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APA 7th ed. : Citing Sources: In-Text Citation & Reference List

APA has updated the APA manual in the new 7th ed. This guide aims to highlight major changes regarding citations in the new edition, and include citations specifically focused toward students using APA.

Reference Examples

Chapter 10 of the 7th ed. APA Manual provides many more reference examples for numerous types of reference materials. This guide provides only a few of the citations. For more examples, see the manual.

Basic In-Text Citation Styles

*Define the abbreviation for a group author only once in the text, choosing either the parenthetical or the narrative format. Thereafter, use the abbreviation for all mentions of the group in the text.

Author type Parenthetical citation Narrative citation
One author (Luna, 2020) Luna (2020)
Two authors (Salas & D'Agostino, 2020) Salas and D'Agnostino (2020)
Three or more authors (Martin et al., 2020) Martin et al. (2020)

Group author with abbreviation

     First citation*

     Subsequent citations

(National Institute of Mental Health [NIMH], 2020)

(NIMH, 2020)

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH, 2020)

NIMH (2020)

Group author without abbreviation (Stanford University, 2020) Stanford University (2020)

(American Psychological Association [APA], 2020)

Parts of a Citation

There are 4 basic parts of a citation:

  • Author/Creator
  • Date of publication
  • Title of work
  • Source

A citation or reference includes all the information needed for someone to identify and find the resource.  Elements will change depending on the resource (a blog, article, legal materials, etc.). Depending on the citation style, a citation may include any of the following: title, author, date, page numbers, publisher, place of publication, link, doi, etc.




Citing Articles

Journal article with a DOI (Don't know what a DOI is?  Find the answer here.)

McCauley, S. M., & Christiansen, M. H. (2019). Language learning as language use: A cross-linguistic model of child language development. Psychological Review, 126(1), 1-51.

  • Parenthetical citation: (McCauley & Christiansen, 2019)
  • Narrative citation: McCauley and Christiansen (2019)


Journal article without a DOI, with a nondatabase URL

Ahmann, E., Tuttle, L. J., Saviet, M., & Wright, S. D. (2018). A descriptive review of ADHD coaching research: Implications for college students. Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability, 31(1), 17-39.

  • Parenthetical citation: (Ahmann et al., 2018)
  • Narrative citation: Ahmann et al. (2018)


Journal article with a DOI, 21 or more authors

Kalnay, E., Kanamitsu, M., Kistler, R., Collins, W., Deaven, D., Gandin, L., Iredell, M., Saha, S., White, G., Woollen, J., Zhu, Y., Chelliah, M., Ebisuzaki, W., Higgins, W., Janowiak, J., Mo, K. C., Ropelewski, C., Wang, J., Leetmaa, A., . . . Joseph, D. (1996). The NCEP/NCAR 40-year reanalysis project. Bulletin of the American Meterological Society, 77(3), 437-471.

  • Parenthetical citation: (Kalnay et al., 1996)
  • Narrative citation: Kalnay et al. (1996)

*Because the original DOI was long and complex, a short DOI is used (see Section 9.36). Either the long or short form of the DOI is acceptable.


Journal article, in press

Pachur, T., & Scheibehenne, B. (in press). Unpacking buyer-seller differences in valuation from experience: A cognitive modeling approach. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review.

  • Parenthetical citation: (Pachur & Scheibehenne, in press)
  • Narrative citation: Pachur and Scheibehenne (in press)

Article from the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Mehrholz, J., Pohl, M., Platz, T., Kugler, J., & Elsner, B. (2018). Electromechanical and robot-assisted arm training for improving activities of daily living, arm function, and arm muscle strength after stroke. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.

  • Parenthetical citation: (Mehrholz et al., 2018)
  • Narrative citation: Mehrholz et al. (2018)


Article from the UpToDate database

Morey, M. C. (2019). Physical activity and exercise in older adults. UpToDate. Retrieved July 22, 2019, from

  • Parenthetical citation: (Morey et al., 2019)
  • Narrative citation: Morey et al. (2019)

Magazine Article

Bergeson, S. (2019, January 4). Really cool neutral plasmas. Science, 363(6422), 33-34.

  • Parenthetical citation: (Bergeson, 2019)
  • Narrative citation: Bergeson (2019)


Newspaper Article

Hess, A. (2019). Cats who take direction. The New York Times, C1.

*To cite articles from online news websites (vs. online newspapers as shown here), see Example 110 in the APA manual.

  • Parenthetical citation: (Hess, 2019)
  • Narrative citation: Hess (2019)


Blog post

Klymkowsky, M. (2018, September 15). Can we talk scientifically about free will? Sci-Ed.

