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Human Services: APA Style

American Psychological Association

American Psychological Association

Books on Citation & Writing

A great LibGude from Radford University

APA 6th for Undergraduates

"This guide uses a simplified version of APA 6th designed for undergraduates. There are some differences from the manual (see the Frequently Asked Questions for exact details.) Graduate students should use the APA 6th for Graduate Students."

Citing Sources in the APA Style

Help is available:

  • Check out the latest Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association / 6th ed.  (Avoid previous editions which are now wrong!)
  • Buy your own copy at the Bookstore
  • Use one of the copies placed on reserve at the Front Desk
  • Use one of the Thrift Library's handouts on APA Style (see box below)
  • Visit APA's page on APA Style
  • Vist the APA Style Blog (hosted by the APA)
  • Google an APA help page created by another library
  • Use the built in citation generators of most databases. (NOTE: Although this will save time, you will still have to correct the database-generated citation.)
  • Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) - APA Formatting and Style Guide
  • APA style sample paper

APA Basics

The APA basics document (below) presents the:

  • Fundamentals of APA citations, including:
    • Capitalization rules
    • Author formatting
    • Organizing a reference list
  • APA citation examples of source types, including:
    • Popular and scholarly sources
    • Audiovisual media
  • Tips and examples for citing online sources
  • Creating parenthetical in-text citations, including:
    • Formatting parenthetical citations and block quotes
    • Citing sources with multiple authors and corporate authors

Examples, part 1 will show you how to cite for your reference page and within the text:

  • Books
  • Journal articles
  • Newspapers
  • Reports
  • Scholarly projects
  • Online lecture notes
  • Encyclopedias
  • Religious/classical works

Examples, part 2 will show:

  • Blogs
  • Musical recordings
  • Films
  • Television and radio programs
  • Online dictionary entries
  • Websites


APA Citation Generated by a Database

Most databases will generate citations in a variety of styles including APA, MLA, Chicago / Turbian, etc. While seldom correct, it is quicker to fix them than to create your own citation from scratch.

Example of an APA citation created by an EBSCO database:

Juchniewicz, J. (2010). The Influence of Social Intelligence on Effective Music Teaching. Journal Of Research In Music Education, 58(3), 276-293.


Corrected citation: (Should be double-spaced and have a hanging indent) (No database reference is necessary even if found through OneSearch or an individual database search)

Juchniewicz, J. (2010). The influence of social Intelligence on effective music teaching.

            Journal of Research In Music Education, 58(3), 276-293.

            Retrieved from  - Optional, depending on the professor

*Use a DOI if at all possible within the citation to give a more specific reference link function. If no DOI, the APA Style Manual indicates that one should cite the URL of the homepage of the electronic journal from where the article was published. (See pages 180-215 in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition 2010)

APA says that is no longer necessary to provide a url since the reader may not have access to the database. Nevertheless, your instructor will have access to all the library's databases and would probably appreciate its inclusion. 

Citing Sources in Word

MS Word has a built in citation generator that handles several citation styles.

Click on References, the select the appropriate Style:, then click on Insert Caption.

WARNING! - Just as with other computer-generated citations, you should always check and correct your results - particuarly for online resources.

Subject Guide

Profile Photo
Whitney Rice

APA Tutorial by Harvard grad


APA Exposed


What is a DOI?

Many citation styles have begun using Digital Object Identifiers at the end of the citation - when available.

DOIs are unique codes that identify an electronic document, much like a social security number identifies a person. Additionally, DOIs can be used to find the document on the internet - usually at the publisher's web site.

For more information on DOIs, check out our DOI page.

Purdue OWL--APA Style Guide

See the Purdue OWL APA Style Guide for quick answers!

AU Writing Center

The AU Writing Center is able to help you improve your writing skills.  Whether it's beginning research, citations, or crafting your first resume, the tutors at the Writing Center are ready and willing to help.  Click the AU logo above to discover walk-in hours or to schedule an appointment.

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