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Free APA Citation Generator

Generate citations in APA format quickly and automatically, with MyBib!

APA 7 guide book cover

🤔 What is an APA Citation Generator?

An APA citation generator is a software tool that will automatically format academic citations in the American Psychological Association (APA) style.

It will usually request vital details about a source -- like the authors, title, and publish date -- and will output these details with the correct punctuation and layout required by the official APA style guide.

Formatted citations created by a generator can be copied into the bibliography of an academic paper as a way to give credit to the sources referenced in the main body of the paper.

👩‍🎓 Who uses an APA Citation Generator?

College-level and post-graduate students are most likely to use an APA citation generator, because APA style is the most favored style at these learning levels. Before college, in middle and high school, MLA style is more likely to be used. In other parts of the world styles such as Harvard (UK and Australia) and DIN 1505 (Europe) are used more often.

🙌 Why should I use a Citation Generator?

Like almost every other citation style, APA style can be cryptic and hard to understand when formatting citations. Citations can take an unreasonable amount of time to format manually, and it is easy to accidentally include errors. By using a citation generator to do this work you will:

  • Save a considerable amount of time
  • Ensure that your citations are consistent and formatted correctly
  • Be rewarded with a higher grade

In academia, bibliographies are graded on their accuracy against the official APA rulebook, so it is important for students to ensure their citations are formatted correctly. Special attention should also be given to ensure the entire document (including main body) is structured according to the APA guidelines. Our complete APA format guide has everything you need know to make sure you get it right (including examples and diagrams).

⚙️ How do I use MyBib's APA Citation Generator?

Our APA generator was built with a focus on simplicity and speed. To generate a formatted reference list or bibliography just follow these steps:

  • Start by searching for the source you want to cite in the search box at the top of the page.
  • MyBib will automatically locate all the required information. If any is missing you can add it yourself.
  • Your citation will be generated correctly with the information provided and added to your bibliography.
  • Repeat for each citation, then download the formatted list and append it to the end of your paper.

MyBib supports the following for APA style:

Image of daniel-elias

Daniel is a qualified librarian, former teacher, and citation expert. He has been contributing to MyBib since 2018.

  • Plagiarism and grammar
  • Citation guides

APA Citation Generator

Keep all of your citations in one safe place

Create an account to save all of your citations

Don't let plagiarism errors spoil your paper

A comprehensive guide to apa citations and format, overview of this guide:.

This page provides you with an overview of APA format, 7th edition. Included is information about referencing, various citation formats with examples for each source type, and other helpful information.

If you’re looking for MLA format , check out the Citation Machine MLA Guide. Also, visit the Citation Machine homepage to use the APA formatter, which is an APA citation generator, and to see more styles .

Being responsible while researching

When you’re writing a research paper or creating a research project, you will probably use another individual’s work to help develop your own assignment. A good researcher or scholar uses another individual’s work in a responsible way. This involves indicating that the work of other individuals is included in your project (i.e., citing), which is one way to prevent plagiarism.

Plagiarism? What is it?

The word plagiarism is derived from the Latin word, plagiare , which means “to kidnap.” The term has evolved over the years to now mean the act of taking another individual’s work and using it as your own, without acknowledging the original author (American Psychological Association, 2020 p. 21). Plagiarism can be illegal and there can be serious ramifications for plagiarizing someone else’s work. Thankfully, plagiarism can be prevented. One way it can be prevented is by including citations and references in your research project. Want to make them quickly and easily? Try the Citation Machine citation generator, which is found on our homepage.

All about citations & references

Citations and references should be included anytime you use another individual’s work in your own assignment. When including a quote, paraphrased information, images, or any other piece of information from another’s work, you need to show where you found it by including a citation and a reference. This guide explains how to make them.

APA style citations are added in the body of a research paper or project and references are added to the last page.

Citations , which are called in-text citations, are included when you’re adding information from another individual’s work into your own project. When you add text word-for-word from another source into your project, or take information from another source and place it in your own words and writing style (known as paraphrasing), you create an in-text citation. These citations are short in length and are placed in the main part of your project, directly after the borrowed information.

References are found at the end of your research project, usually on the last page. Included on this reference list page is the full information for any in-text citations found in the body of the project. These references are listed in alphabetical order by the author's last name.

An APA in-text citation includes only three items: the last name(s) of the author(s), the year the source was published, and sometimes the page or location of the information. References include more information such as the name of the author(s), the year the source was published, the full title of the source, and the URL or page range.

Two example in-text citations.

Why is it important to include citations & references

Including APA citations and references in your research projects is a very important component of the research process. When you include citations, you’re being a responsible researcher. You’re showing readers that you were able to find valuable, high-quality information from other sources, place them into your project where appropriate, all while acknowledging the original authors and their work.

Common ways students and scholars accidentally plagiarize

Believe it or not, there are instances when you could attempt to include in-text and full references in the appropriate places, but still accidentally plagiarize. Here are some common mistakes to be aware of:

Mistake #1 - Misquoting sources: If you plan to use a direct quote, make sure you copy it exactly as is. Sure, you can use part of the full quote or sentence, but if you decide to put quotation marks around any words, those words should match exactly what was found in the original source. Here’s a line from The Little Prince , by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry:

“Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them.”

Here’s an acceptable option:

“Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves,” stated de Saint-Exupéry (1943, p. 3).

Here’s a misquote:

“Grown-ups barely ever understand anything by themselves,” stated de Saint-Exupéry (1943, p. 3).

Notice the slight change in the words. The incorrect phrasing is an instance of accidental plagiarism.

Mistake #2 - Problems with paraphrasing: When we paraphrase, we restate information using our own words and writing style. It’s not acceptable to substitute words from the original source with synonyms.

Let’s use the same sentence from The Little Prince .

A correct paraphrase could be:

de Saint-Exupéry (1943) shares various ways adults frustrate children. One of the biggest being that kids have to explain everything. It’s too bad adults are unable to comprehend anything on their own (p. 3).

An incorrect paraphrase would be:

de Saint-Exupéry (1943) shares that adults never understand anything by themselves, and it is exhausting for kids to be always and forever clarifying things to them (p.3).

Notice how close the incorrect paraphrase is from the original. This is an instance of accidental plagiarism.

Make sure you quote and paraphrase properly in order to prevent accidental plagiarism.

If you’re having a difficult time paraphrasing properly, it is acceptable to paraphrase part of the text AND use a direct quote. Here’s an example:

de Saint-Exupery (1943) shares various ways adults frustrate children. One of the biggest being that kids have to explain everything, and “it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them” (p. 3).

Information About APA

Who created it.

The American Psychological Association is an organization created for individuals in the psychology field. With close to 121,000 members, they provide educational opportunities, funding, guidance, and research information for everything psychology-related. They also have numerous high-quality databases, peer-reviewed journals, and books that revolve around mental health.

The American Psychological Association is also credited with creating their own specific citation and reference style. Today, this format is used by individuals not only in the psychology field, but many other subject areas as well. Education, economics, business, and social sciences also use APA style quite frequently. Click here for more information . This guide covers general information about the style, but is not affiliated with the American Psychological Association.

Why was this style created?

This format was first developed in 1929 to form a standardized way for researchers in science fields to document their sources. Prior to the inception of these standards and guidelines, individuals were recognizing the work of other authors by including bits and pieces of information in random order. There wasn’t a set way to format citations and references. You can probably imagine how difficult it was to understand the sources that were used for research projects!

Having a standard format for citing sources allows readers to glance at a citation or APA reference and easily locate the title, author, year published, and other critical pieces of information needed to understand a source.

The evolution of this style

The guide below is based on APA style 7th edition, which was released in 2020. In previous versions of APA format, researchers and scholars were required to include the publisher location for books and the date that an electronic resource was accessed. Both are no longer required to be included.

Details on the differences between the 6th and 7th editions is addressed later in this guide.

Citations & References

The appearance of citations & references.

The format for references varies, but most use this general format:

%%Author’s Last name, First initial. (Date published). Title . URL

Researchers and scholars must look up the proper format for the source that they’re attempting to cite. Books have a certain format, websites have a different format, periodicals have a different format, and so on. Scroll down to find the proper format for the source you’re citing or referencing.

If you would like help citing your sources, CitationMachine.com has a citation generator that will help make the APA citation process much easier for you. To start, simply click on the source type you're citing:

  • Journal articles

In-text citations

An APA in-text citation is included in research projects in three instances: When using a direct quote, paraphrasing information, or simply referring to a piece of information from another source.

Quite often, researchers and scholars use a small amount of text, word for word, from another source and include it in their own research projects. This is done for many reasons. Sometimes, another author’s words are so eloquently written that there isn’t a better way to rephrase it yourself. Other times, the author’s words can help prove a point or establish an understanding for something in your research project. When using another author’s exact words in your research project, include an APA in-text citation directly following it.

In addition to using the exact words from another source and placing them into your project, these citations are also added anytime you paraphrase information. Paraphrasing is when you take information from another source and rephrase it, in your own words.

When simply referring to another piece of information from another source, also include a citation directly following it.

