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APA Citation Style: Reference List

This guide provides information on the 6th edition of the APA citation style as used at Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. This guide will be updated to the 7th edition in Fall 2020.

The references list is the last page of your paper and includes citations to every source of information used in the paper, other than personal communications. You will find detailed information about formatting your references list in the writing guidelines posted in the Additional Help section.

Arrange reference list entries in one alphabetical sequence by the surname of the first author, or by title or first word if there is no author. Ignore the words A, An, and The when alphabetizing by title. Use hanging indents for each entry. 

Print Book - General Format

In-Text Citation (Quotation):

(Author Surname, Year, page number)

References:

Author Surname, First Initial. Second Initial. (Year). Book title: Subtitle. Place of Publication: Publisher.

Print Book - Example

In-Text Citation (Quotation):

(Franks, 2005, p. 148)

References:

Franks, A. (2005). Margaret Sanger's eugenic legacy: The control of female fertility. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company.


e-Book - General Format

In-Text Citation (Quotation):
(Author Surname, Year, page number)

References:

Author Surname, First Initial. Second Initial. (Year). Book title: Subtitle [Version]. doi:xx.xxxxxxxxx OR Retrieved from URL of the home page of the e-book provider.

e-Book - Example

In-Text Citation (Quotation):

(Ochs, 2004, p. 55)

References:

Ochs, S. (2004). A history of nerve functions: From animal spirits to molecular mechanisms [ebrary Reader version]. Retrieved from http://www.ebrary.com/corp/


Chapter in an Edited Book - General Format

In-Text Citation (Quotation):
(Author Surname, Year, page number)

References:

Author Surname, First Initial. (Year). Title of chapter. In Editor First Initial, Surname, Editor First Initial, Surname, & Editor First Initial, Surname (Eds.), Book title: Subtitle (Page range). Place of Publication: Publisher.

Chapter in an Edited Book - Example

In-Text Citation (Quotation):
(Stewart, 2007, p. 102)

References:

Stewart, B. (2007). Wag of the tail: Reflecting on pet ownership. In J.Jaimeson, T. Bannerman, & S. Wong (Eds.), Enriching our lives with animals (pp. 97-105). Toronto, ON: Petlove Press.


Tips:

  • For multiple authors in your reference list entry, list the names in the order presented in the source.  List all names in reverse order and use a comma and an ampersand (&) before the last author. Example: Khanna, L., Strasburg, J., & Mehta, N. 
  • List up to seven authors.  For more than seven, list the first six authors' names followed by an ellipses (three dots) in place of additional author names. Then list the last author's name.
  • Italicize the title of a book or periodical. Do not italicize the title of a chapter within a book or an article within a periodical.
  • Looking for more tips and basic rules? Check the basic rules section of the guide.

Journal or Magazine Article - General Format

In-Text Citation (Quotation):
(Author Surname, Year, page number)

References:

Author Surname, First Initial. Second Initial. (Year). Article title: Subtitle. Periodical Title, Volume(issue), page range. 

NOTE: The APA 6th edition does not require URLs or database information for articles in print or from a library database, but when you find an article on the general internet (i.e., found via Google search), you need the URL of the article. To create proper citations, ask yourself:

  • Did I find this article in print? If yes, no URL is needed.
  • Did I find this article in a library database? If yes, no URL is needed but include DOI if available
  • Did I find this article from a general internet search? If yes, include the DOI first. If not available, list full URL.

Journal Example - Library Database

In-Text Citation (Quotation):
(Pettigrew, 2009, p. 61)

References:

Pettigrew, T. F. (2009). Secondary transfer effect of contact: Do intergroup contact effects spread to noncontacted outgroups? Social Psychology, 40(2), 55-65. doi:10.1027/1864-9335.40.2.55

Magazine Example - Internet

In-Text Citation (Quotation):
(Henry & Mehta, 1990, p. 30)

References:

Henry, W. A., & Mehta, N. S. (1990, April 9). Beyond the melting pot. Time, 135, 28-31. Retrieved from http://time.com/


Newspaper - General Format

In-Text Citation (Quotation):
(Author Surname, Year, page number)

References:

Author Surname, First Initial. Second Initial. (Year, Month Day). Article title: Subtitle. Newspaper Title, page range. Retrieved from URL [if viewed online] 

Newspaper Example - Internet

In-Text Citation (Quotation):
(Severson & Martin, 2009)

References:

Severson, K., & Martin, A. (2009, March 3). It's organic, but does that mean it's safer? The New York Times, B6. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com

 


Tips:

  • If you can't identify an author (neither a person nor an organization), begin the entry with the title of the work including the appropriate capitalization and italics formatting. Follow with date and publication information.
  • Journal articles with a volume and issue number typically do not require a month/day in the date, while magazine articles do.
  • For multiple authors in your reference list entry, list the names in the order presented in the source.  List all names in reverse order and use a comma and an ampersand (&) before the last author. Example: Khanna, L., Strasburg, J., & Mehta, N. 
  • List up to seven authors.  For more than seven, list the first six authors' names followed by an ellipses (three dots) in place of additional author names. Then list the last author's name.
  • Capitalize only the first word of the article title (and subtitle if given) and any proper nouns.
  • Looking for more tips and basic rules? Check the basic rules section of the guide.

DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers)

If a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) is listed on either a print or an electronic source, it is included in the reference.  A DOI is a unique alphanumeric string that is used to identify a certain source (typically journal articles).  It is often found on the first page of an article or may be included in an e-book record.

Example:

doi:10.1080/14622200410001676305

For more information on DOIs and locating a DOI on a source, check out pages 188-192 of the APA Manual and/or this helpful DOI flow chart from the official APA site.

 

Depending on how it was published, a conference proceeding/paper can be cited either like a chapter in an edited book, like a journal article, or as an unpublished work. For an unpublished conference proceeding, list the month the presentation or paper was presented.

Conference Proceeding (Chapter in an Edited Book) - General Format

In-Text Citation (Quotation):

(Author Surname, Year, page number)

References:

Author Surname, First Initial. Second Initial. (Year). Conference paper title. In Editor First  Initial. Editor Surname (Ed.), Title of Conference Proceedings (pp. page range of paper). Place of Publication: Publisher.

Conference Proceeding (Chapter in an Edited Book) Example

In-Text Citation (Quotation):

(Cohen, Hendler, & Potashnik, 2017, p. 35)

References:

Cohen, T., Hendler, D., & Potashnik, D. (2017). Supervised detection of infected machines using anti-virus induced labels. In Dolev, S., & Lodha, S. (Eds.), International Symposium on Cyber Security Cryptography and Machine Learning: First International Conference, CSCML 2017, Beer-Sheva, Israel, June 20-30, 2017 Proceedings (pp. 34-49). Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

Conference Proceeding (Journal Article) - General Format

In-Text Citation (Quotation):

(Author Surname, Year, page number)

References:

Author Surname, First Initial. Second Initial. (Year). Conference paper title. Conference Proceedings Title, VolumePage Range. doi OR Retrieved from URL

Conference Proceeding (Journal Article) – Example

In-Text Citation (Quotation):

(Plotkin, 2014, p. 12285)

References:

Plotkin, S. (2014). History of vaccination. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences111(34), 12283-12287. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1400472111

Conference Proceedings (Unpublished) - General Format

In-Text Citation (Quotation):

(Author Surname, Year, page number)

References:

Author Surname, First Initial. Second Initial. (Year, Month). Conference paper title. Paper presented at Title of Conference: Subtitle of Conference, Location. doi OR Retrieved from URL.

Conference Proceedings (Unpublished) – Example

In-Text Citation (Paraphrase):

(Pehlivan & Taylan, 2018)

References:

Pehlivan, E., & Taylan, Y. (2018, April). Graceful failure: Learning through game-based learning. Paper presented at The 42nd Annual Marketing Educators’ Association Conference, Sante Fe, NM. Retrieved from https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/77104b_c71305357b8e494bbdda5f12ab344cb2.pdf


Tips:

  • For multiple authors in your reference list entry, list the names in the order presented in the source.  List all names in reverse order and use a comma and an ampersand (&) before the last author. Example: Khanna, L., Strasburg, J., & Mehta, N. 
  • List up to seven authors.  For more than seven, list the first six authors' names followed by an ellipses (three dots) in place of additional author names. Then list the last author's name.
  • The month in the date is only required for unpublished conference proceedings.
  • Looking for more tips and basic rules? Check the basic rules section of the guide.

Report - General Format

The APA Style Manual says to format references to technical and research reports and other gray literature as you would either a print or online book depending on how you accessed the report.

In-Text Citation (Quotation):
(Author Surname OR Organizational Author, Year, page number)

References:

Author Surname, First Initial. Second Initial. OR Organizational Author (Year). Title: Subtitle (Report No. xxx [if available]). Place of Publication: Publisher (for print) OR Retrieved from URL (for online)

Report - Examples

Individual Authors, Online Source

In-Text Citation (Quotation):
(Usher, Lambert, & Mirzazadeh, 2014, p. 5)

References:

Usher, A., Lambert, J., & Mirzazadeh, C. (2014). Moving on? How students think about choosing a place to live after graduation. Retrieved from http://higheredstrategy.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Intelligence-Brief-10-Where-to-live.pdf

Organizational Author, Print Source

In-Text Citation (Paraphrase):
(Ontario Ministry of Consumer Services, 2015)

References:

Ontario Ministry of Consumer Services. (2015). Business guide to consumer protection. [Report #020171]. Toronto, ON: Queen's Printer for Ontario.

