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How Do I Cite in APA?

APA Citation

Citing Sources in the Text

  • You must provide an in-text citation when quoting or paraphrasing someone else’s work
  • In-text citations direct the reader to the source’s entry in the reference list
  • When using APA format, follow the author/date method of in-text citations


Author not named in text
One critic of Milgram’s experiments insisted that the subjects “should have been fully informed of the possible effects on them” (Baumrind, 2003, p. 34).

Author named in text
Baumrind insisted that the subjects in Milgrim’s study “should have been fully informed of the possible effects on them” (2003, p. 34).

Two authors
One study demonstrates that "non medical needs may be addressed by anyone on the team" (Csikai & Chaitin, 2006, p. 112).

Three or more authors

Only the first author's name, followed by "et al." is necessary. 

(Smith et al., 2003)

Smith et al. (2003) argue...

If you are citing multiple works by the same group, or similar group, of authors, listing only the first author would create ambiguity. If this is the case, you'll need to write out more names. For example, if you were citing works with these authors:

Pepinsky, Rentl, Lu, Corson, and Lee (2001)

Pepinsky, Rentl, Stanton, Johnson, and Randall (2001)

They would be cited in-text as follows to avoid ambiguity:

(Pepinsky, Rentl, Lu, et al., 2001)

(Pepinsky, Rentl, Stanton, et al., 2001)

Note: since et al. is plural, it should always replace more than one name. If et al. would stand in for only one author name, write out that author's name instead.



  • Anonymous works are referred to by full or shortened title.
               Example: ("Study Finds," 1982).
  • When an information source contains no page numbers, you should try to include information that will assist your readers in finding the passage being cited. Use the heading or section name, an abbreviation of the heading/section name, or a paragraph number (para. 1), or a combination.
               Example: One website describes the side effects of this drug (King, 2005, para. 2).

Preparing the Reference list

Your reference list should include all the sources you quoted, paraphrased, or summarized in your assignment. This listing appears at the end of your assignment. When formatting your references, follow these standards:

  1. Arrange your sources in alphabetical order by the last name of the author or by title if no author exists.
  2. Double space the entire list (both within and between entries).
  3. Indent the second and subsequent lines of each entry five to seven spaces from the left.
  4. Type the article title in sentence case and the journal title in title case.
  5. Italicize the journal title and volume number.
  6. Include the issue number in parentheses if the journal is paginated by issue.

Avoiding Plagiarism Checklist

  • Is each use of someone else’s material noted in your assignment?
  • Did you reference your sources for graphs, statistics and other borrowed data?
  • Are quotations from another persons’ work exact? Did you use quotation marks?
  • If you paraphrased or summarized someone else’s material did you use your own words and sentence structure?
  • Does your works cited include all the sources you referred to in your assignment?

Citing Print Sources

Speck, D.C. (1998). The pleasure of the crown. Talonbooks.
2 or more authors
Foster, B.C., & Tisdell, C.A. (1986). Economics in Canadian society. Wiley.
Book with an Editor
Treat, J.W. (Ed.). (1996). Contemporary Japan and popular culture. University of Hawaii
Essay or Chapter in a Book
Keating, N.C. (1992). Older rural Canadians. In D.A. Hay (Ed.), Rural sociology in Canada (pp. 134-154).  
      Oxford University Press.
Academic Journal Article 
Dacey, J. (1994). Management participation in corporate buy-outs. Management Perspectives, 7(4), 20-31.
Signed Article Daily Newspaper
Staples, S. (2005, December 8). A ‘quantum’ leap in communication. Ottawa Citizen, pp. A1, A10.
Custom Courseware
Ford, S. (1996). Doctor-patient interactions in oncology. In C. Sinding (Ed.), Health Studies 4C03 (January
     2004 ed., pp. 125-133). McMaster University.

