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APA Citation Style / Donnelley and Lee Library at Lake Forest

APA (American Psychological Association) Style is typically used in psychology and other social sciences.

Recommended APA resources

How to create hanging indents for References in MS Word

  1. Select the reference(s)
  2. Hold down the Ctrl (PC) or Command (Mac) key and type the T key.

Some common APA questions

Do I need to include retrieval dates?
Do not include retrieval dates unless the source material may change over time (e.g., wikis).

I can only find this article on a library database, not on the publisher’s website.
In that case, give the home page URL of the database you used:

Avery, S. (2009, August 13). Molecular science sheds light on viruses. Monterey County Herald. Retrieved from http://www.nexisuni.com

I use the same source more than once in a paragraph.
Answer from the APA Style Blog.

How do I cite online resources like Facebook postings, blog postings, interviews, websites?
The APA Blog has many examples and helpful advice.

How do I cite the testimony of an individual in a government hearing?
The page number where the cited testimony begins is before the year:

The dawn of learning: What’s working in early childhood education: Hearing before the Subcommittee on Education Reform of the Committee on Education and the Workforce, House of Representatives, 107th Cong. 38 (2001). (testimony of Margaret Lopez). Retrieved from http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CHRG-107hhrg80037/pdf/CHRG-107hhrg80037.pdf

How to list a source quoted in another source on my References pages?
If you are unable to find a copy of the original source, then provide information about the source you used.

In-text citation:
Ernest Rutherford claimed that “1896 … marked the beginning of what has been aptly termed the heroic age of Physical Science” (cited in Cox, 2012, p. 5).


Cox, B. (2012). The quantum universe (and why anything that can happen, does). Boston, MA: Da Capo Press.

I have a review of a television series from a newspaper’s website.

Goodman, T. (2006, October 6). It’s not too late to jump aboard ‘Battlestar Galactica.’ [Review of the television series Battlestar Galactica, 2004, produced by D. Eick & R. D. Moore]. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved from http://articles.sfgate.com/2006-10-06/entertainment/17316829_1_sci-fi-channel-sci-fi-genre-battlestar-galactica

How to I cite a tweet/Twitter post?
Click on the tweet’s time stamp to get its URL.

Athar, S. [ReallyVirtual]. (May 1, 2011). Go away helicopter - before I take out my giant swatter :-/ [Tweet]. Retrieved from http://twitter.com/ReallyVirtual/status/64782523485528065

How to I cite a chapter that is a reprint in an edited book from a multi-volume series (each volume has a unique title)?

Davin, A. (2012). Family and domesticity: Food in poor households in late nineteenth-century London. In F. Parasecoli & P. Scholliers (Series Eds.), A Cultural History of Food: Vol. 5: In the age of empire (M. Bruegel, Ed., pp. 141-164). New York, NY: Berg. (Reprinted from “Loaves and fishes: Food in poor households in late nineteenth-century London,” 1996, History Workshop Journal, 41, 167-192. doi:10.1093/hwj/1996.41.167)

Online Tutorials

These tutorials are recommended by the Department of Psychology.

In-Text Citations

Citing the same source repeatedly in the same paragraph
APA style requires that you cite the source for each sentence that quotes or paraphrases information from that source.

Citing sources that have multiple authors
OWL at Purdue
EndNote Web’s Cite-While-You-Write will automatically format multiple authors correctly; ask a librarian for help with this tool.

Page numbers for direct quotations from online articles
Used only fixed page numbers from a PDF; do not use page numbers for an HTML or text printout. If you cannot determine the number of the page on which your quoted text appeared, you may designate the heading of the section and the number of the paragraph instead, using the abbreviation “para.” for example:

In-text citation:
Steen (2008) points out that the vast increase of computer generated data drives decisions that effect society and therefore increases the necessity of the public’s grasp of quantitative literacy to accurately assess such decisions (“Averages,” para. 3).


Steen, L. A. (2004). Everything I needed to know about averages… I learned in college. Peer Review, 6(4). Retrieved from http://list.aacu.org/publications-research/periodicals/everything-i-needed-know-about-averages-i-learned-college

See more examples in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th ed., on page 172 of the chapter, “Quoting and Paraphrasing.”

What is a DOI?

A DOI (Digital Object Identifier) is a permanent alphanumeric reference assigned to the final, archived version of a journal article.

When preceded by “https://doi.org/” or “http://dx.doi.org/” the DOI becomes a permanent URL to the article.
However, the Internet page linked to the DOI may not give access to the full text of the article if you are off campus, in which case you can use the DOI to access the article using the Locate Article by Citation form.

Do I have to include the DOI in my reference?
You may not need to provide the DOI in a reference, ask your instructor.

The 6th edition of the Publication manual of the American Psychological Association states that the DOI is required as part of the reference for a journal article for which a DOI has been “assigned.” Scholarly articles published since 2009 typically show the DOI at the top of the first page of the article. Articles printed earlier may not show the DOI on the printed or PDF version of the article, even if it has been assigned, but the reference for the article in a database will often show it. When asked, a spokesperson for the APA stated that it was not expected for someone to look up the DOI for an article if it was not readily available. However, the DOI can always be located via the DOI look-up from crossref.org. You may not need to provide the DOI in a reference, but you should ask your instructor.