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About APA Citation Online Tools
As anyone who has ever written a paper for a college class knows, there are certain style rules and guidelines to be followed depending on which discipline you are in. Such style rules ensure consistency in formatting and publishing and address details such as comma placement, capitalization, references and in-text citations. One of the most commonly used styles is the APA style, which is the style preferred by the American Psychological Association. APA style is style that is generally used for disciplines such as the social sciences, education and psychology.
Origins of APA Style
For many college students, learning APA style can be tricky. The specifics of the style often trip up even the best writers, since it is difficult to remember whether titles should be in italics or not, how references should be alphabetized and how to cite citations, which can vary depending upon where they appear.
According to the APA, the style originated in 1929, when a group of psychologists, anthropologists, and business managers decided to establish a simple set of procedures, or style rules, to bring uniformity to the elements of scientific writing to increase the ease of reading comprehension.
Some of the procedures they decided upon can be challenging. Plus, there are various online tools and style generators out there that can help. We’ve gathered a few of them here.
Online Citation Machines
It takes just a few clicks to find any number of reliable citation machines that help writers be sure their papers conform to APA style. In general, a citation machine website helps students and professionals properly credit the information that they use. As any good student knows, proper credits are essential to presenting a strong paper, because they cite the sources used, giving credit where credit is due and not plagiarizing.
Avoid Plagiarism at All Costs
In a reference paper, article, blog post or any other published work, writers must give credit to their sources. Failing to do so, even if you have completely reworded the information or summarized the information, is considered to be plagiarism. A good rule of thumb is to cite sources extensively, because even if you think you have an original thought, you may actually be paraphrasing something you’ve read elsewhere. It is safe to say that you cannot cite too many sources.
Citation Machine Ensures APA Conformity
Citation Machine is a free online tool that students, researchers, teachers and publishers can use to see how well their paper conforms to APA style guidelines.
The site is extremely clear about the two types of APA citations and provides a good summary. The first kind of citation is called an in-text or parenthetical citation. These citations must be included when you use information from someone else’s work in your own paper. They are used in the main body of your paper and must be placed immediately after the information you have borrowed.
The second kind of citation is a reference citation and is included with all other full citations at the end of your paper on the last page. They are alphabetical and listed one after the other. They’re the full citations for the in-text citations included in the body of your paper.
BibMe Details APA Style
BibMe is another free online citation generator for APA style. Along with citation guidelines, it spells out ways in which paper elements such as publication dates and titles should be structured. For example, publication dates should place the date that the source was published in parentheses, after the author’s name. If no date is available, you should write n.d. In parentheses, which stands for no date.
Book titles should capitalize just the first letter of the first word in the title. Do the same for the subtitle. The first letter of any proper nouns should be capitalized and italicized. Each should end with a period.
Check Every Last Detail
Learning APA style on your own can be daunting. Fortunately, you can learn more about it while making sure that paper is correct and that you properly cite each and every one of your sources by using online tools developed for this exact purpose.
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APA Style: Sample References
- Introducing APA
- Sample References
- In-Text Citations
- Formatting Basics
- Zotero This link opens in a new window
- The References Page
- Video: APA Citation Style
- Tutorial: APA Citations
- Can't Find the Answer?
- Journal Articles
- Financial Documents/Form 990
A reference for a basic book with one author:
Author, A.A. (1967). Title of book . Location: Publisher.
Gast, L.E. (2012). Mastering approaches to diversity in social work . Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
A chapter in an edited book:
Author, A.A., & Author, B.B. (1995). Title of chapter or entry. In A. Editor, B. Editor, & C. Editor (Eds.), Title of book (pp. xxx-xxx). Location: Publisher.
Kayser, K. & Johnson, J.K. (2008). Divorce. In Mizrahi, T. & Davis, T.E. (Eds.), The encyclopedia of social work (pp. 76-85). New York: National Association of Social Workers.
A basic journal reference:
Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, xx , x-xx.
An electronic journal with a DOI
Author, A.A., Author, B.B., & Author, C.C. (year). Title of article. Title of Periodical , xx , x-xx. doi:xx.xxxxxxxxxx
Edwards, H.R. & Hoefer, R. (2010). Are social work advocacy groups using web 2.0 effectively? Journal of Policy Practice , 9 , 220-229. doi:10.1080/15588742.2010.489037
What is a DOI?
A DOI (digital object identifier) is an article identification number provides a permanent url for an electronic resource. You can usually find the DOI located on the first page of the electronic journal article, near the copyright notice.
Can't find the DOI of an electronic journal? Cite like this:
Author, A.A. (year) Title of article. Title of Periodical, x , xx-xx. Retrieved from: https://xxxx
Website with Authors Identified
Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of document. Retrieved from https://xxxx
Website with No Authors
When there is no author for a web page, the title moves to the first position of the reference entry.
Example of a website without an author:
National Institute of Mental Health. (2010). Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/index.shtml
Print newspaper article:
Author, A. (1983, September 30). Title of article. Newspaper Title , pp. A1, A4.
