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Research Style & Usage: APA/MLA


APA Style: Quoting, Citing, and Referencing



  • Fewer than 40 words: Include in the text, surrounded by double quotation marks

  • 40 words or more: Set off from the text in indented block form without quotation marks. If the quotation contains multiple paragraphs, indent the start of each one 0.5".

  • To indicate errors in the original source, use sic, italicized and bracketed: “. . . biolgical [sic]”

  • To indicate changes in the original source:

    • Use an ellipsis to indicate omission. Add a period if the omission comes between sentences.

    • Use brackets to insert material.

    • If someone other than the original author has italicized words for emphasis, add the words [italics added] in brackets after the words.

  • Cite quotations in the following ways (depending on quote length and use of author name):

    • Horner (1967) found that “Children raised in stable two-parent families . . .” (p. 438).

    • He found that “Children raised . . . ” (Horner, 1967, p. 438).

    • Horner (1967) found the following: Children raised . . . [assuming quotation is 40 or more words long]. (p. 438)

  • You may need to obtain copyright permission for long quotations.


In-Text Citations

  • APA style uses the author-date format for in-text citations.

  • All references cited in the text should also appear in the reference list (except for classical works and personal communications).

One author
  • . . . the photoelectric effect (Einstein, 1906)

  • Einstein’s description of the photoelectric effect (1906)

  • In 1906, Einstein published a paper on the photoelectric effect.

Two to five authors
  • First use in a paper: Barrett, Waters, and Tang (1997) found . . .

  • First use in a paragraph after already used in a paper: Barrett et al. (1997) found . . .

  • Further uses within the same paragraph: Barrett et al. found . . .

  • Within parentheses, use an ampersand: . . . (Barrett, Waters, & Tang, 1997)

More than five authors
  • First use in a paper:

    • Zuckerman et al. (1987) found . . .

  • Further uses within the same paragraph:

    • Zuckerman et al. found . . .

  • If two or more papers would have the same abbreviation under APA rules e.g., Einstein, Rush, and Oppenheimer, 1950, and Einstein, Bohr and Teller, 1950, both would abbreviate to Einstein et al., 1950), provide as many names as are needed to distinguish between the papers:

    • Einstein, Rush, et al. (1950) and Einstein, Bohr, et al. (1950) found . . .

No author
  • Include the title and date:

    • . . . the book Pregnancy and Poverty (1979)

  • For articles or book chapters, put the title in double quotation marks

    • . . . the study on health care (“America suffers,” 1997)

  • If the writer is listed as “Anonymous,” cite accordingly: (Anonymous, 1956)

Multiple works within the same citation
  • To cite two or more works by the same author, list the author’s name once, followed by the dates of publication in chronological order:

    • . . . as has been shown (Hewlett 1989, 1993, 1994)

  • To cite different authors, separate the authors using semicolons and list them in the order in which the works appear in the reference list:

    • . . . seminal papers in physics (Einstein, 1905a, 1905b; Oppenheimer and Bohr, 1940; Teller, 1951)

  • To separate a major citation from other citations, list the primary source first, followed by a semicolon, then insert a “see also” before listing the remaining citations in alphabetical order:

    • . . . studies suggest (Strickley, 1997; see also Blake, 1995; Masters, 1986)

  • To cite two or more works published in a single year by the same authors, distinguish between them in the text and in references by adding a letter to the year:

    • Crowley et al., 1923a, 1923b, 1923c

  • If two authors cited have the same last name, give their initials in all references:

    • A. J. Einstein and Wilson (1905) and J. C. Einstein and Hartley (1961) found . . .

Classical works
  • Classical works, such as the Bible and Greek and Roman texts, should be cited in the text but do not need to be included in the reference list at the end of the paper.

  • Translations of classical works should be noted: (Plato, trans. 2001). Translations also should be included in the reference list.

  • When citing specific sections of classical works, use line numbers, chapters, and so on instead of page numbers, which typically apply only to a single edition.

  • When citing a reprint of an older work, indicate both the date of the original publication and the date of the reprint, separated by a slash: (Freud, 1901/1961)

Personal communications (such as email, letters, or conversations)
  • Cite in the text but do not include in the reference list: (J. M. Hamilton, personal communication, December 17, 2003)

Indirect references (works not referenced directly but discussed in a secondary source)
  • If you wish to mention an article by Jones that you did not read directly but learned about in a book by Adamson, cite as follows: Jones’s study (as cited in Adamson, 1994)

  • Include the secondary source (in above example, Adamson) in the reference list.