  • Parenthetical citation: (Klymkowsky, 2018)
  • Narrative citation: Klymkowsky (2018)



Cuellar, N. G. (2016). Study abroad programs [Editorial]. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 27(3), 209.

  • Parenthetical citation: (Cuellar, 2016)
  • Narrative citation: Cuellar (2016)

Citing Books

Authored book with a DOI:

Brown, L. S. (2018). Feminist therapy (2nd ed.). American Psychological Association.

  • Parenthetical citation: (Brown, 2018)
  • Narrative citation: Brown (2018)


Authored book without a DOI, from most academic research database or print version

Burgess, R. (2019). Rethinking global health: Frameworks of power. Routledge.

  • Parenthetical citation: (Burgess, 2019)
  • Narrative citation: Burgess (2019)


Authored ebook (e.g., Kindle book) or audiobook without a DOI, with a nondatabase URL

Cain, S. (2012). Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking (K. Mazur, Narr.) [Audiobook]. Random House Audio.

  • Parenthetical citation: (Cain, 2012)
  • Narrative citation: Cain (2012)


Edited book without a DOI, from most academic research database or print version

Hacker Hughes, J. (Ed.). (2017). Military veteran psychological health and social care: Contemporary approaches. Routledge.

  • Parenthetical citation: (Hacker Hughes, 2012)
  • Narrative citation: Hacker Hughes (2012)


DSM manual (DSM, ICD)

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.).

World Health Organization. (2019). International statistical classification of diseases and related health problems (11th ed.).

  • Parenthetical citation with abbreviation included:
    • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.; DSM-5; American Psychiatric Association, 2013)
    • International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (11th ed.; ICD-11; World Health Organization, 2019)
  • Narrative citation with abbreviation included:
    • American Psychiatric Association's (2013) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.; DSM-5)
    • World Health Organization's (2019) International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (11th ed.; ICD-11)
  • Subsequent Parenthetical citation:
    • (American Psychiatric Association, 2013; World Health Organization, 2019)
  • Subsequent Narrative citation:
    • American Psychiatric Association (2013) and World Health Organization (2019)

Chapter in an edited book with a DOI

Balsam, K. F., Martell, C. R., Jones, K. P., & Safren, S. A. (2019). Affirmative cognitive behavior therapy with sexual and gender minority people. In G. Y. Iwamasa & P. A. Hays (Eds.), Culturally responsive cognitive behavior therapy: Practice and supervision (2nd ed., pp. 287-314). American Psychological Association.

  • Parenthetical citation: (Balsam et al., 2019)
  • Narrative citation: Balsam et al. (2019)


Chapter in an edited book without a DOI, from most academic research databases or print version

Weinstock, R., Leong, G. B., & Silva, J. A. (2003). Defining forensive psychiatry: Roles and responsibilities. In R. Rosner (Ed.), Principles and practice of forensic psychiatry (2nd ed., pp. 7-13). CRC Press.

  • Parenthetical citation: (Weinstock et al., 2018)
  • Narrative citation: Weinstock et al. (2018)


Chapter in an edited ebook (e.g., Kindle book) or audiobook without a DOI, with nondatabase URl

 Tafoya, N., & Del Vecchio, A. (2005). Back to the future: An examination of the Native American Holocaust experience. In M. McGoldrick, J. Giordano, & N. Garcia-Preto (Eds.), Ethnicity and family therapy (3rd ed., pp. 55-63). Guilford Press.

  • Parenthetical citation: (Tafoya & Del Vecchio, 2005)
  • Narrative citation: Tafoya and Del Vecchio (2005)

You may need to use a direct quote from an e-book, websites and webpages, or other material that do not have page numbers.  When there are no page numbers provided, the in-text citation must still indicate where in the text the quote can be located. Any of the following approaches is acceptable; use the approach that will best help readers find the quotation:

  • Provide a heading or section name.
    • (Gecht-Silver & Duncombe, 2015, Osteoarthritis section).
  • Provide an abbreviated heading or section name in quotation marks for sections that are too long.
    • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017, "What Can You Do" section).
  • Provide a paragraph number (count the paragraphs manually if they are not numbered).
    • (Chamberlin, 2014, para. 1).
  • Provide a heading or section name in combination with a paragraph number
    • (DeAngelis, 2018, Musical Forays section, para. 4).

EasyBib's barcode scanner pulls citation information and formats it in APA, MLA or Chicago style.  You can then e-mail the citation to yourself to copy and paste into your reference list.  Available for iOS, Android, and Google Apps.


