Apa Citation: the Rules and Conventions Established by American Psychological Association

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APA Citation Style

APA citation style refers to the rules and conventions established by the American Psychological Association for documenting sources used in a research paper. APA style requires both in-text citations and a reference list. For every in-text citation there should be a full citation in the reference list and vice versa. The examples of APA styles and formats listed on this page include many of the most common types of sources used in academic research. For additional examples and more detailed information about APA citation style, refer to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association and the APA Style Guide to Electronic References. Also, for automatic generation of citations in appropriate citation style, use a bibliographic citation management program such as Refworks or EndNote. You can find more information on this in our Citation Management page.

Reference Citations in Text
In APA style, in-text citations are placed within sentences and paragraphs so that it is clear what information is being quoted or paraphrased and whose information is being cited. Examples:
Works by a single author
The last name of the author and the year of publication are inserted in the text at the appropriate point. from theory on bounded rationality (Simon, 1945)
If the name of the author or the date appear as part of the narrative, cite only missing information in parentheses. Simon (1945) posited that
Works by multiple authors
When a work has two authors, always cite both names every time the reference occurs in the text. In parenthetical material join the names with an ampersand (&). as has been shown (Leiter & Maslach, 1998)

In the narrative text, join the names with the word "and."
as Leiter and Maslach (1998) demonstrated
When a work has three, four, or five authors, cite all authors the first time the reference occurs. Kahneman, Knetsch, and Thaler (1991) found
In all subsequent citations per paragraph, include only the surname of the first author followed by "et al." (Latin for "and others") and the year of publication. Kahneman et al. (1991) found
Works by associations, corporations, government agencies, etc. The names of groups that serve as authors (corporate authors) are usually written out each time they appear in a text reference. (National Institute of Mental Health [NIMH], 2007)

When appropriate, the names of some corporate authors are spelled out in the first reference and abbreviated in all subsequent citations. The general rule for abbreviating in this manner is to supply enough information in the text citation for a reader to locate its source in the Reference List without difficulty. (NIMH, 2007)

Works with no author
When a work has no author, use the first two or three words of the work's title (omitting any initial articles) as your text reference, capitalizing each word. Place the title in quotation marks if it refers to an article, chapter of a book, or Web page. Italicize the title if it refers to a book, periodical, brochure, or report. on climate change ("Climate and Weather," 1997)

Guide to Agricultural Meteorological Practices (1981)
Anonymous authors should be listed as such followed by a comma and the date. on climate change (Anonymous, 2008)
Specific parts of a source
To cite a specific part of a source (always necessary for quotations), include the page, chapter, etc. (with appropriate abbreviations) in the in-text citation. (Stigter & Das, 1981, p. 96)
De Waal (1996) overstated the case when he asserted that "we seem to be reaching ... from the hands of philosophers" (p. 218). If page numbers are not included in electronic sources (such as Web-based journals), provide the paragraph number preceded by the abbreviation "para." or the heading and following paragraph. (Mönnich & Spiering, 2008, para. 9)


Reference List
References cited in the text of a research paper must appear in a Reference List or bibliography....
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