APA Style Guide 6th Edition

Getting started:
1) APA requires a hanging indent for its citations.
2) PLEASE BE SURE TO DOUBLE SPACE CITATIONS. (For space saving reasons, the citations below are single spaced.)
3) Entitle your reference sheet "References."
4) Alphabetize the works.
5) Notice one of the major changes in the APA 6th edition is the requirement for a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) in the citation for print and electronic sources when available. For more information see the "Electronic Information" section.

If your source does not appear on this sheet, consult the APA guide available on Reserve or at the library assistance desk in the Cook Library Learning Commons.. Also see the USM Libraries' tutorial on APA formatting. For in text citations see: http://leo.stcloudstate.edu/research/apaintext.html.


Typical book entry -- single author

Arnheim, R. (1971). Art and visual perception. Berkeley: University of California Press.
  • Publishing information - Spell out the publishing names of associations and university presses, but omit superfluous terms such as "Publishers," "Co.," or "Inc." If two or more locations are given, give the location listed first or the publisher's home office. When the publisher is a university and the name of the state (or province) is included in the university name, do not repeat the name of the state/province in the publisher location. When the author and publisher are identical, use the word "Author" as the name of the publisher.

American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-IV-TR (4th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Multiple authors

  • When a work has up to (and including) seven authors, cite all authors. When a work has eight or more authors cite the first six, then insert three ellipses, and add the last author's name.

Festinger, L., Riecken, H., & Schachter, S. (1956). When prophecy fails.  Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Roeder, K., Howdeshell, J., Fulton, L., Lochhead, M., Craig, K., Peterson, R., ...Applin, M. (1967). Nerve cells and insect behavior: A manual. Cambridge, MA:   Harvard University Press.

Corporate authorship

Institute of Financial Education. (1982). Managing personal funds. Chicago:  Midwestern.

No author identified

Experimental psychology. (1938). New York: Holt.

Citing items in an anthology/chapter in edited book

Rubenstein, J. P. (1967). The effect of television violence on small children. In B.F. Kane (Ed.), Television and juvenile psychological development (pp. 112-134). New York: American Psychological Society.

Reprinted or republished chapter

Freud, S. (1961). The ego and the id. In J. Strachey (Ed. and Trans.), The standard edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud (Vol. 19, pp. 3-66). London: Hogarth Press. (Original work published 1923)

  • Following the entry, enclose "Original work published" in parentheses, noting the original date.

Chapter in a volume in a series

Maccoby, E. E., & Martin, J. (1983). Socialization in the context of the family: Parent-child interaction. In P. H. Mussen (Series Ed.) & E. M. Hetherington (Vol. Ed.), Handbook of Child Psychology: Vol. 4. Socialization, personality, and social development (pp. 1-101). New York: Wiley.

  • In regularly published series with subtitles that change regularly, the series title is uppercase and the subtitle is lowercase, as in a book title.

Citing multivolume works

Wilson, J. G., & Fraser, F. C. (Eds.). (1977-1978). Handbook of teratology (Vols. 1-4). New York: Plenum Press.

  • In listing a multivolume work, the publication dates should be inclusive for all volumes. The volumes should be identified, in parentheses, immediately following the book title. Do not use a period between the title and the parenthetical information; close the entire title, including the volume information, with a period.

Edited collections

Higgins, J. (Ed.). (1988). Psychology. New York: Norton.


Grice, H. P., & Gregory, R. L. (Eds.). (1968). Early language development. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Citing specific editions of a book

Brockett, O. (1987). History of the theater (5th ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

  • Immediately after the book's title, note the edition information in parentheses (for example, "5th ed." or "rev. ed."). Do not use a period between the title and the parenthetical information.

Translated works

Freud, S. (1970) An outline of psychoanalysis (J. Strachey, Trans.). New York: Norton. (Original work published 1940)

  • The original publication date is the last portion of the entry and should be in parentheses with the note "Original work published" followed by the date.


Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1991). A motivational approach to self: Integration in personality. In R. Dienstbier (Ed.), Nebraska Symposium on Motivation: Vol. 38. Perspectives on Motivation (pp. 237-288). Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.


Cynx, J., Williams, H., & Nottebohm, F. (1992). Hemispheric differences in avian song discrimination. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 89, 1372-1375.


