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Citation Styles

APA (American Psychological Association) Style

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Print Books

Citation Examples


General Rules

In the table below, "R" stands for Reference List entries. "T" stands for in-text citations.

Source Type

Citation Examples

Bills or Resolutions (Federal unenacted)

Title (if relevant), bill or resolution number, xxx Cong. (year)

R: S. 5936, 102nd Cong. (1992)

T: Senate Bill 5936 (1992) or (S. 5936, 1992)

R: Every Vote Counts Amendment, H.J. Res. 4, 110th Cong. (2007).

T: (H.J. Res. 4, 2007)

Blog Post

R: Lee, C. (2013, October 18). How to cite social media in APA style (Twitter, Facebook, and Google+) [Blog post]. Retrieved from

T:  (Lee, 2013)

Blog Comment

R: MiddleKid. (2007, January 5). Re: The unfortunate prerequisites and consequences of partitioning your mind [Blog comment]. Retrieved from https://science

T: (MiddleKid, 2007).

Book Chapters
(in edited books)

R: Trinkunas, H. A., & Smith B. (2009). Energy security: The case of Venezuela. In D. Moran & J. A. Russell (Eds.), Energy security and global politics: The militarization of resource management (pp. 175–187). New York: Routledge.

T: (Trinkunas & Smith, 2009, p. 12)

Books (electronic version of a print book)

R: Krishnan, A. (2008). War as business: Technological change and military service contracting [Ebrary version]. Retrieved from

T: (Krishnan, 2008)

Books (print)

R: Strindberg, A., & Wärm, M. (2011). Islamism: Religion, radicalization and resistance (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons.

T: (Strindberg & Wärm, 2011).

R: Cordesman, A. H., Mausner, A., & Kasten, D. (2009). Winning in Afghanistan: Creating effective Afghan security forces. Washington, DC: Center for Strategic & International Studies.

T: (Cordesman, Mausner, & Kasten, 2009, p. 19)
Subsequent in-text citations: (Cordesman et al., 2009, pp. 45–46)

Code of Federal Regulations

Title/number, volume source § xxx (year).

R: Renewable Energy Production Incentives, 10  C.F.R. § 451 (2006).

T: (Renewable Energy Production Incentives, 2006)

Conference Paper Abstract Retrieved Online

R: Liu, S., Smith, B. & Jones, S. (2005). Defending against business crises with the help of intelligent agent based early warning solutions. Paper presented at the Seventh International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems, Miami, FL. Retrieved from http://www.iceis2005/abstracts_2005.htm

T: (Liu, Smith, & Jones, 2005)
Subsequent in-text citations: (Liu et al., 2005)

Example from APA Publication Manual (6th ed.)

Conference Proceedings

Published regularly online

R: Herculano-Houzel, S., Collins, C. E., Wong, P., Kass, J. H., & Lent, R. (2008). The basic nonuniformity of the central cortex. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 105, 12593–12598. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0805417105

T: (Herculano-Houzel, Collins, Wong, Kass, & Lent, 2008, p. 12595)
Subsequent in text citations: (Herculano-Houzel et al., 2008)

Example from APA Publication Manual (6th ed.)

Proceedings published in book form

R: Katz, I., Gabayan,, K. & Aghajan, H. (2007). A multi-touch surface using multiple cameras. In J. Blanc-Talon, W. Philips, D. Popescu, & P. Scheunders (Eds.) Lecture Notes in Computer Science: Vol. 4678. Advanced Concepts for Intelligent Vision Systems (pp. 97–108). Doi 10.1007/978-3-540-74607-2_9

T: (Katz & Aghajan, 2007)

Examples from APA Publication Manual (6th ed.)

Congressional Hearings

Full Hearing:

R: Long-term sustainability of current defense plans: Hearing before the Committee on the Budget, House of Representatives, 111th Cong., 1 (2009). 

T: (Long-term Sustainability, 2009)

Testimony within a Hearing:

R: NASA infrastructure: Enabling discovery, enabling durability: Testimony before the Subcommittee on Space Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, 113th Cong., 25 (2013) (testimony of Paul K. Martin).

T:  (NASA Infrastructure, 2009)

Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports


R: Best, R. A. (2011). Intelligence issues for Congress (CRS Report No. RL33539). Retrieved from Congressional Research Service.


R: Best, R. A. (2011). Intelligence issues for Congress (CRS Report No. RL33539). Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service.

T: (Best, 2011)

Court Cases – U.S. Supreme Court

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

R: Winter v. NRDC, Inc., 129 S. Ct. 365 (2008).

