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American Psychological Association (APA) Citation Style Guide

The purpose of this guide is to instruct users on some of the rules of the American Psychological Association (APA) Citation Style.

New 7th Edition Has Been Released!

The 7th edition of the APA Manual was released on October 1, 2019. There were many different changes outlined in this new edition. 

Some of the major changes:

  • If you are citing a journal article from one of the library databases, you do not have to include the link to the article in the citation. Cite it like a print journal. 
    • Many times these links are only accessible to those who have an institutional subscription to the library database. This means some readers of the paper may not be able to access the item through the link so it will be useless.  
  • When citing books, you do not need to include the location of the publisher, just the location name. 
  • Now up to 20 authors can be included in the citations in the reference list. 
    • In the 6th edition, only 7 authors were allowed. 
  • In terms of in-text citations, the major change is the number of authors needed for a reference.
    • In the 6th edition for three to five authors, you put the three authors once and then et al. for subsequent mentions of the citation.  
    • In the 7th edition, you only need to mention the first author and then et al when you have more than two author.
      • The only exception to this is if there is more than one citation with the same first author, then you would mention all of the authors. 
  • Only one space is needed after a period instead of two. 
  • The manual also includes a more extensive list of how to cite social media and other electronic references. 
  • Chapter five is devoted to Bias free language guidelines. Some of the highlights in this chapter include:
    • Use of they/them in a singular tense
    • Proper terminology for identifying various groups. 
    • Strategies for reducing bias in writing. 

These changes are interspersed in this guide when appropriate. If you want to read more about these changes, review the 7th edition of the APA manual which you can check out at the Circulation Desk. 

Purpose of this guide

The following is a guide to the  Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association(APA). Examples are given to illustrate how various types of publications are formatted in the APA style, including:

  • Books
  • Journals
  • eBooks
  • Websites

The 7th edition of APA style was recently released in October 1, 2019. The guide will include examples from the 6th and 7th editions as various faculty may use either edition.

These are only a few examples of APA citation style. For other citation examples, consult the 6th edition Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (2009). We have a copy available for checkout in our 2-Hour Reserves Collection at the Circulation Desk.

Before we begin...

One of the reasons people hate creating citations is that they wait until they are finishing with everything to create the citations. If you format them correctly as you go along with writing your paper, it can cause a lot less headaches. 

Parts of an article citation:

Author Name (s)

  • Article Title
  • Journal Name
  • Volume and issue
  • Year
  • Page Numbers
  • DOI or URL with date accessed if accessed electronically

One way to cause yourself less stress is to either write this information down or type it in somewhere when you are doing the searching part of the research. Sometimes people get what they need and then try to create citations after they have gotten rid or lost the articles. Then they have to go hunting for the information again when they are stressed about finishing their project or paper. 

To help you collect the right information as you are searching, use the worksheet below. It is a Word document with a table for each article, book, or website. Since it is a Word document, you can copy and paste the information into the tables and then format and organize the informationwhen it comes time to create the citations.