How to Cite Lecture Notes in APA Style


Students studying fields in the social sciences will likely have instructors who require them to use APA style when writing research papers. APA style requires an alphabetized list of citations in a Reference Page, as well as in-text parenthetical citations. The purpose of documenting sources is to avoid presenting another author's work as your own and to help readers find the source you are citing. Only cite lecture notes that a instructor made available online; you do not need to cite your own notes.

  • Identify who authored the lecture notes using the "Last name, First initial" format. Indicate the year the lecture notes were published in parentheses. In italics, type the lecture's title. Only capitalize the first word in the lecture's title; however, always capitalize proper nouns.

  • Name the file format in brackets before inserting a period. Examples of file formats include a PDF document, PowerPoint slides or Word document. Write the words "Retrieved from" and include the complete URL for the lecture notes.

  • Follow this example for citing lecture notes: Holloway, P. Causes of the war in Iraq [PDF document]. Retrieved from

  • Write a parenthetical citation for lecture notes by placing in parentheses the author's last name, year and any information that will help readers find the passage being quoted or paraphrased. If the lecture notes use page numbers use the abbreviation "p." or use the abbreviation "para." to list a paragraph number if page numbers are not used. For PowerPoint slides, list the slide number.

  • Reference this example when citing lecture notes in-text: One factor that caused the Civil Was was "economic differences between the southern and northern states" (Williams, 2004, para. 3).


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