T: (Winter v. NRDC, 2008)

 Data Set

R: Pew Hispanic Center. (2004). Changing channels and crisscrossing culture: A survey of Latinos on news media [date file and code book]. Retrieved from

T:  (Pew Hispanic Center, 2004)

Directives and  Instructions

R: Department of Defense. (2005, Dec. 19). Information assurance training, certification, and workforce management (DOD Directive 8570.01-M). Washington, DC: Author.

T: (Department of Defense [DOD], 2005)
Subsequent in-text citations: (DOD, 2005)

R: Department of Defense. (2012, April 16). Identification (ID) cards required by the Geneva Convention (DOD Instruction 1000.01). Washington, DC: Author.

T: (Department of Defense [DOD], 2012)
Subsequent in-text citations: (DOD, 2012)

Executive Orders

Exec. Order No. xxxxx, 3 C.F.R. page (year)

R: Exec. Order No. 13655, 3 C.F.R. 80451 (2013) Reprinted (codified in U.S.C.)
Exec. Order No. 11,609, 3 C.F.R. 586 (1971–1975), reprinted as amended in 3 U.S.C. 301 app. at 404-407 (1994).

T: (Executive Order No. 11,609, 1994)

Fact Sheet

R: U.S. Department of Labor. (2008). The construction industry under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) [Fact sheet]. Retrieved from

Field Manuals

R: Department of the Army. (1994). Sniper training (FM 23-10). Washington, DC: Author.

T: (Department of the Army, 1994)

Government Agency Reports


Technical Reports

*Use this format:  Author. (Year). Title of publication (Report number). Place of publication: Publisher.

R: White House. (2010). National security strategy. Retrieved from

T: (White House, 2010)

R: Berrick, C. A. (2009). Homeland security: DHS’s progress and challenges in key areas of maritime, aviation, and cybersecurity (GAO-10-106). Washington, DC: Government Accountability Office. Retrieved from

T: (Berrick, 2009)

*Find more examples in Citing Government Documents or the Acquisition Research Program's Handbook.

In-Press Article

R: Briscoe, R. (in press). Egocentric spatial representation in action and perception.
Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. Retrieved from

Example from APA Style Guide to Electronic References (6th ed.)

Journal Articles
(in electronic databases)

*Digital Object Identifier (DOI) preferred.If DOI not given, provide home page URL of journal publisher. See DOI vs. URL Flowchart

R: Sanico, G., & Kakinaka, M. (2008). Terrorism and deterrence policy with transnational support. Defence & Peace Economics, 19(2), 153–167. doi:10.1080/10242690701505419

T: (Sanico & Kakinaka, 2008)

R: Newmann, W. W. (2002). Reorganizing for national security and homeland security. Public Administration Review, 62(1), 126–137. Retrieved from

T: (Newmann, 2002)

Journal Articles

R: Griffin, G. (2009). Managing peacekeeping communications. Journal of Business Continuity & Emergency Planning, 3(4), 317–327.

T: (Griffin, 2009, pp. 324–325)

 Maps Retrieved Online

Cite by the name of the cartographer:

R: Lewis County Geographic Information Services. (2002). Population density, 2000 U.S. Census [Demographic map]. Retrieved from

T: (Lewis County Geographic Information Services, 2002)

Motion Picture

R: Ziering, A. (Producer), & Dick, K. (Director). (2012). The Invisible War
[Medium: DVD]. Retrieved from

Newspaper Articles

R: Gordon, M. R. (2001, December 9). Shifting fronts, rising danger: The Afghanistan War evolves. New York Times, pp. A1, B3. 

T: (Gordon, 2001, pp. A1, B3)

R: 2 tunnels found under the border. (2014, April 5). Monterey Herald, p. A7.

T: (“2 Tunnels Found,” 2014).

Newspaper Articles (online)

*Give the URL of the home page when the online version of the article is available by search to avoid nonworking URLs. (Example from the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association)

R: Brody, J. E., Smith B. (2007, December 11). Mental reserves keep brain agile. The New York Times. Retrieved from

T: (Brody & Smith, 2007)

R: So long easy money: Foreign drug firms face a sever profit squeeze. (2014, June 12). Economist. Retrieved from www.economist .com.

T: (“So Long,” 2014)

 Official Memoranda

R: Takia, T. (n.d). Adoption of the national information exchange model within the Department of Defense [Memorandum]. Washington, DC: Department of Defense.

T: (Takia, n.d.)