Online newspaper article:
Author, A.A. (2009, December 11). Title of article. Newspaper Title . Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com
Wu, J.Q. (2010, August 22). Controlling emotion key to this game. The Boston Globe. Retrieved from https://www.boston.com
Non-Profit Tax Return:
Name of Org. (Tax Year). Return of organization exempt from income tax [Form 990]. City: Publisher or Retrieved from url or database name.
Association of Social Work Boards. (2012). Return of organization exempt from income tax [Form 990]. Retrieved from https://990s.foundationcenter.org/990_pdf_archive/222/222414510/222414510_201212_990.pdf
Publicly Available Financial Statements:
Name of Financial Consultant. (Year, Month Day). Title of document. City: Publisher or Retrieved from url or database name.
James K. Smith & Associates. (2013, January 31). Homeless Shelter Non-profit: Consolidated financial statement . Retrieved from https://www.somewebsite.org
Example (use the Bookmark/Save link for your web address) :
U.S. Census Bureau. (2014). 2010-2014 American Community Survey, 5-year estimates, table S1501, educational attainment: Massachusetts [Data file]. Retrieved from https://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/14_5YR/S1501/0400000US25
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Q. How do you cite data from a 990 tax form in APA style?
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Cite a tax form the same way you would cite other government documents.
Name of agency. (Year). Title of document (Report number). Retrieved date of access, from URL.
Links & Files
- Writing and Citing
Questions? Ask Us!
- Citing Sources
Supporting the Information Needs of Whole Leaders for the Whole World
- In-text citations
- Articles from Journals, Magazines and Newspapers
- Dictionary or Encyclopedia
- Social Media and Blogs
Webpage on a Website
White paper or report, fact sheet or brochure, ethical code, press release, company sec filing, nonprofit form 990.
- Specialized Databases
- Data Sets and Statistics
- Paper formatting
The opens new window APA instructions indicate that references and in-text citations are not used for whole websites. A website can be mentioned in the text as a general source with the URL in parentheses. If particular information is referenced, the citation should follow the format for the type of reference (e.g., white paper, webpage).
For more examples of webpage references, see https://apastyle.apa.org/style-grammar-guidelines/references/examples/webpage-website-references
AAON, Inc. (n.d.). The Norman Asbjornson Innovation Center . Retrieved September 19, 2020 from https://www.aaon.com/Lab
Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2020, September 1). Market research analysts. Occupational Outlook Handbook , U.S. Department of Labor. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/market-research-analysts.htm
Fry, R. (2022, July 20). Young adults in U.S. are much more likely than 50 years ago to be living in a multigenerational household . Pew Research. https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2022/07/20/young-adults-in-u-s-are-much-more-likely-than-50-years-ago-to-be-living-in-a-multigenerational-household/
Tulsa Dream Center, Inc. (n.d.). Services . Retrieved September 10, 2021, from https://tulsadreamcenter.org/services
U.S. Census Bureau. (n.d.). QuickFacts: Dallas, Texas . U.S. Department of Commerce. Retrieved July 21, 2022, from https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/dallascitytexas,US
U.S. Small Business Administration. (n.d.). Register your business Retrieved September 18, 2020, from https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/launch-your-business/register-your-business
(Tulsa Dream Center, n.d.)
(U.S. Census Bureau, n.d.)
(Bureau of Labor Statistics [BLS], 2020)
(U.S. Small Business Administration [SBA], n.d.)
(BLS, 2020) (SBA, n.d.)
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. (2020, June). Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the securities industry [White paper]. https://www.finra.org/sites/default/files/2020-06/ai-report-061020.pdf
Cooper, C. R. (2019, July 12). An overview of consumer finance and policy issues [White paper]. Congressional Research Service. https://crsreports.Congress.gov/product/pdf/R/R45813/1
Note : No retrieval date is needed when the source has a specific publication date.
(Financial Industry Regulatory Authority [FINRA], 2020)
Wage and Hour Division (2020, March 13). Internship programs under the Fair Labor Standards Act [Fact sheet]. U. S. Department of Labor. https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/WHD/legacy/files/whdfs71.pdf
American Council for Construction Education. (n.d.). Setting the standard for construction education programs: Training advocacy accreditation [Brochure]. Retrieved July 20, 2020, from https://www.acce-hq.org/marketing-collateral
(Wage and Hour Division, 2019)
(American Council for Construction Education [ACCE], n.d.)
Deloitte. (n.d.). Commitment to environmental sustainability: Minimizing the ecological impact of our operations . Retrieved July 10, 2020, from https://www2.deloitte.com/global/en/pages/about-deloitte/articles/commitment-to-environmental-sustainability.html
Strategic & Competitive Intelligence Professionals. (n.d.). The SCIP code of ethics . Retrieved July 10, 2020, from https://www.scip.org/page/Ethical-Intelligence
Note : Retrieval date is only included when the source has no specific publication date, indicated by (n.d.) in the date field.
(Strategic & Competitive Intelligence Professionals [SCIP], n.d.)
