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Citation Styles

APA (American Psychological Association) Style

Other APA Guides

Print Books

APA Citation Examples

If you don't see a citation example that meets your needs, try one of the guides on the left. 

 

  • If you don't see a citation example that meets your needs, try one of the guides on the left.

General Rules

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

Source Type

Citation Example

Bill or Resolution (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 http://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/social-media/

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 blog.com/pharyngula/2007/01the_unfortunate_prequisites.php

T: (MiddleKid, 2007).

Book Chapter
(in edited book)

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, NY: Routledge.

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

Book (electronic version of a print book)

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

T: (Krishnan, 2008)

Book (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 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 Hearing

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) Report

Online:

R: Best, R. A. (2011). Intelligence issues for Congress (CRS Report No. RL33539). Retrieved from Congressional Research Service website: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/intel/RL33539.pdf


Print:

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

T: (Best, 2011)

Court Case Decision

Name v. Name, Volume Source Page (Court Date)
See Citing Court Decisions in APA Style for more details.

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

R: Blystone v. Pennsylvania, 494 U.S. (1990)

R: People v. Armour, 590 N.W.2d 61 (Mich. 1999)


Supreme Court Decision

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 http://pewhispanic.org/datasets

T:  (Pew Hispanic Center, 2004)

Directive and  Instruction

Directive
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)


Instruction
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 Order

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 http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs1.htm

Field Manual

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

T: (Department of the Army, 1994)

Government Agency or Technical Report

Author. (Year). Title of publication (Report number). Place of publication: Publisher.


R: White House. (2010). National security strategy. Retrieved from http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/rss_viewer/national_security_strategy.pdf

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 http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d10106.pdf

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 http://cogprints.org/5780/1/ECSRAP.F07.pdf

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

Journal Article
(in electronic database)

*Digital Object Identifier (DOI) preferred. If no DOI assigned, give the URL of the journal’s homepage. See APA style guide to electronic references, pp. 12-13.

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 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1540-6210

T: (Newmann, 2002)

Journal Article
(print)

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

T: (Griffin, 2009, pp. 324–325)

Map (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 http://maps.lewiscountywa.gov/maps/Demographics/census-popdens_2000.pdf

T: (Lewis County Geographic Information Services, 2002)

Motion Picture

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

Newspaper Article

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)


If there is no author (byline), use the first couple of words of the title for in-text citations.

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

T: (“2 Tunnels Found,” 2014).

Newspaper Article (online)

*Give the URL of the home page when the online version of the article is available by search to avoid nonworking URLs.


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

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)

Example from APA Publication Manual (6th ed.)

 Official Memorandum

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 Communication or Interview

*Non-recoverable communication (private letter, memo, non-archived e-mail or electronic bulletin board, personal interview, telephone conversation, 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 Law: U.S. Statute 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 http://library.clerk.house.gov/reference-files/PPL_101_336_AmericansWithDisabilities.pdf

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)
or
T: National Environmental Policy Act of 1969

Report

Author, A. A. (year). Title of work (Report No. xxx) [Description of form]. Retrieved from http://xxxxx

*Note: Only include website name if it does not appear clearly in URL or organization name.

R: Dixon, L., Clancy, N., Miller, B. M., Hoegberg, S. Lewis, M. M., Bender, B. … Choquette, S. R. (2017) The cost and affordability of flood insurance in New York City. Retrieved from https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1776.html

T: (Dixon et al., 2017)

If the organization has been identified as the author, use this format: Organization. (year). Title of work (Report No. xxx) [Description of form]. Retrieved from: http://xxxxx

Secondary Source

*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)

Software

R: Borenstein, M., Hedges, L., Higgins, J., & Rothstein, H. (2005). Comprehensive
Meta-Analysis (Version 2) [Computer software]. Retrieved from http://www.meta-analysis.com/index.html

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

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

Example from APA Publication Manual (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://www.free-tv-video-online.info/internet/mash/season_10.html

T: (Hall & Alda, 1981)

Thesis / Dissertation

From an institutional archive:

