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APA Style Citation Guide - Langara Library

Langara will transition to APA 7th ed. in September 2020


The American Psychological Association (APA) style for documentation is widely used in the fields of behavioral and social sciences such as education, nursing, nutrition and food services, and psychology. This guide provides examples, in APA 6th edition, for citing common types of sources and identifying them in the text of your essay.


For more information, consult the 6th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (BF 76.7 P83 2010). Print copies are available at Langara Library, including one at the Reference Desk.

Reference List

  • A reference list is a list of all the sources cited in the text of your paper. The entries are arranged alphabetically by the last names of the authors (or by the title, if no author or editor is given).
  • Start the reference list on a new page at the end of your paper. Use the word References as the heading of the page and center it. All reference entries are double-spaced.
  • Begin each entry flush with the left margin, and indent the subsequent line(s) 0.5 inch from the left margin.

Reference Components


  • Invert all authors' names - give surnames and initials for up to, and including, seven authors.
  • When authors number eight or more, include the first six authors' names, then insert three ellipsis points,and add the last author's name.

Publication date

  • For books and journal articles, give the year that the work was published.
  • For articles from magazines and newspapers, give the year and the exact date of the publication (month or month and day), separated by a comma and enclosed in parentheses. If the date is given as a season, give the year and the season.

Journals/Magazines: Title and volume/issue number

  • Give the journal/magazine title in full, in uppercase and lowercase letters.
  • Italicize the journal/magazine title and the volume number, if any.
  • If each issue of a journal/magazine begins on page 1, give the issue number in parentheses immediately after the volume number. Do not italicize it.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier)

  • A DOI is a unique alphanumeric string assigned to a document. It is most commonly assigned to scholarly journal articles.
  • A DOI is typically located on the first page of the online journal article, near the copyright notice. Some article databases (e.g., PsycINFO) include DOIs in the records.
  • Some online journal articles, not all, include a DOI. Cite the DOI, when available. See detailed notes regarding citing DOIs in the "Articles (Online)" section of this guide.

Examples of References

You may not always find guidelines or examples specific to the kind of source you want to cite. Keep in mind that the intent of the reference list is to give enough information for the reader to locate the works. Do the best you can, and make sure the format of all your references is consistent. When in doubt, err on the side of more, rather than fewer, details.