Entry in a mobile app reference work

Epocrates. (2019). Interaction check: Aspirin + sertraline. In Epocrates medical references (Version 18.12) [Mobile app]. Google Play Store.

  • Parenthetical citation: (Epocrates, 2018)
  • Narrative citation: Epocrates (2018)

Citing Web Content & Miscellaneous Content

There are 4 important components of any citation: author, year, title, and source (site name/URL).  To cite websites, the most important components are the author (whether an individual or institution), the date, the title of the page, and the url for the site. 


Webpage on a website with a group author

World Health Organization. (2018, March). Questions and answers on immunization and vaccine safety.

  • Parenthetical citation: (World Health Organization, 2018)
  • Narrative citation: World Health Organization (2018)


Webpage on a website with an individual author

Martin Lillie, C. M. (2016, December 29). Be kind to yourself: How self-compassion can improve your resilience. Mayo Clinic.

  • Parenthetical citation: (Martin Lillie, 2016)
  • Narrative citation: Martin Lillie (2016)


Webpage on a website with a retrieval date

U.S. Census Bureau. (n.d.). U.S. and world population clock. U.S. Department of Commerce. Retrieved July 3, 2019, from

  • Parenthetical citation: (U.S. Census Bureau, n.d.)
  • Narrative citation: U.S. Census Bureau (n.d.)

Nightingale, F. (1853-1893). Correspondence. Florence Nightingale Letters. Reynolds-Finley Historical Library, University of Alabama at Birmingham.

  • Parenthetical citation: (Nightingale, Correspondence, 1853-1893).
  • Narrative citation: Nightingale (Correspondence, 1853-1893).

References for letters in a digital repository may be formatted using the template shown in Section 10.8 of the seventh edition of the Publication Manual. A letter is not likely to have a title, so you can substitute in a description in brackets in the title position. The best example to follow is actually Example 95 on page 346, a radio interview recording in a digital archive, although Example 73, an informal work from an institutional repository, also provides an idea of what the reference would look like.


Nightingale, F. (1866, July 15). [Letter to Madame Schwabe]. Reynolds-Finley Historical Library.


Alternatively, if you think using the title assigned by the library would aid in retrieval, you could put the library's title in the title position instead of the description. Because the library's title identifies the source as being a letter, you do not need to add [Letter] after the title.


Nightingale, F. (1866, July 15). Florence Nightingale letter to Madame Schwabe, July 15, 1866. Reynolds-Finley Historical Library.


For archival documents that are not online, guidance may be found here:



  • Parenthetical citation: (Nightingale, 1866)
  • Narrative citation: Nightingale (1866)

Manual for a test, scale, or inventory

Tellegen, A., & Ben-Porath, Y. S. (2011). Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory - 2 Restructure Form (MMPI-2-RF): Technical manual. Pearson.

  • Parenthetical citation: (Tellegen & Ben-Porath, 2011)
  • Narrative citation: Tellegen & Ben-Porath (2011)


Test, scale, or inventory itself

Project Implicit. (n.d.). Gender-Science IAT.

  • Parenthetical citation: (Project Implicit, 2018)
  • Narrative citation: Project Implicit (2018)

Cite the test, scale, or inventory itself only if a manual or other supporting literature is not available to cite; if a manual is available for a test, cite the manual, not the test.


Database record for a test

Cardoza, D., Morris, J. K., Myers, H. F., & Rodriguez, N. (2000). Acculturative Stress Inventory (ASI) (TC022704) [Database record]. ETS Testlink.

  • Parenthetical citation: (Cardoza et al., 2018)
  • Narrative citation: Cardoza et al. (2018)
Dictionary, thesaurus, or encyclopedia
Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). dictionary. Retrieved May 5, 2019, from
Zalta, E. N. (Ed.). (2019). The Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy (Summer 2019 ed.). Stanford University.
  • Parenthetical citation: (Merriam-Webster, n.d.; Zalta, 2019)
  • Narrative citation: Merriam-Webster (n.d.) and Zalta (2019)

For most guidelines posted through AHRQ and National Guideline Clearinghouse ( you will cite these documents like websites and web reports. In other words, you need the same 4 major components discussed earlier on this page: author, year, title, and source. After the title of the work, provide any number or identifier for the standard (if any) in parentheses without italics. Below is an example of a guideline found on


National Environmental Education & Training Foundation. (2005, August). Environmental management of pediatric asthma: Guidelines for health care providers.