SAS. (2019, October 29). Study: Companies using AI and IoT together catapult ahead of competitors using IoT alone [Press release]. PR Newswire . https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/study-companies-using-ai-and-iot-together-catapult-ahead-of-competitors-using-iot-alone-300946750.html
Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2020, March 24). Multifactor productivity trends - 2019 (USDL-20-0494) [Press release]. U.S. Department of Labor. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/prod3.pdf
ONE Gas, Inc. (2020, February 20). Form 10-K . http://www.sec.gov
Helmerich & Payne, Inc. (2020, July 29). Form 10-Q . https://s24.q4cdn.com/611644275/files/doc_financials/2019/ar/WMB_2019_AR.pdf"
(ONE Gas , 2020)
(Helmerich & Payne, 2020)
Note : To differentiate between two in-text references with the same author and year, add a lowercase letter to the year.
Tulsa Dream Center, Inc. (2019, May 15). Form 990: Return of organization exempt from income tax 2017 . https://www.guidestar.org/profile/73-1610216
Note : Publication date is the date the form was filed with the IRS. The tax year is included in the title of the document.
(Tulsa Dream Center, 2019)
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Top Business Databases
- Business Source Complete This link opens in a new window Subjects: Business, Mathematics & Statistics, Computer Science, Kinesiology Covers all aspects of business in peer-reviewed journals and trade publications, including Marketline Industry and Company Reports from 1965-current; some full-text; constructs bibliography in five different citation styles.
- Nexis Uni This link opens in a new window Subjects: Business, Languages, Literature & Mass Communication Full-text regional, national & international newspapers, state and federal court cases and statutes, law reviews, and company profiles.
- Morningstar Investment Research Center This link opens in a new window Subjects: Business, Economics Current comprehensive financial information on NYSE, AMEX, NASDAQ stocks, mutual funds, ETFs with return information on various investment types, indexes, sectors, and styles.
Head of Access Services & Outreach
APA Citation Formats for Common Business Resources
Academic Search Complete:
Robie, C., Emmons, T., Tuzinski, K. A., & Kantrowitz, T. (2011). Effects of an economic recession on leader personality and
general mental ability scores. International Journal of Selection & Assessment , 19 (2), 183-189. doi:10.1111/j.1468-
Benesh, C. (2009). Contemporary Japanese fashion. Ornament , 33 (2), 18-19. Retrieved from Academic Search Complete database.
[APA wants you to use the DOI (Digital Object Identifier) when provided; then you don't name the database, nor provide its URL.]
Accounting & Tax (ProQuest):
Ferguson, Z. (2010). Is the tax holiday over for online sales? The Tax Lawyer, 63 (4), 1279-1297. Retrieved from Accounting & Tax
Georgiades, G. (2014). AICPA statement on auditing standards no. 129, amendment to statement on auditing standards no. 122
section 920, letters for underwriters and certain other requesting parties, as amended. Miller GAAS Update Service, 14 (20),
1-8. Retrieved from Accounting & Tax (Proquest) database.
Wells Fargo. (2013). 2012 Annual report. Retrieved from https://www.wellsfargo.com/invest_relations/annual
BizMiner. (2014). Industry financial profile (5 year): [611610.04] Dance schools and instruction: all US; sales class: industry-wide.
Retrieved January 22, 2014 from https://www.bizminer.com/
BizMiner. (2014). Industry financial profile (5 year): [611610.04] Dance schools and instruction: Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High
Point, NC; sales class: $1 - $499,999. Retrieved January 22, 2014 from https://www.bizminer.com/
BizMiner. (2013, June). Startup profit & loss profile (5 year version): [441228.0202] Snowmobiles, parts and accessories
retail. Retrieved January 24, 2014 from https://www.bizminer.com/
BizMiner. (2013, June). Industry market report: [722511.0204] Vietnamese restaurants (full-service); State of North Carolina.
Retrieved January 24, 2014 from https://www.bizminer.com/
Gale Cengage Learning. (2014). Facebook, Inc. [company profile]. Retrieved March 3, 2014, from the Business Insights database.
Gale Cengage Learning. (2014). Facebook, Inc. International directory of company histories . Retrieved January 22, 2014, from the
Business Insights database.
Gale Cengage Learning. (2014). Social media. Encyclopedia of emerging industries . Retrieved January 17, 2014, from the
Miller, C.C. (2008, December 5). Twitter's dance with Facebook. New York Times, p. B6. Retrieved from the
"Top social networking sites worldwide, 2012" (2012, August 2). Investor's Business Daily. p. A4. Reproduced in Market share
reporter 2013 . Retrieved from the Business Insights database.
GlobalData. (2012, November 5). Macy's, Inc. -- financial and strategic analysis review. Retrieved from the
[This is for a SWOT analyses]
Business Source Complete:
Quittner, J. (2011, April 4). Facebook and Google encroach on banks' turf. American Banker , 176(51), 1-5. Retrieved
from Business Source Complete database.
MarketLine. (2013, September 30). Barnes and Noble, Inc. company profile . Retrieved from Business Source Complete database.