Citing articles in journals with continuous pagination

Passons, W. (1967). Predictive validates of the ACT, SAT, and high school grades for first semester GPA and freshman courses. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 27, 1143-1144.

Citing articles in journals with non-continuous pagination

Sawyer, J. (1966). Measurement and prediction, clinical and statistical. Psychological Bulletin, 66(3), 178-200.

  • Because pagination begins anew with each issue of this journal, it is necessary to include the issue number in parentheses after the volume number. Note that there is a comma between the issue number and the page numbers, but no comma between the italicized volume number and the issue number. If the periodical does not use volume numbers, include "pp." before the page numbers so the reader will understand that the numbers refer to pagination. Use "p." if the source is a page or less long.

Citing articles in monthly periodicals

Chandler-Crisp, S. (1988, May) "Aerobic writing": A writing practice model. Writing Lab Newsletter, pp. 9-11.

Citing articles in weekly periodicals

Kauffmann, S. (1993, October 18). On films: Class consciousness. The New Republic, p.30.

Newspaper articles

Monson, M. (1993, September 16). Urbana firm obstacle to office project. The Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette, pp. A1, A8.

No author identified

Clinton puts 'human face' on health-care plan. (1993, September 16). The New York Times, p. B1.

Reprinted or republished articles

Clark, G., & Zimmerman, E. (1988). Professional roles and activities as models for art education. In S. Dobbs (Ed.), Research readings for discipline-based art education (pp. 3-18). Reston, VA: NAEA. (Reprinted from Studies in Art Education, 19 (1986), 34-39)

  • Following the entry, enclose "Reprinted from" in parentheses, noting the original publication information.

ERIC Documents (Report available from the Educational Resources Information Center)

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 Teacher Learning. Retrieved from ERIC database. (ED346082)


Dissertation obtained from Proquest's Dissertations & Theses

Saunders, M. D. (1990). Eastern's pilot rebellion: Patterns of conflict rhetoric preceding the 1989 pilot walkout at Eastern Airlines. (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from ProQuest Digital Dissertations database. (Publication No. AAT 9103113).

Dissertation abstracted in DAI:

Ross, D. F. (1990). Unconscious transference and mistaken identity: When a witness misidentifies a familiar but innocent person from a lineup. Dissertation Abstracts International: Section A.  Humanities and Social Sciences, 51(10), 417.

Legal Documents

Court Decisions

Name v. Name, Volume Source Page (Court Date).

Lessard v. Schmidt, 349 F. Supp. 1078 (E.D. Wis. 1972).


Name of Act, Volume Source § section number (year).

Mental Health Systems Act, 42 U.S.C. § 9401 (1988).

Other Media

Citing interviews

Burns, H. (1993, August 12). Interview by P. A. Brannock [Tape recording].  Oral History Project (F106.D32). University Archives Mississippiana Collection, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg.

If there is only a transcription and not a recording then cite as follows:

Burns, H. (1993, August 12).  Interview with Helen Burns/Interviewer: Peggy A. Brannock.  Oral History Project (Vol. 289), University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg.

  • Unpublished interviews and other non-archived communications should be cited "in-text" and do not need a reference page entry. They are what the Publication Manual of the APA calls "personal communications" and so "do not provide recoverable data." The entry below represents an in-text citation - it consists of the first initial and last name of the interviewee, the type of communication, and the date of the interview.

(N. Archer, personal interview, October 11, 1993)

Citing films or videotapes

  • The bracketed descriptor [Motion picture] replaces Film and Videotape.

Weir, P.B. (Producer), & Harrison, B.F. (Director). (1992). Levels of consciousness [Motion picture]. Boston, MA: Filmways.

  • In the example above, the main people responsible for the videotape are given, with their roles identified in parentheses after their names. After the title, the medium is identified in brackets. The distributor's name and location comprises the last part of the entry.

Citing recordings

Writer, A. (Date of copyright). Title of song [Recorded by artist if different from writer]. On Title of album [Medium of recording: CD, record, cassette, etc.]. Location: Label. (Recording date if different than copyright)

Lang, k. d. (2008).  Shadow and the frame.  On Watershed [CD].  New York, NY:  Nonesuch Records.

