday-times/parents-have-a-habit-of-comparing-kids-to-others-but-you-dont-need-to/articleshow/84507857.cms

Website

The webpage title is in plain text, while the Website name is set in italics. Follow the format given in the template and example for setting the date, month, year, and URL.

Template:

Author or Organization Name. (Year, Month Day of Publication ). Webpage title. Title of the Website. URL

Example:

Lamberth, H. (2021, August 12). Binge drinking is problem drinking: How to get back in control. PSYCOM. https://www.psycom.net/binge-drinking-problem-drinking

YouTube video

The video title is set in sentence case and italicized. The first word after a colon is capitalized. The word “Video” is enclosed in brackets after the video title. This is followed followed by the word “YouTube.” Finally, the link is given. Note that a period is not given after the URL.

Template:

Uploader’s name, F. (Year, Month Day Published). Video title [Video]. YouTube. URL

Example:

Ananta, P. (2021, February 21). APJ Abdul Kalam inspirational quotes [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjfL51RFL2k

Reference entries for different number of authors

The number of authors in the source decides how the author name(s) will be set in the references list. Here, you will see many journal references with different numbers of authors.

One author

List the author name followed by the publication year.

Template:

Author Surname, F. M. (Publication Year). Article title: Subtitle. Journal Title, Volume(issue), page range.

Example:

Spitka, T. (2017). Mediating among mediators: Building a consensus in multilateral interventions. International Negotiation, 23, 1–30.

Two authors

Separate the author names by an ampersand. Use a comma between the first author’s initial and the ampersand symbol.

Template:

Author Surname, F. M., & Author Surname, F. (Publication Year). Article title: Subtitle. Journal Title, Volume(issue), page range. DOI or URL

Example:

Bernstein, B., & Solomon, J. (1999). Pedagogy, identity and the construction of a theory of symbolic control: Basil Bernstein questioned by Joseph Solomon. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 20(2), 265–279. https://doi:10.1080/01425699995443

When you add two organizations in the author field, do not use a comma before the ampersand.

Template:

Organization 1 & Organization 2. (Publication Year). Article title: Subtitle. Journal Title, Volume(issue), page range. DOI or URL

Example:

American Psychological Association & American Psychological Society. (2020). Psychology of children. Journal of Child Psychology, 34(23), 1–12.

3–20 authors

List all author names. Do not forget to insert an “ampersand” before the last author. The example given below is for three authors.

Template:

Author Surname, F. M., Author Surname, F. M., & Author Surname, F. M. (Publication Year). Article title: Subtitle. Journal Title, Volume(issue), page range. DOI or URL

Example:

Pyysiäinen, J., Halpin, D., & Guilfoyle, A. (2017). Neoliberal governance and ‘responsibilization’ of agents: Reassessing the mechanisms of responsibility-shift in neoliberal discursive environments. Distinktion: Journal of Social Theory, 18(2), 215–235. https://doi:10.1080/1600910X.2017.1331858

More than 20 authors

List the names of the first 19 authors followed by an ellipsis. Add the final author name after the ellipsis but without the ampersand symbol before the last author name.

Template:

Author Surname1, F. M., Author Surname2, F. M., Author Surname3, F. M., Author Surname4, F. M., Author Surname5, F. M., Author Surname6, F. M., Author Surname7, F. M., Author Surname8, F. M., Author Surname9, F. M., Author Surname10, F. M., Author Surname11, F. M., Author Surname12, F. M., Author Surname13, F. M., Author Surname14, F. M., Author Surname15, F. M., Author Surname16, F. M., Author Surname17, F. M., Author Surname18, F. M.,  Author Surname19, F. M,¼ Last Author name, F. M. (Publication Year). Article title: Subtitle. Journal Title, Volume(issue), page range. DOI or URL

Example:

Fox, J., Harper, D., Bird, A., Kindler, F. A., Feng, H.-G., Seng, A. L., Sevel, K., Ed, E., Nell, A., Ten, T., Elin, K. J., Thomas, A., Thendy, S., Fall, W., Fint, E., Gurdy, A. K., Dondy, D., Egert, E., Nanda, A. L., ¼ Long, G.  (2015). Pedagogising knowledge: Bernstein’s theory of the pedagogic device. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 23(4), 571–582.

 


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