"APA style" is the citation style guide used in health and social sciences.
As the American Psychological Association (APA) states:
When editors or teachers ask you to write in "APA Style," they are referring to the editorial style that many of the social and behavioral sciences have adopted to present written material in the field. APA Style was first developed 80 years ago by a group of social scientists who wished to establish sound standards of communication. Since that time, it has been adopted by leaders in many fields and has been used by writers around the world.
When a source has more than one author (2 to 20), list themallin the References page citation.
When a source has 21 or more authors, list the first 19 authors, follow with an ellipsis..., then list the last author as shown on the article. Example:
Okore, W., Arslan, M., Fischer, P., Nowak, L., Van den Berg, O., Coetzee, L., Juárez, U., Riyaziyyat, E., Kimura, Y., Zhang, I., Chakraborty, P., Yang, M. L., Kumar, B., Xu, A., Martinez, R., McIntosh, V., Ibáñez, L. M., Mäkinen, G., Virtanen, E., . . . Kovács, A. (2019). The mathematics of the unicorn's horn. Journal of Improbable Mathematics, 27(1), 78–86.
Webpages and website documents are treated as stand-alone documents, which means that webpage titles are in italics and website names appear in normal typeface (this is the opposite from citing journal, magazine, or newspaper articles).
Goodman, B. (2020, January 17). Could your Fitbit help detect the flu? WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/news/20200117/could-your-fitbit-help-detect-the-flu
After referring to an entire Website in your paper, provide its homepage URL in parentheses, as an active link, immediately after. You may then omit the Website from your list of References.
Example from an COL 101 student's Student Success Plan paper:
In addition to consulting with TCC Research Librarians and the Writing and Tutoring Center, my student success plan will include bookmarking and using the Purdue OWL (https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/purdue_owl.html) which is a valuable resource for writing and research help and for citation support.
If you are referring to a single page from a website, or a document you retrieved from a website, see the tab for citing a webpage or web document.
General summary for electronic (non-print) sources and the inclusion of retrieval information in References citations:
DOIs and URLs
If there is a DOI, use the DOI (DOIs are only used for scholarly journal articles and scholarly books).
If there is no DOI (either you can't find one, or the source is not a scholarly journal or book), do nothing. Do not substitute with a Library database URL*, for example.
*However, as a student, your instructor might prefer it if you include a library database URL so sources can be accessed more quickly when grading 100 papers! Always ask your instructor if they have any unique course-specific citation rules they would like you to follow.
If there is no DOI, and the source is available in full text, free of charge on the open web (not a library database), you can replace the DOI with the document's URL (web address).
Example of a References page citation for a scholarly journal that has a listed DOI:
Weltsek, G. J. (2019). Theatre programs in community colleges: A policy for equity. Arts Education Policy Review, 120(2), 103–111. https://doi.org/10.1080/10632913.2018.1423594
Library handout demonstrating APA 7 URL, DOI uses in References page citations
Citing books and ebooks
References page citations for books used to include the publisher's location (a city, and perhaps state as well). APA no longer requires the publisher's location. This applies to both print books and e-books.
Kendi, I. X. (2019). How to be an antiracist. New York: One World.
As with periodicals, if an e-book is accessed through a subscription database, such as EBook Central, do not include a retrieval URL:
Tuck, S. & Gates, H. L. (2014). The night Malcolm X spoke at the Oxford Union: A transatlantic story of antiracist protest. Retrieved fromhttps://ebookcentral.proquest.com
And also as with periodicals, if an ebook is available freely online to anyone, include a retrieval URL:
Quick and easy for students: Student papers do not need "running heads" - a bit of the paper's title in the header along with the page number Student papers just need page numbers. Read on for more information about running heads, if you like.
A “running head” is a shortened version of a paper’s title, appearing on each page in the left-side header space of a paper.
Professional papers need running heads, which will appear in the header space on the left corner of the paper, as a SHORTENED PAPER TITLE in all caps.
The APA is ignoring traditional grammar conventions in favor of reducing bias and gender-binary assumption. APA 7 endorses the use of they/them when the gender of a person is unknown or, as is most common, irrelevant.
Writers should use the singular “they” in two main cases: (a) when referring to a generic person whose sex or gender is unknown or irrelevant to the context and (b) when referring to a specific, known person who uses “they/them” as their pronouns.
When referring to a generic person whose sex or gender is unknown or irrelevant to the context, use the singular “they” as the pronoun. For example, if you use nouns like “person,” “individual,” or “everyone” or phrases like “every teacher” or “each nurse” in a sentence, use the appropriate form of the pronoun “they”, rather than using she/he when referring to them later, as needed.
"The guidelines for bias-free language contain both general guidelines for writing about people without bias across a range of topics and specific guidelines that address the individual characteristics of age, disability, gender, participation in research, racial and ethnic identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and intersectionality" (APA.org). Example: Acknowledge humanity: Instead of "the homeless" put the person first "people who are living unhoused." See the link below for more information, guidelines, and suggestions..
As of April 2023 this is APA's recommendation for citing outputs from Open AI's ChatGPT, or any large language model generative AI. Please ask your instructors for their guidelines about the use of generative AI in your course work.
This is from the APA Blog - a useful resource for citation information not found in other APA citation resources, including the APA Manual.
APA and MLA help for citing government documents
Government documents or reports -- from local, county, state, and/or national government departments -- are cited a little differently in both APA and MLA citation styles. For government documents or data, in most cases the author will be the government department responsible for compiling or publishing the data/report/document.
Examples for citing government documents:
Click the links below for good guides, with examples, for how to cite Census data, tax forms and other government documents.
APA citation help straight from the APA organization! Includes current and practical examples, like how to cite social media, TikTok videos, ChatGPT, and more! Tip: Use the search box to search for specific citation scenarios!
This free tutorial is designed for those who have no previous knowledge of APA Style. It shows users how to structure and format their work, recommends ways to reduce bias in language, identifies how to avoid charges of plagiarism, shows how to cite references in text, and provides selected reference examples.
From the UNC-Chapel Hill Citing Information guides. Use the links on the left menu to view sample references page, in-text citations, and sample citations for both print and online sources.
APA web forms
Use the sites below to plug in the appropriate information and view your citation in APA format. Successful use depends upon entering correct information! Compare your results with an APA style handout available on this page.
Just need one or two quick citations? No need to log in or subscribe -- simply generate them in NoodleTools Express and copy and paste what you need into your document. Note: citations are not saved and cannot be exported to a word processor using this version of the tool
Citation Machine helps students properly credit their sources and create bibliographies. You can choose a manual entry mode, with fill-in-the-blank forms for different types of sources, or enter a URL for auto-fille mode.
What does "citing" mean?
There are two parts to a citation:
The brief in-text citation lets your reader know where the information in your paper came from, as you are using it. Usually, this means the author(s) and year.
The full References citation is on a separate References page, letting your reader know, in detail, where to find that source.
Below is an example of how the two citation pieces fit together in APA style:
Gordon and Cui(2015) found compelling evidence suggesting that a person’s career outcomes in adulthood are more of a product of the quality of their childhood relationships with their parent(s), or other adult guardians, rather than the quality of the education they received.
. . . . . . . .
Gordon, M. S., & Cui, M. (2015). Positive parenting during adolescence and career success in young adulthood. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 24(3), 762-771. http://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-013-9887-y
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