APA 7 Citations: APA Style: Basics

This guide replaces the APA Citations guide for the 6th edition.

APA Basics Resources

APA's Style and Grammar Guidelines Home Page

APA Style Tips: Formatting Basics

APA Style Reference Page: In-Text Citations

APA Style Reference Page: Components

APA Sample Student Title Page. What it should look like, with explanations provided in the APA's Student Title Page Guide.

APA Reference Examples - Scroll down this page to see reference and in-text citation examples by type of source.  See additional new examples in Chelsea Lee's March 13, 2020 blog post New Reference Examples on the APA Style Website.

Helpful Handouts and Guides

Key Elements of a Reference

4 key parts of a reference are

Author (who?), Date (when?), Title (what?), and Source (where?).

  1. Author: Who is responsible for this work?

  2. Date: When was this work published?

  3. Title: What is this work called?

  4. Source: Where can I retrieve this work?

More info here: Elements of Reference List Entries and
Correspondence Between Source and the Reference List Entry

Next:  Determine which document type you have

journal, magazine, or newspaper
book or ebook
edited book chapter
conference presentation
dissertation or thesis
unpublished or informally published work
audio work
YouTube video
social media post
website or webpage
data sets
computer software
mobile apps
apparatuses, and equipment
tests, scales, and inventories

 Note: Whether you retrieved your source from the Internet, a library, an academic database, through interlibrary loan or borrowed it from a friend, the retrieval method usually doesn't matter in APA.

"The purpose of a reference list entry is to provide readers with the details they will need to perform a search themselves, if necessary, not to replicate the path the author [you] personally used" (American Psychological Association 2019 Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th ed., p. 296).

If your reader is not going to be able to recover a source you have used, do not include it in the References list.  Sources such as personal emails, classroom lectures, intranet sources, or online works that are no longer accessible should only be cited within your text as personal communications (American Psychological Association 2019 Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th ed., p. 300, section 9.37).  

What is Italicized in APA?

Sentence Case versus Title Case

In APA Style, learn the difference between title case and sentence case and when to use each.

Reference Citations with More than 20 Names

Personal Interviews - Cite Only in Your Text

Have you conducted an interview with another person or persons as a means to obtain information to support your research? An interview is considered to be personal communication.

Note About Annotated Bibliographies

There are now guidelines for annotated bibliographies on pages 307-308, section 9.51 with a sample on page 307, in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th ed. 

“An annotated bibliography is a type of student paper in which reference list entries are followed by short descriptions of the work called annotations.” See your instructor for specific guidelines for annotated bibliographies.

Annotations are indented 0.5” from the left-hand margin. 

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