MarketLine. (2013, June). Toys & games in Asia-Pacific industry profile . Retrieved from Business Source Complete database. PRS Group. (2013, November 1). Brazil country report, Political Risk Yearbook . Retrieved from Business Source Complete
Census.gov Population data:
U.S. Census Bureau. (2012). Guildford County, North Carolina -- ACS demographic and housing estimates (1-Year Estimates)
[Table]. Retrieved from http://factfinder2.census.gov/
Census.gov Economic Census:
U.S. Census Bureau. (2012). Retail trade: Geographic area series: Summary s tatistics for the United States, s tates, metro areas,
counties, and places: 2012. [Table]. Retrieved from http://factfinder2.census.gov/
Census.gov County Business Patterns:
U.S. Census Bureau. (2012). Forsyth County, North Carolina -- 2011 county business patterns (NAICS). [Table]. Retrieved from
RIA. (2014). 2014 RIA federal tax handbook: 3703. Limited liability companies ( LLCs ). Retrieved from RIA Checkpoint database.
Quint, J. (2013, May/June). Applying intercompany transaction rules to partnership terminations. Journal of Corporate
Taxation. Retrieved from RIA Checkpoint database.
Commodity Codes Harmonized codes:
U.S. Census Bureau. (2013). Schedule XI-chapter 60, knitted or crocheted fabrics. Retrieved from http://www.census.gov/foreign-
Commodity Codes SITC codes:
United Nations Statistical Division. (2011). SITC rev. 4 code 573.11. Retrieved from http://unstats.un.org/unsd/cr/registry/
United Nations Statistical Division. (2013). Data retrieved February 10, 2013, from http://comtrade.un.org/
Consumer Expenditure Survey (BLS):
Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2012). Race of reference person: Shares of average annual expenditures and sources of income, Consumer Expenditure Survey 2012 [Table]. Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/ cex /2012/aggregate/race.pdf
Country Commercial Guides: U.S. Commercial Service, Department of Commerce. (2014). Argentina. Country Commercial Guide. Retrieved from
Customs Info (Global Tariffs): Customs Info. (2013). Tariff data for Brazil: HS 842230. Retrieved January 26, 2014 from http://export.customsinfo.com/
DemographicsNow. (2014). Income comparison for Cramerton, Kernersville, and Shelby, NC. Retrieved January 9, 2014
DemographicsNow. (2014). CEX - apparel detail summary for zip code 27101. Retrieved March 31, 2014 from
General Electric. (2013, September 30). 10-Q . Retrieved from http://www.sec.gov/
Entrepreneurial Studies Source: Valentine, M. (2013, April 11). Engaging audiences with advertising etiquette. Marketing Week , 27-30. Retrieved from
Entrepreneurial Studies Source database.
MarketLine (2013, February 22). Caribou Coffee Company [company profile]. Retrieved from Entrepreneurial Studies Source
Simmons, J. (2007). GBS : My Sister's a Barista Starbucks. Marshall Cavendish Limited. Retrieved from Entrepreneurial Studies
Source database. [For an ebook]
Euromonitor Passport GMID
Euromonitor . (2014). Consumer spending on women's footwear by country, 2007-2012 [table]. Retrieved January 22, 2013,
Euromonitor . (2013, June 3). Retailing - Egypt . Retrieved from http://www.portal.euromonitor.com/
German, R.& Taylor, E. (n.d.). Economy - Egypt. Retrieved January 10, 2014, from http://www.europaworld.com/
Fashion Snoops. (2013). Men active wear design themes Fall/Winter 2013/2014. Retrieved January 11, 2014 from Fashion Snoops
Socha, M. (2013, August 8).Oscar and Galliano In talks over role. WWD , 206(27), 1. Retrieved January 7, 2014, from General
GTIS: U.S. State Export Edition:
Global Trade Information Services. (2014). North Carolina exports of HS 360200. Data retrieved March 12, 2014, from
Historical Statistics of the United States:
Historical Statistics of the United States Millennial Edition Online. (2006). Female-to-male earnings ratios: 1815-1987 [Table].
Retrieved from http://hsus.cambridge.org/
Margo, R. (2006). Wages and wage inequality. In Historical Statistics of the United States Millennial Edition Online. Retrieved from
http://hsus.cambridge.org/ [This cite is for an essay, not a table]
Biesada, A. (2015). Belk, Inc. Retrieved January 20, 2015 from Hoover’s Company Profile database. [Look for the author’s name near the top right, under the phone number. Use the current year as the publication date, since the reports are updated regularly.]
IRS 990 forms (nonprofits):
Preservation Greensboro, Inc. (2012). IRS Form 990. Retrieved from http://www.guidestar.org/ Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, Inc. (2013). IRS Form 990 Retrieved from http://foundationcenter.org/
Legal Information Reference Center:
DelPo, A. and Guerin, L. (2010). The Manager's Legal Handbook. Berkeley: Nolo. Retrieved from Legal Information Reference
Center database. [You may have to look up the author yourself in Amazon or Google Books.]
Morton, A. (2013, November 28). NZ: Industry teams up to research "lifestyle" wines. Just-Drinks Global News . Retrieved from
LexisNexis Academic database.
