APA Style Guide

The following guidelines are based on information found in the APA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 6th Edition, which is published by the Modern Language Association of America. If you need information that is not covered in this handout, please refer to the MLA Handbook or ask a writing advisor at English Works!

 

Paper Format In-text Citations Multiple Authors
Works with no Authors Primary Sources Secondary Sources
Electronic Sources Quotes of 40 Words
Personal Interviews Reference Format REF: Articles
REF: Books REF: Electronic Sources REF: Nonprint Media

 

Paper Format

  • Margins: one inch on all sides
  • Double-spaced
  • 12 points type font size
  • Indent (or five spaces) the first word of each paragraph
  • Do not give the first line an additional indent
  • Provide a double-spaced entry in the top left corner of the first page that lists your name, your instructor's name, the course, and the date
  • Pages are numbered 1, 2, 3... starting with the title page, and including the reference page
  • Header: One or two words of your title and the page number in the top right-hand corner

Always check with your instructor to see if he or she has any different requirements or specifications for your paper.

 

In-text Citations

APA guidelines require that the writer give credit for ALL information whether it be a direct quote or a paraphrase. Generally, you are required to give the following information: author, year of publication, and page number for any direct quote. For paraphrases, you are only required to give the author and year of publication, though it is suggested that you also provide the page number. You should use p. (or pp. for multiple pages) before the page numbers in in-text citations.

Direct Quote He stated, "Apes can gesture, but do not understand the grammatical structure of American Sign Language" (Smith, 1994, p. 345).
Paraphrase It has been shown that apes do not actually understand the syntax and structure of ASL (Smith, 1994).

 

If there is no publication date, cite the author’s last name followed by a comma and n.d. (for no date).

Direct Quote from a source with no publication date "Doctors have been prescribing a new drug to treat social anxiety" (Geraldi, n.d., p. 24).

 

If you include the author's name as part of the sentence, just give the year in parenthesis directly after the author's name, and put the page number in parenthesis after the quote.

Direct Quote with author's name in the sentence According to Jack Gannon (1988), "The protest provided a wonderful opportunity for those interpreters to assist the deaf community" (p. 94).
Paraphrase with author's name in the sentence Jack Gannon (1988) explained that the DPN protest gave interpreters a chance to help Gallaudet's deaf community.

 

If you include the author's name and date of publication as part of the sentence in which you use a direct quote, you should put the page number in parenthesis after the quote. If you include the author's name and date as part of a paraphrased sentence, you don't have to put anything additional in parenthesis. You can, if you chose to, provide the page number after the paraphrased information, but the page number is not required.

Direct Quote with author's name and date in the sentence In 1988, Jack Gannon explained that "the protest provided a wonderful opportunity for those interpreters to assist the deaf community" (p. 94).
Paraphrase with author's name and date in the sentence In 1988, Jack Gannon explained that the DPN protest gave interpreters a chance to help Gallaudet's deaf community.

 

If you refer to the same text more than once within one paragraph, give the author's name, date, and page number only the first time you cite the source. After the first time, just give the author's name and page number (if it is different from the prior page number). If you cite the same text in two different paragraphs, you need to include the full reference information in both paragraphs.

First reference to a source "Gallaudet's Deaf community earned the respect of deaf communities around the world during their 1988 DPN Protest" (Harding, 1988, p. 86)
Later reference to the same source (in the same paragraph) "Deaf people deserve the right to determine their own leaders, just as hearing people have the right to chose theirs" (Harding, p. 87).

 

If you are using several different works to illustrate one point, you may find it necessary to cite two or more works written by different authors with different dates. In that situation, organize the information alphabetically by the authors' last names, and separate each block of information with a semicolon. Put all the names inside one set of parenthesis.

Citing several different works by different authors at one time Several studies (Burna, 1980; Geraldi, 1988; Kesser & Morals, 1990) indicate that the cure for the common cold is just around the corner.

 

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Multiple Authors

When a source has two or three authors, you should give both (all) authors' last names. Within the parenthetical citation, use & between the authors' names. If you use their names in the sentence, just write out and between their names.

