APA is a documentation style.
APA is used and usually required in academic writing in the sciences and social sciences to guide students in
1) how the paper looks on the page (also called formatting) and
2) making sure the reader knows what sources you used and when you used them.
Why use documentation style (APA) for your classes?
There are 3 main components of APA style
Using outside sources (anything that is not your own ideas whether it be information from your textbook or webpages) in your APA-style paper consists of two steps.
Ideally, your reference (at the end of your paper) will consist of this information:
Author. (date). Title. Source.
Livio, M. (2020, May 6). When Galileo stood trial for defending science. A&E Television Networks. https://www.history.com/news/galileo-copernicus-earth-sun-heresy-church
Controlled Burn. (n.d.). ScienceDaily. https://www.sciencedaily.com/terms/controlled_burn.htm
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. (n.d.). Student wellness center. https://www.rccc.edu/wellness/
There are two ways to cite your information in your paper.
If you include all the information about your source in the parenthesis at the end of the sentence, it is called a parenthetical in-text citation. Add page numbers for direct quotes.
If you include the author's name in the sentence, it is called a narrative in-text citation. The date goes in the parenthesis.
Whenever you have a reference at the end of your paper, you need at least one intext citation to go with it. Every intext citation should point to a reference at the end of your paper.
References and Intext Citations Go Together Like Peas and Carrots.
Your intext citation contains the first word(s) of your reference and the date so the reader can find it easily. For example:
You write this in your paper: For optimal decomposition, experts believe you should aim for a carbon to nitrogen ratio of 30:1 (Johnson, 2001).
This is in your Reference List:
Johnson, L. (2001, February). Compost Happens: The Secret to Making Quick Gardener's Gold Instead of a Slow, Stinking Mess Requires, Like Everything Else, Balance. Canadian Gardening, 12(1), 28-33.
A few things about APA formatting
OpenAI. (2023). Gun violence in North Carolina (June 5 version) [Large language model]. https://chat.openai.com/chat
The in-text citation would be
*OpenAI is the author of the ChatGPT model.
Klymkowsky, M. (2018, September 15). Can we talk scientifically about free will? Sci-Ed. https://blogs.plos.org/scied/2018/09/15/can-we-talk-scientifically-about-free-will/
(Klymbkowsky, 2018) is the in-text citation
For direct quotes, see the information below for quoting items without page numbers.
Gleick, J. (1987). Chaos: Making a new science. Penguin.
(Gleick, 1987) is the in-text citation
Gale, P., & Lerner, N. (2000). The Bacon guide to peer tutoring. Allyn & Bacon.
(Gale & Lerner, 2000) is the in-text citation
UNCG. (2021). Information for potential UNCG students [Brochure].
In-text is (UNCG, 2021)
If an online brochure
UNCG. (n.d.) Visitor brochure [Brochure]. https://admissions.uncg.edu/visitor-brochure/
Include title and [Brochure] in the title. This brochure has no date. Do not use the webpage's copyright date.
In-text is (UNCG, n.d.)
Harris, M. (2000). Talk to me: Engaging reluctant writers. In B. Raforth (Ed.), A tutor's guide: Helping writers (pp. 24-34). Heinemann.
Here's how it looks for an ebook
Melson, G. & Fine, A. (2019). Animals in the lives of children. In A. Fine (Ed.), Handbook on animal-assisted therapy : Theoretical foundations and guidelines for practice (pp. 223-245). Elsevier Science and Technology. https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rowancabarrus/reader.action?docID=629941&ppg=259
(Harris, 2000) is the in-text citation
Beaton, K. (2016). King baby (K. Beaton, Illus.). Arthur A. Levine Books.
Crimi, C. (2019). Weird little robots (C. Luyken, Illus.). Candlewick Press.
O’Connor, J. (2017). Nancy Clancy, late-breaking news! (R. Preiss Glasser, Illus.). HarperCollins Publishers.
Dickinson, E. (1950). Because I could not stop for death. In F.O. Matthiessen (Ed.), The Oxford Book of American Verse (p. 439). Oxford.
