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Documenting Sources Using APA Style

Governors State University University Library Presenter: Beth Hansen Shaw


What is APA Style?

Refers to The Publication Manual of the

American Psychological Association, 5th ed.

(The following information is adapted from this manual.)

Provides rules for the preparation of

manuscripts, Describes mechanical aspects of writing, including margins, spacing, punctuation, capitalization, alphabetizing, etc., and Provides proper format for your reference list.

Why use APA Style?

Allows readers to locate, or cross-reference,

the sources that you consulted to write your paper. Provides consistent format within a discipline. Gives you credibility as a writer by showing accountability to source material. Protects you from plagiarizing.

Citing Sources Two main concerns:

Citing sources on your Reference List. Citing sources within the body of your


Reference List
Identify the type of source document that you

need to reference. Include only the sources that you used in the research and preparation of your paper. References cited in the body of your paper must appear in your reference list, and, Each entry in the reference list must be cited in your paper. Include only recoverable data. Personal communications are cited in text only.

Construction of the Reference List

Reference data must be complete & accurate.

Entries should be in alphabetical order by

author, or by title if no author is given. Double-space between entries. Entries should have a hanging indent.

Basic Elements of a Citation

Authors name
Author, A. A., Author B. B., & Author C. C.

Publication date (19XX) Title of work Publication information Retrieval information for electronic sources

Elements of a reference to a book, one author

Author, A. A. (date). Title of work. Location: Publisher. Example: Hochschild, A. (1989). The second shift: Working parents and the revolution at home. New York: Viking Penguin, Inc.

Example of a reference to a book, two or more authors

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (date). Title of work. Location: Publisher. Example: Beck, C. A. J., & Sales, B. D. (2001). Family mediation: Facts, myths, and future prospects. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Example of a reference to an edited book

Editor, A. A., & Editor, B. B. (Eds.). (date). Title of work. Location: Publisher. Example: Gibbs, J. T., & Huang, L. N. (Eds.). (1991). Children of color: Psychological interventions with minority youth. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Example of a reference to a chapter in an edited book

Author, A. A. (date). Title of chapter. In A. A. Editor & B. B. Editor (Eds.), Title of book (pp. xxx-xxx). Location: Publisher.

Example: Bjork, R. A. (1989). Retrieval inhibition as an adaptive mechanism in human memory. In H. L. Roediger III & F. I. M. Craik (Eds.), Varieties of memory & consciousness (pp. 309-330). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Example of a reference to an encyclopedia entry

Author, A. A. (date). Title of entry. In Title of encyclopedia (Vol. xx, pp. xxx-xxx). Location: Publisher.

Example: Bergmann, P. G. (1993). Relativity. In The new encyclopedia Britannica (Vol. 26, pp. 501508). Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica.

Elements of a reference to a journal article, one author

Author, A. A. (date). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume, pages. Example: Mellars, B. A. (2000). Choice and the relative pleasure of consequences. Psychological Bulletin, 126, 910-924.

Elements of a reference to a journal article, three to six authors

Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (date). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume, page numbers.
Example: Saywitz, K.J., Mannarino, A. P., Berliner, L., & Cohen, J. A. (2000). Treatment for sexually abused children and adolescents. American Psychologist, 55, 1040-1049.

Example of a reference to a magazine article

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (year, month date). Title of article. Title of magazine, volume, pages. Example: Kandel, E. R., & Squire, L. R. (2000, November 10). Neuroscience: Breaking down scientific barriers to the study of brain and mind. Science, 290, 11131120.

Example of a reference to a web page

Author, A. A. (year, month date). Title of work. Retrieved Month day, year from URL Example: Poland, D. (1998, October 26). The hot button. Roughcut. Retrieved October 28, 1998 from http://www.roughcut.com

Example of a reference retrieved from an aggregated database

Eid, M. & Langeheine, R. (1999). The measurement of consistency and occasion specificity with latent class models: A new model and its application to the measurement of affect. Psychological Methods, 4, 100-116. Retrieved November 19, 2000, from the PsycARTICLES database.

Example of an Internet article based on a print source

VandenBos, G., Knapp, S., & Doe, J. (2001). Role of reference elements in the selection of resources by psychology undergraduates [Electronic version]. Journal of Bibliographic Research, 5, 117123.

Examples of reference citations in text

Walker (2000) compared reaction times
In a recent study of reaction times (Walker,

2000) In 2000 Walker compared reaction times

When should you use parenthetical citations?

When quoting any words that are not your

own. When summarizing facts and ideas from a source. When paraphrasing a source. If an idea comes from someone else, the source material must be cited. When in doubt, cite.

What if there is no example in the manual for material I need to cite?

Look over general forms and examples and

follow an example that is most like your source. Provide more information rather than less. When in doubt, consult with your instructor.

Sources for additional examples

Go to the APA Website at

http://www.apastyle.org Other Internet sites. Search on APA Style to locate numerous university sites with examples of APA format. Caveat: Any examples that are not from the APA Manual or the APA Website could contain errors, from misinterpretation of the manual, to typographical errors.

Good Luck!