Electronic Information

The type of medium can be, but is not limited to the following: online journals, Web sites or Web pages, newsgoups, Web- or e-mail based discussion groups or Web or e-mail based newsletters.

  • If pagination in electronic references is unavailable, leave out of the citation.
  • APA now requires a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) when available.  The DOI may be found in the citation, abstract, full record/details, or on the first page of the article/book.  Or you may look up the DOI at the following web site:  DOI Lookup (http://www.crossref.org/guestquery/).
  • If a DOI has not been assigned to a journal article and the article was accessed online, the URL of the journal home page should be listed. 
  • There is no longer a need to cite the database from which a journal article was accessed except if the material is discontinued and was accessed through an archival database such as JSTOR.
  • No retrieval date is needed for electronic sources unless the source material may change over time (e.g., Wikis).

Electronic Book
McCarver, P.L. (2001). History of New England honey bees.  Retrieved from http://www.ebrary.co.uk/html/bees.asp

  • The retrieval statement takes the place of location and publisher.

or  (if DOI is available)

McCarver, P.L. (2001). History of New England honey bees.  doi: 10.1036/0071393722

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

Full-Text Article without a DOI

Bianco, A. & Zellner, W. (2003, October 6). Is Wal-Mart too powerful? Harvard Business Review, 38, 100-104. Retrieved from http://hbr.harvardbusiness.org/

Article in an Internet-only newsletter

Waufton, K.K. (1999, April). Dealing with anthrax. Telehealth News, 3(2).  Retrieved from http://www.telehearlth.net/subscribe/newslettr_5b.html#1

Internet technical or research reports

University of California, San Francisco, Institute for Health and Aging. (1996, November). Chronic care in America: A 21st century challenge (Report No. here if available). Retrieved from the Robert Wood Foundation website: http://www.rwjf.org/library/chrcare

  • In the example above, the author is the publisher (in other words, a ‘corporate author' is listed).  Identify publisher in the retrieval statement unless the publisher has been identified as the author.  If the report is from the U.S. Government Printing Office, list the publisher location and name as Washington, DC: Government Printing Office.

Document created by private organization, no page numbers, no date

Greater Hattiesburg Civic Awareness Group, Task Force on Sheltered Programs. (n.d.). Fund-raising efforts. Retrieved from http://www.hattiesburgcag.org

  • Sometimes authors are not identified, and there is no date showing for the document. Efforts should be made to identify and list the sponsoring author/organization of the website. If none is found, do not list an author.  If no date is found, use (n.d.).

Document from university program or department

McNeese, M.N. (2001). Using technology in educational settings. Retrieved from University of Southern Mississippi, Educational Leadership and Research website:  http://www-dept.usm.edu/~eda/

Message posted to a newsgroup, online forum, discussion group or mailing list

  • List author's name, last name first followed by initials, if available.  If only screen name is available, use the screen name. 
  • Provide the exact date of the posting and follow the date with the subject line of the message with a description in brackets.  Include URL where archived message may be retrieved and the name of the list if this is not part of the URL.
  • If the message is not archived then cite in text only.  There is no need to include unrecoverable data in the reference list.

Zelner, T. (2009, January 8). Re: Librarians and Information Literacy [Online forum comment].  Retrieved from http://www.yahooforums.com/comments/infolitforum/librarians#comments

Blair, J.  (2008, June 5). Re: Proxy server problems [Electronic mailing list message].  Retrieved from http://tech.groups/yahoo.com/group/techmessages/580

Citing computer software

Comprehensive Meta-Analysis (Version 2) [Computer Software].  Englewood, NJ:  Biostat.

  • If an individual(s) has proprietary rights to the software, their name(s) are listed at the head of the entry, last names first, followed by a period. Otherwise, treat such references as unauthored.
  • Do not italicize the title.
  • In parentheses immediately after the title, identify the version number (if any).
  • Specify in brackets that the source is computer software, program or language.
  • List the location and the organization's name that produced the program.

Disclaimer: USM Libraries offer this handout as a guide only. We cannot offer suggestions or interpretations about citations. Please refer to the actual Style Manual or your teacher for clarifications.

Last modified: September 2009