How to Cite References in APA Format

Most academic papers are required to be written in one of two formats, set by the Modern Language Association (MLA) or American Psychological Association (APA). While they share some characteristics, APA format requires that you adhere to different details when you site sources. Make sure you know which details to include so you can present your paper and the sources you use in the correct format.

Instructions

    • 1

      Locate any place within your research paper where you used information from a source. After each of these sentences, list the author's last name and the year of publication in parenthesis, separated by a comma. Put the parenthesis inside the period but outside quotation marks, if applicable.

    • 2

      Write "Works Cited" at the top of a new page. Center it and double space between this title and the first reference.

    • 3

      List all the books you referenced. Write the author's last name, a comma, his first initial; the year of publication in parenthesis, capped by a period; the name of the book in italicized font with a comma at the end; the city and state of publishing, separated by a comma, capped by a colon and followed by the name of the publishing company, capped with a period.

    • 4

      List all articles you referenced. Write the author's last name, a comma, his first initial; the year of publication in parenthesis, capped by a period; the title of the article, capped by a period; the title of the journal publication in italicized font with a comma at the end; the issue number and pages of the article, separated by a comma, capped with a period.

    • 5

      List all websites you referenced. Write the author's last name, a comma, his first initial; the year of publication in parenthesis, capped by a period; the title of the document with a comma; the words "retrieved from" with a colon, then the website address (URL).

    • 6

      Indent the second and following lines of each reference one-half inch (called a hanging indentation).

    • 7

      Categorize all references alphabetically by the last name of the authors and insert a space between each reference.

Tips & Warnings

  • If it is unclear which category a reference source fits into, consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.
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  • Photo Credit writing image by Alison Bowden from Fotolia.com

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