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Writing and Citing: APA 7th Edition: Articles

A guide to help users create citations using American Psychological Association Style, 6th edition.

Basic Rules

Basic rules for citing Academic Journals: 

  • References must be double spaced and have a hanging indent. 
  • Alphabetized by the first listed author. 
    • If same author, list in chronological order, oldest first. 
  • Write journal titles in full, exactly as they are presented. 
  • The volume number is italicized, while the issue number within the parentheses is not. 
  • Italicize journal titles, but not article titles. 
  • Capitalize all words in journal titles except for prepositions, but not in article titles. 

Journal Articles

APA does not require for the retrieval date to be used, since there is very little chance that information contained in academic journal articles will change over time. 

The only difference between print articles and articles found online is that online articles include a DOI. If there is no DOI, treat as if print. No link to journal's website is needed.

Article without DOI: 

Author Last Name, First Initial. (Year). Title of article: SubtitleJournal Title, volume(issue), pp-pp.  

Example:

Kuehner, A. V., & Hurley, J. (2019). How integrating reading and writing supports student success. Journal of Developmental Education, 42(2), 20-26. 

Article with DOI: 

Author Last Name, First Initial. (Year). Title of article: SubtitleJournal Title, volume(issue), pp-pp. https://doi 

Example:

Kinzie, J., & Kuh, G. (2017). Reframing student success in college: Advancing know-what and know-how. Change, 49(3), 19-27. https://doi.org/10.1080/00091383.2017.1321429 

Basic Format, One Author:

Author Last Name, First Initial. Second Initial. (Year). Article title: Subtitle. Journal Title,Volume(issue), page range. https://doi.org/xx.xxxxxxxxxx 

2 Authors:

Author Last Name, First Initial. Second Initial., & Author Last Name, First Initial. Second Initial. (Year). Article title: Subtitle. Journal Title, Volume(issue), page range. https://doi.org/xx.xxxxxxxxxx

3-20 Authors:

List all authors

Author Last Name, First Initial. Second Initial., Author Last Name, First Initial. Second Initial., & Author Last Name, First Initial. Second Initial. (Year). Article title: Subtitle. Journal Title, Volume(issue), page range. https://doi.org/xx.xxxxxxxxxx

More than 20 Authors:

Materials with 21 or more authors: List 19 authors, ellipsis and last one.

Example: (21 authors)

Alvarez, A. A., Brown, C. H., Charles, C., Diaz, D. M., Eastman, P. E., Frederick, L., Guateng, L. V., Henri, J. M., Irigoyen, A. I., Jones, J. L., Kafka, K. M., Lugones, L., Marinelli, M. M., Nguyen, T. B., O'Connor, M. O., Perez, A. P., Quispe, J. B., Rowland, R. J., San Martin, J. S., . . . Zapata, E. (2020). Effects of reading comprehension programs involving diverse literature in test scores. Journal of Innovative Education, 1(2): 35-48.

Basic Format, No Author:

Some databases are great resources for reference and sourcebook information. Many times, these kinds of articles will not have  a specific author. In that case, use either the database publisher or the company responsible for the information as author. 

Some of these entries will also lack a date of publication. Instead of omitting the field altogether, APA requires that n.d. (for no date) to be entered in the parentheses. 

Database publisher. (Year, if not known put n.d.). Title of specific document. Publisher. URL database homepage.

One Author:

(Author, Date, Page Number).

Parenthetical: (Duhigg, 2016, p. 48).

Narrative: (Duhigg, 2016) OR According to Duhigg (2016), ... 

Two Authors:

(Author Last Name & Author Last Name, Year).

(Weber & Kelley, 2014).

Three or more authors:

Cite first author and use "et al." every time.

(Stevens et al., 2018).

Online Newspaper Articles

When citing a newspaper article, it is preferred that the whole date of publication be used (Month, date, year). At the end, use the URL for the homepage of the newspaper, since the full URLs for news articles tend to change frequenty.

Basic Format:

Author Last Name, First Initial. Second Initial. (Year, Month Day). Article title: Subtitle. Newspaper Title, page range. URL of homepage.

One Author:

(Author, Date, Page Number).

Parenthetical: (Duhigg, 2016, p. 48).

Narrative: (Duhigg, 2016) OR According to Duhigg (2016), ...

Two Authors:

(Author Last Name & Author Last Name, Year).

(Weber & Kelley, 2014).

Three or more authors:

Cite first author and use "et al." every time.

(Stevens et al., 2018).

Print Newspaper Article

For newspaper articles in print, no need to put the URL at the end. 

Basic Format:

Author Last Name, First Initial. Second Initial. (Year, Month Day). Article title: Subtitle. Newspaper Title,  page range.

One Author:

(Author, Date, Page Number).

Parenthetical: (Duhigg, 2016, p. 48).

Narrative: (Duhigg, 2016) OR According to Duhigg (2016), ...

Two Authors:

(Author Last Name & Author Last Name, Year).

(Weber & Kelley, 2014).

Three or more authors:

Cite first author and use "et al." every time.

(Stevens et al., 2018).

DOIs

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

What is a DOI?

According to the APA Style website, "A digital object identifier (DOI) is a unique alphanumeric string assigned by a registration agency (the International DOI Foundation) to identify content and provide a persistent link to its location on the Internet. The publisher assigns a DOI when your article is published and made available electronically. All DOI numbers begin with a 10 and contain a prefix and a suffix separated by a slash. The prefix is a unique number of four or more digits assigned to organizations; the suffix is assigned by the publisher and was designed to be flexible with publisher identification standards." 

Not all articles will have the DOI available. For articles without DOI, nothing is put in its place. 

Useful Links for DOIs