This guide gives you the basic information you need to correctly cite your sources using the American Psychological Association (APA) Style, 7th edition (2019) in both your references list and your in-text citations. If you have a difficult citation or a detailed question, you can always check the actual Publication Manual of the APA, or the APA Style website, or (better yet) ask a librarian for help!
When you reference information from another source use an in-text citation in the body of your paper. Details below!
If you're quoting the exact words of someone else, introduce the quote with an in-text citation in parentheses. Any sentence punctuation goes after the closing parenthesis.
If you're directly quoting more than 40 words, use a block quote. Block quotes don't need quotation marks. Instead, indent the text 1/2" as a visual cue that you are citing. The in-text citation in parentheses goes after the punctuation of the quote.
Shavers (2007) study found the following:
While research studies have established that socioeconomic status influences disease incidence, severity and access to healthcare, there has been relatively less study of the specific manner in which low SES influences receipt of quality care and consequent morbidity and mortality among patients with similar disease characteristics, particularly among those who have gained access to the healthcare system. (p. 1021)
Tip: Use direct quotes sparingly! Focus on summarizing the findings from multiple research studies. In the sciences and social sciences, only use the exact phrasing or argument of an individual when it's necessary, usually because you're going to discuss the wording..
Paraphrasing or summarizing the main findings or takeaways from a research article is the preferred method of citing sources in an APA paper. Always include the last name of the author(s) and the year of the article, so your reader can find the full citation in the reference list.
According to Shavers (2007), limitations of studying socioeconomic status in research on health disparities include difficulties in collecting data on socioeconomic status and the complications of classifying women, children, and employment status.
In-text citations differ depending on the number of authors listed for a work, and if there is a group author.
I'm citing a work with...
You only need the author's last name and the year.
Connect both authors' last names with & (ampersand) and include the year.
(Wegener & Petty, 1994)
If there are 3 or more authors use et al., which means "and others."
(Harris et al., 2018)
First time with an abbreviation:
(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2019)
Then all subsequent citations: (CDC, 2019)
Include the complete citation at the end of your paper in a references section. References are organized by the author's last name in alphabetic (A-Z) order. Use an hanging indent to separate each list item.
Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date). Title of the work. Source where you can retrieve the work. URL or DOI if available
I'm citing a...
Ashing‐Giwa, K. T., Padilla, G., Tejero, J., Kraemer, J., Wright, K., Coscarelli, A., Clayton, S., Williams, I., & Hills, D. (2004). Understanding the breast cancer experience of women: A qualitative study of African American, Asian American, Latina and Caucasian cancer survivors. Psycho‐Oncology, 13(6), 408-428. https://doi.org/10.1002/pon.750
Kennedy, M. (2018, October 15). To prevent wildfires, PG&E pre-emptively cuts power to thousands in California. NPR. https://www.npr.org/2018/10/15/657468903/to-prevent-wildfires-pg-e-preemptively-cuts-power-to-thousands-in-california
Schmidt, N. A., & Brown, J. M. (2017). Evidence-based practice for nurses: Appraisal and application of research (4th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning, LLC.
McCormack, B., McCance, T., & Maben, J. (2013). Outcome evaluation in the development of person-centred practice. In B. McCormack, K. Manley, & A. Titchen (Eds.), Practice development in nursing and healthcare (pp. 190-211). John Wiley & Sons.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018, August 22). Preventing HPV-associated cancers. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/hpv/basic_info/prevention.htm/
Gray Literature includes government, technical and research reports; press releases; brochures; grants; briefs; and other materials that are not peer-reviewed but can be useful for research.
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. (2017, January). Key indicators of health by service planning area. http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/ha/
Mergent. (2020, May). Media: North America [Industry report]. https://mergentonline.com
Valentin, E. R. (2019, Summer). Narcissism predicted by Snapchat selfie sharing, filter usage, and editing [Master's thesis, California State University Dominguez Hills]. CSU ScholarWorks. https://scholarworks.calstate.edu/concern/theses/3197xm925?locale=en
Check out more examples for citing dissertations and theses on the APA Style site.
APA Style offers sample student and professional papers, including a free annotated student sample paper.
1. Highlight the citation with your cursor.
2. Right click.
3. Select Paragraph.
4. Under Indentation, select Special and Hanging.
Microsoft Word and Google Docs have a Format Painter tool that will copy and apply basic formatting to any text!
1. Highlight the formatting you want to apply.
2. Select Format Painter.
3. Highlight the text you want to change.
Note: If using the Format Painter on the Reference List, you'll need to go back and add italics.
ZoteroBib is a quick, accurate citation generator that doesn't track your information. Be sure to use the DOI for scholarly articles or ISBN for books if you can!
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