Citations in the text are found near a direct quote, paraphrased information, or next to a mention of another source. To see examples of some narrative/ parenthetical citations in action, look at the image above, under “All About Citations & References.”

Note: *Only include the page or paragraph number when using a direct quote or paraphrase. Page numbers have a p. before the number, pp. before the page range, and para. before the paragraph number. This information is included to help the reader locate the exact portion of text themselves. It is unnecessary to include this information when you’re simply referring to another source.

Examples of APA in-text citations:

“Well, you’re about to enter the land of the free and the brave. And I don’t know how you got that stamp on your passport. The priest must know someone” (Tóibín, 2009, p. 52).
Student teachers who use technology in their lessons tend to continue using technology tools throughout their teaching careers (Kent & Giles, 2017, p. 12).

If including the author’s name in the sentence, place the year in the parentheses directly next to his or her name. Add the page number at the end, unless it’s a source without any pages or paragraph numbers (See Section 8.10 of the Publication manual for more details).

In-text citation APA example:

According to a study done by Kent and Giles (2017), student teachers who use technology in their lessons tend to continue using technology tools throughout their teaching careers.

The full references, or citations, for these sources can be found on the last part of a research project, titled the “References.”

Here’s how to create in-text citations for specific amounts of authors:

APA citation with no author

When the source lacks an author’s name, place the title, year, and page number (if available) in the text. The title should be in italics if it sits alone (such as a movie, brochure, or report). If the source is part of a whole (as many web pages and articles are), place the title in quotation marks without italics (See Section 8.14 of the Publication manual ).

Structure of an APA format citation in the text narratively, with the author's name missing:

Title of Source (Year) or “Title of Source” (Year)

Structure of an APA style format citation, in parentheses at the end of the sentence, with the author’s name missing: (Title of Source, Year) or (“Title of Source,” Year)

Structure for one author

In the text, narratively: Last name of Author (Year)...(page number).

In parentheses, at the end of the sentence: (Last name of Author, Year, page number).

Structure for two authors

Place the authors in the order they appear on the source. Only use the ampersand in the parenthetical citations (see Section 8.17 of the Publication manual ). Use ‘and’ to separate the author names if they’re in the text of the sentence.

In the text, narratively: Last name of Author 1 and Last name of Author 2 (Year)....(page number).

In parentheses, at the end of the sentence: (Last name of Author 1 & Last name of Author 2, Year, page number).

Structure for three or more authors

Only include the first listed author’s name in the first and any subsequent citations. Follow it with et al.

(Last name Author 1 et al., Year, page number)

(Agbayani et al., 2020, p. 99)

Last name of Author 1 et al. (Year)...(page).

Agbayani et al. (2020)...(p. 99)

One author, multiple works, same year

What do you do when you want to cite multiple works by an author, and the sources all written in the same year?

Include the letters ‘a’ ‘b’ ‘c’ and so on after the year in the citation.

(Jackson, 2013a)

Jackson (2013a)

Writers can even lump dates together.

Example: Jackson often studied mammals while in Africa (2013a, 2013b).

On the APA reference page, include the same letters in the full references.

Groups and organizations

Write out the full name of the group or organization in the first citation and place the abbreviation next to it in brackets. If the group or organization is cited again, only include the abbreviation. If it doesn’t have an abbreviation associated with it, write out the entire organization’s name each and every time (see Section 8.21 of the Publication manual ).

First APA citation for an organization with an abbreviation: (World Health Organization [WHO], Year)

World Health Organization (WHO, Year)

Notice in the example directly above, the name of the organization is written out in full in the text of the sentence, and the abbreviation is placed in parentheses next to it.

Subsequent APA citations in the text for an organization with an abbreviation: (WHO, Year) OR WHO (Year)

All citations in the text for an organization without an abbreviation: (Citation Machine, Year) or Citation Machine (Year)

One in-text citation, multiple works

Sometimes you’ll need to cite more than one work within an in-text citation. Follow the same format (author, year) format but place semicolons between works (p. 263).

(Obama, 2016; Monroe et al., 1820; Hoover & Coolidge, 1928)

Reminder: There are many citation tools available on CitationMachine.com. Head to our homepage to learn more, check out our APA citation website, and cite your sources easily! The most useful resource on our website? Our APA citation generator, which doesn’t just create full references, it’s also an APA in-text citation website! It’ll do both for you!

Click here to learn more about crediting work .

Reference list citation components

References display the full information for all the citations found in the body of a research project.

Some things to keep in mind when it comes to the references:

  • All references sit together on their own page, which is usually the last page(s) of a paper.
  • Title the page ‘References’
  • Place ‘References’ in the center of the page and bold it. Keep the title in the same font and size as the references. Do not italicize, underline, place the title in quotation marks, or increase the font size.
  • The entire page is double spaced.
  • All references are listed in alphabetical order by the first word in the reference, which is usually the author’s last name. If the source lacks an author, alphabetize the source by the title (ignore A, An, or The)
  • All references have a hanging indent, meaning that the second line of text is indented in half an inch. See examples throughout this guide.
  • Remember, each and every citation in the text of the paper MUST have a full reference displayed in the reference list. The citations in the text provide the reader with a quick glimpse about the sources used, but the references in the reference list provide the reader with all the information needed to seek out the source themselves.

Learn more about each component of the reference citation and how to format it in the sections that follow. See an APA sample paper reference list at the end of this entire section.

Author’s names

The names of authors are written in reverse order. Include the initials for the first and middle names. End this information with a period (see Section 9.8 of the Publication manual ).

Format: Last name, F. M.

  • Angelou, M.
  • Doyle, A. C.

Two or more authors

When two or more authors work together on a source, write them in the order in which they appear on the source. You can name up to 20 authors in the reference. For sources with 2 to 20 authors, place an ampersand (&) before the final author. Use this format:

Last name, F. M., & Last name, F. M.

Last name, F. M., Last name, F. M., Last name, F. M., Last name, F. M., & Last name, F. M.

Kent, A. G., Giles, R. M., Thorpe, A., Lukes, R., Bever, D. J., & He, Y.

If there are 21 or more authors listed on a source, only include the first 19 authors, add three ellipses, and then add the last author’s name.

Roberts, A., Johnson, M. C., Klein, J., Cheng, E. V., Sherman, A., Levin, K. K. , ...Lopez, G. S.

If you plan on using a free APA citation tool, like the one at CitationMachine.com, the names of the authors will format properly for you.

###No authors

If the source lacks an author, place the title in the first position in the reference (Section 9.12 of the Publication manual ). When the source’s title begins with a number (Such as 101 Dalmatians ), place the reference alphabetically as if the number was spelled out. 101 Dalmatians would be placed in the spot where ‘One hundred’ would go, but keep the numbers in their place.

Additionally, if the title begins with the words ‘A’, ‘An,’ or ‘The,’ ignore these words and place the title alphabetically according to the next word.

See the “Titles” section below for more information on formatting the title of sources.

###Corporate/Organization authors

On an APA reference page, corporate authors are always written out in full. In the text of your paper, you may have some abbreviations (such as UN for United Nations), but in the full references, always include the full names of the corporation or organization (following Section 9.11 of the official Publication manual ).

%%United Nations. (2019). Libya: $202 million needed to bring life-saving aid to half a million people hit by humanitarian crisis. https://news.un.org/en/story/2019/02/1031981

Publication date & retrieval date

Directly after the author’s name is the date the source was published. Include the full date for newspapers and magazine articles, and only the year for journals and all other sources. If no date is found on the source, include the initials, n.d. for “no date.”

%% Narducci, M. (2017, May 19). City renames part of 11th Street Ed Snider Way to honor Flyers founder. The Philadelphia Inquirer . http://www.philly.com/

If using our APA Citation Machine, our citation generator will add the correct format for you automatically.

Giving a retrieval date is not needed unless the online content is likely to be frequently updated and changed (e.g., encyclopedia article, dictionary entry, Twitter profile, etc.).

%%Citation Machine [@CiteMachine]. (n.d.). Tweets [Twitter profile]. Twitter. Retrieved October 10, 2019, from https://twitter.com/CiteMachine

When writing out titles for books, articles, chapters, or other non-periodical sources, only capitalize the first word of the title and the first word of the subtitle. Names of people, places, organizations, and other proper nouns also have the first letter capitalized. For books and reports, italicize the title in the APA citation.

Strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Roots: The saga of an American family.

For articles and chapters in APA referencing, do not italicize the title.

Wake up the nation: Public libraries, policy making, and political discourse.

For newspapers, magazines, journals, newsletters, and other periodicals, capitalize the first letter in each word and italicize the title.

The Seattle Times.

A common question is whether to underline your title or place it in italics or quotation marks in the reference list. Here’s a good general rule: When a source sits alone and is not part of a larger whole, place the title in italics. If the source does not sit alone and is part of a larger whole, do not place it in italics.

Books, movies, journals, and television shows are placed in italics since they stand alone. Songs on an album, episodes of television shows, chapters in books, and articles in journals are not placed in italics since they are smaller pieces of larger wholes.

