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APA Style & Citation 7th edition

How to format your paper and cite your sources using 7th ed. APA style.

Citation Rules: References

Generally all References contain the same information. The goal is to direct any reader to the material. All references should contain:

  • Author or authors - who created this work?

  • Date - when was the material published? (Year, Month, Day) Be as accurate as possible. Use months and days if they are available.

    • For websites use dates only if it corresponds to the page you are referencing (not the copyright date for the entire site). Last updated date is ok but last reviewed is not. If there is no date use n.d. Retrieval dates are only used if content updates often and is not stable.

  • Title - what is this particular work called?

  • Source - where can the material be found?

    • DOI - Digital Object Identifier, a unique number associated with that specific article. For online sources, a DOI is stable, where a URL is not. Use the DOI when it is available.
    • If the DOI is not available, use the URL for the article
      • Hyperlink URLs & DOIs - Default format is accepted (blue font, underlined) or plain text not underlined. Because it is a hyper link there is no need to include "Retrieved from" before the URL.

Author's last name, First initial. Middle initial. (publication date). Title of article. Title of Journal, volume#(issue#), pages. DOI or URL


Authors are the person(s) or group primarily responsible for the creation of a work. For people, list their full last name, initials of first and middle name (if listed) with a space between the initials. Do not use titles but do include suffixes such as Jr., III, etc.

Baldwin, J.         

Doyle, A. C.

King, M. L.

Tolkien, J. R. R.

If the author has a unique inseparable name, leave it intact in both the reference and the in-text citation

Lady Gaga

Queen Elizabeth II

Malcolm X


For multiple authors list them in the order they appear on the source. For up to 20 authors, separate each name with a comma and an '&' should be before the last author's name. When there are more than 20 authors, list the first 19 authors' names in the reference followed by ellipses ...then list the last authors name.

Swanson, C., Chamelin, N., Territo, L., & Taylor, R. W. (2012). Criminal investigation. McGraw-Hill Higher Education.

Wiskunde, B., Arslan, M., Fischer, P., Nowak, L., Van den Berg, O., Coetzee, L., Juárez, U., Riyaziyyat, E., Wang, C., Zhang, I., Li, P., Yang, R., Kumar, B., Xu, A., Martinez, R., McIntosh, V., Ibáñez, L. M., Mäkinen, G., Virtanen, E., . . . Kovács, A. (2019). Indie pop rocks mathematics: Twenty One Pilots, Nicolas Bourbaki, and the empty set. Journal of Improbable Mathematics, 27(1), 1935–1968.


For group authors, such as organizations, corporations, or government bodies, use the name of the group, capitalized as needed. Use the group which is primarily responsible for the source. Abbreviations for groups should not be used in the reference but can be used in the text (See Citations: In-text).

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). About 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

Mayo Clinic Staff. (n.d.). Chronic fatigue syndrome.


Special roles, such as editor or director, are indicated in the reference but not in the in-text citation.

Logan, K. G. (Ed.). (2018). Homeland security and intelligence (2nd ed.). Praeger.

Whedon, J. (Director). (2015). Avengers: Age of Ultron [Film]. Marvel Studios; Walt Disney Pictures.


If there is no author, start the reference with the title of the work followed by the date. If the author is listed as 'Anonymous', use 'Anonymous' as the author

Anonymous. (2019). A warning. Hachette Book Group.

Hormone therapy. (2016). In Merriam Webster's Medical Dictionary. Merriam-Webster.


In references include the whole date - including months and days, if they are listed in the source. The in-text citation will only have the year.

If there is no date use 'n.d.'

Evans, M. (2019, June). The trouble with Lyme: Why can't we hit the target with diagnosis and treatment? The Oprah Magazine, 20 (6), pp.59-61.

(Evans, 2019)

Morgenstern, J. (2019, October 10). 'Parasite' review: the pleasures and perils of a multilevel home [Review of the film Parasite,by B. J. Ho, Dir.]. Wall Street Journal.

(Morgenstern, 2019)

Mayo Clinic Staff. (n.d.). Chronic fatigue syndrome.

(Mayo Clinic Staff, n.d.)