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Return to the OSU Library Home Page Quick Guide to Using Style Manuals, APA Style

APA Style (5th) space APA Style (6th) space MLA Style

This guide gives basic examples of APA style for references in a research paper. For a complete overview of APA style, consult:

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association Current edition is the 6th (2010) published by the American Psychological Association. Reference Area
808.02 P976 2010
Supplemental Materials to the APA Manual Site contains supplemental materials (in PDF format) that are not printed in the the 6th edition of the APA Manual.

Internet Resource

The following examples are taken from or are modified from examples from these guides. They are single-spaced to save space. See the Format the References List section for the correct formatting.

The 6th edition of the APA Manual recommends including a digital object identifier (DOI) when citing an electronic source. The DOI is a permanent link to the published electronic full text and the location of the text. The DOI consists of a long alphanumeric code (e.g. doi: 10.1007/b105055) and is unique to its document. Not all publishers provide a DOI number to a document, but when it is available, use the DOI in the citation. If you cannot find a DOI number for your source, you can try looking it up using the CrossRef free DOI lookup. To learn more about the DOI system, visit


Author. (Date). Book title. Publisher City: Publisher.

  • Single Author
    Bain, K. (2004).What the best college teachers do. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard
            University Press.

  • Multiple Authors
    Cone, J. D., & Foster, S. L.(1993). Dissertations and theses from start to finish:
            Psychology and related fields.
    Washington, DC: American Psychological

  • Edited Book
    Gibbs, J. T., & Huang, L. N. (Eds.), (1991). Children of color: Psychological
            interventions with minority youth.
    San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

  • Article/Chapter in an Edited Book
    LaFromboise, T. D. & Low, R. G. (1998). American Indian children and adolescents.
            In J. T. Gibbs, & L. N. Huang (Eds.), Children of color: Psychological
            interventions with minority youth
    (pp. 112-142). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

  • Entry in an Encyclopedia
    Bergmann, P. G. (1993). Relativity. In The New Encyclopedia Britannica (Vol. 26,
            pp.501-508). Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica.

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  • Entire book with a DOI assigned:
    Loewy, E. H. (2004). Textbook of healthcare ethics (2nd ed.). doi: 10.1007/1-4020-

  • Chapter in a book with a DOI assigned:
    Ernest, P. (2005). Agency and creativity in the semiotics of learning mathematics. In M. G.
            Hoffmann, J. Lenhard, & F. Seeger (Eds.), Activity and sign: Grounding
            mathematics education
    (pp. 23-34). doi: 10.1007/b105055

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Periodical Articles

Print Articles in Periodicals (Journals, Magazines, Newspapers)

Author. (Date). Article title. Periodical Title, volume # (issue number), page #s.

  • Journal Article, Continuous Pagination
    Bekerian, D.A. (1993). In search of the typical eyewitness. American Psychologist, 48,

  • Journal Article, Journal Paginated by Issue, 2 or more Authors
    Klimoski, R., & Palmer, S. (1993). The ADA and the hiring process in organizations.
            Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, 45 (2), 10-36.

  • Magazine article
    Posner, M. I. (1993, October 29). Seeing the mind. Science, 262, 673-674.

  • Newspaper Article, Discontinuous Pages
    Schwartz, J. (1993, September 30). Obesity affects economics, social status. The
            Washington Post,
    pp. A1, A4.

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Online/Electronic Articles in Periodicals (Journals, Magazines, Newspapers)

  • Article is assigned a DOI:

    Author. (Date). Article title. Periodical Title, volume # (issue #), page #s. doi:10.000/00000000

    Lieberthal, S. P. (2009). Teaching undergraduate business students to access public
            company information: Assessing students' use of library resources. Journal of
            Business & Finance Librarianship,14
    (3), 230-147.

    Holmes, J. & Clark, R.(2008). Enhancing the use of science in environmental policy-
            making and regulation. Environmental Science & Policy, 11(8), 702-711.

  • Article is NOT assigned a DOI:

    Author. (Date). Article title. Periodical Title, volume # (issue #), page #s. Retrieved from [URL of the journal home page]


    (a) If the journal home page URL does not appear on either article or in database, then do a quick web search of the journal title to locate the URL.
    (b) Some archival documents (e.g. discontinued journals) can only be found in electronic databases, then provide the database home or entry page URL instead (e.g.

  • Journal article
    Bishop, T. R. (1992).  Integrating business ethics into an undergraduate curriculum.
            Journal of Business Ethics, 11(4), 291-299. Retrieved from
  • Magazine article
    Clay, R. (2008, June). Science vs. ideology: Psychologists fight back about the misuse of
            research.  Monitor on Psychology, 39(6). Retrieved from

  • Newspaper article
    Brody, J. E. (2007, December 11). Mental reserves keep brain agile.  The New York
    Retrieved from

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Web Site/Page

Include the author (if listed), title of the Web page and, in some cases, the title of the site on which the page is located, and date of creation or last update. If no date is given on the page, use "n.d" ("no date") in its place. Then add "Retrieved [date page was accessed] from [URL of the page]." Date of retrieval is included because the content is likely to change (

Hanes-Ramos, M. (2009, February 5). Bare bones 101: A very basic tutorial on
        searching the web. University of South Carolina, Beaufort Library.
        Retrieved October 28, 2009, from

GVU's 8th WWW user survey.(n.d.). Retrieved August 8, 2009, from

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Format the References List

(See Chapter 6, "References List," in the APA Manual)

When writing a research paper in APA style, you need to list all your sources (cited as indicated in the examples above) in a References page that goes at the end of the paper.

  • "References" should appear as the heading on the first page containing the list of sources consulted.
  • Entries should begin flush left, and the second and subsequent lines should be indented 5 spaces. Double-space the entire list as indicated in the example below:

       Brown, H., & Milstead, J. (1968). Patterns in poetry: An

            introductory anthology.
Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman.

  • Alphabetize by author's last name followed by initials of the author's given name. For anonymous authors or where no author is given, begin the entry with the title.
  • Capitalize only the first word of title and subtitle and proper names. Use italics instead of underlining.

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Book Citation Format space Periodical Article Format space Full-text Journal Article from an Electronic Database
Internet Site Basic Format space References List at End of Paper

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Last Updated: 28 August 2006