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APA Style Help

Resources to help with APA Style formatting

Reference Page (Section 6.22-6.31)

  • Use "References" as the title and it should be capitalized, bolded, and centered at the top of a new page at the end of your document.
  • Contains the following elements:
    • Author
    • Publication date
    • Title of the work (journal article title, television show episode, etc.)
    • Source (journal title, television show title, etc.)
    • Volume and issue (for journal articles)
    • Page numbers
  • Double space all references (both within and between reference entries)
  • Use a hanging indent, where the first line of each entry is flush left and the following lines are indented by 0.5" (See link below to learn how to set up)
  • Alphabetize references letter-by-letter, beginning with the author's last name.  If the authors are the same, go by the publication year.
    • Works by the same first author
      • Older publications first
      • Single entries first

Reference Elements

Learn about the four reference elements of an APA Style reference: the author, date, title, and source.

Academic Writer

© 2016 American Psychological Association.

Reference List

Learn how to write a References section, including how to ensure entries are accurate, complete, consistently styled, and up to date.

Academic Writer

© 2016 American Psychological Association.

Alphabetizing the Reference List

Learn how to arrange entries in the reference list, including how to alphabetize multiple works by the same author, the same author and date of publication, different authors with the same surname, group authors, or no author.

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© 2016 American Psychological Association.


Helpful Links:

Print Sources

Books/Chapters (Section 7.02)

  • Titles of books and chapters are only capitalized on the first letter of the title and subtitle, along with proper nouns.
  • Book
    • If authored: Lastname, F.M. (CopyrightYear). Title of book. Location: Publisher.
    • If edited: Lastname, F.M. (Ed.). (CopyrightYear). Title of book. Location: Publisher.
    • Multiple editors: Lastname1, F., & Lastname2. F. M. (Eds.). (CopyrightYear). Title of book. Location: Publisher.
       
    • Example
      Shaw, H. (1986). Errors in English and ways to correct them: The practical approach to correct word usage, sentence structure, spelling, punctuation, and grammar (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Harper & Row.
  • Book Chapter
    • Lastname, F.M. (CopyrightYear). Chapter title. In Title of book (pp. #-#). Location: Publsher.
       
    • Example
      Shaw, H. (1986). Understanding what writing is. In Errors in English and ways to correct them: The practical approach to correct word usage, sentence structure, spelling, punctuation, and grammar (3rd ed., pp. 3-7). New York, NY: Harper & Row.

Book Reference

Learn how to format references for whole books, including both authored books and edited books.

Academic Writer

© 2016 American Psychological Association.

Book Chapter Reference

Learn how to format references for chapters in edited books, meaning those books where each chapter is written by a different author (cite the whole book if the same author has written all chapters).

Academic Writer

© 2016 American Psychological Association.


Journal Articles (Section 7.01)

  • DOI number is recommended when citing articles. If not listed, try locating it at crossref.org. Otherwise, it can be omitted. 
  • The volume number is also italicized.
  • The issue number is only needed if pagination begins at 1 for every issue; rather than continuing across the volume.
  • Journal name is upper & lower cased, while only the first word of the article names is upper cased.
     
  • Lastname, F.M. (CopyrightYear). Title of article. Title of Periodical, V(I), #-#. http://dx.doi.org/#####
     
  • Example with DOI
    Stellmack, M. A., Manor, J. E., Massey, A. R., Schmitz, J.A. P., & Konheim-Kalkstein, Y. L. (2009). An assessment of reliability and validity of a rubric for grading APA-style introductions. Teaching in Psychology36(2), 102-107. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00986280902739776
     
  • Example without DOI:
    White, C. M. (1937). Freshmen and the libraryJournal of Higher Education8(1), 39-42.

Journal Article Reference

Learn how to format references for journal articles, including those published in print, online, or retrieved from research databases.

Academic Writer

© 2016 American Psychological Association.

Online Sources

E-Book (Section 7.02)

  • Follows same basic rules as Print Books
  • A retrieval statement replaces publisher information.
     
  • If available in print: Lastname, F.M. (CopyrightYear). Title of book [Electronic Provider version]. Retrieved from http://www.
  • If only available electronically: Lasname, F.M. (CopyrightYear). Title of book. Retrieved from http://www.
     