The Citation Machine citation generator will format the title in your citations automatically.

Additional information about the title

If you feel it would be helpful to include additional information about the source type, include a descriptive noun or two in brackets immediately following the title. Capitalize the first letter.

%%Kennedy, K., & Molen, G. R. (Producers), & Spielberg, S. (Director). (1993). Jurassic Park [Film]. USA: Universal.

Besides [Film], other common notations include:

  • [Audio podcast]
  • [Letter to the editor]
  • [Television series episode]
  • [Facebook page]
  • [Blog post]
  • [Lecture notes]
  • [PowerPoint presentation]
  • [Video file]

If you are using Citation Machine citing tools, additional information about the title is automatically added for you.

Publisher information

For books and reports, include the publisher name but not the location (see Section 9.29 of the Publication manual ). Older editions of the style required the city, state and/or country, but this hasn't been the case since the 7th edition was released.

It is not necessary to include the entire name of the publisher. It is acceptable to use a brief, intelligible form. However, if Books or Press are part of the publisher’s names, keep these words in the reference. Other common terms, such as Inc., Co., Publishers, and others can be omitted.

For newspapers, journals, magazines, and other periodicals, include the volume and issue number after the title. The volume number is listed first, by itself, in italics. The issue number is in parentheses immediately after it, not italicized. There is no space after the closing parenthesis and before the volume number.

%%Giannoukos, G., Besas, G., Hictour, V., & Georgas, T. (2016). A study on the role of computers in adult education. Educational Research and Reviews , 11 (9), 907-923. https://doi.org/10.5897/ERR2016.2688

After including the publisher information, end this section with a period.

Perseus Books.

Electronic source information:

For online sources, the URL or DOI (Direct Object Identifier) are included at the end of an APA citation.

DOI numbers are often created by publishers for journal articles and other periodical sources. They were created in response to the problem of broken or outdated links and URLs. When a journal article is assigned a DOI number, it is static and will never change. Because of its permanent characteristic, DOIs are the preferred type of electronic information to include in APA citations. When a DOI number is not available, include the source’s URL (see Section 9.34 in the Publication manual ).

For DOIs, include the number in this format:

http://doi.org/xxxx

For URLs, type them in this format:

http:// or https://

Other information about electronic sources:

  • If the URL is longer than a line, break it up before a punctuation mark.
  • Do not place a period at the end of the citation/URL.
  • It is unnecessary to include retrieval dates, unless the source changes often over time (like in a Wikipedia article).
  • It is not necessary to include the names of databases

If using the Citation Machine APA citation website autocite features, the online publication information will be automatically replaced by the DOI. The Citation Machine APA template will properly cite your online sources for you.

The image shows an example APA student page that is formatted using the guidelines described under the heading Paper Formatting.

Make sure you run your completed paper through the Citation Machine Plus smart proofreader, which scans for grammar, spelling, and plagiarism. Whether it’s an adjective , verb , or pronoun out-of-place, our technology helps edits your paper for you!

Annotated bibliographies:

An APA annotated bibliography is a full bibliography that includes a small note for each reference citation. Each note should be short (1-2 paragraphs) and contain a summary or your evaluation about each source. When creating your citations on CitationMachine.net, there is a field at the bottom of each form to add your own annotations.

Follow the publication manual guidelines on paper format and writing style. Let your instructor guide other details about your annotations. Still confused? Read our guide on annotated bibliographies .

These types of projects look different depending on the style you’re using. Use the link at the top of the page to access resources related to the Modern Language Association’s style. Here’s information related to Chicago citation style .

Page formatting

Need help with the design and formatting of your paper? Look no further! This section provides the ins and outs of properly displaying the information in your APA essay.

  • Times New Roman, 12-point size.
  • Calibri, Arial, or Georgia, 11-point size
  • Lucida, Sans Unicode, or Computer Modern, 10-point size
  • Indents = Every paragraph should start with an indent.
  • Margins = 1 inch around the entire document
  • Spacing = Double space everything!

Arrange your pages in this order:

  • Page 1 - APA Title Page (see below for information on the title page)
  • Page 2 - Abstract (If your professor requests one)
  • Page 3 - First page of text
  • References begin on their own page. Include the list of references on the page after the text.
  • Tables and figures

Keep in mind that the order above is the recommendation for papers being submitted for peer review. If you’re writing an APA style paper for a class, your professor may be more lenient about the requirements. Also, if you’re submitting your paper for a specific journal, check the requirements on the journal’s website. Each journal has different rules and procedures.

Just a little nudge to remind you about the Citation Machine Plus smart proofreader. Whether it’s a conjunction or interjection out of place, a misspelled word, or an out of place citation, we’ll offer suggestions for improvement! Don’t forget to check out our APA citation maker while you’re at it!

Running heads

In older editions of APA, running heads were required for all papers. Since the 7th edition, that’s changed.

  • Student paper: No running head
  • Professional paper: Include a running head

The running head displays the title of the paper and the page number on all pages of the paper. This header is found on every page of a professional paper (not a student paper), even on the title page (sometimes called an APA cover page) and reference list (taken from Section 2.8 of the Publication manual ).

It's displayed all in capital letters at the top of the page. Across from the running head, along the right margin, is the page number.

  • Use the header feature in your word processor. Both Google Docs and Word have these features available.
  • Use one for the recommended fonts mentioned under "Page formatting."

Title pages

A title page, sometimes called an APA cover page, graces the cover of an essay or paper. An APA title page should follow rules from Section 2.3 of the official Publication manual and include:

  • Page number, which is page 1
  • Use title case and bold font
  • The title should be under 12 words in length
  • The title should be a direct explanation of the focus of the paper. Do not include any unnecessary descriptors such as “An Analysis of…” or “A Study of…”
  • Exclude any labels such as Mr., Ms., Dr, PhD...
  • Name of the school or institution
  • Course number and/or class name
  • Name of your instructor, including their preferred honorifics (e.g., PhD, Dr., etc.)
  • Paper’s due date
  • If this is a professional paper, also include a running head. If this is a student paper, do not include one.

Follow the directions for the running head and page number in the section above. Below the running head, a few lines beneath, and centered in the middle of the page, should be the title. The next line below is the author’s name(s), followed by the name of the school or institution, the class or course name, your instructor’s name, and the paper’s due date.

All components on this page should be written in the same font and size as the rest of your paper. Double space the title, names, name of school or institution, and all other information on the page (except for the running head and page number).

Example - Student Title Page APA:

The image shows an example APA student title page that is formatted using the guidelines described above under the heading Title Pages.

Example - Professional Title Page APA:

The image shows an example APA professional title page that is formatted using the guidelines described above under the heading Title Pages.

If you’re submitting your paper to a journal for publication, check the journal’s website for exact requirements. Each journal is different and some may request a different type of APA format cover page.

Looking to create an APA format title page? Head to CitationMachine.com’s homepage and choose “Title Page” at the top of the screen.

An abstract briefly but thoroughly summarizes dissertation contents. It’s found in the beginning of a professional paper, right after the title page. Abstracts are meant to help readers determine whether to continue reading the entire document. With that in mind, try to craft the lead sentence to entice the reader to continue reading.

Here are a few tips:

  • Be factual and keep your opinions out. An abstract should accurately reflect the paper or dissertation and should not involve information or commentary not in the thesis.
  • Communicate your main thesis. What was the examined problem or hypothesis? A reader should know this from reading your abstract.
  • Keep it brief. Stick to the main points and don’t add unnecessary words or facts. It should not exceed 250 words.
  • Consider your paper’s purpose. It’s important to cater your abstract to your paper type and think about what information the target audience for that paper type would want. For example, an empirical article may mention methodology or participant description. A quantitative or qualitative meta-analysis would mention the different variables considered and how information was synthesized.
  • Use verbs over noun equivalents, and active voice. Example: “There was research into…” becomes “We researched…”

Formatting guidelines:

  • The abstract goes after the title page.
  • It should have the same font (size and type) as the rest of the paper.
  • It should stick to one page.
  • Double-space all page text.
  • Center and bold the word “Abstract” at the top of the paper.
  • Don’t indent the first line of the abstract body. The body should also be in plain text.
  • For the keywords, place it on the line after the abstract and indent the first line (but not subsequent lines). The word “Keywords:” is capitalized, italicized, and followed by a colon. The actual keywords are sentence case and in plan font.
  • List each keyword one after the other, and separate them by a comma.
  • After the last keyword, no ending punctuation is needed.

The image shows an example APA abstract page that is formatted using the guidelines described above under the heading Abstracts.

Tables & Figures

If your paper includes a lot of numerical information or data, you may want to consider placing it into a table or a figure, rather than typing it all out. A visual figure or simple, organized table filled with numerical data is often easier for readers to digest and comprehend than tons of paragraphs filled with numbers. Chapter 7 of the Publication manual outlines formatting for tables and figures. Let's cover the basics below.

If you’d like to include a table or figure in your paper, here are a few key pieces of information to keep in mind:

  • At the end of the paper after the APA reference page
  • In the text after it is first mentioned
  • The table first mentioned in the text should be titled ‘Table 1.’ The next table mentioned in the text is ‘Table 2,’ and so on. For figures, it would be 'Figure 1,' 'Figure 2,' and so forth.