Citing Electronic Sources

Author (Year, Month Date or "n.d" if not dated). Title of page. Site name. URL
Anderson, D. (2002, May 1). Social constructionism and MOOs
Online Book
Shotton, M. A. (1989).  Computer addiction?  A study of computer dependency.  [eBook edition].
     Publisher. URL
Note: it is not necessary to distinguish between an eBook and a print book unless the content is different or abridged 
Electronic Journal Article (with Digital Object Identifier [DOI])
Herbst-Damm, K. L. & Kulik, J. A. (2005).  Volunteer support, marital status, and the survival times of terminally ill
     patients. Health Psychology24(1), 225-229.  doi:10.1037/0278-6133.24.2.225
Electronic Journal Article (when DOI is not available)
Wissink, J.A. (2000). Techniques of smoking cessation. Adolescent Medicine2, 15-22. Retrieved 
     from <URL>
Note: retrieval dates are required for unarchived sources that are likely, or intended, to change over time
Online Newspaper
York, G. (2003, June 9). Chinese waters rising higher. Globe and Mail. URL
Aiken, K. (2022, February 28).  The 10 most popular Instagram recipes. HuffPost
Psychometric assessment. (2020, January 28.). In Wikipedia. <URL>
Audio Podcast
Van Nuys, D. (Producer). (2006, October 13). Understanding autism [Show 54]. In Shrink Rap Radio. Publisher.
Video Weblog Post (YouTube)
Norton, R. (2006, November 4). How to train a cat to operate a light switch [Video]. YouTube.
Course Website/WebCT
Reynolds, W. (2008, September 14). Lecture 1: Sociology and statistics. SOC 1A06 Sociology. WebCT.

Citing Other Sources

Lecturer, A. (Date). Lecture number: Title of lecture [Format]. Publisher. URL
Etches-Johnson, A. (2007). Lecture 1: Library research for communication studies [PowerPoint slides].
     McMaster Library.
Lang, k. d. (2008).  Shadow and the frame [Song].  On Watershed [Album]. Nonesuch Records.

Haggis, P. (Director). (2004).  Crash [Film]. Yari Film Group.
Personal Communication
Cite information from your own personal notes from a lecture as a personal communication and refer to it only in the body of your essay.
(P. Smith, personal communication, November, 16, 2002) 


Mills Library Reference (3rd floor) and Thode Library Quick Reference:  BF 76.7 .P83 2020



The OWL at Purdue: APA Style and Formatting Guide

Concordia University Libraries

First time cited in text: 1 author: (Name, Year) OR Name (Year). 2 authors (Name and Name, Year) OR Name and Name (Year). 3+ authors (Name et al., Year) OR Name et al. (Year).   Tips: When citing two more works in the same parentheses order them alphabetically. For 3 or more authors- when citing works with similar groups of authors avoid ambiguity by writing out more names.  Anonymous works: are referred to by a title in the signal phrase or by the first word or two in parentheses.   Preparing a Reference List  Arrange sources alphabetically by last name (or title if its an anonymous source). Double space entire list (within and between lines). Indent 2nd and subsequent lines of each entry 5-7 spaces from the left margin. Article title should be in sentence case by journal titles should be in title case. Italicize the journal title and volume number. Include issue number in brackets if journal is paginated by issue.   Examples:   Print:  Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle. Publisher.  Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Year of publication). Title of chapter. In A. A. Editor & B. B. Editor (Eds.),  	Title of book (pp. pages of chapter). Publisher.  Electronic:   Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of article. Title of Journal, volume number, page       	range. DOI or  Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of article. Title of Journal, volume number, page 	range.  Other:   Director, D. D. (Director). (Date of publication). Title of motion picture [Film]. Production company.  Writer, W. W. (Writer), & Director, D. D. (Director). (Original air date). Title of episode (Season number, 	Episode number) [Tv series episode]. In P. Executive Producer (Executive Producer), Series title. 	Production company(s).  Additional Resources:

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