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Complete APA Citation Guide with Examples

It is barely possible to imagine college students writing a serious research paper that would not have to deal with APA style citation and format rules. American Psychological Association, is most commonly used in social sciences research papers. In our experience, we have seen students struggle with APA format style even after reading manual. Taking notes, researching this complex format style, we tried our best to put all available helpful citation information together.

Remember that even using APA citation generator, it is vital to understand all existing document format details. From in-text citations to References page and formatting rules, our free APA Citation guide with real-life examples aims to make citing challenges easier.

General APA Format Requirements

  • Essay should be double-spaced on a standard-sized paper, which is 8.5 inches to 11 inches with margins on all sides.
  • Recommended font is Times New Roman with 12 pt.
  • “Running Head” at the top of every page should be included in page’s header. Creating it, flush the page numbers right. Type paper’s title in document’s header in capital letters and flush it left.
  • Running Head part should not be more than 50 characters and acts as a shortened version of paper’s original title.
  • APA paper includes four major sections: Title Page, Abstract, Main Body, and References.
  • Title page should have the following centered: paper’s title, student’s name, an institutional affiliation.
  • Paper’s title should be no more than 12 words.
  • All page’s text, including your title page, should be double-spaced.
  • If necessary, a student should indicate where research in question has been conducted, right below University’s name.
  • If required, an Abstract page should be included. It should start from a new page and also include page’s header. The word Abstract should be centered at the top. Next, include a summary of all key points related to conducted research. Generally, abstract should be between 150-200 words.
  • Keywords: should be written in italics and after an indent.
  • The proper nouns, including author names and initials are always capitalized: R. James.
  • Always follow “author-date method” for in-text citation like: (Rhodes, 2017).
  • Speaking of a title of your source, capitalize all the words that are four letters long in source’s title.
  • In References list, only the first word of provided title will have to be capitalized like in: Finding outsources.
    According to APA 6th Edition Manual, footnotes should be avoided due to publishing difficulties.

Where and How to Use APA In-Text Citations

The latest APA citation format style refers to 6th edition, so we are going to focus on all the formatting rules that meet these latest style requirements. Turning to APA citations generator, learn from provided guide to see that text in italics like this is done intentionally!

If there is only one known author from print sources

In this case, follow author-date format, as in example:

According to the latest research, visibility of acoustic waves becomes transparent and the waveforms are not affected (Wagner, 2012, p.104).
According to Wanger (2012), visibility of acoustic waves becomes transparent and the waveforms are not affected (p. 104).

If there are multiple authors

Follow this example for two authors:

Latest research by Wagner and Phelps (2017) claims that…
According to a research, there are… (Wagner & Phelps, 2017).

If there are more than two authors, use this example:

… has been confirmed (Wagner, Bunbury, Mills & Hunter, 2012).

In your subsequent citations, only use:

(Wagner et al., 2012).

Likewise, if there are more than six authors, only use:

(Wagner et al., 2012).
Wagner et al. (2012) believed that…

If there is no author or an organization

When sources have no known author or an organization, cite it by title in a signal phrase. Alternatively, use the first word or two in the parentheses. Titles of books and reports are italicized; titles of articles, chapters, and web pages should be in quotation marks. If there is a well-known organization as an author that you refer to, follow this example:

(Teens Against School Bullying [TASB], 2010). In your subsequent citations, just use (TASB, 2010).

If there is no page number

In such case, for APA 6 style, use chapter or paragraph number, yet only if the chapter or a paragraph are clearly present in the original source. If it is not the case, the page number is not required.

How to combine multiple sources in one APA citation

Such authors are separated with a semicolon and are sorted alphabetically. Follow this example:

(Andrews, 2002; Ronald, 1998)

If there are different authors with a same last name

If such thing happens, provide first initials of both authors like in provided example below:

(R. Mills, 2002; L. Mills, 2014)

If there are multiple works and author is the same

According to APA format rules, book’s title or an article like in example below:

(Walden, 2005, Artistic Creativity in Jazz Music, p. 32)
(Walden, 2002, Musical Theory in the Middle East, p. 121)

If there are two or more works by same author, published in a same year

Here each source is distinguished with an addition of a lower-case letter after publication’s year. As an example:

Latest research by Lake (2005a) illustrates that…

Books and sources with editors in-text citations

(V.J. Evans & L. Zach, Eds.)

