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ENG 111 - Writing and Inquiry: APA - The Basics

This course is designed to develop the ability to produce clear writing in a variety of genres and formats using a recursive process. Emphasis includes inquiry, analysis, effective use of rhetorical strategies, thesis development, audience awareness, and

Main Parts of APA Style and Formatting

APA is a documentation style. white dog at computer

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?

  • Allows your instructor to find your sources and follow your research
  • Shows your research and knowledge of subject
  • Gives writer and reader a standard style. If your instructor had to figure out every single student's paper, it would be confusing! Documentation style makes it easy for you to be clear.

There are 3 main components of APA style

  • References (end of paper)
  • In-text Citations (within paper)
  • APA formatting (title page, headings, font, etc.)

Referring to Your Sources (References and In-text citations)

dog at computerUsing 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. 

  1. Entry in the Reference list.
  2. In-text citation in either narrative or parenthetical style.

Ideally, your reference (at the end of your paper) will consist of this information:

Author. (date). Title. Source.

  • The author can be an individual or individuals or a group author.
  • The date can be a year or more specific (year, month day) or no date (n.d.).
  • The title is written in sentence case (first word has a capital letter, the rest are lowercase unless it's a proper noun).
  • The source can be a website, journal name,  URL/DOI, online publishing site (YouTube), etc. 
  • Webpage with author, date, title, and source (website and URL).

Livio, M. (2020, May 6). When Galileo stood trial for defending scienceA&E Television Networks.

  • Webpage with no author, no date

Controlled Burn. (n.d.). ScienceDaily.

  • Webpage with a Group Author and no date

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. (n.d.). Student wellness center.

In-text citations

There are two ways to cite your information in your paper. gray dog

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.

  • In conclusion, the research shows that dogs have innate predatory behavior traits which are enhanced by the dogs' desires to protect their human owners (Tucker & Maddey, 2020).    
  • The research found that "dogs are more willing to attack or defend territory that is considered to be their own" (Tucker & Maddey, 2020, p. 81). 

If you include the author's name in the sentence, it is called a narrative in-text citation. The date goes in the parenthesis. 

  • Tucker and Maddey (2020) found that predatory behavior in dogs is due to many different factors.   

Peas and Carrots - APA Style

picture of peas and carrots

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.


For more APA information

APA7 Sample Papers

A few things about APA formatting

  • APA7 allows for fonts other than Times New Roman 12. However, the English department at Rowan-Cabarrus has decided to ONLY accept Times New Roman 12
  • Double-space always
  • Most instructors don't require headings other than Level 1 (centered and bold) and Level 2 (left aligned and bold)
  • Abstracts are only necessary when the instructor asks for them.
  • There are two versions of APA on the web. Be careful. APA updated in October 2019.
  • Within APA7, there are two versions (professional and student). Be careful.

Laurie Robb

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Laurie Robb
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Instructional Librarian
South Campus, 8am-5pm

Citing Different Sources in APA7


OpenAI. (2023). Gun violence in North Carolina (June 5 version) [Large language model].

The in-text citation would be

 (OpenAI, 2023).

*OpenAI is the author of the ChatGPT model.

Klymkowsky, M. (2018, September 15). Can we talk scientifically about free will? Sci-Ed.

(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

An ebook would have the URL at the end of the citation.

Klaas, B. (2024). Fluke : Chance, chaos, and why everything we do matters. Scribner.


Gale, P., & Lerner, N. (2000). The Bacon guide to peer tutoring. Allyn & Bacon. 

(Gale & Lerner, 2000) is the in-text citation

Clarke, A. (2019). Harper's practical genetic counselling, eighth edition. Taylor & Francis Group.


UNCG. (2021). Information for potential UNCG students [Brochure]

In-text is (UNCG, 2021)

If an online brochure you must add the URL ( to the end 

UNCG. (n.d.) Visitor brochure [Brochure]. URL

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.


(Harris, 2000)  is the in-text citation


Beaton, K. (2016). King baby (K. Beaton, Illus.). Arthur A. Levine Books.

(Beaton, 2016)

Crimi, C. (2019). Weird little robots (C. Luyken, Illus.). Candlewick Press.

(Crimi, 2019)

O’Connor, J. (2017). Nancy Clancy, late-breaking news! (R. Preiss Glasser, Illus.). HarperCollins Publishers.

  • Parenthetical citation: (O’Connor, 2017)

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.


