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Citation Guides


The American Psychological Association (APA) Citation Style has become a very popular one with fields of study focused on using current resources.

The basic rule for APA citing within your writing, also known as in-text citing, is to include the author(s) last name and date. This is called the Author-Date convention.


Type of Citation Narrative Citation Parenthetical Citation
One work by one author Walker (2007) (Walker, 2007)
One work by two authors Walker and Allen (2004) (Walker & Allen, 2004)
One work by three or more authors Bradley et al. (1999) (Bradley et al., 1999)
Groups as authors (readily identified through abbreviation) National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH, 2003), then all following mentions in the narrative would be NIMH (2003) (NIMH, 2003)
Groups as authors (no abbreviation) University of Pittsburgh (2005) (University of Pittsburgh, 2005)

Source: American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. Washington, D.C.: Author.


APA Style uses parenthetical, author-date citations. The APA style discourages direct quotes and stresses the writer should try to describe other resources in their own words.

When you do need to quote, be sure to add the page or paragraph number to the citation after you note the date of the work. See examples below:

Example: "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (Seuss, 2007, pp. 7-8).

Example: "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (Seuss, 2007, para. 5).



Here are a few examples directly from the 7th edition of the APA:

Journal Article:  (Author Last Name, Initials, etc.). (YEAR). Journal article title: Only capitalize first words and proper nouns. Journal Title, volume (issue if available), page numbers. DOI if available

Grady, J. S., Her, M., Moreno, G., Perez, C., & Yelinek, J. (2019). Emotions in storybooks: A comparison of storybooks that represent ethnic and racial groups in the United States. Psychology of Popular Media Culture8(3), 207–217.


Book:  (Author Last Name, Initials, etc.). (YEAR). Book title: Only capitalize first words and proper nouns. Publisher.

Rabinowitz, F. E. (2019). Deepening group psychotherapy with men: Stories and insights for the journey. American Psychological Association.


Webpage:  (Author Last Name, Initials OR Organization Name). (YEAR). Webpage name. Website name (if available). URL

Fagan, J. (2019, March 25). Nursing clinical brain. OER Commons.


Newspaper/Magazine Article:  (Author Last Name, Initials OR Organization Name). (Year, Month, Day). Article title: Only capitalize first words and proper nouns. Journal Title, volume, page numbers or URL

Carey, B. (2019, March 22). Can we get better at forgetting? The New York Times

Click here for more examples:

How to Cite the UpToDate Database

This page contains a reference example for an article from the UpToDate database. Source: APA Style. Section 10.1 of the APA Publication Manual.

Bordeaux, B., & Lieberman, H. R. (2020). Benefits and risks of caffeine and caffeinated beverages. UpToDate. Retrieved February 26, 2020, from

  • Parenthetical citation: (Bordeaux & Lieberman, 2020)
  • Narrative citation: Bordeaux and Lieberman (2020)
  • Articles in the UpToDate database are available only in that database and have information that changes over time.
  • In the reference list, format UpToDate articles like periodical articles. Italicize the database name in the reference like a periodical title, but do not italicize the database name if it appears in the text.
  • Use the year of last update in the date element.
  • Include a retrieval date because the content is designed to change over time and versions of the page are not archived.

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