Source with two authors Direct Quote
The Oxford English Dictionary was written "specifically for learners of English as a foreign or second language" (Hornby & Ruse, 1976, p.82).
Source with two authors Paraphrase
Hornby and Ruse (1976) explain that the Oxford English Dictionary was designed to be used mostly by new English users.

 

For a source with three, four or five authors, you cite in the following way:

Source with three, four or five authors The American Red Cross draws negative B blood because it is greatly needed (Kelsa, Becker, and Shultner 44).
Source with three, four or five authors The American Red Cross draws negative B blood because it is greatly needed (Kelsa et al. 44).

 

If a source has 6 or more authors, use the cite in order: (Direct Quote) first author's last name, et al., the date and page number; (Paraphrase) first author's last name, et al., the date.

Source with six or more authors (Direct Quote) "U.S. Congressmen are obsessed with getting re-elected and not concerned enough with making a real difference for their constituents" (Harris, et al., 1997, p. 76).
Source with six or more authors (Paraphrase) Harris, et al. (1997) argue that the United State Congress is too focused on getting re-elected and not focused enough on meeting their constituents' needs.

 

To cite a group author (e.g. association, organization, or government agency) you should spell out the full name for the first reference, give the abbreviation that you will use in brackets ([ ]), then use the abbreviation for later references.

Group author -- first reference "Some people have adverse reactions to the flu shot, such as vomiting, fever, and rashes" (National Institute of Health [NIH], 1999).
Group author -- later reference "The flu shots can only protect people against last year's strand of flu viruses" (NIH, 1999).

 

Works with no Authors

If there is a work with no author named, cite the first few words of the title. Use quotation marks around the title of an article or chapter; italicize the title of a book, brochure, or report.

Unsigned Article Many students become sick their first year of college, as they are introduced to entirely different germs ("Test Results," 1982).
Unsigned Book "Students will hopefully be able to form a bond with their first year roommate, as this can be a friendship that lasts them through life" (College Bound Seniors, 1979, p. 47).

 

If the author is listed as "Anonymous," cite the word Anonymous followed by a comma and the date.

Source by Anonymous Many people who are affected by stress are not even aware of the impact it has on their life (Anonymous, 2000).

 

Primary Sources

Classic Prose (like a novel or a play): Since classic works are generally available in several different books, you will need to include more than just page numbers in a reference. You may also want to include the chapter number, book number, act number, scene number, stanza number and/or line number. You should give the page number first, followed by a semi-colon, then give other identifying information with commas separating each item.

Classic Prose (Ex.1) "Our purpose is to consider what form of political community is best of all for those who are most able to realize their ideal of life" (Aristotle 503; bk.2, pt. 1).
Classic Prose (Ex.2) "The statue had all the appearance of a real girl, so that it seemed to be alive, to want to move, did not modesty forbid" (Ovid 388; bk.10).

 

Poetry and Classic Verse Plays (like Shakespeare's plays): For poems, you should omit the page number altogether. You should instead cite by using the division number (act, scene, canto, book, part) and the line number, with periods separating all the numbers. If there are no line numbers in the poem, simply cite the title of the poem in quotation marks.

Classic Verse "Now the hungry lion roars/And the wolf behowls the moon" (Midsummer 5.1.341-2).
Poetry Robert Hayden poses the question, "...what did I know/of love's austere and lonely offices?" ("Those Winter Sundays").
Poetry without line numbers "Maybe it just sags like a heavy load" ("Harlem").

 

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Secondary Sources

Basically, you cite information from electronic sources the same way that you would cite from a book, article, or interview. If the author is identified, use the author's name for in-text citations. If the electronic source provides page numbers, use those in your in-text citation as well.

Electronic Source with author and page info The weather in Ireland tends to be rainy in June (Kelsea 82).

 

If an electronic source has paragraph numbers instead of page numbers, use them for in-text citations as you would use page numbers, but with two differences: use a comma followed by one space after the name and use the abbreviation par. for a reference to one paragraph (or pars. for a reference to two or more paragraphs).

Electronic Source with author and paragraph info The weather in Ireland tends to be rainy in June (Kelsea, par. 2).

 

You may find electronic information that does not have page or paragraph numbers at all. In this situation, you would simply cite the author's name in parenthesis after your quoted or paraphrased information.

