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APA Style 7th ed Citation Guide - Langara Library

General Notes: APA Style 7th Edition

This guide provides examples, in APA 7th edition, for citing common types of sources and identifying them in the text of your essay. The American Psychological Association (APA) style for documentation is widely used in the fields of behavioral, health and social sciences such as education, nursing, nutrition and food services, and psychology.

For more information, consult the 7th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (BF 76.7 P83 2020). Print copies are available at Langara Library, including in Reserves and at the Reference Desk.

Major Changes in Citation Style from APA 6th to 7th edition 

In-Text Citations 
  • Have been simplified. All in-text citations with three or more authors are shortened to the name of the author plus “et al.”  
Reference List 
  • Up to 20 author names are to be included before names are omitted with an ellipsis  
  • Both URLs and DOIs are presented as hyperlinks. The label "DOI" is no longer used. The words "Retrieved from" are only used when a retrieval date is also needed.  
  • Book references now omit the publisher location.

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, 20 authors. Use an ampersand before the final author's name.
  • When authors number 21 or more, include the first 19 authors' names, then insert three ellipsis points,and add the last author's surname and initials.

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.


  • For books (and other works that stand alone such as reports and videos) give the title in this section
  • For journal/magazine articles or book chapters (works that are part of a greater whole) give the article or chapter title in this section.


  • For books (and other stand-alone works) give the publisher or website as well as a DOI or URL if applicable.
  • For journal/magazine articles or book chapters (and other works that are part of a greater whole) give the title of the larger work such as the journal/magazine title, or book title. 
  • For journal/magazine articles also give the volume and issue number. Also give a DOI or URL if applicable.

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.


Learn about how to cite sources using APA style. The tutorial covers a number of topics, including paraphrasing, quoting, and in-text citations.