Guidelines published in a traditional journal, whether in print or online, should be cited as journal articles.

Data set

National Center for Education Statistics. (2016). Fast Response Survey System (FRSS): Teachers' use of educational technology in U.S. public schools, 2009 (ICPSR 35531; Version V3) [Data set and code book]. National Archive of Data on Arts and Culture.

  • Parenthetical citation: (National Center for Education Statistics, 2016)
  • Narrative citation: National Center for Education Statistics (2016)


Pew Research Center. (2018). American trends panel Wave 26 [Data set].

  • Parenthetical citation: (Pew Research Center, 2018)
  • Narrative citation: Pew Research Center (2018)


Unpublished raw data

Baer, R. A. (2015). [Unpublished raw data on the correlations between the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire and the Kentucky Inventory of Mindfulness Skills]. University of Kentucky.

Oregon Youth Authority. (2011). Recidivism outcomes [Unpublished raw data].

  • Parenthetical citation: (Baer, 2015; Oregon Youth Authority, 2011)
  • Narrative citation: Baer (2015) and Oregon Youth Authority (2011)


Sometimes you will use a website which allows you to select and compare data. These might be sites from the Census, the CDC, or a site like Nursing Home Compare from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Purdue's OWL site for APA offers recommendations for citing data sets and graphic data. We recommend you combine pieces of these two formats to cite a resource like Nursing Home Compare. This allows you to credit the source and provide your reader with the information needed to retrieve the data you used.  


Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. (2013, June 30). [Comparison of Mount Royal Towers and Fairview Health and Rehabilitation Center]. Nursing Home Compare [Data file].

  • Parenthetical citation: (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, 2013)
  • Narrative citation: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (2013)

Report by a government agency or other organization

Austrailian Government Productivity Commission & New Zealand Productivity Commission. (2012). Strengthening trans-Tasman economic relations.


Report by individual authors at a government agency or other organization

Fried, D., & Polyakova, A. (2018). Democratic defense against disinformation. Atlantic Council.


Report by a task force, working group, or other group

British Cardiovascular Society Working Group. (2016). British Cardiovascular Society Working Group report: Out-of-hours cardiovascular care: Management of cardiac emergencies and hospital in-patients. British Cardiovascular Society.

  • Capitalize the name of the task force or working group wherever it appears in the reference because it is a proper noun.


Annual report

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. (2017). Agency financial report: Fiscal year 2017.


Issue brief

Lichtenstein, J. (2013). Profile of veteran business owners: More young veterans appear to be starting businesses (Issue Brief No. 1). U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy.,%20Veteran%20Business%20Owners.pdf

  • Issue briefs are typically numbers; identify the number of the brief after the title in parentheses.
  • If a number is not provided, identify the work as an issue brief in square brackets following the title as a notation.

One-author entries should be arranged by year, the earliest being first. No-date (n.d.) references precede references with dates, and in-press references are listed last.


  • Patel, S. N. (n.d.).
  • Patel, S. N. (2016).
  • Patel, S. N. (2020a).
  • Patel, S. N. (2020b, April).
  • Patel, S. N. (in press).


One author entries precede multiple author entries beginning with the same first name author, even if the multiple-author work was published earlier.

  • Davison, T. E. (2019).
  • Davison, T. E. & McCabe, M. P. (2015).


Multiple-author entries in which all authors appear in the same order should then be arranged by the year of publication. Multiple-author entries with the same first author and different subsequent authors are arranged alphabetically by the surname of the second author, then third, and so forth.

  • Costa, P. T., Jr., & McCrae, R. R. (2013).
  • Costa, P. T., Jr., & McCrae, R. R. (2014).


Some confusing and ambiguity may arise for works with same author(s) and dates.  To distinguish between these works, put a lowercase letter after the year in both the in-text citation and the reference list.

  • Letter format for references with years is "2020a," "2020b."
  • Letter format for references with no date is "n.d.-a," "n.d.-b."
  • Letter format for references in-press is "in press-a," "in press-b."


Assigning letters is a two-step process. First, compare dates. References with only a year preceded those with more specific dates, and specific dates are placed in chronological order.

  • Azikiwe, H., & Bello, A. (2020a).
  • Azikiwe, H., & Bello, A. (2020b). March 26).
  • Azikiwe, H., & Bello, A. (2020c). April 2).

Second, if the references have identical dates, alphabetize the references by title (disregarding the words "A," An," & "The" at the beginning of the reference title).

  • Parker, R. (2020a). Nursing research in dementia patients.
  • Parker, R. (2020b). Nursing research in psychiatric patients.

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