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Documentation in the Style of the American Psychological Association (APA) An Introduction to Citing and Referencing According to the 6 th Edition of the APA Publication Manual Prepared by the staff of the UHCL Writing Center September, 2010
Overview This presentation introduces APA guidelines as described in the 6 th edition of the association’s manual. We begin with a description of in-text citations and conclude with an explanation of reference page formatting and reference page entries. If you have used the 5 th edition of the APA, you will notice changes, especially regarding documentation of electronic/Internet sources. Note: This presentation is intended to serve as an introduction to APA style. It is not intended to replace the manual. Any writer who is working with APA style should own and refer frequently to the most recent APA manual.
In-text Citation: The Author–Date System When citing a work in your paper, include the author’s last name and the date of publication. Reasons behind these guidelines are as follows: 1) APA references mask the author’s gender because the style values gender neutrality. 2) APA style highlights the publication date of material because in the fields in which APA is used it is important to work with recent material. Author’s name in text: Put the year in parentheses following the author’s name. Example: Johnson (2008) argues for the continuation of... Author’s name in reference: Put the author and date (separated by a comma) in parentheses at the end of the cited segment. Example: In a recent study of chemical reactions,... (Johnson, 2008). Quoted material in text: Enclose quotations of fewer than 40 words in double quotation marks (do not indent or block off). In parentheses, include the page number of the quoted text preceded by “p.”. Example: Johnson (2008) found that "earlier studies on reactions could not be verified” (p. 32). Author’s name in text: Put the year in parentheses following the author’s name. Example: Johnson (2008) argues for the continuation of... Author’s name in reference: Put the author and date (separated by a comma) in parentheses at the end of the cited segment. Example: In a recent study of chemical reactions,... (Johnson, 2008). Quoted material in text: Enclose quotations of fewer than 40 words in double quotation marks (do not indent or block off). In parentheses, include the page number of the quoted text preceded by “p.”. Example: Johnson (2008) found that "earlier studies on reactions could not be verified” (p. 32).
Long or “Block” Quotations Manage direct quotations longer than 40 words as a block: 1.Start block quotation on a new line. 2.Indent the quote ½ inch from the left margin—all subsequent lines should also be indented. 3.Maintain double-spacing throughout the quote. 4.Do not use quotation marks. 5.Place the in-text citation after the closing punctuation. Jones's (2007) study found the following: Students often had difficulty using APA style, especially when it was their first time citing sources. This difficulty could be attributed to the fact that many students failed to purchase a style manual or to ask their teacher for individual help. (p. 199) Jones's (2007) study found the following: Students often had difficulty using APA style, especially when it was their first time citing sources. This difficulty could be attributed to the fact that many students failed to purchase a style manual or to ask their teacher for individual help. (p. 199)
Paraphrasing and Citation Each time you paraphrase an author, you need to credit the source in the text. Page numbers are encouraged, but not required. As stated in the sixth edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA, 2010), the ethical principles of scientific publication are designed to ensure the integrity of scientific knowledge and to protect the intellectual property of others. As the Publication Manual explains, authors are expected to correct the record if they discover errors in their publication; they are also expected to give credit to others for their prior work when it is quoted or paraphrased.
What to do if no author is provided When a work’s author is designated as “Anonymous,” cite the word Anonymous followed by a comma and the date. When no author is identified, cite the first few words of the reference entry. (This will usually be the first few words of the title.) Example:...given the number asking for free care (“Study Finds,” 2007). Example:... there were only a handful left at the scene (Anonymous, 1998).
Quoted material from an Internet source without pagination If paragraph numbers are provided, use them in place of page numbers. Example: Basu and Jones (2007) suggest the need for an “intellectual... cyberspace” (para. 4). If neither page nor paragraph number is provided, but headings are used, cite the appropriate heading and the number of the paragraph following it. Note: You will need to count the paragraphs yourself. Example: Verbunt (2008) found that “the level... condition” (Discussion section, para. 1).