Electronic Source with author, but no page or paragraph info The weather in Ireland tends to be rainy in June (Kelsea).

 

If you are citing from an electronic source that does not provide an author's name, use the title of the source for your in-text citations instead of the author's name. Put the title in quotation marks, and abbreviate long titles to one main word of the title according to how it is listed in your Works Cited page.

Electronic Source with no author info The weather in Ireland tends to be rainy in June ("Traveling" 82).

 

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Electronic Sources

Basically, you cite information from electronic sources the same way that you would cite from a book, article, or interview. If the author is identified, use the author's name for in-text citations. If the electronic source provides page numbers, use those in your in-text citation as well.

Electronic Source with author and page info The weather in Ireland tends to be rainy in June (Kelsea 82).

 

If an electronic source has paragraph numbers instead of page numbers, use them for in-text citations as you would use page numbers, but with two differences: use a comma followed by one space after the name and use the abbreviation par. for a reference to one paragraph (or pars. for a reference to two or more paragraphs).

Electronic Source with author and paragraph info The weather in Ireland tends to be rainy in June (Kelsea, par. 2).

 

You may find electronic information that does not have page or paragraph numbers at all. In this situation, you would simply cite the author's name in parenthesis after your quoted or paraphrased information.

Electronic Source with author, but no page or paragraph info The weather in Ireland tends to be rainy in June (Kelsea).

 

If you are citing from an electronic source that does not provide an author's name, use the title of the source for your in-text citations instead of the author's name. Put the title in quotation marks, and abbreviate long titles to one main word of the title according to how it is listed in your Works Cited page.

Electronic Source with no author info The weather in Ireland tends to be rainy in June ("Traveling" 82).

 

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Quotes of 40 Words

If your quote is more than 40 words, indent the entire paragraph 5 spaces on a separate line and then begin the quote. Continue the double space rule. Do not use quotation marks. Cite it without the period.

Gallaudet University received a lot of publicity during the 1988 DPN Rallies. It was a time when deaf people learned about the strength of their community. According to Jack Gannon (1989):

The student protest that shut down Gallaudet University the week of March 6-13, 1988, accomplished far more than just the selection of the world's first deaf university president. It proved, convincingly, that deaf people could band together effectively for a common cause and succeed. The protest experiences taught deaf people about the needs and values of being more assertive.

It also reaffirmed that the deaf population has a voice worth listening to, and that they will fight to be heard by Gallaudet's Board of Trustees.

 

Personal Interviews

Personal interviews and personal communications (email, group discussions, electronic bulletin boards, telephone conversations) are NOT mentioned at the end of the paper on the list of references. However, they are cited in-text throughout the paper.

For personal communication, you should give the author's full name (first and middle initials followed by last name), the kind of communication, followed by the date of communication.

Personal Communication
(Part 1)
Survivors of the accident gave credit to the team of trained dogs for their rescue (K.L. Myers, personal interview, April 18, 1994).
Personal Communication
(Part 2)
"Parental involvement in a child's education is invaluable" (J. Meyers, TTY conversation, June 14, 1989).
Personal Communication
(Part 3)
"Parents should always know what their child's homework assignments are" (T. Geoffreys, personal email, September 18, 2000).

 

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Reference Format

For a paper done in MLA documentation style, the reference page is called and will be titled as "Works Cited." Here on your Works Cited page, you acknowledge your sources by listing them in an alphabetical order by author's last name on the last page of your paper. Although the Works Cited page appears at the end of your paper, you will draft this section in advance, so that you will have the appropriate information to cite your paper properly.

The general formatting rules for your Works Cited page are as follows:
  • List your sources in an alphabetical order according to the author's last name.
  • If no author is listed, begin with the main word of the article or book title (ignoring A, An, or The).
  • Underline the title of books, magazines, or journals.
  • Quote the title of articles, or any other work that appears within a publication.
  • Format each entry with a hanging indent. A hanging indent means that the first line of the entry remains flush with the left margin, and the subsequent lines are indented 5 spaces to the right. Your word processing software will provide this feature easily.
  • The order of each entry is as follows: -- Author. "Article." Title of Book. City Published: Publisher, Year of Publication.

