APA Citation Guide

What is APA Style?

The APA (American Psychological Association) has created a set of standards for writing and citing sources commonly used when writing papers in the social sciences. The APA has published the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th edition, second printing) to define these standards.

When should I cite sources?

  1. When directly quoting from another writer or researcher's work
  2. When paraphrasing another's ideas
  3. When referring to others' results or research findings
  4. When describing someone else's idea or work

Why should I cite sources?

  1. To indicate that you are drawing upon other researchers' ideas
  2. To indicate which of the ideas in your work are drawn from these other researchers
  3. So that your readers, including your instructor, can find these original works
  4. To avoid plagiarism and potential academic punishment!

For more information on the APA and the APA manual, please visit:

http://www.apastyle.org/index.aspx

In-Text Citations

When citing references in your paper, specify the author of the work you are referencing, the year of publication, and the number of the page from which the quote or paraphrase was taken.

The following are some examples of how to cite sources when quoting the material:

"Customized webpages follow Web 2.0 standards that can be applied to instructional design" (Cat, 2010, p. 199).

According to Business Cat, "customized learning modules would allow for expanded student engagement" (2010, p. 200).

 

For more examples not included here, please visit the Citation Style Chart available on Purdue's Online Writing Lab.

Reference List

Sources cited in your paper must appear on a reference list. This page should meet the following guidelines:

Format

Authors

Write out the last name and first initials for each author of a given work. 

Titles

Capitalize the first words of the title and subtitle of each source on the reference list, as well as any proper names.

Italicizing

Do not italicize titles of journal articles or essays.

Order

Indentation

The first line of a citation is flush on the left margin and each subsequent line indented one-half inch (one tab).

 

Image of APA References Page

 

To see a specific example, courtesy of the American Psychological Association please visit:

http://flash1r.apa.org/apastyle/basics/data/resources/references-example.pdf

 

Citing Books

Citing books requires the following:

With those requirements you can cite your book sources as the examples below illustrate:

Author Last Name, Author First and Middle Initial. (Year of Publication). Title of work in italics:

Capitalized subtitle if appropriate. Location of Publisher: Publisher Name.

 Planet, C. (1990). Captain Planet, he's our hero! New York, NY: Planeteers Press.

 

  

 

Can't find the example you need? Check out Purdue University's Online Writing Lab for more examples:

http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/08/

 

Citing Online Sources

Citing online sources requires the following:

The example below shows the general format for citing online sources:

Last name, First initials. (Year [use n.d. if no date is present]). Article or page title. Larger

Publication Title, volume or issue number if available or needed. Retrieved from

http://url address

This example shows how to cite an entire website: 

Zombie Prevention Group. (2012). Zombie Survival Plan. Zombies Task Force. Retrieved from

http://www.zombiesareafteryou.org/ZPG/survivalplan.html

While this example shows how to cite a YouTube video:

Screen name. (year, month day). Title of video [Video file]. Retrieved from http://url of video

saraj00n. (2011, April 5). Nyan Cat [original] [Video file]. Retrieved from

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QH2-TGUlwu4

The activity below illustrates how to cite a webpage.

Can't find the example you need? Check out Purdue University's Online Writing Lab for more examples:

http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/10/

 

Citing Database Articles

Citing articles from databases requires the following:

As a student at Kansas State University, you have access to databases on our databases page

The general format for citing sources from an online database is as follows:

Author's Last Name, First Initial. Middle Initial., & Second Author's Last Name, First

Initial., Middle Initial. (Date of Publication). Title of the article cited. Title of the

Journal, volume number, page range. Retrieved from http://www.url.com/insert/here/

Montana, A. T. (1983). Every dog has his day. Miami Journal of Movies, 1, 10-20.

Retrieved from http://www.miamimoviejournal/scarface/tonymontana/bio/

Check out the activity below as another example:

  

Can't find the example you need? Check out Purdue University's Online Writing Lab for more examples:

http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/10/

 

Citing Print Articles

Citing print articles requires the following:

With this information, you can create citations such as the ones below:

Lucas, G. W. (2010, June). Jar Jar Binks: Savior of the galaxy? All About Star Wars,

150, 19-40.

Spielberg, S. A. (2008, July 6th). You can survive a nuclear bomb in a fridge! Entertainment

Weekly, 258, 20-35.

 Or even create an example for an article from a daily newspaper:

Bucket, M. R. (1992, July 10th). I am buckets of fun! Really I am!

The New York Times, p. B4.

 

  

 

Citing Database Articles

Citing articles from databases requires the following:

As a student at Kansas State University, you have access to databases on our databases page

The general format for citing sources from an online database is as follows:

Author's Last Name, First Initial. Middle Initial., & Second Author's Last Name, First

Initial., Middle Initial. (Date of Publication). Title of the article cited. Title of the

Journal, volume number, page range. Retrieved from http://www.url.com/insert/here/

Montana, A. T. (1983). Every dog has his day. Miami Journal of Movies, 1, 10-20.

Retrieved from http://www.miamimoviejournal/scarface/tonymontana/bio/

Check out the activity below as another example:

  

 

Can't find the example you need? Check out Purdue University's Online Writing Lab for more examples:

http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/10/

 

Citing TV, Movies and Music

You can cite various sources including movies, documentaries, music recordings, TV shows and other media.

Citing these sources can require the following:

With this information you can cite a single Television Series Episode as the example below shows:

Writer's Last Name, First Initial. Middle Initial. (Writer), Director's Last Name, First

Initial. Middle Initial. (Director). (Date of Publication). Title of episode (Television series

episode). In First Initial. Producer Last Name (Producer), Series title in italics. City,

state of origin: Studio or distributor.

Molina, J. W. & Whedon, J. H. (Writers). Kroeker, A. W. (Director). (2002).

Ariel (Television series episode). In J. Whedon (Producer), Firefly. Los Angeles, CA:

Mutant Enemy.

Or you can cite the song "Not Afraid" by Eminem like the example below:

Mathers, M. B. (2010). Not Afraid (Recorded by Eminem). On Not Afraid [CD].

Santa Monica, CA: Aftermath Entertainment.

Finally check out the following activity for an example of a motion picture citation in APA format.

  

For more specific examples involving audiovisual sources not covered in this section, please go to Purdue University's Online Writing Lab at:

http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/11/

More Resources

For further information on citing resources in APA format, please check out these links:

Citation Style Chart- Provided by Purdue University's Online Writing Lab, this citation style chart gives details about the ways to cite various sources.

Refworks- K-State Libraries' subscribes to this tool that lets you build your own database of citations and then create bibliographies/reference lists based on those citations in APA, MLA, or other styles.

Zotero- Zotero is a free tool for managing your citations. Zotero lives on your browser (Firefox, Chrome, Safari) and plays well with RefWorks.

Cornell University Library APA Guide- Cornell University Library's website has an excellent guide on formatting your paper and citations for MLA format.

Citation Builder- North Carolina State University Libraries has a citation builder that helps you create citations in APA or MLA format.

Purdue University's Online Writing Lab (OWL)- Purdue University's Online Writing Lab has great resources for assisting with your writing needs.

MLA Style- The official website of the Modern Language Association has a wealth of resources and tutorials on all the ins and outs of the MLA format.

APA Style- The official website of the American Psychological Association has a wealth of resources and tutorials on all the ins and outs of APA format.