Quoted material from an Internet source without pagination, cont. Example: According to Golan (2007), “Empirical... behavior” (“Mandatory Labeling Has Targeted,” para.4). (The original heading was “Mandatory Labeling Has Targeted Information Gaps and Social Objectives.”) Note: For a more complete discussion of this topic, see pp of the APA manual. Example: According to Golan (2007), “Empirical... behavior” (“Mandatory Labeling Has Targeted,” para.4). (The original heading was “Mandatory Labeling Has Targeted Information Gaps and Social Objectives.”) Note: For a more complete discussion of this topic, see pp of the APA manual. If neither page nor paragraph is provided and headings are too long to be cited in full, use a shortened heading with quotation marks. Note: You will need to count the paragraphs yourself.
Mechanics of the References page(s) Formatting the page: Center the word References at the top of the page. Double space all lines. indent the second (and following) lines of each reference entry ½ inch. (This is called a hanging indent.) To maintain gender anonymity, use only the author’s initials. Put the date of publication in parentheses following the author’s name and initials. Punctuating titles: Do not italicize, underline, or put quotes around the titles of shorter works such as journal articles or essays. Italicize titles of longer works such as books and journals. In titles of articles and books, capitalize only the first word of titles, subtitles, and proper names. Capitalize important words in titles of periodicals/journals.
Works taken from the Internet Two important changes in how to construct the References section entries when works come from the Internet: Previous editions required a retrieval date for online sources. The 6 th edition no longer requires a retrieval date. The 6 th edition discusses a new way of locating online material—the digital object identifier, or DOI. The DOI, now used by 2600 publishers, is a unique series of numbers assigned to online books and journal articles. The series of numbers, usually found on the first page of an electronic document, should be used to replace the URL in an entry in the References section. If DOI is not available, use the URL. (For more information on the DOI see pages 188 and 198 of the APA manual.)
Using the DOI Herst-Damm, K. L. (2005). Volunteer support and terminally ill patients. Health Psychology, 24, doi: / To find an article using the DOI, go to or and type in the doi.http://www.doi.orghttp://www.crossref.org Once you locate the abstract for your article, you will be able to retrieve the article. (In some cases, you will have to pay for the article.)
On-line journal articles and the DOI Herst-Damm, K. L. (2005). Volunteer support and terminally ill patients. Health Psychology, 24, doi: / Journal article with DOI: Locate the DOI on the first page of the database reference. Bernstein, M. (2002). 10 tips on writing the living web. A List Apart: For People Who Make Websites, 149. Retrieved from Journal article with no DOI: If the database does not provide a DOI, supply the URL.
Articles in periodicals Basic Form List the author’s last name first, followed by initials. Add publication year in parentheses. Then, list the title with only the first word and proper nouns capitalized. Include the periodical title and volume number in italics, followed by the page numbers in which the article is found. Alexander, R. A., Christian, A. B., & Singh, I. G. (2009). New tips for the care of tubes after feedings. Australian Journal of Geriatric Nursing, 15,
Articles in journals paginated by volume Journals that are paginated by volume begin with page 1 in issue 1, and continue numbering issue 2 where issue 1 ended, etc. Harlow, H. F. (1983). Fundamentals for preparing psychology journal articles. Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology, 55, Articles in journals paginated by issue Scruton, R. (1996). The eclipse of listening. The New Criterion, 15 (30), 5-13.
