How to Reference Another Student's Paper in APA

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When a student is writing a paper, there are times when the most useful information can be found in the papers of other students. Writing American Psychological Association (APA) style reference lists can be complicated when using non-traditional information sources. A way to list the reference of another student's paper is to add each component of the entry one by one.

  • List the author by her last name, followed by a comma and a space.

  • Write the first initial of the author's first name, followed by a period and a space. If a middle initial is given, place it after the first-name initial, followed by a period. If there are two authors, place a comma after the period, followed by a space, an ampersand and another space before beginning the name of the second author. For example, if the authors of the paper being referenced are Kate Smith and Donald J. Rose, the correct APA format would be Smith, K., & Rose D.J. If there are more than two authors, reserve the use of the ampersand until just before the last author is listed.

  • Put the year of the publication in parentheses, then add a period and a space. For example, if a report was published in 2001, the citation would read:

    Smith, K., & Rose D.J. (2001).

  • Write the report title, capitalizing only the first letter of the title.

  • List the issuing organization -- also known as the publisher -- in parentheses after the report title. If there is a number assigned by the issuing organization, add a space after the issuing organization, then write "No." followed by a space and the number.

    If there is no issuing organization, place a period after the report title.

  • Conclude your reference by adding publication information. If you are referencing a paper found online, write "Retrieved from," followed by the website description and its full address (for example, "Retrieved from University 'X' website": http://wwwuniversitya.com/reference).

  • List the state in which the report was written, followed by a comma, a space and the country of the college or university where the paper was written.

  • Add a colon and name the college or university the student attended when the report was written.

  • Follow the name of the university with a comma and a space.

  • Write the name of the department under which the report was written. For example, the full entry would read: Smith, K., & Rose D.J. (2001). The basics of APA writing (College Board No. 20-25). Texas, United States: University of Texas, Writing Center.

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