Tips:

  • If no person is named as an author, use the company, organization, or government agency name as an organizational author. Give the name of the organizational author exactly as it appears on the title page.
  • If the group author is also the publisher, simply use the word Author after the location, rather than repeating the full name.
  • If there is a series or report number, include it after the title.
  • Looking for more tips and basic rules? Check the basic rules section of the guide.

According to the APA Style blog, you should italicize the title of the website or webpage if the work on the page stands alone, i.e., the content makes sense on its own without needing context from another webpage. If the webpage does not make sense on its own, it is part of a greater whole and the title should not be italicized.

 

Stand-alone Website Content - General Format 

In-Text Citation:
(Author Name, Year)

References:

Personal or Corporate Author. (creation date). Title of website. Retrieved from URL.

Stand-alone Website Content - Examples

In-Text Citation:
(Canadian Red Cross, 2017)

Reference:

Canadian Red Cross. (2017). Recovery continues in Fort McMurray as Red Cross releases Alberta fires one year report. Retrieved from http://www.redcross.ca/about-us/red-cross-stories/2017/recovery-continues-in-fort-mcmurray-as-red-cross-releases-alberta-fires-one-year-report

 

In-Text Citation:
(Frieman, 2016)

Reference:

Frieman, R. (2016, March 27). How to be less of a jerk in Facebook arguments. Retrieved from http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/relationships/etiquette-manners/how-to-be-less-of-a-jerk-in-facebook-arguments

 

Webpage that is Part of Larger Work - General Format

In-Text Citation:
(Author Name, Year)

References:

Personal or Corporate Author. (creation date). Title of webpage. Retrieved from URL.

Webpage that is Part of Larger Work - Examples

In-Text Citation:
(Insurance Bureau of Canada, n.d.)

Reference:

Insurance Bureau of Canada. (n.d.). Liquor liability. Retrieved from http://www.ibc.ca/ab/home/risk-management/liability/social-host-(liquor-liability)


Social Media Posts

The APA Style Blog has information available as to how to cite blogs, tweets, and Facebook posts.  Detailed information and examples are available on this blog post.

 


Tips:

  • When citing sources that you find on the Internet you only need to include a retrieval date if the information you viewed is likely to change over time. If you reference an article from a wiki, for example, you would want to include a retrieval date because such information could be subject to many updates over time.
  • Remember that governments, associations, companies, and organizations can also function as the author or editor of a source.
  • If there is no author, begin the entry with the title of the work, including the appropriate capitalization and italics formatting.
  • If a publication or creation date cannot be found on a website, write n.d. in parentheses, followed by a period. Do not use copyright date or "date modified" as these may not reflect the date the information was created.
  • When citing multiple sources with the same author and same date, use letters to distinguish them in your in-text citation and reference list citation like so:

    Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (2020a)…

    Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (2020b)…

    Canadian Broadcasting Corporation(2020c)…

    OR

    Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (n.d.-a)…

    Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (n.d.-b)…

    Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (n.d.-c)…

  • If citing a non-typical source, add the format in brackets immediately after the title. Examples include [Abstract], [Audio podcast], [Data file], [Brochure], [Motion picture], [Blog post], [Computer software], and [Video webcast].
  • Looking for more tips and basic rules? Check the basic rules section of the guide.

Online Video - General Format

In-Text Citation (Quotation):
(Author Surname OR Screen name, Year)

References:
Author Surname, First Initial. Second Initial. OR Author screen name. (Year, Month Day {of video post}). Title of video [Video file]. Retrieved from URL of specific video

Online Video - Example

In-Text Citation (Quotation):
(Norton, 2006)

References:
Norton, R. (2006, November 4). How to train a cat to operate a light switch [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vja83KLQXZs


Motion Picture/Video/DVD - General Format

In-Text Citation (Quotation):
(Producer Surname, Year)

References:
Producer, P. P. (Producer), & Director, D. D. (Director). (Date of publication). Title of motion picture [Format {e.g., Motion Picture or DVD}]. Country of origin: Studio or distributor.

Motion Picture/Video/DVD - Example

In-Text Citation (Quotation):
(Smith, 2001)

References:
Smith, J. D. (Producer), & Smithee, A. F. (Director). (2001). Really big disaster movie [Motion picture]. United States: Paramount Pictures.


