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Based on Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th ed. (2009)

Reference Citations in Text
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American Psychological Association or APA style is widely accepted in the Social Sciences. For more information consult the 6th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association located on 2 North Reference and in Dictionary Stands on all floors: BF 76.7 P83 2010. Publication Manual sections are noted in square brackets [ ].


Throughout the body of your paper, briefly note the author and date of research that you mention. Enough information is needed to identify the correct source in the References list at the end of your paper. For more information and examples, see Table 6.1 in the 6th ed. Publication Manual.
  • Author and Date Cited in Text (no parenthetical citation necessary)

    In a 1989 article, Gould explores some of Darwin's most effective metaphors.

  • Author Not Cited in Text

    As metaphors for the workings of nature, Darwin used the tangled bank, the tree of
    life, and the face of nature (Gould, 1989).

  • Author Cited in Text

    Gould (1989) attributes Darwin's success to his gift for making the appropriate metaphor.

  • Direct Quotation with Name of Author

    Gould (1989) explains that Darwin used the metaphor of the tree of life "to express the other form of interconnectedness–genealogical rather than ecological–and to illustrate both success and failure in the history of life" (p. 14).

  • Direct Quotation without Name of Author

    Darwin used the metaphor of the tree of life "to express the other form of interconnectedness–genealogical rather than ecological" (Gould, 1989, p. 14).
For each of the samples above the correct "References" APA style format
would be:

Gould, S. J. (1989). The wheel of fortune and the wedge of progress. Natural History, 89(3), 14-21.
  • Quoting references that cite other works  [6.17]

    To cite secondary sources, refer to both sources in the text, but include in the References list only the source that you actually used. For instance, suppose you read Feist (1998) and would like to paraphrase the following sentence within that book:

           Bandura (1989) defined self-efficacy as "people's beliefs about their capabilities
           to exercise control over events that affect their lives" (p. 1175).

    In this case, your in-text citation would be:   (Bandura, 1989, as cited in Feist, 1998).

    Feist (1998) would be fully referenced within the list of References. Bandura (1989) would not be listed. Remember to use the examples in this handout to cite and reference your quote correctly.
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For more information and examples, see sections 6.22-6.32 in the 6th ed. Publication Manual:
  • Begin your list of references on a new page, headed with the word “References” centered at the top.
  • Use “Reference” if there is only one.
  • Alphabetize the list by author's last name. If there is no author given, start with the first significant word in the title.
  • For article titles, capitalize only the first word of the title and subtitle, and proper names.
  • Periodical titles should be written in full with both capital and lower case letters.
  • References are to be in a hanging indent format, meaning that the first line of each reference is set flush left and subsequent lines are indented.
  • Double space the entire document.

Klimoski, R., & Palmer, S. (1993). The ADA and the hiring process in organizations. Consulting

          Psychology Journal: Practice and Research
, 45(2), 10-36.
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 (periodical articles published in journals, magazines, newspapers, etc.)

Format: Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume (issue), pages.

  • One Author  [6.27]

    Mellers, B. A. (2000). Choice and the relative pleasure of consequences. Psychological

              Bulletin, 126
    , 910-924.

    Note: Include issue number if the journal is paginated separately by issue. [6.30]

  • Two to Seven Authors  [6.27]

    Klimoski, R., & Palmer, S. (1993). The ADA and the hiring process in organizations.

              Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, 45(2), 10-36.

  • Eight or More Authors  [7.01.2]

    Note: Include all authors up to and including seven. For eight or more, include the first six, then an ellipsis, followed by the last author's name. [6.27]

    Wolchik, S. A., West, S. G., Sandler, I. N., Tein, J., Coatsworth, D., Lengua, L., ...Griffin. W. A. (2000).

              An experimental evaluation of theory-based mother and mother-child programs for

              children of divorce. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 68, 843-856.

  • Magazine Article  [7.01.7]

    Rodgers, J. (2006, July). Extreme psychology. Psychology Today, 39(4), 86-93.

  • Review of a Book [7.06.45]

    Schatz, B. R. (2000, November 17). Learning by text or context? [Review of the book The

              social life of information
    by J.S. Brown & P. Duguid]. Science, 290, 1304.

  • Daily Newspaper Article, No Author [7.01.10]

    Note: Use p or pp before page number. If the article had more than one page but not continuous then the citation would be "pp. A12, A14."

    New drug appears to sharply cut risk of death from heart failure. (2001, August 3).

              The Washington Post, p. A12.

  • Letter to the Editor, Newspaper Article[7.01.15]

    Berkowitz, A.D. (2000, November 24). How to tackle the problem of student drinking [Letter

              to the editor]. The Chronicle of Higher Education, p B20.

  • Entire Issue of a Journal[7.01.12]

    Barlow, D.H. (Ed.). (1991) Diagnoses, dimensions, and DSM-IV: The science of classification

              [Special issue]. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 100(3).

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Format: Author, A. A. (year). Title of work. Location: Publisher.
  • Book [7.02.18]

    Mitchell, T. R., & Larson, J. R., Jr. (1987). People in organizations: An introduction to

              organizational behavior
    (3rd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

  • A Book by More than One Author [7.02.24]

    Levison, M., Ward, R. G., & Webb, J. W. (1973). The settlement of Polynesia: A

          computer simulation
    . Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

  • Edited Book [7.02.22-24]

    Ruiz, V. L., & Sánchez Korrol, V. (Eds.). (2006). Latinas in the United States: A historical

    . Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

  • Corporate Author as Publisher [7.02]

    American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental

    (4th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

  • Anonymous Author [6.27]

    Guidelines and application form for directors, 1990 summer seminar for school teachers.

              (1988). Washington, DC: National Endowment for the Humanities.

