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APA Citation Guidelines

APA General Guidelines

This first video demonstrates the requirements for the APA page setup, title page, running headers, and other formatting guidelines.

Permission to use APA Format in Word in 4 Minutes granted by author Colin Murphy, Ed. D

APA In-Text Citations in the Body of Your Paper

APA citations follow specific conventions that distinguish them from other styles.This video will show you what in-text citations should look like and explain why you must use them.


Documenting Sources at the End of Your Paper

Every cited source from your essay should appear in your References page, which comes at the end of the essay. 

The References page must conform to the following rules:

  • Begin on a separate page at the end of your essay, using the same format as your essay (i.e., one-inch margins, running head, and page number).
  • Entries in your list of references should be alphabetized by the authors’ last names. Use the title, if a work does not have an author.
  • Center the word References at the top of the page.
  • Double-space all references.

In this video on APA format, you’ll see a sample references list with some tips on creating a references list of your own. 

Title Page 

Body of Paper 

References Page

The References Page


According to APA style guidelines, the references page should appear after the body of your paper. It should begin on a new page, and the pagination should continue from the body of the paper.

General format

The references page should be double-spaced throughout. The first line of each entry should be flush with the left margin; if the entry extends more than one line, ensuing lines should be indented 1/2 inch from the left margin. The first page of the works cited list should have the title "References," not "Bibliography." The references title should appear in the same manner as the paper's title: capitalized and centered—not bolded, within quotation marks, italicized, underlined, or in a larger font.


The entries should be alphabetized based on the author's last name. If no name is provided for a given source, the title of the work/webpage will take the place of the author's last name and should still be placed in its proper alphabetical location. Here are some guidelines for commonly used sources:

APA In-Text Citations

See below examples of how to handle APA citations in the body of your text.

Direct Quotes

A direct quote is a word for word copy of source material. The quote is enclosed in quotation marks. Include the author's last name and date of publication as well as page numbers if available. If your quote is 40 words or longer, use a block quote.

Author before Quotation

Author after Quotation

Block Quotes

The block quote is used for direct quotations that are longer than 40 words. The block format is a freestanding quote that does not include quotation marks. Introduce the block quote on a new line. Indent the entire quote ½ inch or 5-7 spaces. Include the page number at the end of your block quote outside of the ending period. Also include the author's last name, date of publication, and page numbers (if available).

Author at the Beginning

Author at End


A paraphrase is a way to represent an idea from a source in your own words. It is typically as long as the original quotation. Paraphrasing is used most often to explain technical jargon or difficult to understand information in terms the reader can easily understand.

The APA requires you to include the author's last name and year of publication. Page numbers are encouraged but optional.

Author at Beginning, No Page Number

Author at Beginning, With Page Number

Author at End, No Page Number

Author at End, With Page Number

Authors in Text

See examples below to learn about how multiple authors for one work are handled in APA parenthetical citations.

No Author

Include the first few words from the reference list entry (usually the title) and the year if no author is given. Article, chapter and web page titles go in quotation marks. Italicize periodical, book and report titles.

1 Author

2 Authors

3-5 Authors

First citation in text:

Subsequent citations:

6+ Authors


About the Sample APA In-Text Citations

Based off the 6th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association published in 2010. Creators are Jen Klaudinyi, Robert Monge. URL is tutorial is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

What is a DOI, a digital object identifier?

A DOI, or Digital Object Identifier, is a string of numbers, letters and symbols used to permanently identify an article or document and link to it on the web. Because the DOI insures findability for the object, citation styles (APA, MLA, Chicago Manual of Style, Turabian, etc.) are starting to request the use of a DOI in a citation for e-journal content.

All DOI numbers begin with a 10 and contain a prefix and a suffix separated by a slash. The prefix is a unique number of four or more digits assigned to organizations; the suffix is assigned by the publisher.

Below are some methods that can be used to obtain DOIs:

  • If a journal publisher uses DOIs, they will usually print the DOI somewhere on the first page of the article.
  • Some of the online resources used to search for articles on topics will supply DOIs in the citations. View the full citation to see if a DOI is included.

How do I cite an article with a DOI?

     A DOI number does not affect the in-text citation of an article, but it does change the reference entry slightly. An article with a DOI number would use the following reference -

How to cite a journal article with a digital object identifier (DOI)

Original source of example (catalogue/database record):

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