Electronic sources with no author or non-print sources

If page’s author is unknown, start with existing title instead. If publication date is not listed, use abbreviation (n.d.). Like in this example:

Environmental Resources. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.website.com/

However, if you cite from an online periodical, the final result should look this way:

Brown, A. (2010). Safety Rules Online. A Modern Safety Guidebook: How to Remain
Safe Online, 150. Retrieved from https://www.site.com/articles/onlinesafety/

How to cite indirect sources

An indirect source is when you have a source that is also cited in a different source. If such challenge is faced, name original source in your signal phrase. Next, list secondary source in a reference list and include this secondary source in parentheses. As an example:

Stipe argued that… (as cited in Buck, 2003, p. 102).

APA References Page Citations With Examples

APA References page is where you have complete list of sources. They have to be sorted alphabetically. In APA style format, a second line of each source should have an indent that can be made with a TAB key. Note that ITALICS in each example are obligatory! Even when you use APA citation generator, make sure to check that indents are in place.

APA book citation, If there is only one known author

Format it this way:

Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle. Location: Publisher.
Holmes, D. C., & Valenzuela, J. R. (2018). APA challenges among the college students
in the United States. guide to preparing manuscripts for journal publication.
Washington, DC: Turner Publishing House.

If there is no author and only editor’s name available

Darell, G. J., & Philips, C. (Eds.). (1998). An evolution of hip-hop music and the
socio-political agenda. New York, NY: Russell Sage Foundation.

If there are multiple authors for APA source

Andersen, D. T., & Paulis, R. E. (2004). Strategic management in the marine navigation
and security surveillance systems. Journal of Marine Navigation, 36, 1014-1018.

How to reference Journal Articles and Academic Journals in APA Citation

Basic academic APA article citation format:

Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume number(issue number), pages. https://doi.org/xx.xxx/yyyy
Evans, N. M. (2007). The methods to combat bullying in colleges. Innovative Directions
in Education, 11, 7-10. https://doi.org/xx.xxx/yyyy

APA Website Citation

Citing most common web page types, follow this format:

Author, A. A. & Author B. B. (Date of publication). Title of page [Format description when necessary]. Retrieved from https://www.someaddress.com/full/url/

If there is no author per se, use the (n.d.).

Human Psychology Resources. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.url.com/

Newspapers APA Citation

Author, A. A. (Year, Month Day). Title of article. Title of Newspaper. Retrieved from
https://www.newspaperaddress.com/

Anthologies, Encyclopedias, and complex sources citing with no author

Encyclopedia citing example:

Burns, S. V. (2001). Molecular Physics. In The New Encyclopedia Britannica (Vol. 21,
pp. 503-511). Los Angeles, CA: Encyclopedia Britannica.

Citing an article in an anthology with several editors, follow this format:

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Year of publication). Title of chapter. In A. A. Editor & B.
B. Editor (Eds.), Title of book (pages of chapter). Location: Publisher.

Multi-volume book APA citations

Make sure to follow this example:

Tomlin, D. (Ed.). (2003). The Dichotomy of the urban life. (Vols. 1-3). New York, NY:
Turner Publishing.

For APA poetry citation

It should include poet’s name, poem title in quotes, book title (italicized), if available, name of the editor, city of publication, a publisher, publication year, and page’s number(s).

Example:

Stevens, Wallace. “Sunday Morning.” The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens,
Vintage-Random, 1990, pp.66-70.

If cited poem is only available online and not published:

Ginsberg, Allen. “Howl.” Poetry Foundation,
www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/49303. Accessed on 28
Feb. 2019.

Electronic sources citing references

General reference format:

Author, A. A. & Author B. B. (Date of publication). Title of page [Format description when necessary]. Retrieved from https://www.someaddress.com/full/url/

Personal Interviews and Social Media citation in APA

For personal interview citation, use:

According to APA manual, do not include personal communication in References list. Simply parenthetically cite communicator’s name, phrase “personal communication,” and date of communication in your main text only. See below:

(J. Hicks, personal communication, February 14, 2019).
J. P. Hicks also claimed that many college students face difficulties with APA style (personal communication, February 14, 2019).

