APA style was developed and is maintained by the American Psychological Association (APA). It is heavily used by the social sciences, behavioral sciences, and many other disciplines.
Features: Focuses on dates the study was published; page numbers may also be cited. Features in-text parenthetical citations of author(s) and date: (Smith, 1998). A page number also must be added for quotes taken from a specific page: (Smith, 1998, p. 123). Endnotes or footnotes may be used to add supplementary comments.
Citation manual: Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.
All examples below are based on examples from the 6th edition.
Lastname, Initial. (Year). Title of book. Place of publication: Publisher.
Howard, B. (1976). Boston, a social history. New York: Hawthorn Books.
Two or three authors
Gilbert, S. M., & Gubar, S. (1979). The madwoman in the attic: The woman writer and the nineteenth-century literary imagination. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Editor or compiler as author
Monson, I. (Ed.). (2000). The African diaspora: A musical perspective. New York: Garland.
Article or chapter in a book
Bjork, R. A. (1989). Retrieval inhibition as an adaptive mechanism in human memory. In H. L. Roediger & F. I. Craik (Eds.), Varieties of memory & consciousness (pp. 309-330). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Lastname, Initial. (Date). Title of article. Title of Periodical, Volume, Pages.
Article in a scholarly journal
Strecher, M. C. (1998) Beyond ‘Pure’ literature: Mimesis, formula, and the postmodern in the fiction of Murakami Haruki. Journal of Asian Studies, 57(2), 354-378.
NOTE: Issue number is included only if each issue begins on page 1.
Entire issue or special section of a journal
Barlow, D. H. (Ed.) (2006). Diagnoses, dimensions, and DSM-IV: The science of classification [Special issue]. Journal of Unusual Psychology, 235(3).
Article in a newspaper
Hall, C. (2002, August 18). Reliving the 1200’s with sweat, muscle, and no-tech tools. New York Times, p. B27.
Article in a popular magazine
Lacayo, R. (2002, Sept. 23). Kids are us! Time, 160, 68-70.
Periodical published annually
Fisk, C. (1978). Social cognition and social perception. Annual Review of Psychology, 44, 168-197.
Journal article from library database with DOI assigned
Stultz, J. (2006). Integrating exposure therapy and analytic therapy in trauma treatment. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 76(4), 4820488. doi: 10.1037/0002-9418.104.22.1682
Journal article from library database with no DOI assigned
Sillick, T.J., & Schutte, N.S. (2006). Emotional intelligence and self-esteem mediate between perceived early parental love and adult happiness. E-Journal of Applied Psychology, 2(2), 38-48. Retrieved from http://ojs.lib.swin.edu.au/index.php/ejap/article/view/71/100
Hilts, P.J. (1999, February 16). In forecasting their emotions, most people flunk out. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com
Online magazine with no print counterpart
Fredrickson, B. L. (2000). Cultivating positive emotions to optimize health and well-being. Prevention & Treatment. Retrieved November 20, 2000, from http://journals.apa.org/prevention/volume3/pre0030001a.html.
O’Keefe, E. (n.d.). Egoism & the crisis in Western values. Retrieved from http://www.onlineoriginals.com/showitem.asp?itemID=135
NOTE: If a DOI has been assigned, use it instead of the URL.
Graham, G. (2005). Behaviorism. In E. N. Zalta (Ed.) The Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy. Retrieved from http://plato.stanford.edu
Tufts University Archives and Special Collections. (1999). Women’s bodies, women’s property. Retrieved September 30, 2003 from Tufts University Digital Collections and Archives web site: http://dca.lib.tufts.edu/features/law/index.html
Artist/creator (year created). Name of item [format of item]. Location where item is held.
Wyeth, A. (1948). Christina’s world [Painting]. New York, NY: Museum of Modern Art.
For an image found in a book, an article or a website, cite that information. The goal of your citation is to give your reader the information she needs to return to the source of the material you are using.
More info from the APA Style Blog on citing images
Movies (DVD, VHS, etc)
For a movie with international or national availability.
Note: If a movie or video tape is not available in wide distribution, add the following to your citation after the country of origin: (Available from Distributor name, full address and zip code).
Video (including YouTube)
If both the real name of the person who posted the video and the screen name are known:
If only the screen name of the person who posted the video is known:
Songwriter, W. W. (Date of copyright). Title of song [Recorded by artist if different from song writer]. On Title of album [Medium of recording]. Location: Label. (Recording date if different from copyright date).
ERIC Document (Paper or microfiche format)
Gottfredson, L. S. (1980). How valid are occupational reinforcer pattern scores?(Report No. CSOS--R-92). Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University, Center for Social Organization of Schools. ERIC Document ED182465.
ERIC Document obtained from an online source such as the ERIC database
Jones, J. C. (2000). Webquests as a way to teach social studies (Report No. ABCD-EE-00-5). Marion, IN: Indiana Wesleyan Center for Educational Excellence. Retrieved from ERIC database. ERIC Document 111111.
APA Style does not have specific requirements for citing government document, instead suggesting that you cite the document based on its format. Here are some tips:
According to the Purdue University Online Writing Lab: "no personal communication is included in your reference list; instead, parenthetically cite the communicator's name, the phrase 'personal communication,' and the date of the communication in your main text only." Follow this rule for face-to-face, phone or email communication.
Example: A. P. Smith also claimed that many of her students had difficulties with APA style (personal communication, November 3, 2002).
Format: Author. (Date). Title.Location of materials.
Example: [Brooks, E.]. (1956, July 14). Meeting of Subcommittee of Bartenders who Train Dogs. Hamilton County Library Archive Collection, Noblesville, IN.
If the notes have been posted on a website or within a database, include “[Lecture notes]” in the usual reference formats.
Example: Smith, A. (2009). Brain and behavior [Lecture notes]. Retrieved from http://www...
If the notes are available only from the teacher, via Trunk, or from the student who took the notes during a lecture, this is considered a “personal communication” (see page 179 of the Manual for more examples). In these cases, no reference is needed and only an in-text citation would be given in the paper.
Example in the text: “According to B. Jones (personal communication, May 29, 2010) in her lecture on posttraumatic stress disorder. . .”