Shanghai Daily. (2013, November 12). Chinese get increasingly thirsty for Spanish wines. Retrieved from LexisNexis Academic
database. [an example of an anonymous article]
Hoover's. (2013, December 4). Apple Computer, Inc . [Hoover's company records - in-depth records]. Retrieved from LexisNexis
MarketLine Profiles (from Business Source Complete):
MarketLine. (2013, October 9). Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW Group) company profile. Retrieved from Business Source
MarketLine. (2013, March). Games consoles industry profile: France. Retrieved from Business Source Complete database.
Mergent. (2014). Apple Inc. company financials: income statement. Retrieved January 16, 2014 from http://www.mergentonline.com/ Mergent. (2011). Europe: Media sectors [industry report]. Retrieved January 7, 2014, from http://www.mergentonline.com/
Hughes, B.B. (2013, March 15). Vanguard Dividend Growth Inv [fund analysis]. Retrieved from http://library.morningstar.com/ Hottovy, R.J. (2013, October 24). Dunkin Brands Group Inc. [stock analysis]. Retrieved from http://library.morningstar.com/ Morningstar. (2014). Ford Motor Co.: key ratios. Retrieved January 19, 2014 from http://library.morningstar.com/
NAICS & SIC Industry Codes:
NAICS codes: U.S. Census Bureau. (2012). 2012 NAICS definitions: 448110, men's clothing stores. Retrieved
S IC codes:
Occupational Safety & Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor. (1987). SIC description for 2251 . Retrieved from https://www.osha.gov/pls/imis/sicsearch.html
National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers:
Office of the United States Trade Representative. (2014). Brazil. National trade estimate report on foreign trade barriers . Retrieved
Occupational Employment Statistics (BLS):
Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2013, May). Occupational Employment and Wages: Captains, Mates, and Pilots of Water Vessels.
Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes535021.htm
Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2013, May). National Industry-Specific Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates: NAICS 482100
- Rail Transportation. Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/naics4_482100.htm
RMA eStatement Studies:
Risk Management Association. (2013). Financial ratio benchmarks for NAICS 312130. Retrieved January 31, 2014 from RMA
eStatement Studies database.
Geographic Research. (2014). Imported beer/ale: Drank in last 6 months. Mediamark data retrieved March 10, 2014, from
Geographic Research. (2014). Map based on family income : $150,000+, from Census data, downloaded March 10, 2014, from
Small Business Reference Center:
Mancuso, A. (2013). Incorporate your business. Berkeley: Nolo. Retrieved from Small Business Reference Center database.
[For an ebook]
Miller, R.K. and Washington, K. (2013). Chapter 45: the bridal & wedding market. Retail Business Market Research Handbook , 286-
289. Retrieved from the Small Business Reference Center database. [For an industry report]
Calan , J. (2013). Long road to The Cup of Excellence. African Business, (401), 78-80. Retrieved from the Small Business
Reference Center database. [For an article]
USITC Trade Database:
United States International Trade Commission. (2014). Trade data retrieved March 11, 2014, from http://dataweb.usitc.gov/
Wall Street Journal (via Proquest):
Murray, S. (2013, Dec 11). Careers: GM's Barra a breakthrough --- a milestone for women, but challenges remain. Wall Street
Journal, B7 . Retrieved from the ProQuest database.
Ford Motor Company. (2014). Sustainability. Retrieved January 10, 2014, from http://corporate.ford.com/our-company/sustainability [When a web page doesn't include a personal author, use the name of the company or organization instead. If you can't find such a name, use the domain name as the author, ex. for a page from http://blog.computrition.com, "Computrition" would be the author.]
World Bank. (2014). CO2 emissions (metric tons per capita). Data retrieved March 2, 2014, from World DataBank: World
Development Indicators database.
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APA Style 6th Edition: Citing Your Sources
- Basics of APA Formatting
Purpose and Overview of In-text Citations
Help no page numbers, one work, one author, two or more authors, group authors, etcetera, multiple works by the same author(s) in the same year, citing indirect sources.
- In Text Quick View
- Block Quotes
- Books & eBooks
- Conference Presentations
- Course Documents
- Social Media
- Government Documents
- Academic Integrity and Plagiarism
- Sample Reference Page
- APA Sample Paper Here's a sample paper provided by APA. For every style rule, there is a comment highlighted in the paper that tells you where to find the discussion of the rule in the APA Style Manual.
- Add Citations and References to Word This step-by-step guide shows you how to use the references feature of Microsoft Word for your reference list and in-text citations.
APA follows an author and date of publication model for citing sources in your research paper and are presented as either narrative or parenthetical citations. The formatting does not vary due to format type, however it may deviate from the norm due to factors such as: number of authors, organization instead of individual author, lack of author, or lack of date. By providing the standard author and date within your paper, the reader will be able to link the information presented easily to the full citation provided in the reference list.
View examples and explanations on this page or visit the In Text Quick View for more examples.
According to the APA Publication Manual, "Many electronic sources do not provide page numbers" (unless they are PDF reproductions of printed material). Therefore, "If paragraph numbers are visible, use them in place of page numbers. Use the abbreviation para."
Dudley (2009) believes that the best remedy for homework blues is a strong green tea (para. 5).