In-text citation would be (Dickinson, 1950)
Johnson, L. (2020). Course syllabus English 112. Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. URL.
In-text Citation (Johnson, 2020)
Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954). https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/347/483/
Parenthetical: (Brown v. Board of Education, 1954)
Narrative: Brown v. Board of Education (1954)
From page 359 of APA Manual 7th Edition.
US Supreme Court case, with a page number (through 2012 Supreme Court term)
U.S. is short for United States Reports.
Published in Volume 347 on page 483 in the year 1954.
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). https://doi.org/10.1176/appi/books.9780890424496
(American Psychiatric Association, 2013)- In-text Citation
For a source with an editor.
Venes, D. (Ed.). (2021). Taber's cyclopedic medical dictionary (24th ed.). F. A. Davis Company.
If there's a URL, then add it after the publisher.
Intext is (Venes, 2021)
If you are referring only to an article in a reference book that has a different author, then do this.
Graham, G. (2019). Behaviorism. In E. N. Zalta (Ed.), The Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy (Summer 2019 ed.). Stanford University. https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2019/entries/behaviorism/
Intext is (Graham, 2019) or (Graham, 2019, p. 81) for a direct quote.
If you are looking at an entry in a dictionary or encyclopedia that has a group author, then do this.
American Psychology Association. (n.d.) Positive transference. In APA dictionary of psychology. Retrieved August 31, 2019, from https://dictionary.apa.org/positive-transference
*Note: There is an (n.d.) in the publishing date because this source is online and consistently updated. Therefore a retrieval date is preferred so your instructor can tell when you read the information.
Intext is (American Psychology Association, n.d.)
Paulson, J. A. (2016). Neuropsychological functioning and inflammation in past and current PTSD (Order No. 3706233) [Doctoral dissertation, Alliant International University]. ProQuest Central. http://proxy154.nclive.org/login?url=https://www.proquest.com/dissertations-theses/neuropsychological-functioning-inflammation-past/docview/1694579970/se-2?accountid=13601
Intext citation will be
Cuellar, N. G. (2016). Study abroad programs [Editorial]. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 27(3), 209. https://doi.org/10.1177/1043659616638722
(Cuellar, 2016) In-text Citation
National Institute of Mental Health. (2018, November 28). Suicide affects all ages, genders, races, and ethnicities. Check out these 5 action steps for helping someone in emotional pain [Infographic]. Facebook. https://bit.ly/321 Qstq
(National Institute of Mental Health, 2018) In-text Citation
Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute. (n.d.). Home [Facebook page]. Facebook. Retrieved July 22, 2019, from https://www.facebook.com/nationalzoo
(Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute, n.d.) In-text Citation
Cambridge Educational. (2018). Animal trainer-career Q&A: Professional advice and insight. Ferguson's Career Guidance. https://fcg-infobase-com.proxy154.nclive.org/video/151048
Forman, M. (Director). (1975). One flew over the cuckoo's nest [Film]. United Artists.
(Forman, 1975) In-text Citation
Goya, F. (1800). The family of Charles IV. Museo National del Prado. https://www.netmuseum.org/ /hd_goya
Office of Women's Health. (2019, March 14). Breastfeeding. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. https://www.womenshealth.gov/breastfeeding
In-text Citation is (Office of Women's Health, 2019).
*If author and publisher are the same, you do not need to repeat name after the title of webpage. This reference/citation shows Office of Women's Health as the group author and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as the publisher.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018, January 23). People at high risk of developing flu-related complications. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/high_risk.htm
Intext is (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018)
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2018)
If you want to abbreviate you must connect the entire name of organization with the abbreviation on the first intext and then abbreviate after that.
First instance is: (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDD], 2018). Next intext would be (CDC, 2018)
First instance is: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 2018). Next instance, (CDC, 2018).
