This guide is a starting point only. For full details on correctly citing resources and creating references, please consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th ed. (2020).
It is important to remember that Library staff do not teach APA, and will not evaluate or correct work. If you need help with APA Style, contact your instructor, or contact the Student Success Hub to request a meeting with a peer tutor or the Writing Clinic.
Please Note! This list includes the types of resources that students are most likely to use. It is not a complete list, and it is still in development. If you do not see the kind of resource you are using on this list, consult the Publication Manual,contact the Library for help, or contact Peer Tutoring or the Writing Clinic.
Why use APA Style?
Using APA Style helps writers, including students, to present their ideas in a clear, consistent way. APA Style also helps the writer to cite all of their sources in a standard format. Finally, using APA Style helps the reader to find the same sources of information used by the author.
What does "citing a source" mean? Why do I need to cite sources?
When an instructor talks about citing a source, or creating references, they're talking about giving credit for the information that students use in an assignment. It is expected that all writers, including students, give credit for information that is a) not their own original idea, or b) not common knowledge. If a student is unsure if information is common knowledge, they should check with their instructor. When in doubt, provide a citation.
Giving credit for information that was taken from other sources is important. Failure to correctly cite sources is considered plagiarism, which is a serious offense. Students at Loyalist College who are found to have plagiarized may fail the assignment or the course, and if plagiarism occurs multiple times, students may be removed from their program.
How do I create a citation?
There are two parts in a citation - the in-text citation and the reference list entry. An in-text citation appears in the body of the assignment as either a parenthetical or narrative citation. In-text citations are short and typically consist of the last name of the author and the date of publication. For every in-text citation, there is a corresponding reference list entry, which provides more details about the source.
Remember! When creating a citation, look at more than the record in the Library's catalogue. Look at the material itself, either on the shelf or in an electronic format. Important citation information can be found in multiple places, and it is the responsibility of the student to make sure they have carefully examined the material to find the information required for the citation.
What is a reference list? (9.0)
A reference list appears at the end of an assignment, and it provides the information needed to identify and retrieve each work cited in the text. More information on creating reference list entries can be found in the How Do I Cite . . .? box (left), or in chapter nine of the Publication Manual. Instructions on formatting the reference list can be found until the Formatting Assignments tab.
To create a reference list entry, it is important to identify what kind of resource is being cited (9.1). It is important to remember that the way a work was accessed or obtained (e.g.: online, in print, through interlibrary loan), and the format (e.g.: print vs. PDF, DVD vs. streaming), has very little impact on the reference list entry. For example, both printed books and eBooks are cited the same way, because both are books.
What information is included in a reference list entry? (9.4)
All reference list entries follow a similar formula, and a reference has four main parts:
More information on each of these elements can be found under the tabs in this box.
Accuracy and consistency in references is important because it allows readers to find and access the works on the reference list (9.6). For students, accurate and consistent references and citations also help instructors to mark assignments accurately.
What is an in-text citation? (8.10)
In-text citations appear in the body of a paper or other assignment, and they briefly identify a work by author and date of publication. In-text citations also help the reader to find the full reference list entry in the reference list at the end of the paper. In-text citations must have corresponding reference list entries.
What kinds of in-text citations can be used? (8.11)
There are two types of in-text citations - parenthetical and narrative. Parenthetical citations appear in parentheses, or brackets, following the information being cited. Narrative citations are part of the text of the assignment.
Formatting: Parenthetical Citations (8.11)
Parenthetical citations include the last name of the author and the date of publication in parentheses, or brackets, following the information being cited. In cases where a work has two authors, give the last name of both authors, separated by an ampersand (&), followed by the date (Table 8.1). For works with three authors or more, the last name of the first author is listed, followed by et al., and the date, e.g.: (Delisle, 2019), or (Shimoni & Clark, 2016), or (Brown et al., 2015).
How do I create an in-text citation for works with no author?
If a work has no author, use a shortened form of the title, followed by the date.
Formatting: Narrative Citation (8.11)
Narrative citations include the name(s) of the author(s) in the text of the paper, with the date of publication appearing in parentheses, or brackets, immediately after, e.g.: Glauser (2016) notes that cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS) is underdiagnosed and . . .
Alternately, the year can be included in the text, e.g.: In 2016, Glauser observed that cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS) was underdiagnosed. . .
Do I include page numbers?
When paraphrasing, a page number is not necessary. If a direct quotation is used, a page number is required, and should be included after the date in the in-text citation.
More information on creating in-text citations for specific kinds of resources can be found in the How Do I Cite . . .? box (left), or in chapter eight of the Publication Manual.
