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APA Citation & Formatting : Dictionaries

Attention Students!

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.

How Do I Cite Dictionaries?

Reference List Entry: Format (10.2-10.3)
Author. (Date). Title. Publisher. URL if applicable.

Please note! The citation style for print and electronic dictionaries is the same.

Remember! The author is the person(s) or the group responsible for creating the work (9.7), and can include the editor, or a group or organization.

Example:
Waite, S. (Ed.) (2012). Paperback Oxford English Dictionary (7th ed.). Oxford University Press.

Remember! The edition statement is part of the title. If a work has an edition statement, the edition is included in parentheses following the title (10.2). The edition is not included in the in-text citation.

Please Note! To find the date of publication and the name of the publisher for a book, check the title page verso. This page contains all of the publishing information, and is usually the second or third page in a book. It appears before any indexes or introductions to the book.

Parenthetical Citation (Paraphrase)
(Author, Date), or (Author & Author, Date), or (Author et al., Date) for dictionaries with three or more authors, e.g.: (Waite, 2012)

Parenthetical Citation (Direct Quotation)
(Author, Date, Page number), or (Author & Author, Date, Page number), or (Author et al., Date, Page number) for dictionaries with three or more authors, e.g.: (Waite, 2012, p. 107)

Narrative Citation (Paraphrase)
Author (Date), Author and Author (Date), or Author et al. (Date) for dictionaries with three or more authors, e.g.: Waite (2012)

Narrative Citation (Direct Quotation)
Author (Date, Page number), Author and Author (Date, Page number), or Author et al. (Date, Page number) for dictionaries with three or more authors, e.g.: Waite (2012, p. 107)

Remember! For in-text citations of works with two authors, list the last names of both authors. For works with three authors or more, list the last name of the first author followed by et al. 

Reference List Entry: Format (10.2-10.3)
Author, A. & Author, B. (Date). Title. Publisher. URL if applicable.

Remember! In a reference list entry, up to 20 authors' names can be listed. 

Example:
Stevens Curl, & J., Wilson, S. (2015). Oxford dictionary of architecture (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press.

Remember! The edition statement is part of the title. If a work has an edition statement, the edition is included in parentheses following the title (10.2). The edition is not included in the in-text citation.

Please Note! To find the date of publication and the name of the publisher for a book, check the title page verso. This page contains all of the publishing information, and is usually the second or third page in a book. It appears before any indexes or introductions to the book.

Parenthetical Citation (Paraphrase)
(Author, Date), or (Author & Author, Date), or (Author et al., Date) for dictionaries with three or more authors, e.g.: (Stevens Curl & Wilson, 2015)

Parenthetical Citation (Direct Quotation)
(Author, Date, Page number), or (Author & Author, Date, Page number), or (Author et al., Date, Page number) for dictionaries with three or more authors, e.g.: (Stevens Curl & Wilson, 2015, p. 273)

Narrative Citation (Paraphrase)
Author (Date), Author and Author (Date), or Author et al. (Date) for dictionaries with three or more authors, e.g.: Stevens Curl and Wilson (2015)

Narrative Citation (Direct Quotation)
Author (Date, Page number), Author and Author (Date, Page number), or Author et al. (Date, Page number) for dictionaries with three or more authors, e.g.: Stevens Curl and Wilson (2015, p. 273)

Remember! For in-text citations of works with two authors, list the last names of both authors. For works with three authors or more, list the last name of the first author followed by et al. 

Please Note!

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.