Author named in text:
Social historian Richard Sennett (1980) names the tendency to come to terms with difficult experiences a "purification process" whereby "threatening or painful dissonances are warded off to preserve intact a clear and articulated image of oneself and one's place in the world" (p. 11).
Author named in parentheses:
The tendency to come to terms with difficult experiences is referred to as a "purification process" whereby "threatening or painful dissonances are warded off to preserve intact a clear and articulated image of oneself and one's place in the world" (Sennett, 1980, p. 11).
These examples © Duke University Libraries http://library.duke.edu/research/citing/within/apa.html
More than one way to cite:
Flynn (1999) stated in her treatise In a recent treatise on services (Flynn, 1999) In a 1999 treatise, Flynn stated
Subsequent references to same study in same paragraph:
In her treatise on services, Flynn (1999) stated her evaluative methods…Flynn also described
One work, multiple authors
When a work has two authors, always cite both authors' names in your text:
Significant findings in a study of Los Angeles (McCroskey & O'Keefe, 2000)
When a work has three, four or five authors, cite all authors the first time:
(Nishimoto, Salcido, Aranda, & Land, 1998)
In subsequent citations, include the last name of the first author, followed by et al. (not italicized), and the year.
(Nishimoto et al., 1998)
For narrative citations, use the word "and" to separate authors, for parenthetical citations, use an ampersand:
McCroskey and O'Keefe (2000) studied Los Angeles... (McCroskey & O'Keefe, 2000)
Groups as authors
First text citation: (National Association of Social Workers [NASW], 1987)
Subsequent text citation: (NASW, 1987)
Works with no authors
Cite the work in your text using the first few words of the reference list entry (usually the title). Put double quotation marks around the title of an article or chapter, and italicize the title of a periodical, book, brochure or report:
The policy stated in the article (“Services for Disabled Children,” 1992)
The policy stated in the book Access to Services for Children (1995)
Specific parts of a source
Indicate the page, chapter, figure, table, or equation at the appropriate point in your text. Give page numbers for quotations, and use the abbreviations for the words page and chapter:
(Aranda & Knight, 1997, p. 344)
(Ell & Castaneda, 1998, chap. 5)
This format applies to emails, messages from nonarchived discussion groups, electronic bulletin boards, personal interviews, telephone conversations, etc. Do not list personal communications in your reference list as they are not recoverable by your reader. In your text, provide initials and surname of communicator and as exact a date as possible.
(M. Flynn, personal communication, September 20, 1999)
Sometimes you'll have multiple works by the same author in the same year. For instance, you may reference a number of tax documents from the same year, which would all be cited with (Internal Revenue Service, 2012). So how do you differentiate?
In those instances, differentiate sources with a letter after the year. From the example above, the 990 form might be (Internal Revenue Service, 2012a) and the 1040 form would be (Internal Revenue Service, 2012b). Just make sure the letters stay consistent in your reference list!
Sometimes, you will use a source that you didn't yourself read. In those cases, the original source came from a secondary source you did read. From Purdue OWL :
If you use a source that was cited in another source, name the original source in your signal phrase. List the secondary source in your reference list and include the secondary source in the parentheses.
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- Research guides
A Guide to APA Style 7th Edition
Citing government documents, example legal references and citations in apa.
- Bill Digest or Bill Summary
- Federal Legislation and Laws
- Hearings and Testimonies
- House and Senate Reports
- Congressional Debates
- CQ Databases
- Unnumbered Federal/Committee Documents
- State Legislation and Laws
- Executive Documents
- Congressional Research Service Reports
- European Union Directives and Proposals
- Court Rules
- UN Convention/Treaty
- Symbols and Abbreviations
Bill summary from a database
Congressional Research Service. (1993, September 10). Violence Against Women Act of 1993: S. 11, 103rd Cong. Proquest Congressional.
(Congressional Research Service [CRS], 1993), successive citations as (CRS, 1993)
Congressional Research Service (1993)
Bill summary from Congress.gov
Congressional Research Service. (1993, September 10). Summary: S.11 - Violence Against Women Act of 1993. https://www.congress.gov/bill/103rd-congress/senate-bill/11
Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, P.L. 103-322, 108 Stat. 1796. (1994).
Violence Against Women Act of 1994, P.L. 103-322, 108 Stat. 1902.
Violence Against Women Act, 42 U.S.C. § 13701 (1994).
(Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act [VCCLEA], 1994), successive citations as (VCCLEA, 1994)
Violence Against Women Act, H.R. 1502, 102nd Cong. (1991).
H.R. 1502, 102nd Cong. (1991).
(Violence Against Women Act [VAWA], 1991), successive citations as (VAWA, 1991)
(H.R 1502, 1991)
Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, H.R. 3355, 103rd Cong. (1994) (enacted).
(Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, 1994)
Violence against women: Victims of the system: Hearings before the Committee on the Judiciary, Senate , 102nd Cong. 1 (1991).
( Violence Against Women , 1991)
Testimony during the Hearing:
Violence against women: Victims of the system: Hearings before the Committee on the Judiciary, Senate , 102nd Cong. 131 (1991) (testimony of Amy Kaylor).