What is an author? (9.7)
In a reference, the author is the person(s) or the group responsible for creating the work. An author can be a single person, multiple people, a group such as an institution or a government agency, or a combination of individuals and groups. This includes the author(s) of books, articles, reports, and other written works. Others who played a primary role in the creation of a work can also be included as "authors" in a reference. This includes directors, producers, hosts, artists, composers, and more. The person(s) or group listed as as being responsible for the work depends on the kind of work being cited, e.g.: the director of a film or the host of a podcast.
How do I find the name of the author?
Authors of print works are usually listed on the cover or title page of a book, or the first page of an article. Sometimes, the name of the author needs to be determined from context, and it can take time to find this information. For example, the author of a webpage or website might be found under an "About Us" section, and the name of a director or producer might be found in the credits of a film. If a student is unsure of how to find the name of an author, they should check with their instructor, the Library, or with the drop-in writing centre.
How do I cite an editor? (9.10, 10.2)
If only an editor(s) is listed, cite them as you would an author, followed by the abbreviation (Ed.) or (Eds.), for multiple editors, e.g.: Lymer, L-Ann. & Carney, W.W. (Eds.) (2015). Fundamentals of public relations and marketing communications in Canada. Pica Pica Press.
If both an author(s) and an editor(s) are listed, their names are cited differently depending on the kind of material. For more information, click on the "How Do I Cite. . .?" tab and select the type of resource from the drop-down menu, or consult the Publication Manual.
What if there is no author? (9.12)
If no author is listed and the author cannot be determined from context, the work is treated as having no author, and the title of the work becomes the first piece of information listed in the reference, followed by the date in parentheses, and then the source information, e.g.: Title. (Date). Publisher.
Students should use the following guidelines when recording the author in a reference:
How do I find the date of publication? (9.13)
APA Style recommends using the following dates for specific sources:
What are retrieval dates? When are they included in a reference? (9.16)
Some online resources are designed to be updated or to change, such as social media pages. Other resources are designed to reflect information that changes over time, such as a map generated by Google Maps, or a webpage that is frequently updated. In these cases, use "n.d." (see Formatting, below), and include "Retrieved from", followed by the exact date, after the title.
What if there is no date? (9.17)
If the date of a work is unknown or cannot be determined, APA Style recommends using the abbreviation "n.d.", which stands for "no date". This appears in brackets following the author's name, e.g.: Beaton, K. (n.d.). French Revolution Comics. Retrieved from http://www.harkavagrant.com/index.php?id=273, July 14, 2019.
Students should use the following guidelines when recording the date in a reference:
When a work stands alone, e.g.: a book, the title of the work is listed as the title in the reference. When a work is part of a larger work, e.g.: an article in a journal, the title of that part is listed as the title in the reference, and the title of the larger work, e.g.: the title of the journal, is listed as as part of the source.
What if there is an edition statement? (10.2)
An edition statement is part of the title. If the work has an edition statement, it is included in parentheses following the title, e.g.: Title (2nd Ed.).
What if the title is in a different language? (9.38)
When citing a work in another language, provide a translation of the title in square brackets after the original title, e.g.: L'abri [The shelter]. When citing a work that uses a different alphabet, APA Style advises transliterating the alphabet into the Roman alphabet, used in English, French, and other languages. If it is not possible to transliterate the language, APA Style states that it is acceptable to reproduce the original alphabet in the paper, and include the translation in square brackets.
What if there is no title? (9.22)
For works with no title, include a description in square brackets instead, e.g.: [Map showing the population density of Canada as of the year 2019].
Students should use the following guidelines when recording the title in a reference:
For works that stand alone, the source is the publisher, e.g.: when citing a something from a print book, the publisher of the book is the source. For works that are part of a greater whole, that greater whole is the source, e.g: when citing an article from a journal, the journal is the source, along with any DOI or URL, if the article is electronic.
Students should use the following guidelines when recording the source in a reference:
What are DOIs and URLs? (9.34)
The DOI or URL is the final component of the reference list entry, and either a DOI or URL is included in a reference list entry when the source is retrieved online. DOIs, or digital object identifiers, are strings of letters and numbers that act as a persistent link to the source. The DOI is usually found on the first page of an article, and it starts with "DOI", "https://doi.org", or "http://dx.doi.org". (See example below.) URLs are persistent links to information on the Internet. URLs can be found in the address bar of the web browser. (See example below.)
How are DOIs and URLs formatted? When are they included in a reference? (9.34, 9.36)
This guide is based on the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th ed. (2020). Library staff have reviewed the information in this guide, and to the best of our knowledge, it is accurate. However, mistakes do occur. Students bear sole responsibility for ensuring that their citations are correct, and that their assignments meet the criteria laid out by their instructor. Students are encouraged to contact Peer Tutoring or the Writing Clinic for assistance.