The image shows that an APA paper with tables can be organized as follows – 1. Title page, 2. Text of paper, 3. References, 4. Table 1, 5. Table 2.

  • Even though every table and figure is numbered, also create a title for each that describes the information it contains. Capitalize all important words in the title.
  • For tables, do not use any vertical lines, only use horizontal to break up information and headings.
  • Single spacing is acceptable to use in tables and figures. If you prefer double spacing your information, that is okay too.
  • Do not include extra information or “fluff.” Keep it simple!
  • Do not include the same exact information in the paper. Only include the complete information in one area—the table or the text.
  • All tables and figures must be referenced in the text. It is unacceptable to throw a table or figure into the back of the paper without first providing a brief summary or explanation of its relevance.

Example of formatting a table in APA style.

Publication Manual 6th Edition vs 7th Edition

The 6th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association was released in 2009. The current 7th edition came out in the fall of 2019 and was designed to be more student focused, provide more guidance on accessibility, and address changes that have developed over the last 10 years.

Below, we’ve listed what we feel are the most relevant changes related to APA format.

Journals and DOIs

DOI stands for “digital object identifier.” Many journal articles use and have a unique DOI that should be included in a full citation.

When including a DOI in a citation, format it as a URL. Do not label it “DOI.” Articles without DOIs from databases are treated as print works. For example:

6th edition:

%%Gänsicke, B. T., Schreiber, M. R., Toloza, O., Fusillo, N. P. G., Koester, D., & Manser, C. J. (2019). Accretion of a giant planet onto a white dwarf star. Nature, 576 (7785), 61–64. doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1789-8

7th edition:

%%Gänsicke, B. T., Schreiber, M. R., Toloza, O., Fusillo, N. P. G., Koester, D., & Manser, C. J. (2019). Accretion of a giant planet onto a white dwarf star. Nature, 576 (7785), 61–64. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-019-1789-8

Citing Books

There are few new guidelines when you are citing a book. First, the publisher location no longer needs to be indicated.

%%Zack, P. O. (2001). The shoals of time. Bloomington, IN: First Books Library.

%%Zack, P. O. (2001). The shoals of time. First Books Library.

Second, the format of an ebook (e.g., Kindle, etc.) no longer needs to be indicated.

%%Niven, J. (2012). Ada Blackjack: A true story of survival in the Arctic [Kindle].

%%Niven, J. (2012). Ada Blackjack: A true story of survival in the Arctic .

Lastly, books from research databases without DOIs are treated the same as print works.

When using a URL in a citation, you no longer need to include the term “Retrieved from” before URLs (except with retrieval dates). The font should be blue and underlined, or black and not underlined.

6th Edition:

%%Flood, A. (2019, December 6). Britain has closed almost 800 libraries since 2010, figures show. The Guardian . Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/dec/06/britain-has-closed-almost-800-libraries-since-2010-figures-show

7th Edition:

%%Flood, A. (2019, December 6). Britain has closed almost 800 libraries since 2010, figures show. The Guardian . https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/dec/06/britain-has-closed-almost-800-libraries-since-2010-figures-show

Within a full APA citation, you may spell out up to 20 author names. For two to 20 authors, include an ampersand (&) before the name of the last author. For sources with 21 or more authors, structure it as follows:

Structure: First 19 authors’ names, . . . Last author’s name.

7th edition example: Washington, G., Adams, J., Jefferson, T., Madison, J., Monroe, J., Adams, J. Q., Jackson, A., Van Buren, M., Harrison, W. H., Tyler, J., Polk, J. K., Taylor, Z., Filmore, M., Pierce, F., Buchanan, J., Lincoln, A., Johnson, A., Grant, U. S., Hayes, R. B., Garfield, . . . Trump, D.

When creating an in-text citation for a source with 3 or more authors, use “et al.” after the first author’s name. This helps abbreviate the mention.

6th Edition: (Honda, Johnson, Prosser, Rossi, 2019)

7th Edition: (Honda et al., 2019)

Tables and Figures

Instead of having different formats for tables and figures, both use one standardized format. Now both tables and figures have a number, a title, name of the table/figure, and a note at the bottom.

If you’re still typing into Google “how to cite a website APA” among other related questions and keywords, click here for further reading on the style .

When you’re through with your writing, toss your entire paper into the Citation Machine Plus plagiarism checker , which will scan your paper for grammar edits and give you up to 5 suggestions cards for free! Worry less about a determiner , preposition , or adverb out of place and focus on your research!

American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.) (2020). American Psychological Association. https://doi.org/10.1037/0000165-000

Updated March 3, 2020

Written and edited by Michele Kirschenbaum and Wendy Ikemoto. Michele Kirschenbaum has been an awesome school librarian since 2006 and is an expert in citing sources. Wendy Ikemoto has a master’s degree in library and information science and has been working for Citation Machine since 2012.

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Home / Guides / Citation Guides / APA Format / APA Citation Examples

APA Citation Examples

This guide will show you how to structure APA citations according to the Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th edition) and will show you example citations for different source types. For information on other APA topics—such as formatting your paper, creating a title page, etc.—check out the EasyBib APA format guide.  It even has an example paper.

Table of Contents

  • The Basics of APA Citations
  • References vs. Citations

Formatting Author Information

  • Formatting Titles and Dates

Citation Examples

  • Citing Books
  • Citing Journals and Articles
  • Citing Various Digital Sources
  • Citing Various Media Sources
  • Citing Additional Sources
  • APA Citation Template

Troubleshooting

The basics of apa.

We’re going to start from the beginning for all of you newbies out there, or for those of you looking for a refresher.

APA is an abbreviation which stands for American Psychological Association. This is a massive organization, responsible for creating and sharing psychology-related publications, research, and databases.

Basically, they keep psychologists and other similar roles in the loop with what’s happening in the world of psychology. With close to 120,000 members, this is THE leading world organization related to psychology.They are not officially associated with this guide, but the information here talks about their citing format and rules in depth.

Why were APA citations created and why did my teacher ask me to use this style?

Are you scratching your head, wondering what is APA style is and how this all relates to your research project? To make a long story short, the American Psychological Association did something really cool. Back in 1952, they created a way for ALL psychology researchers to structure their citations. This standard method did three things:

  • Psychology researchers were all able to display the sources they used in a systematic way.
  • Readers were able to easily understand the information shown in citations.
  • There was enough information displayed in the citations for readers to go out and find the exact sources on their own.

APA citations were such a hit, they were so good, that other science disciplines soon adopted the citation format as well. In fact, other disciplines outside of the science world use APA style today, too. So, whether you’re creating a psychology-related research project or not, there’s a good chance you were asked to create your citations in APA style.

Currently in its 7th edition, the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association is one of the most frequently used style guides for academic writing today!

With the 7th edition just coming onto the scene in 2020, the American Psychological Association does not expect to see widespread usage of the 7th edition until later in 2020. This is why you should always double-check with your teacher on whether they want you to use the 6th edition or the 7th edition for your projects.

Click here for more basics on this style.

Another widely used style is MLA format . Believe it or not, there are thousands of other styles, so perhaps your teacher or professor requested a completely different one. If you’re in that boat, head to EasyBib.com to check out more styles . While you’re at it, poke around and check out our APA reference generator. It may be just what you’re looking for.

References vs. Citations – What’s the difference?

References and citations are two terms that are thrown around a lot and quite often mean the same thing. A reference, or citation, shows the reader that a piece of information originated elsewhere. But, along came APA and decided to throw a curveball at us. In APA, the two terms have two different meanings.

A citation is found in the actual writing of an APA research paper.

In-text citation example:

“Lecture-rooms are numerous and large, but the number of young people who genuinely thirst after truth and justice is small” (Einstein, 2007, p. 5).

A reference is found on the reference page, which is the last page of a research paper. 

Reference Page Example:

Einstein, A. (2007). The world as I see it. Google Books. https://books.google.com/books?id=aNKOo94tO6cC&source=gbs_navlinks_s (Original work published 1934)

The information included in an APA citation is just a snapshot of the information found in the full reference. For more information on when it’s appropriate to include a citation in your paper, head to section 8.1-8.10 of the Publication manual.

Now, what makes things even trickier is that most teachers and professors use the term “APA citations” when they’re actually talking about the full references. How many times have you heard your teacher say, “Make sure you have your citations on the last page!”

Eek! So, to stay on the same page as your teacher, this guide shows you how to make references for an APA reference page, but we’re calling the page “APA Citations.” Someone’s gotta give in, right? Looks like it’s us.

If you’re looking for a quick read on the citations found in the body of the paper, check out our APA Parenthetical Citation page. It’s just one of the many free APA citation guides available on EasyBib.com. Need an APA citation generator? You can find one at EasyBib.com as well!

If you’re looking for help with the writing or grammar in your paper, check out our research , pronoun , and determiner pages. We have tons of other free grammar pages too!