Bittle, J. (2023). English 112 [Syllabus]. Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. URL

In-text Citation (Johnson, 2020) or (Bittle, 2023)

*The URL is the webpage address.

Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954).

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.).

(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.

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 

*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.

Intext citation will be 

(Paulson, 2016)

Cuellar, N. G. (2016). Study abroad programs [Editorial]. Journal of Transcultural Nursing27(3), 209.

(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. 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

(Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute, n.d.) In-text Citation

Oncological nurses. (n.d.). Ferguson's Career Guidance Center. Retrieved November 16, 2023 from

In-text (Oncological nurses, n.d.)

Cambridge Educational. (2018). Animal trainer-career Q&A: Professional advice and insight. Ferguson's Career Guidance.

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. /hd_goya

Office of Women's Health. (2019, March 14). Breastfeeding. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

 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.

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.


(Zeitz MOCAA, 2018) In-text Citation

The New York Public Library [@nypl]. 9n.d.) The raven [Highlight]. Instagram. Retrieved April 16, 2019, from

(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

Magryta, C. (2015, August 30). Top ten reasons to breastfeed your infant. The Salisbury Post.

For citing a source at the end of the sentence - (Magryta, 2015)
For citing a source when you name the source in the sentence  - Magryta (2015) says in his article that breastfeeding is beneficial because.....

National Aeronautics and Space Administration [nasa]. (2018, September 12). I'm NASA astronaut Scott Tingle. [Online forum post]. Reddit.

(National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2018) In-text Citation

Nemko, M. (2020, February 6). The three principles of good parenting. Psychology Today


(Nemko, 2020) In-text Citation

McCurry, S. (1985). Afghan girl [Photograph]. National Geographic.

(McCurry, 1985) In-text Citation

Vedantam, S. (Host). (2015-present). Hidden brain [Audio podcast]. NPR.

(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.

(Glass, 2011)  In-text Citation

Here is for a Powerpoint or slideshow with an instructor's name.

Dasher, R. (2024). Module 6 - adulthood [Powerpoint slides]. Psychology Department, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.

(Dasher, 2024). In-text Citation

King James Bible. (2017). King James Bible Online. (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.

(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.


(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.

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.

(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.

(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 

King, M. L., Jr. (1963, August 28). I have a dream [Speech audio recording]. American Rhetoric.

(King, 1963) In-text Citation

npatou. (2016, June 6). Malcolm X's legendary speech: "The bullet or the ballot" [Video]. YouTube.



(npatou, 2016) In-text Citation
Use the YouTube contributor as the author, not the speaker, per the APA Publication Manual, page 344.

Giertz, S. (2018, April). Why you should make useless things [Video]. TED Conferences.

In-text Citation Format:

  • Parenthetical citation: (Giertz, 2018)
  • Narrative citation: Giertz (2018)

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.


(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.


(Badlands National Park, 2018) In-text Citation

APA Style [@APA_Style]. (n.d.). Tweets [Twitter profile]. Twitter. Retrieved November 1, 2019, from

(APA Style, n.d.) In-text Citation

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. (n.d.). Student wellness center.

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

In-text Citation is (U.S. Census Bureau, n.d.)

Miller, C. (n.d.). Does social media cause depression? Child Mind Institute.

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.

In-text citation is

(Avramova, 2019)

Livio, M. (2020, May 19). When Galileo stood trial for defending science. A&E Television Networks.

In-text citation would be (Livio, 2020)

Registered nurses. (n.d.). NCCareers. Retrieved June 27, 2024, from 

("Registered Nurses", n.d.)

The title of the article or page goes in quotes in the in-text citation. It is also in title case (important words capitalized) in the in-text citation.

Title of the article or page is in sentence case in reference and in title case in in-text citation.

World Health Organization. (2018, March). Questions and answers on immunizations and vaccine safety.

(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.

("Boston Tea Party", 2019) In-text Citation

*Italicize title if italicized in reference list. (APA, 2020, p. 265).

Registered nurses. (n.d.). NCCareers. Retrieved June 27, 2024, from 

("Registered Nurses", n.d.)

Title of the article or page goes in quotes in the in-text citation. It is also in title case in the citation.

Title of the article or page is in sentence case in reference and in title case in in-text citation.


American Psychological Association. (2020, November 17). Psychologists report large increase in demand for anxiety, depression treatment [Press release].

Intext citation (American Psychological Association, 2020)

University of Oxford. (2018, December 6). How do geckos walk on water? [Video]. YouTube.

In-text Citation-  (University of Oxford, 2018)