Zeitz MOCAA [@zeitzmocaa]. (2018, November 26). Grade 6 learners from Parkfields Primary School in Hanover Park visited the museum for a a tour and workshop hosted by [Photographs]. Instagram. https://www.instagram.com/p/BqpHpjFBs3b/
(Zeitz MOCAA, 2018) In-text Citation
The New York Public Library [@nypl]. 9n.d.) The raven [Highlight]. Instagram. Retrieved April 16, 2019, from https://bitly.com/2FV8bu3
(The New York Public Library, n.d.) In-text Citation
Interviews or other personal communication (emails, letters, phone calls or messages that aren't able to be recovered or found) are NOT included in the reference list.
These personal communications are in-text cited as
(E. Robbins, personal communication, September 29, 2020)
Bowie, D. (2016). Blackstar [Album]. Columbia.
(Bowie, 2016) In-text Citation
Childish Gambino. (2018). This is America [Song]. mcDJ; RCA.
(Childish Gambino, 2018) In-text Citation
National Aeronautics and Space Administration [nasa]. (2018, September 12). I'm NASA astronaut Scott Tingle. [Online forum post]. Reddit. https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/9fagqy/im_nasa_astronaut_scott_tingle_ask_me_anything/
(National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2018) In-text Citation
Nemko, M. (2020, February 6). The three principles of good parenting. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/how-do-life/202002/the-three-principles-good-parenting
(Nemko, 2020) In-text Citation
McCurry, S. (1985). Afghan girl [Photograph]. National Geographic. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/national-geographic-magazine-50-years-of-covers/#/ngm-1985-jun-714.jpg
(McCurry, 1985) In-text Citation
Vedantam, S. (Host). (2015-present). Hidden brain [Audio podcast]. NPR. https://www.npr.org/series/423302056/hidden-brain
(Vendantam, 2015-present) In-text Citation
Glass, I. (Host). (2011, August 12). Amusement park (No. 443) [Audio podcast episode]. In This American life. WBEZ Chicago. https://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/443/amusement-park
(Glass, 2011) In-text Citation
Psychology Department, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. (2021). Module 6 - adulthood [Lecture notes]. https://rccc.blackboard.com
(Psychology Department, 2021). In-text Citation
King James Bible. (2017). King James Bible Online. https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/ (Original work published 1769)
(King James Bible, 1769/2017) In-text Citation
de Beauvoir, S., (1960, May 4). Simone de Beauvoir discusses the art of writing [Interview]. Studs Terkel Radio Archive; The Chicago History Museum. https://studsterkel.wfmt.com/programs/simone-de-beauvoir-discusses-art-writing
(de Beauvoir, 1960) In-text Citation
Brewer, T. (2002). Test-taking anxiety among nursing & general college students. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing, 40(11), 22-29. https://proxy154.nclive.org/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/220140572?accountid=13601
(Brewer, 2002) In-text Citation
According to Brewer (2002),
Burin, D., Kilteni, K., Rabuffetti, M., Slater, M., & Pia, L. (2019). Body ownership increases the interference between observed and executed movements. PLOS ONE, 14(1), Article e0209899. http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0209899
Intext citation (Burin et al., 2019)
Narrative citation Burin et al. (2019)
Direct quote (Burin et al., 2019, Introduction)
McCauley, S. M., & Christiansen, M. H. (2019). Language learning as language use: A cross-linguistic model of child language development. Psychological Review, 126(1), 1-51. https://doi.org/10.1037/rev0000126
(McCauley & Christiansen, 2019) In-text Citation
For more information about DOIs, see the section in the box on this page about APA Citation Guides and Templates.
Pauwels, S., Symons, L., Eva-Lynn Vanautgaerden, Ghosh, M., Duca, R. C., Bekaert, B., Freson, K., Huybrechts, I., Langie, S., Koppen, G., Devlieger, R., & Godderis, L. (2019). The influence of the duration of breastfeeding on the infant’s metabolic epigenome. Nutrients, 11(6), 1408. https://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu11061408
(Pauwels et al., 2019) for in-text citation when authors' names are not mentioned in sentence (Parenthetical citation)
Pauwels et al. (2019) when author is mentioned in the text (Narrative citation)
APA7 requires that you list up to 20 authors in the reference list
Giertz, S. (2018, April). Why you should make useless things [Video]. TED Conferences. https://www.ted.com/why_you_should_make_useless_things
In-text Citation Format:
Berger, K. S. (2022). Invitation to the lifespan (5th ed). Worth Publishers.