For social media sources, Include title of the message, and the URL of source newsgroup or discussion board. Remember that titles for items in online communities (e.g. blogs, newsgroups, forums) are not italicized. If author’s name is not available, provide the screen name. If possible, provide the URL where cited message is archived (e.g. “Message posted to…, archived at…”). See this example:

Stolt, R. S. (2009, May 12). Online Security Expert Opinion [Msg 125]. Message posted
to https://yoursite.com/forum/messages/securityexperts.html

Blogs and Magazines citation in APA style

For online blogs, always include message title with a working web link. Once again, titles for items in online communities (e.g. blogs, newsgroups, forums) are not italicized! If no author name is known, use the screen name.

Songs and Movies, Youtube APA citation

For music recordings, citing format is:

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).
Cobain, K. (1991). Something in the way [Recorded by Nirvana]. On Nevermind [CD].
Seattle, USA: Geffen Records.

For movies and video sources, see this example:

Gordon, L. D. (Producer), & McTiernan, J., A. F. (Director). (1988). Die Hard [Motion
picture]. United States: Twentieth Century Fox.

Youtube APA citation:

Author, A. A. [Screen name]. (year, month day). Title of video [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/yourlink/

Lectures and Presentations citations /

Presentation reference should include Author’s surname and Initial, Year of publication. Title, Format, Location. Example:

Norris, C. (2013). Recovering from PTSD. Presentation, Los Angeles, Ca.

Conference citing in APA follows this format:

Seattle Insurance Law Associates Conference (Norris, 2013).
Norris, C. (2013). Seattle Insurance Law Associates Conference

.

APA style for translated books citations

Using translated books, follow this template:

Translator Surname, A. (Trans.). (YEAR). Book title: Subtitle (# ed.). Place of publication: Publisher.

There are many more citation examples that you may easily get help with from APA citation generator or asking our APA format citation experts at EduBirdie.

Conclusion: APA Format Safety Rules

Wrapping up APA citation guide, we want to remind that even if an ordinary college student uses APA citation generator, it is better to be safe and know APA format basic rules well. Even APA citation machine can make mistakes as a generator, EduBirdie expert writers won’t. Turning to writing experts, any student can receive timely help online 24/7 and choose skilled writer that will fit personal academic requirements and strict deadlines. Thanks to EduBirdie writing experts, students can follow these safety rules, including:

  • Proofreading and sources conversion to APA format styles
  • Writing templates creation
  • Help with Abstract and Title page
  • Footnotes inclusion and specific links assistance
  • Grammar, punctuation, and plagiarism check
  • Keywords, ABC sorting, and academic applicability references check

APA Format FAQ

What do I do if required information for APA citation is missing? Can you help me?

Absolutely! Any citation type can be nailed down by EduBirdie writing experts. Choose the most fitting writer from experts list and share any challenging format tasks! You can also use our APA citation generator for help!

Can you provide me with an APA template and examples of Title Page and Abstract?

Yes! Our writers have helpful templates for any format and can assist you with format example, suited to particular assignments.

Can my APA paper be checked for accuracy?

Yes, this is what proofreading professionals do. Choose one of EduBirdie expert writers!

I have sources, but they are in MLA / Chicago / Harvard format. Can you help me turn them to APA?

Yes, such service is possible! Just share your sources and assignment’s requirements with professional writers and get things done in time! Additionally, such task is done by APA citations generator machine.

How to translate another language quote in APA?

Let’s review real-life APA translation example:

Original Dutch language passage:

“De meeste leraren op school zijn man en het beïnvloedt de vaderfiguur.” (Frowijn, 2014, p. 332).

Translated quotation that appears in APA paper:

Most school teachers are male and it influences the father figure role. (Frowijn, 2014, p. 332).

In reference list, provide citation for chosen work in its original language. Next, provide an English translation of work’s title in square brackets after provided foreign-language title, without italics. An example for References page:

Frowijn, L. (2014). Onderwijsmethoden in Nederlandse provincies. [Education methods in the Dutch provinces]. Nederlands Staatsblad van Psychologie / Dutch National Psychology Journal, 46, 327–336. http://dx.doi.org/

Where should I put APA citations in my research paper assignment?

As a rule, citation should be put right after some statement is made that has to be supported by quoting. Alternatively, a student is allowed to starting paper’s paragraph with quotes that support main idea that follows. In general terms, most college professors in the United States do not recommend putting citations at the end of assignment’s paragraphs. Use APA citation generator for help!