A rundown on references

Before we get into the nitty-gritty details on how to structure references for your APA paper, let’s get one more quick piece of information off the table.

References are added to research papers and projects only when a source is included in the writing itself.

We don’t add references to a reference page if we want to simply suggest other, similar titles. No! We create references when an actual piece of information from another source is added into the project.

Does your paper include a piece of data from a report? Great! You copied a line of text from a case study and put it in your project (with quotation marks around it)? Perfect! You included a bar graph you found in a brochure? Fantastic! Make sure you create an APA citation in the text of your paper and include the reference on the final page.

The only exception to the above rule is if you’re creating an “annotated bibliography.” For more on that, check out our APA annotated bibliography page.

In case you were wondering, the same goes for MLA in-text & parenthetical citations on the MLA works cited page.

Ready to get started? The next section of the guide is going to explain, step-by-step, how to structure every nook and cranny of your references.

But, if you’re dreaming of an APA citation maker to help make the pain go away from building your references from scratch, you’re in luck. EasyBib.com has an APA citation maker! In just a few clicks, our technology structures and styles each and every APA citation for you. If you don’t know much about it, head to the EasyBib homepage to learn more.

While you’re at it, try out our APA cover page maker, found on the main page as well!

Fundamentals of an APA citation

This entire section goes into detail on each component of a reference. If you’re looking to learn how to style the names of the authors, the title, publishing information, and other aspects related to the reference, this section is for you!

If you want to skip the small talk and see an APA style paper example, go to the “Citation Resources” menu on this page and select “APA Format Guide.” It includes a title page example, an APA paper example, and an APA reference page example.It’s all there for you and the best part about it is it’s free! Do yourself a favor and take a peek at it now!

Author information

The very first piece of information in most references is the author’s name(s). We say “most,” because some sources may not have an author (such as websites, the Bible…). If your source doesn’t have an author, do not include any information about an author in your reference.

Citing a Source with 1 Author

Apa structure:.

Last name of the Author, First initial. Middle initial.

APA Example:

To see some examples, scroll down to the bottom half of this page.

Citing a Source with 2 Authors

Does your source have two authors? Do not put the names in alphabetical order. They should be written in the order they’re displayed on the source.

Last name of the 1st listed Author, First Initial. Middle Initial., & Last name of the 2nd listed Author, First initial. Middle initial.

Doe, J. B. & Chen, W. I.

For an example of a reference with two authors according to the 7th edition of the Publication manual , scroll down to the “Journal Articles found in Print” section, or check out section 9.7-9.12 in the Publication manual.

Citing a Source with 3 to 20 Authors

Does your source have three to twenty authors? The American Psychological Association has made some updates on how to list multiple authors in your citations. If you have between three to twenty authors, list all the authors names (Last Name, Initials). Put them in the same order they’re listed in the source. Commas separate names, and put an ampersand right before the last name.

Bos, G., Hajek, S., Kogman-Appel, K., & Mensching, G. (2019). A Glossary of Latin and Italo-Romance Medico-Botanical Terms in Hebrew Characters on an Illustrated Manuscript Page (Ms. Oxford, Bodleian Opp. 688, fol. 177b). Aleph: Historical Studies in Science and Judaism 19 (2), 169-199. https://www.muse.jhu.edu/article/747571

Citing a Source with 21+ Authors

If your source has over twenty authors, list the last name and initials of the first 19 authors, placing a comma between each name. After the name of the 19th author, use an ellipsis in place of the remaining authors’ names. Then, list the final author’s name in front of it.

Here’s a formatting example for 21+ names using the U.S. presidents (this is NOT a reference example):

Washington, G., Adams, J., Jefferson, T., Madison, J., Monroe, J., Adams, J. Q., Jackson, A., Van Buren, M., Harrison, W. H., Tyler, J., Polk, J., Taylor, Z., Fillmore, M., Pierce, F., Buchanan, J., Lincoln, A., Johnson, A., Grant, U. S., Hayes, R. B., … Trump, D. J.

Citing an Author that is an organization or company

If your source is written by an organization or company:

Some sources are written and released by companies, not necessarily individual people. For example, most brochures at museums only display the institution’s name. Advertisements also only show the company’s name. If the source you’re attempting to cite only shows a group or organization’s name, place it in the reference in the place you’d normally include an individual person’s name.

Write out the name of the group in full; do not use abbreviations. For example, it may seem okay to use USDA, but APA writing style prefers you write out United States Department of Agriculture.

If you’re looking for information on how to style your own name in APA headings, find the example paper on EasyBib.com.

Formatting Titles & Dates

Formatting the date of publication.

The date the source was published is the next item shown in a reference. It’s directly after the author’s name.

For the majority of sources, include only the year in parentheses.

If you’re citing an article in a magazine, include the year and the month.

Peterzell, J. (1990, April). Better late than never. Time, 135 (17), 20–21.

Check out the examples towards the bottom of the page, or head to sections 9.13-9.17 of the Publication manual to see how dates are displayed.

Title rules and capitalization

Titles are the next piece of information shown in a reference. Titles are often tricky for people to style. Students often wonder, “Should I type out the title as it’s shown on the source?” “Should the title be written in italics or underlined?” Here are the answers to (hopefully) all of your title-related questions:

Which letters are capitalized?

Most titles are written with a capital letter in these places:

  • At the beginning of the title
  • At the beginning of a proper noun
  • At the beginning of the subtitle

It may be tempting to write the title as you see it shown on the source, or with capital letters at the beginning of every important word, but that’s not how APA referencing does it.

Here are a few examples of proper lettering:

  • A star is born
  • Spider-Man: Into the spiderverse
  • Harry Potter and the deathly hallows

The only source types that are written with a capital letter at the beginning of every important word are periodicals. Some examples include the titles of newspapers, journals, and magazines.

  • The New York Times
  • School Library Journal,

How should I style the title?

  • Anything that stands alone is written in italics. When we say “stands alone,” we mean it isn’t part of a larger collection. Most books are a single source, so they’re written in italics. Other examples include movies, brochures, dissertations, and music albums.
  • Sources that are part of a collection are written without italics. Website pages, journal articles, chapters in books, and individual songs (from an album) are written without italics.
  • Remember, the styling information above is for the APA reference page only! Citations in the text of the paper are styled differently. If you need to see a full APA sample paper, check out the other resources on EasyBib.com!

Check out some of the examples below to see how the titles are typed out and styled. You can also head to section 9.18-9.22 of the Publication Manual for more details

If it’s not the actual title, but an APA title page for your paper that you need help with, check out the Title Page APA creator on the homepage of EasyBib.com! Or, check out the main guide for this style, which includes an APA cover page template.

Additional information about a source

It can be difficult to understand a source type just by looking at an APA style citation. Sometimes it isn’t clear if you’re looking at a citation for a presentation, a blog post, lecture notes, or a completely different source type.

To clear up any confusion for your reader, you can include additional information directly after the title. This additional information about the source type is written in brackets with the first word having a capital letter.

Wilson, T. V. & Frey, H. (2019, May 13). Godzilla: The start of his story [Audio podcast]. iHeart Radio. https://www.missedinhistory.com/podcasts/godzilla-the-start-of-his-story.htm

Thanks to the information in the brackets, the reader can easily see that the source is an audio podcast.

Check out the various examples towards the bottom of this page.

Publication information

Publication information includes the name of the publisher. In most cases, the publication information is only included for print sources. Check out the book reference below to see the publication information in action.

Citing Books in APA

You’ll find plenty of source types below. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, try out our APA reference generator on EasyBib.com! Or, here’s a great informative site we like. If you’d like to see a full APA sample paper, take a glance at the main citation guide for this style on EasyBib.com.

Citing books in print in APA

Author’s Last name, F. M. (Year published). Title of the book . Publisher.

Gaiman, N. (1996). Neverwhere . HarperCollins.

Looking for more examples? Check out our APA book citation page.

Citing a chapter in a print book in APA

A reference page APA citation for a chapter in a print book is styled the same way as the entire book. It is not necessary to showcase or display the individual chapter. However, in the text of the paper, the chapter is shown like this: (Author’s Last name, Year, Chapter #).

Citing a chapter in an edited book in print in APA

An edited book is one that was compiled by an author. Each individual chapter, or section, is written by someone else. Since you’re probably citing the specific chapter, rather than the whole entire book, place the name of the chapter’s author in the first position.

Chapter Author’s Last Name, F. M. (Year published). Chapter title. In F. M. Editor’s Last Name (Ed.), Title of book (Xrd ed., pp. x-x). Publisher.

Alexander, G. R. (2015). Multicultural education in nursing. In D. M. Billings, & J. A. Halstead (Eds.), Teaching in nursing: A guide for faculty (5th ed., pp. 263-281). Google Books. https://books.google.com/books?id=YxzmCgAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=edited+book&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwja47-0kL_iAhUV7XMBHXzQBxAQ6AEIODAD#v=onepage&q&f=false

Citing an e-book in APA

To cite an eBook, cite it the same way as you would a print book.