 

REF: Articles

General format for citing articles and other publications from periodicals is as follows:

  • Author. (date of publication) "Article." Title of Publication, Issue/Volume #, page(s).
Journal Article Buman, J.A. (1993). Finding ways to overcome college stress. Stress Reliever, 24, 12-16.
Magazine Article Posher, N.I. (1992, October 24). How to budget your finances wisely. Money Wise, 432, 13-17.
Newspaper Article Celtan, B. E. (1996, Spring). Gas prices expected to increase. Washington Outlook, 14, pp. 4-5.
Encyclopedia Article Statton. B. (Ed.). (1983). Idioms. The dictionary of deaf culture (4th ed., Vol. 1, pp. 142-156). Washington: Deaf Press.

 

If an article has no author or by an anonymous author, begin the entry with the title. Alphabetize the entry by the main word of the title, ignoring any initial A, An, or The.

Magazine Article with no author "What’s a Prozin?" (22 Oct. 1994) Health News., pp. 32-36.
Newspaper Article with no author "U.S. Troops Go Home Today." (25 Nov. 1993). The World News, A5, pp. 1-2.
Encyclopedia Article with no author Columbia encyclopedia (2nd ed., Vols. 1-45). (2000). Chicago: Columbia Press.

 

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REF: Books

If a book has one author, list by last name, first name and middle initial (if any). If a book has two or three authors, the subsequent authors will be listed by first name, middle initial, and last name, each name separated by a comma.

Book with one author Geissler, E. M. (1998). Pocket guide to cultural assessment (2nd ed.). St. Louis, MO: Mosby.
Book with two authors Jonessey, Vivian R., and Martin O. Engle. (1989). Deaf History: Triumphs and Tragedies. Washington, DC: Deaf Club.
Book with three authors Jonessey, Vivian R., Martin O. Engle, and Cybil B. Forrester. (1989). Deaf History: Triumphs and Tragedies. Washington, DC: Deaf Club.

 

If a book has more than three authors, you list the first author normally as above, and add et al. (meaning "and others"). Optionally, you may give all names in full in order in which they appear on the title page.

Book with more than three authors Jonessey, Vivian R., et al. (1989). Deaf History: Triumphs and Tragedies. Washington, DC: Deaf Club.

 

If a book has no author or by an anonymous author, begin the entry with the title. Alphabetize the entry by the main word of the title, ignoring any initial A, An, or The.

Book with no or anonymous author A Guide to Buying an Economical Car. (1989) Philadelphia: Auto Center.

 

REF: Electronic Sources

If you are citing from an online book or publication, you should include all of the information that you would include for printed books. After this standard information, you should include the date you found the information on the world wide web (the date of access) and the web address (URL) where you found the information.

The basic citing format for electronic sources is as follows:

  • Author. "Article." Publication Title. Date of Publication. Retrieval date .
Online book Fingerman, E. R., & Smith, J. (1999). The great one. Chatham, New Jersey: Pipeline Publishers. Retrieved June 8, 2002, from http://www.kofk.com/finger
Online newspaper article Waldo, S.R., & Danedakar, V. (2004, January 4). Why medical school? New York Times. Retrieved May 17, 2004, from http://www.nyt.com/med
Online Article with no author Fleeting Consciousness. (1999) US News Online 29 June 1998.

 

REF: Nonprint Media

For most nonprint media, there are six main parts to the reference:

  • Writer/director/producer's last name followed by a comma, then the first initial followed by a period.
  • In parenthesis, write the person's title (producer, director, writer) followed by a period.
  • (date of publication). -- This should be the year it was produced and released to the public.
  • Title of media [type of media].
  • Publication information. -- This generally includes the city of publication and publisher.
Film (Motion Picture) Redford, R. (Director). (1980). Ordinary people [Motion Picture]. Los Angeles: Paramount.
Television Broadcast Holdt, D. (Executive Producer). (1997, October 11). A River at High Summer: The St. Lawrence [Television broadcast]. Boston: Public Broadcasting Service.
Cassette Lake, F.L. (Author and speaker). (1989). Bias and organizational decision making [Cassette]. Gainesville: Edwards.
Musical recording Barber, S. (1995). Cello Sonata. On Barber [CD]. New York: EMI Records Ltd.

 

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