Module 9

Citing Sources with APA

This module covers how to cite sources using APA (American Psychological Association) style.

When you complete this module, you will be able to:

- identify when to use APA.
- construct basic APA citations.
- use in-text citations for APA.
- format a paper using APA.


APA (American Psychological Association) style is used most often to cite sources in the social sciences (e.g. psychology, education).

Your professor may tell you what citation style to use. If not and you are uncertain which to use, ask your professor.

This module uses the 7th edition of the APA manual.

The Library has two copies of the manual that you may use in the library. You may also find online guides such as Purdue Online Writing Lab.

APA citations have specific formatting rules for names, titles, order, and indenting.

Author and Editor Names

  • Last name first
  • Initials only for first and middle names
    Example: Doe, J.
  • List up to 20 names.
  • If more than 20 authors, list first 19 followed by ellipses (. . .) and then the last author's name.
    Example: Messner-Loebs, W., . . . Steinbach, H.


  • Capitalize only the first word of titles, subtitles, and proper nouns
    Example: Zombie myths of Australian military history: The 10 myths that will not die
  • Capitalize all main words in journal titles
    Example: Journal of Criminal Justice
  • Italicize titles of books, journals, webpages, and other long works.
  • Don't italicize titles of articles, essays, chapters, and other short works.


  • On your Reference page, list citations in alphabetical order.
  • If more than one source has the same author, list alphabetically and then chronologically by publication year.


  • First line flush left with margin. Indent half-inch from left margin all additional lines of a citation.

    Note: Because of formatting restrictions, all examples in this module won't have this requirement.

Citations follow a formula. It may alter some depending on the source, but once you understand the basic formats writing and reading citations will be easier.

Format for Book with a DOI (Digital Object Identifier)
Author's last name, A. A. (Year). Title of book (edition if applicable). Publisher.

Format for Book without a DOI [print or from library database]
Author's last name, A. A. (Year). Title of book (edition if applicable). Publisher.

One Author
Drezner, D. (2011). Theories of international politics and zombies. Princeton University Press.

Two to 20 Authors
Preiss, B., & Betancourt, J. (1993). The ultimate zombie. Dell Publishing.

Edited Work
Boyle, K., & Mrozowski, D. (Eds.). (2013). The great recession in fiction, film and television: Twenty-first-century bust culture. Lexington Books.

Chapter or Work in a Book without DOI
Author’s Last Name, A. A. (Year). Title of chapter. In A. Editor (Ed.), Title of book (pp. xx-xx). Publisher.

Fernandes, C. (2011). Two tales of Timor. In C. Stocking (Ed.), Zombie myths of Australian military history: The 10 myths that will not die (pp. 213-233). UNSW Press.

eBook citations follow the same format as books with or without a DOI. An eBook from a library database would be treated the same as a print book. The exception is for eBooks with a nondatabase URL.

eBook without a DOI but with a nondatabase URL
Peebles, C. (2013). Darlings of decay: A female zombie anthology. Rocky Rivers Publishing.

1. Which is the correct formatting for authors?

A. Holmes, Sherlock, and John Watson.

B. Holmes, S., & J. Watson.

C. Holmes, S., & Watson, J.

a is correct
b is correct
c is correct

2. Citations listed on the Reference page should be in ...

alphabetical order
chronological order


When citing articles, you need to figure out if it is published in a journal, magazine, or newspaper so you use the correct formula.

Author’s Last Name, A. A. (Year). Title of article. Title of JournalVolume(Issue), pages.

Nasiruddin, M., Halabi, M., Dao, A., Chen, K., & Brown, B. (2013). Zombies: A pop culture resource for public health awareness. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 19(5), 809-813. https://doi/org/10.3201/eid1905.AD1905

Author’s Last Name, A. A. (Year). Title of article. Title of JournalVolume(Issue), pages.

Robert, K. (2008). The inconceivability of zombies. Philosophical Studies, 139(1), 73-89.

Author’s Last Name, A. A. (Year). Title of article. Title of JournalVolume(Issue), pages. URL

Comaroff, J., & Comaroff, J. L. (2002). Alien-nation: Zombies, immigrants, and millennial capitalism. The South Atlantic Quarterly, 101(4), 779-805. https//

Author’s Last Name, A. A. (Year, Month Day). Title of article. Title of Magazine, Volume(Issue), pages.