Works still in press
  • Rather than cite a predicted publication date, indicate that the work is still in press: (Horace, in press)


References List

  • All works cited in the main text should be included in the references list and vice versa (aside from exceptions mentioned above).

  • Start the reference list on a new page, with the title “References” centered at the top.

  • Align the first line of each entry flush with the left margin of the page. Indent each subsequent line of each entry 0.5" from the left margin (known as “hanging indent format”).

  • List references in alphabetical order.

    • If there are multiple works by the same principal author, order alphabetically by the second (or third, etc.) author.

    • If there are multiple works by the same authors, order by date with earliest work first.

    • If there are multiple works by the same authors in the same year, add lowercase letters after the year (e.g., 1991a, 1991b) to distinguish the works. Then, alphabetize by title.

    • Works by anonymous authors should be alphabetized under author name “Anonymous.”

    • Works with no author should be alphabetized by title.

  • General form:

    • Connors, J. L. (1999). Digestion in healthy infants. Scientific Mothering, 14, 246- 278. (14 is the volume number, 246-278 are page numbers)

  • Two to six authors:

    • Linney, M. B., & Palmer, G. (1987). Steroid use in professional cycling. Sports Medicine, 72, 89-123.

  • More than six authors:

    • Resnick, L. K., Friedman, H. R., Klein, W., Hermann, J. S., Ng, A., Zucker, M., et al. (1992). The cognitive behavior of patients undergoing chemotherapy. The Journal of Cancer Studies, 73, 645-787.

  • General form:

    • Norris, G. H., & Canting, L. L. (1965). Culture and class in Hungary. Bloomington, IN: Hashford Press.

  • No author or editor listed:

    • Pregnancy and poverty: The crisis in North American cities. (1979). Chicago: Crampton and Sons.

  • Edited:

    • Crawford, A. F., & Gregor, T. B. (Eds.). (1980). Urban development in America. Los Angeles: Smith-Folley.

  • Revised edition:

    • Gonzalez, M. Y. (1996). The discovery of the neutron (Rev. ed). New York: Academic Press.

  • Multiple editions:

    • Gonzalez, M. Y. (1997). The discovery of the neutron (3rd. ed). New York: Academic Press.

  • Multivolume work:

    • Lancashire, K. S. (2000). Peer pressure in adolescent interaction (Vols. 1–3). Houston, TX: Scribe Press.

  • Author same as publisher:

    • American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington, DC: Author. (Use the word “Author” for publisher.)

  • Non-English book:

    • Galvin, E. G. (1988). Les jeux d’enfants [Children’s games]. Paris: Marceaux.

  • English translation of non-English book:

    • Galvin, E. G. (1990). Children’s games (T. C. Thomas & Y. H. Serron, Trans.). New York: Academic Press. (Original work published 1988)

  • Encyclopedia or dictionary with author or editor listed:

    • Harris, T. F. (1955). Dictionary of geology (3rd ed., Vols. 2-3). Princeton, NJ: Dalton

  • Encyclopedia or dictionary with no author or editor listed:

    • Crofton’s dictionary of colloquial English (4th ed.). (1993). Kansas City, MO: Crofton Press

Chapters or articles in books
  • General form:

    • Nguyen, C. F. (1983). Marital communication. In E. R. Bailey & H. A. McArthur (Eds.), Essays on marriage (pp. 43–98). London: Sociological Press.

  • Two authors, two editors:

    • Clarke, E., & Anderson, B. (1997). Heart disease and sodium intake. In E. J. Yang and M. V. Egan (Eds.), Cardiac arrest: Risk factors (pp. 100–123). New York: Doone.

  • In a multivolume work:

    • Piaget, F. (1978). Hypersensitivity in toddlers. In E. I. Stern (Ed.), Developmental psychology: Vols. 1–2. Infancy to early childhood. Berlin: Deutsche Press.

  • With different series and volume editors:

    • Roy, L. L. (1993). Personality disorders. In E. H. Ford (Series Ed.) & J. L. Durst (Vol. Ed.), Child development: Vol. 2. Social disorders (2nd ed., pp. 12–19). Miami: Moore

  • In an encyclopedia:

    • Hailey, T. G. (1990). Quantum mechanics. In The new encyclopaedia Britannica (Vol. 5, pp. 100–126). Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica.