( Violence Against Women , 1991, p. 131)
An Act Relative to Work and Family Mobility H.3012 & S.2061: A Public Hearing before the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Transportation , 191st Gen. Crt. (Mass. 2019, September 4). https://malegislature.gov/Events/Hearings/Detail/3261
( An Act Relative to Work , 2019)
S. Rep. No. 103-138 (1993).
Senate Report No. 103-138 (1993)
(S. Rep. No. 103-138, 1993)
H. Rep. No. 103-395 (1993).
House Report No. 103-395 (1993)
(H. Rep. No. 103-395, 1993)
Congressional Record Daily
140 Cong. Rec. E1,449 (daily ed. July 13, 1994) (statement of Rep. Schroeder).
(140 Cong. Rec. E1,449, 1994)
In her statements to Congress, Rep. Schroeder stated that, "VAWA would send an unequivocal message that police, prosecutors, and judges, the public can no longer cast aside domestic violence and stalking as personal problems" (140 Cong. Rec. E1449, 1994).
Permanent Bound Edition of Congressional Record
140 Cong. Rec. 16,496 (1994) (statement of Rep. Schroeder).
(140 Cong. Rec. 16,496, 1994)
State Journals or Records
H. 166-1, 2nd Sess., at 89 (Nh. 2020). http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/house/caljourns/journals/2020/HJ_1.pdf
(H. 166-1, 2020)
Code of Federal Regulations
8 C.F.R. § 101.1 (2018). https://www.govinfo.gov/app/details/CFR-2018-title8-vol1/CFR-2018-title8-vol1-sec101-1
Presumption of Lawful Admission, 8 C.F.R. § 101.1 (2018). https://www.govinfo.gov/app/details/CFR-2018-title8-vol1/CFR-2018-title8-vol1-sec101-1
8 C.F.R. § 101.1 (2018).
Presumption of Lawful Admission, 8 C.F.R. § 101.1 (2018).
Presumption of Lawful Admission, 68 Fed. Reg. 9832 (Feb. 28, 2003) (to be codified at 8 C.F.R. pt. 101). https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2003/02/28/03-4935/aliens-and-nationality-homeland-security-reorganization-of-regulations
Presumption of Lawful Admission, 68 Fed. Reg. 9832 (2003)
603 C.M.R. § 28.00 (2018). http://www.doe.mass.edu/lawsregs/603cmr28.html
Special Education, 603 C.M.R. § 28.00 (2018). http://www.doe.mass.edu/lawsregs/603cmr28.html
603 C.M.R. § 28.00 (2018)
Special Education, 603 C.M.R. § 28.00 (2018)
Committee on Ways and Means, U.S. House of Representatives. (2004). 2004 green book: Background material and data on the programs within the jurisdiction of the Committee on Ways and Means (18th ed.). U.S. Government Printing Office.
Committee on Ways and Means (2004) reported that enrollment in the AFDC soared in 1994, covering more than a fifth of children in the country (p. 7-2).
(Committee on Ways and Means, 2004, p. 7-2)
Greenbook (Web Version)
Committee on Ways and Means, U.S. House of Representatives. (2014). 2014 green book: Background material and data on the programs within the jurisdiction of the Committee on Ways and Means (22nd ed.). http://greenbook.waysandmeans.house.gov/2014-green-book
According to the Committee on Ways and Means (2014) 50% of the Employee Benefits program is covered federally and the other half is covered by the state (chapter 4, Introduction section, para. 3).
(Committee on Ways and Means, 2014, chapter 4, Introduction section, para. 3)
Landmark education bill signed. (2002). CQ almanac 2001 (57th ed.). Congressional Quarterly.
"Landmark Education Bill" (2002)
("Landmark Education Bill," 2002, Highlights section)
Unnumbered Federal/ Committee Documents
Senate Committee on the Judiciary, 104th Cong., Rep. on Violence Against Women Act in action (Comm. Print 1995).
