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APA (6th Edition) Documentation Style

What's in this guide?

Academic writing standards require you to credit all sources that you use to write a paper, report, or study. The America Psychological Association (APA) documentation style provides a guideline for properly crediting your sources by requiring notes in the text of your work that point the reader to an alphabetical list of your sources, called “references”. Properly citing your sources of information allows a reader to locate the original sources of information you used in your writing and will also help you avoid the serious offense of plagiarism. 

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How to Cite Using APA Style (6th ed.)


0 Hi, everyone! I'm Amanda Howell. I'm the Business Librarian here at UW-Whitewater, and today
0:05 I'm going to talk to you about citing using APA style. We're going to focus on citing
0:10 books, citing articles, and citing websites, 3 sources you're most likely to use for your
0:16 research during your time at UW-Whitewater. It's important that you give credit to others
0:23 for the work that they've done so that you can avoid plagiarism. Not doing so, intentionally
0:28 or not, is misrepresenting your own work and may result in serious academic and legal ramifications.
0:36 When citing a book you need to find the following information: the name of the author, the date
0:42 of publication, the title of the book, the publisher, and the publishing city. One thing
0:48 to note is the capitalization on the title of the book. You're only going to capitalize
0:52 the first word of the title and the first word of the subtitle, as well as any proper
0:57 nouns. Most of this information can be found on the title page.
1:02 Let's take a look at the title page of a book by Scott Goodson. The book is called Uprising:
1:08 How to Build a Brand - and Change the World - by Sparking Cultural Movements. Just under
1:12 that is the name of the author; sometimes you'll have more than one. And then at the
1:16 bottom of the page you'll usually find the publisher, in this case McGraw Hill. We then
1:20 see a lot of different publishing cities. Generally if you see more than one, you're
1:24 just going to take the first one. The only element we're not finding on this page is
1:29 the date of publication. So what we can do is go to the Copyright page and see that it
1:33 was published in 2012.
1:37 Now that we found all the information we need we can create our citation. Note that when
1:41 using APA style you only include the author's initials after you've typed out their last
1:46 name. Also, make note of the fact that I only capitalized the first word of the title and
1:51 the first word of the subtitle.
1:54 Citing articles is similar to citing books except you need a little bit more information.
1:58 In addition to the author and the date of publication you have to get the article title,
2:03 the journal title, the volume and issue number, if applicable, the page range of the article,
2:09 and either the digital object identifier, known as the DOI, or the journal's homepage.
2:15 This is not the same as the URL where you found the article. It is actually the website
2:20 for the journal that published the article. Note that the article title is exactly like
2:25 the book title where we only capitalized the first word of the title and the first word
2:29 of the subtitle. However the entire journal title is capitalized.
2:34 Let's take a look at an example of an article. We can see that for this particular article
2:39 the journal title is actually listed in two places: once at the very top of the page as
2:44 well as once just below that. At the very top of the page we also see the volume, the
2:50date of publication, as well as the page range of the article. Underneath the second instance
2:56 of the journal title we have the article title, and underneath that we have the names of both
3:01 the authors.
3:04 The last thing you'll want to look for is the DOI, which will be at either the top or
3:09 the bottom of the title page. This is preferred to the journal's homepage so you'll want to
3:15 make note of this if it exists. I was able to find mine at the bottom of the page.
3:22 Now that we've gathered all of this information, we can create our citation. You'll notice
3:27 that there is an ampersand between my two authors. You'll want to use that rather than
3:32 typing out the word "and" if you have multiple authors for a specific article or book. You'll
3:37 also notice that I didn't have an issue number for this particular article so I just skipped
3:42 over that particular portion.
3:46 The last citation example we're going to look at is for a website. This is probably the
3:50 hardest type of citation to create because a lot of the information can be hard to find,
3:56 if it exists at all. It's important to keep in mind that if you can't find this information
4:01 it's hard to validate that you are in fact using a reliable source. What you want to
4:06 look for is the name of the author or authors, the date that the information on the page
4:12 was published, the title of the page you were actually on (unless you're citing the entire
4:17 website), and finally the link for the page.
4:22 If we take a look at this example, we can see that the title of the page is near the
4:27 top. It is Who We Are. Usually the author and the date of publication would be found
4:32 just below the name of the page. We don't see either of those under the title of this
4:37 page. In this case, however, we do have a corporate author. It's going to be the Direct
4:42 Marketing Association. When you're looking at a website for an association or a government
4:47 entity, like the United States Census Bureau, that's going to be your author unless you
4:52 can find the name of an individual. As I mentioned earlier, there is no date of publication for
4:58 this particular page so we'll have to make a modification when we actually create our
5:02 citation.
5:04 Now we can create our citation. If you have a corporate author, you'll want to capitalize
5:08 every word of their name and avoid using the short form, in this case DMA. If you don't
5:14 have an author, you're going to put the name of the webpage first, then the date, and then
5:19 the link. You'll notice that because I didn't have a date for this particular page I just
5:24 put n.d. for "no date."
5:28 Once you have all of your citations you can create your Reference list, which will go
5:31 at the end of your paper. You'll want to make sure that your references are in alphabetical
5:36 order and that they each have a hanging indent, so that the first line of each citation is
5:40 longer than the subsequent lines. Your reference list should also be double spaced. The top
5:45 of your page should say References.
5:49 In addition to citing your sources at the end of your paper, you'll also need to cite
5:53 them throughout your paper. In order to do this you need the author name, the date, and
5:58 the page number for the source you're citing. Notice that before the page number I just
6:02 have the letter p. For the Direct Marketing Association I added DMA in brackets so that
6:08 each subsequent time I cite this source I can just use DMA in my in-text citation. For
6:14 documents without pages, you can indicate paragraph number by using p-a-r-a period.
6:22 This page contains some other useful sources you might want to check out if you get stuck
6:26 as you're creating your citations.
6:30 Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about citing sources using APA
6:34 style.

Printable version of APA Documentation Style

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