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APA Style Manual

This page is based on the 6th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. It will be updated later this academic year to reflect the 7th edition of the style manual. The library owns copies of the new edition, and you can consult your librarian for assistance.

Citing Journal Articles

The standard format for a journal article reference is:

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of article. Title of Journal, volume number(issue number if available), page range. doi:0000000/000000000000 or

Rules for capitalization:

  • Article titles are treated like sentences: capitalize only the first word of the title, the first word of a subheading, and proper nouns.
  • Journal titles are treated like book titles: capitalize all important words (words like "of" are not capitalized).

Rules for page numbers:

  • If the article is only one page long, use the abbreviation p. #
  • For multiple pages, use pp. #-#

For in-text citations for articles, the standard format is:

(Author, date)

Rules for what to include:

  • If you use the author's name in the text, you can leave it out of the in-text citation.
    • For example: As Smith (2003) points out ...
  • If you use a direct quote, include the page number in the in-text citation.
    • For example: Smith notes, "Direct quote here" (2003, p. 25).
  • Page numbers are optional for paraphrases, but they are helpful to the reader.
    • For example: Smith (2003) describes the experiment's purpose as ... (pp. 35-36).

1 author:

Driessnack, M. (2009). Growing up at the intersection of the genomic era and the information age. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 24(3), 189-193.

2 authors:

Marshall, E., & Brockman, R. N. (2016). The relationships between psychological flexibility, self-compassion, and emotional well-being. Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy, 30(1), 60-72.

3 to 7 authors:

Richards, D., Caldwell, P. H., & Go, H. (2015). Impact of social media on the health of children and young people. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 51(12), 1152-1157.

More than 7 authors:

List the first 6 authors, then an ellipsis, then the final author.

Zingone, F., Bartalini, C., Siniscalchi, M., Ruotolo, M., Bucci, C., Morra, I., . . . Ciacci, C. (2017). Alterations in diets of patients with nonceliac gluten sensitivity compared with healthy individuals. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology: The Official Clinical Practice Journal of the American Gastroenterological Association, 15(1), 63-68.e2. doi:S1542-3565(16)30560-2

1 author:

(Driessnack, 2009)

2 authors:

(Marshall & Brockman, 2016)

3-5 authors:

First in-text citation: (Richards, Caldwell, & Go, 2015, pp. 1153-1155)

All subsequent in-text citations: (Richards et al., 2015, pp. 1153-1155)

6 or more authors:

(Zingone et al., 2017)

What's a DOI?

It's the Digital Object Identifier, a unique ID for each article. It's designed to make it as easy to locate an article online as it is to find a book by ISBN or a person by their Social Security Number.

Formatting Your Paper

More Help for APA Style

Citing Web Sites

The standard format for a web site reference is:

Author, A. A. (Date). Title of document [Format description]. Retrieved Month Date, Year, from http://URL 

Special rules:

  • Sometimes information is missing from a web site. If the author is missing, start the citation with the title.
  • (Date) is when it was last updated. You can use just the year (2017) or the full date (2017, October 31). If you can't find when it was last updated, use (n.d.).
  • You only need a format description if it's an unusual format, like a blog post or social media update. Web site and PDFs would not need a format description.
  • If you think the web site may change frequently, include a retrieval date. Otherwise you just cite as Retrieved from http://URL
  • If you are citing an entire web site, using the full URL in the text of your paper is enough. You don't need to include it in your references.

For in-text citations for web sites, the standard format is the same as journal articles:

(Author, date)

Rules for missing information:

  • For unknown dates, use n.d. just as you do in your reference.
  • If the page has a lot of text, but no page numbers, use the abbreviation para. (which stands for paragraph). Use paras. if the citation refers to multiple paragraphs.

Formats for online sources that are not web sites, like videos or tweets, are considered special formats by APA.

Contains both author and date:

​Johnson, A. A. (2007). Deconstructing the Deathly Hallows. Retrieved from

No author listed:

Anxiety. (2016). Retrieved from

No author listed, no date listed:

Ask a Librarian. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Contains both author and date:

(Johnson, 2007, para. 2)

No author listed:

("Anxiety," 2016)

No author listed, no date listed:

("Ask a Librarian," n.d.)

Citing Other Types of Sources