(Senate Committee on the Judiciary, 1995)
Senate Committee on the Judiciary (1995)
Unenacted State Bill
H. 199, 189 th Gen. Ct., Sess. (Mass. 2015). https://malegislature.gov/Bills/189/House/H199
(H. 199, 2015) or H. 199 (2015)
Enacted State Bill
H. 199, 189 th Gen. Ct., Sess. (Mass. 2015) (enacted). https://malegislature.gov/Bills/189/House/H199
State General Law
Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 106, § 1-101 (2017). https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleXV/Chapter106/Article1/Section1-101
Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 106, § 1-101 (LexisNexis 2013)
(Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 106, § 1-101, 2013)
Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 106, § 1-101 (2013)
Association of Social Work Boards. (2012). Return of organization exempt from income tax [Form 990] . http://990s.foundationcenter.org/990_pdf_archive/222/222414510/222414510_201212_990.pdf
(Association of Social Work Boards, 2012)
Executive Order from Whitehouse.gov
Trump, D. (2017, February 9). Presidential executive order on enforcing federal law with respect to transnational criminal organizations and preventing international trafficking. White House Press Office. https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/02/09/presidential-executive-order-enforcing-federal-law-respect-transnational
(Trump, 2017, section 2(a))
Executive Orders in the Federal Register
Exec. Order. No. 13,515, 74 F.R. 53635 (2009). https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2009/10/19/E9-25268/increasing- participation-of-asian-americans-and-pacific-islanders-in-federal-programs
Exec. Order No. 13,515 (2009)
(Exec. Order No. 13,515, 2009, p. 53,637)
Memorandum From Other Departments or Agencies
Napolitano, J. (2012, June 15). Exercising prosecutorial discretion with respect to individuals who came to the United States as children [Memorandum]. United States Department of Homeland Security Digital Library. https://www.hsdl.org/?abstract&did=712428
(Napolitano, 2012, para. 5)
Letter From One Department to Another
Letter from Jessica Shahin, Assoc. Admin., Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, to Elizabeth Berlin, Exec. Deputy Comm., New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (Aug. 18, 2011). https://www.foodpolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/SNAP-Waiver-Request-Decision.pdf
"Letter from Jessica Shahin" (2011)
("Letter from Jessica Shahin," 2011, para. 5)
Presidential Papers from the Public Papers of the Presidents
Remarks on a Parental Leave Initiative and an Exchange With Reporters, 2 Pub. Papers 2163 (Nov. 30, 1999). https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/PPP-1999-book2/pdf/PPP-1999-book2-doc-pg2163.pdf
"Remarks on a Parental Leave" (1999)
("Remarks on a Parental Leave," 1999, p. 2165)
Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents
Presidential Statement on Signing S. 643 Into Law, 16 Weekly Comp. Pres. Doc. 503 (Mar. 18, 1980). Hein Online.
"Presidential Statement" (1980)
Congressional Research Services Reports
Sacco, L. (2014, March 6). Violence Against Women Act: Overview, legislation, and federal funding (CRS Report No. R42499). Hein Online.
Congressional Research Services. (2015, May 26). Violence Against Women Act: Overview, legislation, and federal funding (CRS Report No. R42499). https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/R/R42499
Sacco (2014) stated that ... (p. 18)
(Congressional Research Services, 2014)
Congressional Research Services (2014) stated that... (p. 18)
Directive 2013/32 of the European Parliament and the Council of 26 June 2013 on Common Procedures for Granting and Withdrawing International Protection (recast), 2013 O.J. (L 108) 60. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=OJ:L:2013:180:TOC
(Directive 2013/32, 2013)
Proposal of the European Parliament and of the Council Establishing a Common Procedure for International Protection in the Unionand Repealing Directive 2013/32/EU , COM (2016) 467 final (July 13, 2016). http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:52016PC0467
(Proposal of the European Parliament, 2016)
Govtrack.us Comparing Bill Versions
Reference both bills that are being compared and indicate their stage in parenthesis with the date.
Improving Access to Maternity Care Act, H.R. 315, 115th Cong. (as passed by House, January 9, 2017). Civic Impulse. https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hr315/text/eh#compare=350473:is
Improving Access to Maternity Care Act, S. 783, 115th Cong. (as introduced by Senate, March 30, 2017). Civic Impulse. https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hr315/text/eh#compare=350473:is
(Improving Access to Maternity Care Act, H.R. 315, 2017)
(Improving Access to Maternity Care Act, S. 783, 2017)
Govtrack.us as a Website Tool
Govtrack.us [Web tool]. (n.d.). https://www.govtrack.us/
State Court Rule
Mass. Sup. Ct. R. 3:30. (2012). https://www.mass.gov/supreme-judicial-court-rules/supreme-judicial-court-rule-303-legal-assistance-to-the-commonwealth
Mass. Sup. Ct. R. 3:30. (2012)
United Nations Convention or Treaty
United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Optional Protocol, December, 13, 2006, http://www.un.org/disabilities/documents/convention/convoptprot-e.pdf
United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Optional Protocol (2006)
Common Symbols and Abbreviations
§ = section, refers to a particular part of a document, usually in legal materials
- To create the § use the Character Map on a PC or go to Edit then Emoji and Symbols and search for "section" on Mac.
ch. = Chapter
Cong. = Congress, usually refers to a specific session of congress, i.e. 101st Cong.
CRS = Congressional Research Service, an arm of the Library Congress that conducts research on policy for the US Congress
Gen. Ct. = General Court, usually refers to a state level congressional session
H.R. or H. = House of Representatives
P.L. = Public Law
Rep. or Rep. No. = Report or report number
S. or Sen. = Senate
Sess. = Session
Stat. = Statute, usually refers to session laws, a chronological compilation of laws organized by volume and page number
U.S.C. = United States Code
The APA Publication Manual gives guidelines for referencing some legal resources on page 216, Appendix 7.1. For anything not represented in the Manual, APA recommends using The Bluebook.
We include as many citation examples as possible in this guide. If you don't find what you are looking for in this guide, ask a librarian for assistance.
Quick Links to Example Legal Citations in APA:
- Basic Legal Citation - Cornell University
- Citing Government Documents in APA - Cornell University
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