APA Format Citation

The American Psychological Association (APA) developed the APA format, a standardized editorial style used in writing essays and research papers, and the APA citation style, a format used for documenting sources and references in a reference page. Both the APA citation style and the APA format are now considered to be one of the mostly used standard editorial styles in many social science and health-related fields, including psychology, criminology, sociology, economics, business, social work, nursing, and medicine.

A reference page is an alphabetized list of the sources and references that appears at the end of a document. This page is required of both students and advanced writers alike to lend their papers credibility, to avoid accusations of plagiarism, and to acknowledge the original sources that they have consulted in writing their work. To make this page using the APA format citation and to list each source type, you need to take note of and follow a number of specific rules and guidelines that the APA has established. Each entry will vary based on the number of authors to whom the source is attributed, and the type of source, for example: books, websites, online databases, and periodicals such as magazines, newspapers, academic journals, and encyclopedias.

First, create a new, separate page and type in “References” (without the quotation marks) on the topmost of the page, and align this label to center. Each citation entry is structured with a hanging indent; this means that the first line of a citation entry is aligned to the left margin of the reference page, while its second and subsequent lines are indented by five more spaces. List all your citations alphabetically by author, while double spacing all entries.

For sources and other works that do not have attributed authors, begin your citation entry with the title of the specific work, followed by a period, and the year of publication, which is enclosed in parentheses. List the title of reference work in italics. The volume number and page numbers should follow this title. The APA format citation is demonstrated in the following example:

The Economics of Private Liberal Arts Colleges. (2003). Journal of Business, 76(3), 499-514.

For works that have only one author, you need to list the author’s last name first, followed by a comma, and his initials. The date of publication should be enclosed in parentheses and followed by the title of the article or book. Books and journals titles should be listed in italics. The volume number and page numbers of the article should follow journal titles, while book titles should be followed by the location and name of the publisher. For example:

Foucault, M. (1977). Language, Counter Memory, Practice. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press.

For works that have two authors, you need to list the last names and first initials and separate each name by an ampersand (&). These names are followed by the year of publication (enclosed in parentheses), and the title of the particular work in italics. The location of publication and publisher end this entry, for example:

Welleck, R., & Warren, A. (1956). Theory of Literature. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World.

If the work is an individual article, such as articles taken from scholarly journals and other periodicals, the title of the article should immediately follow the publication date, and typed in standard capitalization. Next, the title of the reference work should be italicized, for example:

Roland, A., & Rorty, A. O. (1981). Imagery and the Self in Artistic Creativity and Psychoanalytic Literary Criticism. Psychoanalytical Review 68.