Skip to Main Content

Cite Sources

Cite Sources

When in Doubt, Go to the Source

The American Psychological Association web site is the final authority for all things APA. A copy of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th edition, is available for use in the Library.  You can find it on the first floor.  Call number: Ref 808.06615 P9609 2020.

Click the link for the APA's web site below. Then look for a link to the specific help you need: in-text citations, references, formatting your paper. A second link is a quick guide to books, articles, and chapters in books.

APA - In-Text Citations

The basic format for a shorter quotation is:

(author or authors, year, pages)

For example:

Causes of insomnia include "a history of stress, recent grief, or mental disorders such as anxiety or depression" (Kahn & Fawcett, 2008, p. 252).

Kahn and Fawcett (2008) note that causes of insomnia include "a history of stress, recent grief, or mental disorders such as anxiety or depression" (p. 252).

APA - Books

The basic APA format for a print book is:

         Author, Initial. Initial. (Year). 

              Title.  Publisher.

Watters, E. (2010). Crazy like us:

       The globalization of the

       American psyche. Free Press.

For e-books, follow a similar pattern, but list information about where you accessed the book instead of publication information:

Fromm, G. F. (Ed.). (2011). Lost in transmission:

        Studies of trauma across generations. Retrieved 


APA - Articles & Book Chapters

The basic APA format for citing an article is:

Author, Initial. Initial. (Year).

      Title of articleJournal Title,

       volume number(issue

       number), pages. 


See the Notes in the box below this one.

Example: an article with one author:

Bolger, N. (1990). Coping as a

      personality process: A prospective study. Journal of

      Personality and Social Psychology, 59(3), 525-537.


An article with more than one author:

Duckworth, A. L., Quinn, P. D., & Tsukayama, E.

      (2012). What No Child Left Behind leaves behind: The

      roles of IQ and self-control in predicting standardized

      achievement test scores and report card grades. 

      Journal of Educational Psychology, 104(2), 439-451.


An article with more than seven authors (this one was written by nine people):

Javaras, K. N., Schaefer, S. M., van Reekum, C. M., Lapate,

     R. C., Greichar, L. L., Bachhuber, D. R., ... Davidson, 

     R. J.  (2012). Conscientiousness predicts greater

      recovery from negative emotion. Emotion, 12(5),

      875-881. doi:10.1037/a0028105

An article where the database doesn't provide a DOI:

Larsen, J. M. (1975). Effects of increased teacher support

     on young children's learning. Child Development, 46(3),

     631-637.  Retrieved from

(In this example, I'm citing JSTOR rather than the journal's actual homepage because the journal's homepage only includes articles from 1990 onward and this article was published in 1975. If I really wanted to go the extra mile, I could look up the article in CrossRef and find out that it actually does have a DOI assigned.)

To cite a book chapter, follow this basic format:

Author, Initial. Initial. (Year). Title of chapter. In Editors

        of book (Eds.), Book title (pages of chapter).  


Pastel R. H., Ritchie E. C. (1996). Mitigation of

     psychological effects of weapons of mass

     destruction. In: Ritchie E. L., Watson P. J., 

      Friedman M. J. (Eds.),  Interventions following

      mass violence and disasters: strategies for

      mental health practice (pp. 300-318).  Guilford


A few things to note

A few things to note:

  • Title of article should be written out like a sentence - don't capitalize anything except the first word of the title, the first word after a colon, or proper nouns.
  • Words in the journal title do get capitalized.
  • Include up to seven authors. If an article has eight or more authors, list the first six and then use an ellipsis to jump to the last one.
  • Volume and issue number should be listed like this: if you're citing volume 9, issue 6, say 9(6) (without a space between them).
  • DOI may not always be available. If you're reading an article in a database like PsycARTICLES, one may be listed as "Digital Object Identifier." But if you read the article online (e.g. through a database) and no DOI is available, instead provide a URL for the journal homepage (see example below). If you can't find a homepage for the journal, the style recommends that you give the homepage URL for the database where you read it (e.g.
  • You don't need to cite the date when you accessed the article.

APA - Other Sources

A movie:

Lastname, Initial. Initial. (Director).

       (Year). Title [Motion picture].


Penn, A. (Director). 1967. Bonnie

        and Clyde [Motion picture].

         Warner Bros.

A YouTube video:

The basic format to follow is:

 Lastname, Initial. Initial.

        (Date of video). Title of video [Video].

        YouTube. URL. 

If author information isn't available, start with the title instead.

An interview, email or other personal communication:

This is a special case! If you're citing an interview that you conducted yourself (for example, with a test subject), or an email from someone to you, don't put it in your reference list. Instead, use an in-text citation with the format (personal communication, date).

Example: "As A. B. Jones informed me, the web site's navigation posed significant usability problems (personal communication, May 12, 2013)."

If you're citing an interview by someone else, you can cite it following this basic format for the particular source (magazine, radio, television).

Data from Statista

Statista is a useful source for data. However, you must create your own citation for the data, using the source information provided in Statista. The basic format is  Author, A. A.  (Date). Title of data set [Data set]. Publisher. DOI or URL.


Kantar Media. (2021). Leading National Advertisers [Data

      set]. Advertising Age. Retrieved July 27, 2022 from



APA - Web Sites

For websites, APA recommends providing as many as possible of the same elements (author, title, etc.) that you'd provide for a print source.

You should also include as much information as necessary for someone else to find the source (usually the URL).

For example:

Zook, M. (2012). Mapping racist tweets in response

to President Obama's re-election [Web log post.]  Retrieved                                                      from

Include a retrieval date when the contents of the page are designed to change over time and the page itself is not archived.  For example.

U.S .Census Bureau. (n.d.). U.S. and world population

         clock.  U.S. Department of Commerce. Retrieved

        July 3, 2019, from https//    

For a report by a government agency or other organization, give the Author or Name of Group. (Date). Title. Publisher Name. DOI or URL.

City of Fort Smith Finance Department.  (2020).      

        Comprehensive annual financial report. City of Fort




Formatting an APA paper