R: Moon, T. D., & Smith, B. (2009). Rising dragon: Infrastructure development and Chinese influence in Vietnam (Master’s thesis). Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10945/4694

T:  (Moon & Smith, 2009)


R: Rivera, J. (2010). Software system architecture modeling methodology for naval gun weapon systems (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from  http://hdl.handle.net/10945/10504

T:  (Rivera, 2010) 


From a commercial database:

R: McNiel, D. S. (2006). Meaning through narrative: A personal narrative discussing growing up with an alcoholic mother (Master’s thesis). Available from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. (UMI No. 1434728)

T: (McNiel, 2006)

*See pp. 22-23 of the APA Style Guide to Electronic References (NPS login)

Website, Webpage, Web Document

Find examples of specific Web-based references, in the APA Style Guide to Electronic References (NPS login)

What to Do When Information Is Missing

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

For an entire website, cite in text only.

Provide the specific date for content that is published more frequently (e.g., blog posts, online forum messages, social media updates); otherwise, provide the year only.

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

If page numbers are not available (for direct and block quotes), include paragraph number (para. 3) under the section name (e.g., section A, para. 3)

Only include website name if it does not appear clearly in URL or organization name.

R: Roth, R. (2017, Apr. 18). 75 years ago, the Doolittle Raid changed history. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/18/us/75th-anniversary-doolittle-raid/index.html

T: (Roth, 2017); (Roth, 2017, para. 2)


Page with organization as author (unattributed website content) 

R: Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2017, Apr. 6). Forging papers to sell fake art. Retrieved from https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/forging-papers-to-sell-fake-art

T: (Federal Bureau of Investigation [FBI], 2017)

Subsequent in-text citations: (FBI, 2017)


If no date, use “n.d.” in place of the date

R: Department of Defense. (n.d.). About the Department of Defense (DOD). Retrieved April 18, 2017, from https://www.defense.gov/About/

T: (Department of Defense [DOD], n.d.)

Subsequent in-text citations: (DOD, n.d.)


Jane's example

R: Jane’s IHS Markit. Executive summary: Mali. (2016). Retrieved from https://janes.ihs.com.libproxy.nps.edu/NorthAfrica/Display/1303746

T: (Jane’s IHS Markit, 2016)

Wikipedia

Wikipedia is not normally an accepted source in academia; please ask your advisor if it is an acceptable choice for your topic in his or her judgment.

R: Psychology. (n.d.) In Wikipedia. Retrieved May 17, 2011, from https:en.wikipedia.org.wiki/Psychology.

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 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dq1ms2JhYBI&feature=related

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 Formatting

  • 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 http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-05-882
     
  • 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 Citation Formatting

# Authors of a single work First citation
in signal phrase format
Subsequent citation First citation
in parenthetical format
Subsequent citation
One

Walker (2007)

Walker (2007)

(Walker, 2007, p. 25)

(Walker, 2007, p. 47)

Two

Walker and Allen (2004)

Walker and Allen (2004)

(Walker & Allen, 2004)

(Walker & Allen, 2004)

Three, Four, or Five

Bradley, Ramirez, Soo, and Walsh (2006)


List all authors

Bradley et al. (2006)


List just first author + 'et al.'

(Bradley, Ramirez, Soo, & Walsh, 2006)


List all authors

(Bradley et al., 2006)


List just first author + 'et al.'

Six or More Wasserstein et al. (2005) Wasserstein et al. (2005) (Wasserstein et al., 2005) (Wasserstein et al., 2005)
Groups (readily identified through abbreviation) as authors National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH, 2003) NIMH (2003) (National Institute of Mental Health [NIMH], 2003) (NIMH, 2003)
Groups (no abbreviation) as authors University of Pittsburg (2005) University of Pittsburg (2005) (University of Pittsburg, 2005) (University of Pittsburg, 2005)

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

*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).


URLs

  • 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 http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-05-882
     
  • 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 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grammar
     
  • 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

Unpublished and Informally Published Works

  • For unpublished and informally published works see section 7.09 of the Publication Manual of the APA.
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