Intext is (Berger, 2022).
Losco, J. & Baker, R. (2018). Am gov 2017-2018. McGraw-Hill Education.
In-text citation (Losco & Baker, 2018)
Betts, G., Young, K. A., Wise, J. A., Johnson, E., Poe, B., Kruse, D. H., Korol, O., Johnson, J. E., Womble, M., & DeSaix, P. (Eds.). (2022, September 19). Anatomy and physiology 2e. OpenStax. https://openstax.org/details/books/anatomy-and-physiology-2e
(Betts et al, 2022)
*You can list up to 20 authors or editors in an APA citation.
Barris, K. (Writer & Director). (2017, January 11). Lemons (Season 3, Episode 12) [TV series episode]. In K. Barris, J. Groff, A. Anderson, E. B. Dobbins, L. Fishburne, & H. Sugland (Executive producers), Black-ish. Wilmore Films; Artists First; Cinema Gypsy Productions; ABC Studios.
(Barris, 2017) In-text Citation
Simon, D., Colesberry, R. F., & Kostroff Noble, N. (Executive Producers). (2002-2008). The wire [TV series]. Blown Deadline Productions; HBO.
(Simon et al., 2002-2008) In-text Citation
Badlands National Park [@BadlandsNPS]. (2018, February 26). Biologists have identified more than 400 different plant species growing in @BadlandsNPS #DYK #biodiversity [Tweet]. Twitter. https://twitter.com/BadlandsNPS/status/968196500412133379
(Badlands National Park, 2018) In-text Citation
APA Style [@APA_Style]. (n.d.). Tweets [Twitter profile]. Twitter. Retrieved November 1, 2019, from https://twitter.com/APA_Style
(APA Style, n.d.) In-text Citation
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. (n.d.). Student wellness center. https://www.rccc.edu/wellness/.
In-text is (Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, n.d.)
If the information changes frequently or regularly, a retrieval date is recommended.
U.S. Census Bureau. (n.d.). U.S. and world population clock. U.S. Department of Commerce. Retrieved June 4, 2020, from https://www.census.gov/popclock/
In-text Citation is (U.S. Census Bureau, n.d.)
Miller, C. (n.d.). Does social media cause depression? Child Mind Institute. https://childmind.org/article/is-social-media-use-causing-depression/
In-text Citation is (Miller, n.d.)
or According to Miller (n.d.),
Avramova, N. (2019, January 3). The secret to a long, happy life? Think age-positive. CNN. https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/03/22/health/memory-forgetting-psychology.html
In-text citation is
Livio, M. (2020, May 19). When Galileo stood trial for defending science. A&E Television Networks. https://www.history.com/news/galileo-copernicus-earth-sun-heresy-church
In-text citation would be (Livio, 2020)
World Health Organization. (2018, March). Questions and answers on immunizations and vaccine safety. https://who.int.features.qu/84/en
(World Health Organization, 2018) is the in-text.
(World Health Organization [WHO], 2018) if you want to abbreviate in subsequent in-text citations. The whole name must be written out and the abbreviation indicated in the first in-text reference.
Boston Tea Party. (2019, December 12). A&E Television Networks. https://www.history.com/topics/american-revolution/boston-tea-party
(Boston Tea Party, 2019) In-text Citation
*Italicize title if italicized in reference list. (APA, 2020, p. 265).
American Psychological Association. (2020, November 17). Psychologists report large increase in demand for anxiety, depression treatment [Press release]. https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2020/11/anxiety-depression-treatment
Intext citation (American Psychological Association, 2020)
University of Oxford. (2018, December 6). How do geckos walk on water? [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qm1xGfOZJc8
In-text Citation- (University of Oxford, 2018)