  • Chapter in a Book [7.02.25]

    Massaro, D. (1992). Broadening the domain of the fuzzy logical model of perception. In H. L.

              Pick Jr., P. van den Broek, & D.C. Knill (Eds.), Cognition: Conceptual and

              methodological issues
    (pp. 51-84). Washington, DC: American Psychological


  • ERIC Document [7.09.62]

    Mead, J. V. (1992). Looking at old photographs: Investigating the teacher tales that

              novice teachers bring with them
    (Report No. NCRTL-RR-92-4). East Lansing,

              MI: National Center for Research on Teaching Learning. (ED346082)

  • Government Report [7.03.31]

    National Institute of Mental Health. (1990). Clinical training in serious mental illness

              (DHHS Publication No. ADM 90-1679). Washington, DC: Government

              Printing Office.

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Many scholarly publishers have been assigning unique identifiers to each published article. The DOI (Digital Object Identifier) is an alpha-numeric code registered to each scholarly article in order to assign a persistent link to the article. The DOI has replaced the database name and URL in the list of references. Because the link is to the final version, do not include a retrieval date. Since DOI numbers are complex, copy and paste DOI into the reference. APA recommends that the DOI be included for print and online citations.

Citing electronic sources is similar to citing print sources; citations direct readers to the source or as close as possible.

Where do I find a DOI?
  • It may be part of the citation or abstract of a record.
  • It may be found on the first page of an article, especially in pdf format.
  • Use DOI Lookup  (
  • Cut and paste a citation into CrossRef Simple Text Query (
  • Verify a known DOI by using CrossRef DOI Resolver  (

Format: Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume(issue), pages. doi: unique identifier
  • Full-Text Article with DOI assigned

    Jacobson, J. W., Mulick, J. A., & Schwartz, A. A. (1995). A history of facilitated

              communication: Science, pseudoscience, and antiscience. American Psychologist,

               50, 750-765. doi: 10.1037/0003-066X.50.9.750

    Stevenson, W., Maton, K. I., & Teti, D. M. (1999). Social support, relationship quality,

              and well-being among pregnant adolescents. Journal of Adolescence, 22, 109-121.

              doi: 10.1006/jado.1998.0204

  • Full-Text Articles without a DOI [6.32]
    If no DOI has been assigned, provide the home page URL of the journal, book or report publisher. If you are accessing through a database, you may need to do a web search to locate the URL. It is not necessary to include the name of the database. There is no period at the end of a reference citation ending with a URL.

    Francis-Smythe, J., & Robertson, I. (1999). Time-related individual differences.

              Time & Society, 8, 273-292. Retrieved from

    Senior, B. (1997). Team roles and team performance: Is there really a link? Journal of

              Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 70
    , 241-258. Retrieved from


  • Online Newspaper Article [7.01.11]

    McHugh, P. (2005, March 17). Feeling down? It might help if you just take it outside.

             San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved from

  • Research or Technical Report from a Web Site [7.03]

    NAACP. (n.d.). Juvenile justice fact sheet. Retrieved December 11, 2007, from


    ACLU. (2007, November 29). FBI Improperly Using Patriot Act Surveillance

              Powers, ACLU Charges. Retrieved from


  • Article from Web Site or E-journal [7.01.3]

    Takase, A. (2007). Japanese high school students' motivation for extensive L2 reading.

              Reading in a Foreign Language, 19(1), 1-18. Retrieved

              September 24, 2007, from

  • Television Broadcast [7.07.51]

    Crystal, L. (Executive Producer). (1993, October 11). The MacNeil/Lehrer news hour.

              [Television broadcast]. New York and Washington, DC: Public Broadcasting Service.

  • Electronic Book from Web Site [7.02.19]

    O'Keefe, E. (n.d). Egoism & the crisis in Western values. Retrieved from


  • Electronic Book from Database [7.02.19]

    Gates, J.M. (1999). Consider the Earth: Environmental activities for grades 4-8.

             Retrieved from

  • Wiki [7.11]

    Psychometric assessment. (n.d.). Retrieved January 28, 2007, from The Psychology


  • Data set [7.08.54]

    Pew Hispanic Center. (2004). Changing channels and criss-crosing cultures: A survey of

             Latinos on the news media
    [Data file and code book]. Retrieved from


  • Blog post [7.11.76]

    bfy. (2007, January 22). Re: The unfortunate prerequisites and consequences of partitioning your

             mind [Web log message]. Retrieved from


  • Audio podcast [7.07.50]

    Van Nuys, D. (Producer). (2006, October 13). Understanding autism.

              Shrink Rap Radio [Audio Podcast]. Retreived from

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Can't find the right rule? If you do not find a rule in this guide to fit the specific citation situation you are working on, you need to consult the 6th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. Copies are available at all dictionary stands on all four floors in the Library, in Reference (BF 76.7 P83 2009), and in the Reserve Book Room for a 2 hour check out period. Reference examples are in Chapter Seven.

It is impossible to have an example for every type of source available. If you are unable to find the perfect example, remember, that the purpose of listing references is to allow readers to retrieve and use your sources. Find the closest example; and put as much infomation as you think necessary in your citiation to ensure that the source can be retrieved in the future.

Students may also seek assistance with papers for any class in any department, or for preparation for writing exams at the CSUS Writing Center. The Writing Center is located in Room 128 of Calaveras Hall.

Also consider taking one of the drop in classes in the Library. Classes are held throughout the year. Check at the Reference Desk (2North) for a schedule of workshops or on the Library Instruction web page

Examples are also available from the web sites listed below.
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APA WEB SITES and Tutorials
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A Sacramento State Library Research Guide compiled by Leilani Hall, Science Reference Librarian;
Last updated 9/09