Personal Communications and Interviews

*Non-recoverable  communications (private letters, memos, non-archived e-mail or electronic bulletin boards, personal interviews, telephone conversations, etc.) Cite in text only. Do not include in reference list.

T: (J. Smith, personal communication, September 8, 2009)

T: According to Joe Smith (personal communication, September 8, 2009)

T: (S. Jones, interview with author, June 1, 2012) or

T: According to Sam Jones (interview with author, June 1, 2012)

Public Laws: U.S. Statutes at Large/U.S. Code

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

R: Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Pub. L. No. 101-336 § 2, 104 Stat. 328 (1991). Retrieved from

T: Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 or (Americans with Disabilities Act, 1990)

R: National Environmental Policy Act, 42 U.S.C. § 4331 (1969).

T: National Environmental Policy Act (1969)
T: National Environmental Policy Act of 1969

Secondary Sources

*Example from Concise
Rules of APA Style

 R: Nicholson, I. A. M. (2003). Inventing personality: Gordon Allport and the science of selfhood. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
T: Allport’s diary (as cited in Nicholson, 2003)


R: Borenstein, M., Hedges, L., Higgins, J., & Rothstein, H. (2005). Comprehensive
Meta-Analysis (Version 2) [Computer software]. Retrieved from

T: (Borenstein, Hedges, Higgins, & Rothstein, 2005)

Subsequent in-text citations (Borenstein et al., 2005)

Example from APA Style Guide to Electronic References (6th ed.)

Speech, Presentation, or Brief

R: Muellbauer, J. (2007, September). Housing credit, and consumer spending. Presented at Federal Reserve Bank, Kansas City, Jackson Hole, WY.

T: (Muellbauer, 2007)

Television (episode or webisode in a television series)

R: Hall, K. (Writer), & Alda, A. (Director). (1981). Communication breakdown. [Television series episode. In Burt Metcalfe (Executive Producer), M*A*S*H. Retrieved from http://

T: (Hall & Alda, 1981)

Theses and Dissertations

For a published dissertation or thesis available from a database service:

R: Moon, T. D., & Smith, B. (2009). Rising dragon: Infrastructure development and Chinese influence in Vietnam (Master’s thesis). Retrieved from Calhoun

T:  (Moon & Smith, 2009)

For an unpublished dissertation or thesis:

R: Liu, S. (2006). School effectiveness research in China. Doctoral dissertation, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA.

T: (Liu, 2006)


Web Documents

*For an entire website, cite in text only.

*Basic template:  Author, A. (date). Title of document [Format description]. Retrieved from http://URL

T: (Author, year)

If there is no author, use the web article title. If there is no date, use "n.d." and a retrieval date:

R: About. n.d. Retrieved May 12, 2012, from

T: (“About,” n.d.).

*Example of format descriptions include: [Letter to the editor], [Special issue], [Abstract], [Audio podcast], [Data file], [Brochure], [Motion picture], [Lecture notes], [PowerPoint], [CD], [Computer software], [Video webcast]

* Find many examples of specific Web based references, see the APA Style Guide to Electronic References (6th ed.)

*If page numbers are not available, include paragraph number (para. 3) under the section name.

*Page with no author and no date:

R: About Omega. (n.d.). Retrieved from

T: (“About Omega,” n.d., Production section, para. 3)

How to Cite Something You Found on a Website in APA Style: What to Do When Information Is Missing:


R: Psychology. (n.d.) In Wikipedia. Retrieved May 17, 2011, from

T: (“Psychology,” n.d.)
Example from APA Style Guide to Electronic References (6th ed.)

 YouTube (or any kind of streaming video)

If the user’s real name is available, include it and then the user name in brackets. If the real name is not available, give the username without brackets.

R: Bellofolletti. (2009, April 8). Ghost caught on surveillance camera [Video file]. Retrieved from

T: (Bellofolletti, 2009)


General Rules

APA is used in the fields of economics, political science, psychology, and other social sciences. For example, GSBPP primarily uses this style, but please check with your instructor.