  • Example
    Angelou, M. (2009). I know why the caged bird sings [Kindle version]. Retrieved from http://www.amazon.com

Electronic Journal Articles (Section 7.01)

  • Follows same basic rules as Print Journal Articles
  • If there is no DOI, use a retrieval statement with the homepage URL
     
  • Lastname, F.M. (CopyrightYear). Title of article. Title of Periodical, V(I), #-#. http://dx.doi.org/#####
     
  • Example with DOI
    Stellmack, M. A., Manor, J. E., Massey, A. R., Schmitz, J.A. P., & Konheim-Kalkstein, Y. L. (2009). An assessment of reliability and validity of a rubric for grading APA-style introductions. Teaching in Psychology36(2), 102-107. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00986280902739776
     
  • Example without DOI:
    White, C. M. (1937). Freshmen and the libraryJournal of Higher Education8(1), 39-42. Retrieved from http://www.ashe.ws/

Electronic Sources and Locator Information

Learn how to use the two types of electronic retrieval information found in references, digital object identifiers (DOIs) and uniform resource locators (URLs), including how to cite documents retrieved from research databases and websites.

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© 2016 American Psychological Association.


Internet Sources (Section 7.11)

  • Blog posts/Video posts
    • Use standard author format, if name is known. Otherwise, use screenname.
    • Use the full date of the post (month, day, year).
    • The title of the internet source uses title case.
    • Use quotations for a thread title, followed by type of form in brackets.
    • Retrieval message should have full URL
       
    • Lastname, F.M. (Year, Month Day). Title of post [Post form]. Retrieved from http://www.
       
    • Examples:
      GVSU Libraries. (2013, August 12). APA book citation [Videoblog post]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIQNJ9E1EQ4 

      Lee, C. (2014, January 17). Timestamps for audiovisual materials in APA style [Blog post]. Retrieved from APA Style Blog: http://blog.apastyle.org/pastyle/2014/01/timestamps-for-audiovisual-materials-in-apa-style.html 

Website Reference

Learn how to format references for any material found on websites, including lecture notes or PowerPoint slides.

Academic Writer

© 2016 American Psychological Association.

Blog Post Reference

Learn how to format references for blog posts, including those published by authors using real names, user names, or a combination of both.

Academic Writer

© 2016 American Psychological Association.

Audiovisual Media Sources

  • Films
    • List the director's name in inverted format, followed by "Director" in parentheses.  This applies to any other significant contributors to the film if there is no director listed (producers, writer, etc.).
      • ex: Selick, H. (Director).
  • YouTube videos
    • List the real name of the person who created the video and list their account username in brackets.  If the creator's real name is unknown, only list their account username without brackets.
      • ex: Oum, M. [Rooster Teeth Animation].
      • ex: Rooster Teeth Animation.
  • PowerPoint presentations
    • List the author of the presentation in inverted format.
      • ex: Smith, J.
  • Television episodes
    • List the writer and director of the episode and describe their roles in parentheses following each name.  If an individual had more than one role, list both roles with "&" in between them.
      • ex: Selick, H. (Director), & Burton, T. (Writer).
  • Songs
    • List the name of the recording artist in inverted format, or the name of the recording group.  Do not abbreviate the name if the artist has a single name.
      • ex: Adele; The Beatles; Keys, A.

Miscellaneous Sources

 

Dissertation or Thesis Sources

  • If the dissertation or thesis is published, use database, archive, or website from which you retrieved the source.
    • ex: Lastname, F. M. (CopyrightYear). Publication title (Publication No. #) [Type of dissertation/thesis, Institution Name]. Source Name. https://???????
  • If the dissertation or thesis is unpublished, use the institution that awarded the author's degree as the source in title case.
    • ex: Lastname, F. M. (CopyrightYear). Publication title [Unpublished dissertation/thesis type]. Institution Name.
  • Do not use "retrieved from" when including the URL.

Legal Materials (Section A7.1)

  • Court Decisions (Section A7.03)
    • U.S. Supreme Court
      • Name v. Name, Volume # U.S. Page # (Copyright Year). https://www.###
    • U.S. Circuit Court
      • "Name v. Name," Volume # F. Page # (Court Year). https://www.###
    • U.S. District Court
      • Name v. Name, Volume # F. Supp. Page #, (Court Year), https://www.###
    • State Court
      • Name v. Name, Volume # Reporter Page # (Court Year). https://www.###
  • Statutes (Section A7.04)
    • Name of Act, Title # Source § section # (Year). https://www.###
  • Federal Testimony
    • Testimony title, ### Cong. (Year) (testimony of the Testifier Name). https://www.###
  • Federal Hearing
    • Title of hearing, ### Cong. (Year). https://www.###
  • Federal Report
    • Use "S." and "H.R." to represent the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives.  The number symbols in this template represent where the report number should be placed.
      • ex: S. Rep. No. ###-### (Year). https://www.###

 

For more information on citing different types of legal sources, click on the link below.