Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
UAFS logo

MCOM 2223 - Communication Theory: Writing and Citing

Help with Writing and Citing


Plagiarism is using someone else's work -- their words or ideas -- without giving them credit. Even accidental plagiarism can have big consequences, so you want to be careful to avoid it.

Avoid plagiarism by documenting your sources as you do your research and writing. If you use a quotation or refer to an idea, be sure to keep track of where you found it so that you can cite it properly.


Zotero is a free tool that lives in your web browser and helps you keep track of sources and build bibliographies. See the Zotero homepage to set up an account, or ask us for help!

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. doi:________.

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. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.59.3.525

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. doi:10.1037/a0026280

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.)

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.

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). Location: Publisher.

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). New York, NY: Guilford Press.

APA - Books

The basic APA format for a print book is:

Author, Initial. Initial. (Year). Title. Location: Publisher.

Watters, E. (2010). Crazy like us: The globalization of the American psyche. New York: 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 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

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).