Sample APA Paper (opens in new window)

Reference List


For APA formatting for the List of References is as follows:

  • Authors: List as last name, first initial(s). For one to six authors, list them all. If there are seven or more authors, list the first six, an ellipsis mark, and then the last one: Garcia, J. L., Cole, A. G., Jones, G., Frye, M., Chen, C., Smith, K. … Robinson, C. N. (2014). Amazing title. New York: Norton.
  • Multiple entries by the same author(s): Arrange by year of publication, earliest first.
  • Multiple entries by the same author(s), published in the same year: Arrange in alphabetical order by title (ignore a, an, and the), and designate as a, b, c. … Jones, J. K., & Cole, H. I. (2010a). The first thesis… Jones, J. K., & Cole, H. I. (2010b). Go! Go forth and write… The in-text citations would be (Jones & Cole, 2010a) and (Jones & Cole, 2010b), respectively.
  • Multiple entries by the same author(s) with no date: Arrange in alphabetical order by title (ignore a, an, and the), and designate as a, b, c. … Jones, J. K., & Cole, H. I. (n.d.-a). The first thesis… Jones, J. K., & Cole, H. I. (n.d.-b). Go! Go forth and write… The in-text citations would be (Jones & Cole, n.d.-a) and (Jones & Cole, n.d.-b), respectively.
  • Author and publisher are the same: List publisher first (in place of author) and insert “Author” after the colon, in place of publisher. Government Accountability Office. (2005). Global war on terrorism: DOD needs to improve the reliability of cost data and provide additional guidance to control costs (GAO-05-882). Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved from
  • Publication titles: Capitalize all significant words of journal and conference titles  (title case). For all other titles, capitalize only the first word, the first word after a colon or dash, and proper nouns (sentence case). Italicize book, report, manual, journal, thesis, dissertation, proceedings, or newspaper titles.
  • URLs: Make consistent, either all hyperlinked or not. Place at end of reference without final period.
  • Apply Reference List template style to make the indents and spacing proper in accordance with NPS style.

In-Text Citations

APA formatting uses in-text citations as follows:

  • In-text citations may be given as (Author, date) or Author (date), with all or only some of the information in parentheses. Include the page number if you have it. Date will be year only with the exception of personal communications. For example, According to Jones (2014)… or (Wilson & Garcia, 2012).
  • If there is no date, use (n.d.): (Chen, n.d).
  • If there are two authors, give both and separate with an ampersand (in the parenthetical citation only): (Garcia & Jones, 2012, p. 74).
  • If there are three to five authors, list them all in the in text citation the first time you cite the source; use et al. thereafter. For example, (Garcia, Jones, Warbler, & Cole, 2010) then (Garcia et al., 2010).
  • If there are six or more authors, use et al. after the first author’s name in the in-text citation: Frye et al. (2010, p. 12) or (Frye et al., 2010, p. 12).
  • Page numbers are required for direct quotes and should be used for specific information and paraphrases. Use p. for a single page (Robinson, 2010, p. 12) and pp. for multiple pages (Robinson, 2010, pp. 4–7, 12).
  • If there is no author given, use the first couple words of the title. For example: Thesis Success and You: Building One Citation at a Time would be (Thesis Success, 2014).
  • If you have two or more citations for a sentence, list in abc order by author and separate with a semicolon: (Cole, 2010; Frye, 2000).
  • If you want to abbreviate an organization, spell it out first with the acronyms/abbreviation in brackets: (Department of Defense [DOD], 2011, p. 14). There after use (DOD, 2011).


# Authors First Time Cited Subsequent Citation First Time Cited Subsequent Citation

Walker (2007)

Walker (2007)

(Walker, 2007, p. 25)

(Walker, 2007, p. 27)


Walker and Allen (2004)

Walker and Allen (2004)

(Walker & Allen, 2004)

(Walker & Allen, 2004)

Three, Four, or Five

Bradley, Ramirez, and Soo (1999)

Bradley et al. (1999)

(Bradley, Ramirez, & Soo, 1999) (Bradley et al., 1999)
Six or More Wasserstein et al. (2005) Wasserstein et al. (2005) (Wasserstein et al., 2005) (Wasserstein et al., 2005)

Source: American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.


  • Provide stable URL after the words, "Retrieved from." For example:
    Government Accountability Office. (2005). Global war on terrorism: DOD needs to improve the reliability of cost data and provide additional guidance to control costs (GAO-05-882). Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved from
  • Do not include retrieval dates unless the source material is likely to change over time (e.g., Wikis) For example:
    Grammar. (n.d.). Wikipedia. Retrieved May 18, 2013, from
  • Do not add a period at the end of the URL
  • A URL does not belong in an in text-citation. Ever.


Sources within a Library Database

  • DOI is preferred over URL if available.
  • If no DOI, include the home page URL of the journal.
  • If no DOI, and material is only in this database because journal is discontinued or not formally published (e.g., JSTOR, ERIC), include either (a) the database name and accession number or (b) the database home page URL.
  • See APA DOI vs. URL Flowchart

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