Tips:

Standard or Code - General Format

In-Text Citation (Quotation):
(Organization Name, Year)

References:
Organization name. (Year). Title of standard (Standard number). Retrieved from URL [if found online].

Standard or Code - Example

In-Text Citation (Quotation):
(International Organization for Standardization [ISO], 2015)

References:
International Organization for Standardization. (2015). Quality management systems: requirements [ISO Standard 9001].


Tips: 

  • Note that most of the organizations that publish standards commonly go by acronyms (e.g., OSHA for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration). The acronym is optional to use. If you do use the acronym, use it in the text only, not in the reference list entry. Spell out the name of the group the first time you cite the work and provide the acronym either in parentheses or brackets (depending on whether the written-out form is already in parentheses); for any subsequent citations or mentions, use the acronym.
  • Looking for more tips and basic rules? Check out the basic rules section of the guide.

Class Lecture, Module, or PowerPoint - General Format

NOTE: Use this format to cite module content or a set of notes from a lecture (e.g., power point slides provided by your instructor). To cite something from a lecture that was not provided in a written format, use the "personal communication" format (see below).

In-Text Citation (Quotation):
(Author Surname, Year)

References:
Author Surname, First Initial. Second Initial. (Year). Lecture title [Format]. Retrieved from SAIT Course name Desire2Learn site OR from URL.

Class Lecture, Module, or PowerPoint - Example

In-Text Citation (Quotation):
(Mokry, 2007)

References:
Mokry, J. (2007). Lecture 3: The wonders of APA [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from SAIT COMN 220 Desire2Learn site.


Google Maps - General Format

In-Text Citation:
(Company, Year)

References:
Corporate Name. (Year). [Title of map]. Retrieved from URL.

Example

In-Text Citation (Quotation):
(Google, n.d.)

References:
Google. (n.d.). [Google Maps directions for driving from Calgary, AB to Edmonton, AB]. Retrieved from https://goo.gl/maps/S6KVrFnSa6C2

 

Maps - General Format

In-Text Citation:
(Author Surname OR Corporate Name, Year)

References:
Author Surname, First Initial. OR Corporate Name. (Month Day Year). Title of map. Scale. [Format]. Retrieved from URL OR doi.

Example

In-Text Citation (Quotation):
(Thom, 2009)

References:
Thom, B. (April 1, 2009). Hul'qumi'num traditional territory statement of intent. Scale unknown. [Map]. doi:10.1177/1474474008101516

Tip:

  • Many maps on the web do not have easily identifiable title or date information.  If you cannot locate a date, use "n.d." in that location.  If a title is not provided, use a descriptive title within brackets.

Online Image - General Format

In-Text Citation:
(Artist Surname, Year)

References:
Artist Surname, First Initial. Second Initial. (Year). Title of the artwork [Format]. Retrieved from URL

Online Image - Example

In-Text Citation:
(Baumel, 2010)

References (Basic):
Baumel, A. (2010). Cholera treatment center in Haiti [Online image]. Retrieved October 2, 2010 from https://www.doctorswithoutborders.org

Tip:

  • Many images on the web do not have easily identifiable author, title, or date information. Try to locate missing information by right-clicking on the image and viewing the properties and/or looking for information within the page on which the image is found.  If you cannot find any of this information, begin the citation with a description of the work within brackets.

Example

[Untitled online image of a sleeping dog] (n.d.). Retrieved December 5, 2010 from http://www.sleepinganimals/pix.com


Secondary Sources

Sometimes an author writes about research that someone else has done, but you are unable to track down the original research report. In this case, because you did not read the original report, you will include only the source you did consult in your References. The words “as cited in” in the parenthetical reference indicate you have not read the original research.

Example:
You read Bertram's report that has an interesting result from Fong's 1987 study. You cannot locate Fong's study.

Quote:
Fong’s 1987 study (as cited in Bertram, 1996) found that older students’ memory can be as good as that of young people, but this depends on how memory is tested.

[Do not include Fong (1987) in your References; do include Bertram (1996).]


Personal Communications (Interviews & Emails)

According to APA guidelines, personal communications (e.g., emails, phone calls, interviews and lectures) are not typically included in the list of references. Only an in-text citation is used which includes the person's name, the phrase "personal communication", and date.

Examples:

A. P. Smith also claimed that many of her students had difficulties with APA style (personal communication, November 3, 2015).

Many students had difficulty with APA style in writing classes (A. P. Smith, personal communication, November 3, 2015).

 

Consult your instructor to confirm whether you are required to list interviews, emails, phone calls, and lectures as part of the References page. 

Tips:

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