Author’s Last Name, A. A. (Year, Month Day). Title of article. Title of Magazine, Volume(Issue), pages.

Grossman, L. (2009, April 20). Zombies are the new vampires. Time, 173(15), 61.

Author’s Last Name, A. A. (Year, Month Day). Title of article. Title of Newspaper, pages.

Hale, M. (2015, October 9). Going big with zombies. The New York Times, C1, C13.

Author’s Last Name, A. A. (Year, Month Day). Title of article. Title of Newspaper. URL

Phillips, E. E. (2014, March 4). On college campuses, big brains turn the tables and feast on zombies. Wall Street Journal.


Website Citation
Author’s Last Name, A. A. (Year, Month Day Published). Website title. Site Name. URL

Borgerding, J. (n.d.). Zombie survival guide.

Use n.d. if no publication date is provided.

1. Which is the correct formatting for titles?

A. The hound of the Baskervilles.

B. The hound of the Baskervilles.

C. The Hound of the Baskervilles.

a is correct
b is correct
c is correct


In-text citations direct your reader to the source on your reference page with the information you used so you avoid plagiarizing.

Each source on your reference page must be cited in your paper. You can't list sources on your reference page and not use them.

Likewise, every in-text citation must have its source listed on your reference page with the exception of classical works (e.g. the Bible and the Qur'an), which are standardized across editions, and of personal communications. Thus, you can't cite information in your paper and not list it on your reference page.

In your citation, give the author's last name to identify the source and the year of the publication (Doe, 2015). When you use a direct quote or borrowed language, "add the page number(s) at the end" (Doe, 2015, p. 10).

When providing in-text citations, you may use cited in the text or parenthetical citations.

Cited in text resembled this with the author first and then the date according to Doe (2015).

Parenthetical citations resembled the same author and then date in parenthesis (Doe, 2015).

Citing by Author(s) - The number of authors and whether it is the first time cited or subsequent times determine how many authors to list, when to use et al. (which means "and others"), and the punctuation used.

  • 1 Author
    • Holmes (2015)
    • (Holmes, 2015)
  • 2 Authors
    • Holmes and Watson (2015)
    • (Holmes & Watson, 2015)
  • 3 or more authors
    • Holmes et al. (2015)
    • (Holmes et al., 2015)

Unknown Author - If no author is identified, cite the first few words of the citation on the reference page (usually the title). Title of an article, a chapter, or a web page is in double quotes. Title of a periodical, a book or eBook, report is italicized.

  • the short story “His Last Bow” (1917)
  • (“His Last Bow,” 1917)
  • the book The Hound of the Baskervilles (1994)
  • (The Hound of the Baskervilles, 1994)

Personal Communications - Interviews, private letters, phone conversations, email, etc. that do not provide recoverable data are not listed on the reference page. Cite them in text only.  Use the initials and surname of the individual and an exact date.

  • T. J. Majors (personal communication, June 20, 1867)
  • (T. J. Majors, personal communication, June 20, 1867)

For direct quotes from the source, you need to provide the author, year, and the specific page (use paragraph number if not paginated).

Quote Cited in Text - Use the correct cited in text format for the author(s) and year with the page (p.) or pages (pp.) listed after the quote.

Holmes (2015) went so far as to believe "the game is afoot" (p. 20), which appeared accurate.

Quote with Parenthetical Citation - Use the correct parenthetical citation format with page(s) following.

"The game is afoot" (Holmes, 2015, p. 20).

Paraphrasing - You only need to reference the author and date of publication; however, you are encouraged to also give the page number so your reader may find the information in the cited source.

Your professor may give you other guidelines for how to format your paper. The following are the guidelines according to the APA manual.


1 inch margins on all sides

APA recommends using 12 pt. Times New Roman font.

Running head at the top of every page. A running head is your title shortened to 50 characters or less. To insert into your paper, use the header with the running head in all capital letters flush left and the page number flush right.

You have completed Module 9. You should now be able to:

green check mark identify when to use APA. 

green check mark construct basic APA citations.

green check mark use in-text citations for APA.

green check mark format a paper using APA.

You are ready for Module 10 - Citing Sources with MLA.