Works still in press
  • Do not list year, volume, or page numbers until the work is published.

    • Parr, A. (in press). The testosterone effect. Journal of Gender and Sexual Studies.

Online sources
  • Internet-only periodical:

    • Smith, P., & Kay, L. S. (2001, May 8). Properties of aloe. Today’s Medicine, 17, 32–34. Retrieved April 16, 2001, from http://www.tmedicine.com/article/2001_5/aloe.htm

  • General form for other online documents:

    • O’Neill, S. K., & Brown, F. (2000). Geriatric health care in Canada. Retrieved January 3, 2002, from http://www.eldercares.org/health-care/canada.htm

  • Identify the Internet location by using the appropriate address (e.g., a uniform resource locator (URL), file transfer protocol (FTP) address, telnet address, gopher address, etc.).

  • Double-check to make sure that you spell the address correctly. Keep in mind that some types of Internet addresses may be case-sensitive.

  • Never insert a hyphen to break an Internet address across lines. If an address does not fit on one line, break it only after a slash or before a period.

  • When citing a multi-page Internet document, provide the title and URL of the starting or home page.

  • With issue and serial numbers:

    • Olivetti, G. F. (1993). Title of monograph. Title of Series, 5 (2, Serial No. 128). (5 is the volume number, 2 is the issue number, and 128 is the serial number)

  • As a supplement to a journal:

    • Olivetti, G. F. (1993). Title of monograph. Title of Series, 5 (2, Pt. 2).

  • Bound into a journal with continuous page numbers:

    • Olivetti, G. F. (1993). Title of monograph [Monograph]. Title of Series, 5, 126–238.

Dissertations and theses
  • Unpublished dissertation or thesis:

    • Waters, S. C. (1989). Title of dissertation or thesis. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University, Location. (If a thesis, write “Unpublished master’s thesis”.)

  • Abstracted in Dissertation Abstracts International (DAI):

    • Chiang, E. (2001). Title of dissertation or thesis. Dissertation Abstracts International, 5, 230A. (5 is the volume number; 230A is the page number: use A to indicate The Humanities and Social Sciences series; B to indicate The Physical Sciences and Engineering series; C to indicate the Worldwide series, formerly titled European Abstracts.

    • If you obtained the abstract from UMI, give the UMI number in parentheses after the reference: (UMI No. 10000)

    • If you obtained the dissertation from a university, put (Doctoral dissertation, University name, year obtained) in parentheses after the title of the dissertation.

Technical reports
  • General form:

    • Jones, J. Y., & Siegel, B. (2001, October). Gender discrepancies: The benefits of single-sex education (University of Chicago Research Report No. 34). Chicago: University of Chicago, Center for Educational Psychology.

  • This format should be adapted to reports of different types or from different sources, e.g., if the document is printed by the National Technical Information Service (NTIS), put the NTIS number in parentheses at the end of the entry. The goal, as with references in general, is to provide enough information so that the original report can be retrieved readily.

Reviews of books, motion pictures, etc.
  • General form:

    • Grey, L. H. (2001). A man for all seasons. [Review of the motion picture Mr. Riley]. Cinema Today, 5, 120–156.

Audiovisual recordings
  • Motion picture:

    • Joffe, C. (Producer), & Allen, W. (Director). (1979). Manhattan [Motion picture]. United States: United Artists Pictures.

  • Television series:

    • Brooks, J. L. (Executive Producer). (1989) The Simpsons [Television series]. Los Angeles: 20th Century Fox Television.

  • Single episode from a television series:

    • Charles, L. (Writer), & Cherones, T. (Director). (1994). The marine biologist [Television series episode]. In J. Seinfeld (Producer), Seinfeld. New York: NBC Television.

  • Television broadcast:

    • Pratt, C. (Executive Producer). (2003, November 16). Face the nation [Television broadcast]. New York: CBS Television.

  • Music recording

    • Dylan, B. (1965). Like a rolling stone. On Highway 61 revisited [record]. New York: Columbia Records. (Include recording date if not the same as copyright date.)

  • Music recording (if recording artist and songwriter are not the same):

    • Perry, L. (2002). Beautiful [Recorded by C. Aguilera]. On Stripped [CD]. New York: RCA Records. (Include recording date if not the same as copyright date.)