Author’s Last name, F. M. (Year published). Title of book . Publisher. URL

Alcott, L. M. (1905). Under the lilacs. Little, Brown, and Company. https://archive.org/stream/underlilacs00alco2?ref=ol#page/n9/mode/2up

If you’re using the EasyBib APA citation generator to cite your e-books, click on the “book” source type.

Gaiman, N. (2009). Coraline . HarperCollins. https://amzn.to/3cQqXAL

If you’re using EasyBib.com’s APA citation generator to cite your e-books, click on the “book” source type.

Wondering what to do if you’re using a book that was reprinted? Check out the example of Einstein’s book, found towards the top of this guide.

Citing The Bible in APA

Since the bible is considered a “classical work,” and widely known, it is not necessary to create a full reference. Only include a citation in the text of the paper.

Two items need to be included:

  • The title and version of the source, such as the New Living Bible
  • The names, verses, chapters, or any numbers associated with the section you’re referring to.

“Then the king asked her, “What do you want, Esther? What is your request? I will give it to you, even if it’s half the kingdom” (Esther 5:5 New Living Translation).

Citing Journals and Articles in APA

Citing journal articles found in print in apa.

Author’s Last name, F. M. (Year published). Title of journal article. Title of Journal, Volume (Issue), page range.

Reeve, A. H., Fjeldsa, J., & Borregaard, M. K. (2018). Ecologically flexible endemics dominate Indo-Pacific bird communities. Journal of Biogeography, 45 (8), 1980-1982.

Your APA style paper is easy to piece together with the tools and services on EasyBib.com. Try out our APA citation machine, which structures your references in just a few clicks. If you’re looking for the perfect APA cover page, give our APA title page maker a whirl.

Citing journal articles found online in APA

Author’s Last name, F. M. (Year published). Title of journal article. Title of Journal, Volume (Issue), page range. //dx.doi.org/10xxxxxxx

Reeve, A. H., Fjeldsa, J., & Borregaard, M. K. (2018). Ecologically flexible endemics dominate Indo-Pacific bird communities. Journal of Biogeography, 45 (8), 1980-1982. //dx.doi.org/10.1111/jbi.13384

For more on journals, take a peek at our APA journal page. Or, make your citations in just a few clicks with our APA citation generator.

Citing newspaper articles in print in APA

Author’s Last name, F. M. (Year, Month Day of Publication). Article’s title. Title of Newspaper, pp. xx-xx.

Boutilier, A. (2019, May 29). Facebook won’t pull fake content for election: Official says it’s not company’s role to draw line as MPs blast Zuckerberg for not testifying. Toronto Star, p. 1.

Citing newspaper articles found on the Internet in APA

Author’s Last name, F. M. (Year, Month Day of Publication). Article’s title. Title of Newspaper . URL

Boutilier, A. (2019, May 28). Facebook refuses to remove false content during Canadian election. The Star . https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2019/05/28/facebook-wont-remove-doctored-content-during-canadian-election.html

Kale, S. (2020, March 9). How to keep your hands clean – without getting dry skin. The Guardian . https://www.theguardian.com/society/shortcuts/2020/mar/09/how-to-keep-your- hands-clean-without-getting-dry-skin

Citing magazines read in print in APA

Author’s Last name, F. M. (Year, Month or Season). Title of article. Title of Magazine, Volume (Issue), page range.

Freedman, A. (2019, June). How to choose a gaming laptop: You can play your game and take it with you. TechLife Australia, 90, 78-81.

Citing magazine articles read over the internet in APA

Author’s Last Name, F. M. (Year, Month). Title of magazine article. Title of Magazine, Volume (Issue), page range. URL

Savage, P. (2019, May). Double dragon: Yakuza Kiwami 2 is a return to form for the singular crime series. PC Gamer , 319, 80. https://www-pressreader-com.i.ezproxy.nypl.org/usa/pc-gamer-us/20190521

Citing a Source on the Internet in APA

Citing digital sources in this style is much easier than other styles. If you’re wondering why, it’s because a lot of information isn’t included in the reference.

For most digital sources, only five items are usually needed:

  • The name of the author
  • The date the source was published
  • The title of the source
  • The medium (blog post, audio file, pdf, etc.)
  • The website address

Here’s some more information related to web content:

  • Only include the medium if it’s unique or if it will help the reader understand the source type.
  • Include the website address at the end of the citation.
  • Do not place a period at the end of the website address.

Have a digital source? Need to cite APA? Check out some of the examples below.

Citing a blog in APA

Author’s Last name, F. M. (Year, Month Day of posting). Title of post. Blog or Website name. URL

Chockrek, E. (2019, May 29). 7 summer activities that help boost your college applications.  EasyBib. https://www.easybib.com/guides/7-summer-activities-that-help-boost-your-college-applications/

See another example on our APA citation website page.

Citing social media in APA

Here’s the APA template for most social media platforms:

Last name, F. M. [Username]. (Year, Month Day of posting). Content of the post up to the first 20 words [Describe any attachment] [Tweet OR Facebook page OR Instagram photo OR Instagram post] . Site Name. URL

Lem, E. [@lemesther]. (2019, October 2). Spotted @Chegg promo celebration. Ladies who…”leopard.” Cheers to all the upcoming promos. #marketing #UEx. [Image attached [Tweet]. Twitter. https://twitter.com/lemesther/status/1179549293289627650

If the name of the individual is unknown or unlisted on the profile (such as Lady Gaga), place the username first, without brackets

Ladygaga. (2019, May 20). I’m so proud of @momgerm for being asked to serve as Goodwill Ambassador for @WHO. The goal of @btwfoundation is [Image attached] [Tweet]. Twitter. https://twitter.com/ladygaga/status/1130578727539052544

If there are emojis, try to recreate them or describe them in brackets.

Hawaii Volcanoes NPS [@Volcanoes_NPS]. (2020, February 26). Half the park is after dark! [flashlight emoji] In addition to dark night skies, evening in the park provides a great chance. [Image attached] [Tweet]. Twitter. https://twitter.com/Volcanoes_NPS/status/1232776372801589248

For more about citing social media, head to section 10.15 of the Publication manual. 

Citing online encyclopedias & dictionaries – Group author

If you conducted or watched a personal interview and the transcript or audio is not available for the reader, then there really isn’t any point to create a full reference. These types of sources are not recoverable and the reader would be unable to find the interview on their own. Instead, only create a citation in the text of the paper. Use the first initial, middle initial, and last name of the person being interviewed, along with “personal communication,” and the date of the interview.

Institution or organization name. (n.d.). Entry title. In Title of Website or reference . Retrieved Month Day, Year, from URL

Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Doleful. In Merriam-Webster.com dictionary. Retrieved March 1, 2020, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/doleful

Citing online encyclopedias & dictionaries – Known author

If there is a known author, cite the source this way:

Last name, F. M. (Date published). Entry title. In F. M. Last name (ed.), In Title of Website or reference . Retrieved Month Day, Year, from URL

Mann, M. E. & Selin, H. (n.d.). Global warming. In Encyclopaedia Britannica . Retrieved March 1, 2020, from https://www.britannica.com/science/global-warming

Citing Wikipedia

Cite a Wikipedia page just like a normal webpage, but use an archived version. Go to the “View history” tab at the top of a Wikipedia page to find these archived versions, their publishing date, and their URL.

Article title. (Year, Month Day). In Wikipedia . URL

Kinetic energy (2019, December 27). In Wikipedia . https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Kinetic_energy&oldid=932724138

If you want to learn how to cite websites in MLA , click on the link.

An APA generator is available to you on EasyBib.com Take the stress out of building the references for your APA style paper and try it out!

While you’re at it, it may be helpful to take a glance at our APA paper template. It can be found on the EasyBib Writing Center page. You can use the APA paper example to help structure your own APA title page and paper.

Citing Media Sources in APA

Citing a song or music listened to online in apa.

Modern songs (e.g., that song you heard on the radio this morning) should list the name of the recording artist’s name. Classical music lists the song’s composer (e.g., think Mozart, Beethoven, etc.).

Note: include a URL in the reference if that location is the only means of retrieval (like if they only post their music to SoundCloud or on their own specific website). If the song is available across multiple platforms, no URL is needed.

APA Structure for a modern song:

Artist’s Last Name, F. M. (Year published). Song’s title [Song].  On Title of album . Publisher(s).

Grande, A. (2019). 7 rings [Song]. On thank u, next . Republic Records.

APA Structure for a classical song:

Artist’s Last Name, F. M. (Year published). Song’s title [Song recorded by Artist’s Name]. On Title of album . Publisher.

Bach, J. S. (1997). Toccata and Fugue in D minor [Song recorded by William McVicker]. On Great organ classics. Sony Music Entertainment UK Limited.

Sheet music in APA

To cite APA sheet music, cite it exactly the same as a book. If it’s found online, cite it as a website.

Citing streamed videos in APA

Use this format if you’re citing a video found online (such as an APA citation for a YouTube video ).

Person who posted the video’s Last Name, F. M. [Username]. (Year, Month Day of posting or publishing). Video’s title [Video]. URL

Vliegenthart, S. [booksandquills]. (2018, December 3). Books from uni we didn’t hate [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9G52GCgpEZg

If the name of the individual isn’t available, start with the username, and remove the brackets.