Articles in magazines Henry, W. A., III. (1990, April 9). Making the grade in today's schools. Time, 135, Magazine article Online magazine Clay, R. (2008, June). Science vs. ideology: Psychiatrists fight back. Monitor on Psychology, 39(6). Retrieved from
Articles in newspapers Schultz, S. (2005, December 28). Calls made to strengthen state energy policies. The Country Today, pp. 1A, 2A. Note: Precede page numbers for newspaper articles with p. or pp. Single page numbers are preceded by “p.” and multiple pages are preceded by “pp.” Newspaper article Online newspaper article Brody, J. E. (2007, December 11). Mental reserves keep brain agile. The New York Times. Retrieved from http//www.nytimes.com As prices surge, Thailand pitches OPEC-style rice cartel. (2008, May 5). The Wall Street Journal, p. A9. Newspaper article, no author, in print
Books Basic Form As with the periodicals list, the author’s last name comes first, followed by initials, and then the publication year. Again, only first words and proper nouns are capitalized. If the title is in two parts, capitalize the first word of the second part. Sternglass, M. S. (1997). Time to know them: A longitudinal study of writing and learning at the college level. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Print book Electronic book without DOI De Huff, E.W. (n. d.). Taytay’s tales: Traditional Pueblo Indian tales. Retrieved from Note: When a work shows no date use the initials n.d.
Edited book with an author or authors: Plath, S. (2000). The unabridged journals (K.V. Kukil, Ed.). New York: Anchor. Duncan, G. J., & Brooks-Gunn, J. (Eds.). (1997). Consequences of growing up poor. New York: Russell Sage Foundation. Edited book with no author: Edited collections Article or chapter in an edited book: Barnes, C. K., & Neuhauser, H. M. (2005). The art of leadership. In J. Daniels & J. Webb (Eds.), Manual for military officers (pp ). New York: Prentice-Hall.
Encyclopedia entries Bergmann, P. G. (1993). Relativity. In The new encyclopedia britannica (Vol. 26, pp ). Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica. Online Encyclopedias and Dictionaries Feminism. (n.d.). In Encyclopedia Britannica online. Retrieved from Print Encyclopedia
Works with no surname for the author: Heuristic. (n.d.). In Merriam-Webster's collegiate dictionary (11th ed.). Retrieved from If there is no author identified, move the title to the author position, alphabetize using the first word of the title. Note: In the following example, you’ll see the initials “n.d.” Use this abbreviation whenever no date is provided.
Works with no surname for the author, cont. If the author is identified as “Anonymous,” begin with Anonymous as if it were the author’s name. If the author is a group such as an association or government agency, use the full official name of the group in place of the author. Note: In the following example, you’ll see that the word “author” is in the place where the publisher’s name goes. When the document is self- published, handle it this way. Employee Benefit Research Institute. (1992, February). Sources of health insurance and characteristics of the uninsured (Issue Brief No. 123). Washington DC: Author.
Handling author names Last name first, followed by the author’s initials. Works by a single author Berndt, T. J. (2002). Friendship quality and social development. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 11, Works by two authors List by their last names and initials. Use an ampersand (&). Wegener, D. T., & Petty, R. E. (1994). Mood management across affective states. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 66,
Handling author names, cont. Works by three to seven authors List by last names and initials. Commas separate names and the ampersand (&) precedes the last name. Kernis, M. H., Cornell, D. P., Sun, C. R., Berry, A., & Harlow, T. (1993). There's more to self-esteem. Journal of Personality, 65, Works by more than seven authors List the first six authors by name and initial, apply three dots (ellipses) and end with the last author’s name and initials. Gilbert, D.G., McClern, J.F., Rabin, N.E., Sugai, C., Plath, L.C., Asgaard, G.... Botros, N. (2004). Effects of quitting smoking on EEG activation. Nicotine Research, 6,
Secondary Sources Secondary sources are the same thing as indirect quotes in MLA. The APA manual recommends that secondary sources be used sparingly. The APA manual (APA, 2010) provides the following example of how to cite a secondary source: perhaps you read a work by Nicholson, and he quotes Allport’s diary. You want to quote Allport, but you never read his actual diary. APA style says to list the Nicholson reference in the reference list (that is the work you actually read). However, in the text, refer to Allport as follows: Allport’s diary (as cited in Nicholson, 2003).
Conclusion This presentation has covered many of the commonly used resources in APA documents. If you are using a source not covered here, please consult the APA manual. The manual includes directions for a wide variety of sources including the following: Government reports Books in translation Doctoral dissertations Meetings and symposia Book/movie reviews Movies and music recordings Legal documents
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