APA Examples:

Chegg. (2018, November 15). One common grammar error to avoid [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Bfx50f853g

Maroon 5. (2018, May 30). Girls like you ft. Cardi B [Video]. YouTube. https://youtu.be/aJOTlE1K90k

If you’re in need of an APA citation machine to do the work for you, check out the homepage on EasyBib.com! We even have a free Title Page APA creator on the main page as well!

Citing a film or movie in APA

Director’s Last Name. F. M. (Director). (Year published). Film’s title [Film]. Publisher(s) or URL

Gerwig, G. (Director). (2017). Lady bird [Video]. IAC Films; Scott Rudin Productions.

Citing Additional Sources in APA

Citing a published thesis or dissertation from a database in apa.

Author’s Last Name, F. M. (Year created). Thesis or Dissertation’s title [Master’s thesis OR Doctoral dissertation, Name of Institution]. Name of database or archive.

Schluckebier, M. E. (2013). Dreams worth pursuing: How college students develop and articulate their purpose in life [Doctoral dissertation, University of Iowa]. ERIC.

If you’re looking for an APA citation builder to do the work for you, check out EasyBib.com’s APA generator!

Citing a conference paper in APA

Author’s Last name, F. M. (Year, Month Days of Conference). Title of conference paper [Type of presentation]. Conference Name, Location. URL or DOI.

Fowle, M. (2018, September). The entrepreneurial dream: Happiness, depression, and freedom [Conference presentation]. European Conference on Innovation and Entrepreunership, Aviero, Portugal.

Citing an interview in APA

W. I. Ikemoto (personal communication, June 2, 2019)

If the interview is recoverable, include the full reference on the final page of the project. If the interview was found in a magazine, use the magazine structure. If the interview was read on a blog, use the blog structure. Look for the APA headings above that match your specific source type.

Don’t forget, our APA citation machine structures pretty much everything for you. Find it on EasyBib.com’s homepage and give our APA citation generator a try.

Didn’t find what you needed? Still a bit confused? Learn more here . You can also take the guesswork out of making your references with our handy APA citation generator, found at the top of this page.

Putting it All Together

You’ve structured your sources correctly, right? You have the periods, italics, and commas where they belong? Capital letters where they’re supposed to be? Great! You’re almost through! The last step is organizing your citations properly on the page. For easy to follow, in-depth instructions on structuring the last page in your project, check out our APA reference page . If you’d like to see a sample APA paper, check out the main guide for this style on EasyBib.com!

Before you hit submit, make sure you run your paper through our plagiarism checker . It checks for instances of accidental plagiarism and scans for spelling and grammatical errors. Even if you think you have every verb , adverb , or interjection where it belongs, you may be surprised with what our innovative technology suggests.

Visit our EasyBib Twitter feed to discover more citing tips, fun grammar facts, and the latest product updates.

Listing of APA templates

Solution #1: How to cite a photo with no creator, date, or title in APA

  • Describe the photo and place brackets around it.
  • Add “n.d” with parentheses around it.
  • List where the reference was found without italics.
  • Follow with the URL information of where you found the photo if it was found online.

Example of a photo citation with no creator, date, or title

[Photograph of two hens in a barn]. (n.d). Theoretical Prints. http://Theoretical_Prints.org/two-hypothetical-hens/

Solution #2: How to cite a dictionary entry in APA

Dictionary entry in print

  • List the organization or the author’s name in last name, first name initial, and middle name initial (if there is one) with a period following.
  • Use n.d if the date is not listed.
  • List the name of the dictionary term. Capitalize the first letter and use a period after.
  • Write “In” followed by the name of the dictionary used. The dictionary name should be italicized.
  • In parentheses, write the volume abbreviated as “Vol.” followed by the volume number and page number. Add a period after it.

Examples for a printed dictionary entry citation

Hypothetical Association of Learning. (2014). Cake. In The Hypothetical Learner’s Dictionary (Vol. 2, p. 3).

Johnson, C. K. (2014). Cake. In The Hypothetical Learner’s Dictionary (Vol. 2, p. 3).

Dictionary entry from an online source

  • Use “n.d” if the date is not listed.
  • Write the name of the dictionary in italics and follow it with a period.
  • Write “Retrieved” then the date you accessed the entry online in this format: Month Day, Year. End it with a comma.
  • Write “from” and add the page URL.

Examples for an online dictionary entry citation

Hypothetical Association of Learning. (2014). Cake. In The Hypothetical Learner’s Dictionary.   Retrieved November 7, 2021, from https;//dictionary.hypothetical.org/dictionary/English/cake

Johnson, C. K. (2014). Cake. In The Hypothetical Learner’s Dictionary. Retrieved November 7, 2021, from https;//dictionary.hypothetical.org/dictionary/English/cake

Solution #3: How to ensure that an auto-generated citation in APA style is correct

  • Ensure that the correct number of people are accredited by counting the names in the source and the website citation.
  • Ensure that all names are spelled correctly.
  • If 2-20 authors are used, ensure that an ampersand is used before the last name.
  • If more than twenty authors are used, ensure that an ellipsis is used before the final author.
  • Check to make sure that the date is correct and that the month or year do not need to be adjusted.
  • Generally, works cited as a whole, such as books, are written in italics, while shorter works that are part of a bigger work, such as a chapter in a book or articles from a periodical (e.g., journal, magazine, newspaper, etc.), are usually in regular font.
  • The title of webpages are italicized, while the title of the site they are on is in regular font.
  • Social media post citations use the written post content (up to 20 words) as the title. This “title” should be italicized.
  • If using a chapter, make sure that the editor is accredited.
  • If using an article, make sure that the journal number is italicized and that the volume number is in parentheses.
  • Make sure that your links are active and that they bring you to the correct location. You may need to rewrite the link.

Published August 2, 2019. Updated March 10, 2020. 

Written and edited by Michele Kirschenbaum and Elise Barbeau . Michele Kirschenbaum is a dedicated school library media specialist and one of the in-house EasyBib librarians. Elise Barbeau is the Citation Specialist at Chegg. She has worked in digital marketing, libraries, and publishing.

APA Formatting Guide

APA Formatting

  • Annotated Bibliography
  • Block Quotes
  • et al Usage
  • In-text Citations
  • Multiple Authors
  • Paraphrasing
  • Page Numbers
  • Parenthetical Citations
  • Reference Page
  • Sample Paper
  • APA 7 Updates
  • View APA Guide
  • Book Chapter
  • Journal Article
  • Magazine Article
  • Newspaper Article
  • Website (no author)
  • View all APA Examples

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Go to www.easybib.com and follow the directions to create a citation. After you create a citation or citation list, you can choose APA as your citation style (default is MLA). APA is a premium style, so you will need a subscription or trial to EasyBib Plus in order to create citations in APA. Upgrade your account at https://www.easybib.com/upgrade .

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  • How to Quote | Citing Quotes in APA, MLA & Chicago

How to Quote | Citing Quotes in APA, MLA & Chicago

Published on April 15, 2022 by Shona McCombes and Jack Caulfield. Revised on May 31, 2023.

Quoting means copying a passage of someone else’s words and crediting the source. To quote a source, you must ensure:

  • The quoted text is enclosed in quotation marks or formatted as a block quote
  • The original author is correctly cited
  • The text is identical to the original

The exact format of a quote depends on its length and on which citation style you are using. Quoting and citing correctly is essential to avoid plagiarism which is easy to detect with a good plagiarism checker .

How to Quote

Table of contents

How to cite a quote in apa, mla and chicago, introducing quotes, quotes within quotes, shortening or altering a quote, block quotes, when should i use quotes, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about quoting sources.

Every time you quote, you must cite the source correctly . This looks slightly different depending on the citation style you’re using. Three of the most common styles are APA , MLA , and Chicago .

Citing a quote in APA Style

To cite a direct quote in APA , you must include the author’s last name, the year, and a page number, all separated by commas . If the quote appears on a single page, use “p.”; if it spans a page range, use “pp.”

An APA in-text citation can be parenthetical or narrative. In a parenthetical citation , you place all the information in parentheses after the quote. In a narrative citation , you name the author in your sentence (followed by the year), and place the page number after the quote.

Punctuation marks such as periods and commas are placed after the citation, not within the quotation marks .

  • Evolution is a gradual process that “can act only by very short and slow steps” (Darwin, 1859, p. 510) .
  • Darwin (1859) explains that evolution “can act only by very short and slow steps” (p. 510) .

Complete guide to APA

Citing a quote in mla style.

An MLA in-text citation includes only the author’s last name and a page number. As in APA, it can be parenthetical or narrative, and a period (or other punctuation mark) appears after the citation.

  • Evolution is a gradual process that “can act only by very short and slow steps” (Darwin 510) .
  • Darwin explains that evolution “can act only by very short and slow steps” (510) .

Complete guide to MLA

Citing a quote in chicago style.

Chicago style uses Chicago footnotes to cite sources. A note, indicated by a superscript number placed directly after the quote, specifies the author, title, and page number—or sometimes fuller information .

Unlike with parenthetical citations, in this style, the period or other punctuation mark should appear within the quotation marks, followed by the footnote number.

Complete guide to Chicago style

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Make sure you integrate quotes properly into your text by introducing them in your own words, showing the reader why you’re including the quote and providing any context necessary to understand it.  Don’t  present quotations as stand-alone sentences.

There are three main strategies you can use to introduce quotes in a grammatically correct way:

  • Add an introductory sentence
  • Use an introductory signal phrase
  • Integrate the quote into your own sentence

The following examples use APA Style citations, but these strategies can be used in all styles.

Introductory sentence

Introduce the quote with a full sentence ending in a colon . Don’t use a colon if the text before the quote isn’t a full sentence.

If you name the author in your sentence, you may use present-tense verbs , such as “states,” “argues,” “explains,” “writes,” or “reports,” to describe the content of the quote.

  • In Denmark, a recent poll shows that: “A membership referendum held today would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” (Levring, 2018, p. 3).
  • In Denmark, a recent poll shows that support for the EU has grown since the Brexit vote: “A membership referendum held today would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” (Levring, 2018, p. 3).
  • Levring (2018) reports that support for the EU has grown since the Brexit vote: “A membership referendum held today would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” (p. 3).

Introductory signal phrase

You can also use a signal phrase that mentions the author or source, but doesn’t form a full sentence. In this case, you follow the phrase with a comma instead of a colon.

  • According to a recent poll, “A membership referendum held today would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” (Levring, 2018, p. 3).
  • As Levring (2018) explains, “A membership referendum held today would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” (p. 3).

Integrated into your own sentence

To quote a phrase that doesn’t form a full sentence, you can also integrate it as part of your sentence, without any extra punctuation .

  • A recent poll suggests that EU membership “would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” in a referendum (Levring, 2018, p. 3).
  • Levring (2018) reports that EU membership “would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” in a referendum (p. 3).

When you quote text that itself contains another quote, this is called a nested quotation or a quote within a quote. It may occur, for example, when quoting dialogue from a novel.

To distinguish this quote from the surrounding quote, you enclose it in single (instead of double) quotation marks (even if this involves changing the punctuation from the original text). Make sure to close both sets of quotation marks at the appropriate moments.

Note that if you only quote the nested quotation itself, and not the surrounding text, you can just use double quotation marks.

  • Carraway introduces his narrative by quoting his father: “ “ Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone, ” he told me, “ just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had ” ” (Fitzgerald 1).
  • Carraway introduces his narrative by quoting his father: “‘Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone,’ he told me, ‘just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had ” (Fitzgerald 1).
  • Carraway introduces his narrative by quoting his father: “‘Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone,’ he told me, ‘just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had’” (Fitzgerald 1).
  • Carraway begins by quoting his father’s invocation to “remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had” (Fitzgerald 1).

Note:  When the quoted text in the source comes from another source, it’s best to just find that original source in order to quote it directly. If you can’t find the original source, you can instead cite it indirectly .

Often, incorporating a quote smoothly into your text requires you to make some changes to the original text. It’s fine to do this, as long as you clearly mark the changes you’ve made to the quote.

Shortening a quote

If some parts of a passage are redundant or irrelevant, you can shorten the quote by removing words, phrases, or sentences and replacing them with an ellipsis (…). Put a space before and after the ellipsis.

Be careful that removing the words doesn’t change the meaning. The ellipsis indicates that some text has been removed, but the shortened quote should still accurately represent the author’s point.

Altering a quote

You can add or replace words in a quote when necessary. This might be because the original text doesn’t fit grammatically with your sentence (e.g., it’s in a different verb tense), or because extra information is needed to clarify the quote’s meaning.

Use brackets to distinguish words that you have added from words that were present in the original text.

The Latin term “ sic ” is used to indicate a (factual or grammatical) mistake in a quotation. It shows the reader that the mistake is from the quoted material, not a typo of your own.

In some cases, it can be useful to italicize part of a quotation to add emphasis, showing the reader that this is the key part to pay attention to. Use the phrase “emphasis added” to show that the italics were not part of the original text.

You usually don’t need to use brackets to indicate minor changes to punctuation or capitalization made to ensure the quote fits the style of your text.

Scribbr Citation Checker New

The AI-powered Citation Checker helps you avoid common mistakes such as:

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apa citation quote

If you quote more than a few lines from a source, you must format it as a block quote . Instead of using quotation marks, you set the quote on a new line and indent it so that it forms a separate block of text.

Block quotes are cited just like regular quotes, except that if the quote ends with a period, the citation appears after the period.

To the end of his days Bilbo could never remember how he found himself outside, without a hat, a walking-stick or any money, or anything that he usually took when he went out; leaving his second breakfast half-finished and quite unwashed-up, pushing his keys into Gandalf’s hands, and running as fast as his furry feet could carry him down the lane, past the great Mill, across The Water, and then on for a mile or more. (16)

Avoid relying too heavily on quotes in academic writing . To integrate a source , it’s often best to paraphrase , which means putting the passage in your own words. This helps you integrate information smoothly and keeps your own voice dominant.

However, there are some situations in which quoting is more appropriate.

When focusing on language

If you want to comment on how the author uses language (for example, in literary analysis ), it’s necessary to quote so that the reader can see the exact passage you are referring to.

When giving evidence

To convince the reader of your argument, interpretation or position on a topic, it’s often helpful to include quotes that support your point. Quotes from primary sources (for example, interview transcripts or historical documents) are especially credible as evidence.

When presenting an author’s position or definition

When you’re referring to secondary sources such as scholarly books and journal articles, try to put others’ ideas in your own words when possible.

But if a passage does a great job at expressing, explaining, or defining something, and it would be very difficult to paraphrase without changing the meaning or losing the weakening the idea’s impact, it’s worth quoting directly.

If you want to know more about ChatGPT, AI tools , citation , and plagiarism , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.

  • ChatGPT vs human editor
  • ChatGPT citations
  • Is ChatGPT trustworthy?
  • Using ChatGPT for your studies
  • What is ChatGPT?
  • Chicago style
  • Paraphrasing
  • Critical thinking

 Plagiarism

  • Types of plagiarism
  • Self-plagiarism
  • Avoiding plagiarism
  • Academic integrity
  • Consequences of plagiarism
  • Common knowledge

A quote is an exact copy of someone else’s words, usually enclosed in quotation marks and credited to the original author or speaker.

In academic writing , there are three main situations where quoting is the best choice:

  • To analyze the author’s language (e.g., in a literary analysis essay )
  • To give evidence from primary sources
  • To accurately present a precise definition or argument

Don’t overuse quotes; your own voice should be dominant. If you just want to provide information from a source, it’s usually better to paraphrase or summarize .

Every time you quote a source , you must include a correctly formatted in-text citation . This looks slightly different depending on the citation style .

For example, a direct quote in APA is cited like this: “This is a quote” (Streefkerk, 2020, p. 5).

Every in-text citation should also correspond to a full reference at the end of your paper.

A block quote is a long quote formatted as a separate “block” of text. Instead of using quotation marks , you place the quote on a new line, and indent the entire quote to mark it apart from your own words.

The rules for when to apply block quote formatting depend on the citation style:

  • APA block quotes are 40 words or longer.
  • MLA block quotes are more than 4 lines of prose or 3 lines of poetry.
  • Chicago block quotes are longer than 100 words.

If you’re quoting from a text that paraphrases or summarizes other sources and cites them in parentheses , APA and Chicago both recommend retaining the citations as part of the quote. However, MLA recommends omitting citations within a quote:

  • APA: Smith states that “the literature on this topic (Jones, 2015; Sill, 2019; Paulson, 2020) shows no clear consensus” (Smith, 2019, p. 4).
  • MLA: Smith states that “the literature on this topic shows no clear consensus” (Smith, 2019, p. 4).

Footnote or endnote numbers that appear within quoted text should be omitted in all styles.

If you want to cite an indirect source (one you’ve only seen quoted in another source), either locate the original source or use the phrase “as cited in” in your citation.

In scientific subjects, the information itself is more important than how it was expressed, so quoting should generally be kept to a minimum. In the arts and humanities, however, well-chosen quotes are often essential to a good paper.

In social sciences, it varies. If your research is mainly quantitative , you won’t include many quotes, but if it’s more qualitative , you may need to quote from the data you collected .

As a general guideline, quotes should take up no more than 5–10% of your paper. If in doubt, check with your instructor or supervisor how much quoting is appropriate in your field.

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McCombes, S. & Caulfield, J. (2023, May 31). How to Quote | Citing Quotes in APA, MLA & Chicago. Scribbr. Retrieved February 22, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/working-with-sources/how-to-quote/

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  5. How to Quote

    How to Quote | Citing Quotes in APA, MLA & Chicago Introducing quotes. Make sure you integrate quotes properly into your text by introducing them in your own words,... Quotes within quotes. When you quote text that itself contains another quote, this is called a nested quotation or a... Shortening ...