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APA Documentation

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When you use the words or original ideas of another person in your writing, you need to document, or give credit to, the sources of those words or ideas. If you use the exact words from the original, quotation marks are necessary. If you paraphrase or restate the idea in your own words, don’t use quotation marks, but document the source.

In the APA (American Psychological Association) format (7th ed., from 2020), you briefly identify your sources in the text of your paper, then give the full information in the Reference List at the end of the paper.

Identify Sources in the Text


Cite the author’s last name in the text of your paper. (This is called a signal phrase.) Then, in parentheses, include the publication date and any other information required. If you don’t name an author in your text, give the author’s name and date in parentheses at the end of the sentence, along with other required information. See the examples below.

If you refer to the entire contents of a reference and mention the author:

According to Larson (2009), there is a trend toward waiting to marry and toward postponing the birth of the first child

If you do not mention the author in the text, include it at the end of the sentence, separated from the publication date by a comma:

Child support payments can be withheld from wages in more and more states (Schorr, 2001).

If you want to refer to a web address:

The Texas Attorney General's Office web site has Texas child support information (https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov).

If you refer to a specific portion of a reference, such as a direct quotation, include the page or chapter number at the end:

Fredersen (1997) notes that "natural fathers aren't the only ones raising children on their own. As more families split up, social workers note that stepfathers increasingly are being called on to bring up other people's kids" (p.62).

At the turn of the century many men worked long hours, which entailed their absence from the family for most of the day: That was not a rejection of fatherhood but a necessary element of it (MacNeil & O'Brien, 2002, chap. 5).

If you refer to publications with no author given, then place the first 1-3 key words from the title in quotes instead of using a name. If no date is supplied, then type n.d. instead. Some digital full-text sources do not have page numbers. In these cases, page numbers may be omitted from the in-text citation, but a paragraph number may be used instead:

Homes with absent fathers cost taxpayers $99.8 billion per year ("National Fatherhood," n.d., para. 2).

If you refer to a source that is cited in another (secondary) source, name the original source in your signal phrase. Include the secondary source in your list of references and refer to it in parenthesis in your text:

In My Life in Art, Stanislavski explains how puppetry influenced his acting (as cited in McBain, 2005, p. 132).
Note: If possible, find the original source and cite directly from it instead.

Cite the U.S. Constitution beginning with U.S. Const., followed by the article, amendment, section, and/or clause as needed, abbreviating them as art., amend., §, and cl., respectively:

The constitution includes a means for new states to join the union (U.S. Const. art. IV, § 3).

The Reference List

A reference list has all the sources used in your paper arranged in alphabetical order by the authors’ last names or, if a source lists no author, by the title (ignore a, an, and the). If you have a type of source not covered in the following examples, ask a librarian to show you the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.)

Works by multiple author

For up to 20 authors, list names and initials for all. For more than 20 authors, list the first 19 names, followed by three ellipses, and, finally, add the name of the last author.

A second work by the same author

List in date order, with older before newer. Repeat the author’s name.

Information from Webpages and Websites

Always furnish at least a document title or description, a date if given, and an Internet address (URL). If possible, identify the authors as well. Check the APA Web page for further information -- apastyle.apa.org.

Online sources

Include the Digital Object Identifier (DOI), if given, in the form of a doi.org URL. For a periodical article or ebook from an academic research database, do not include database information or a URL, unless the database publishes works of limited circulation or original, proprietary content. If a periodical article has a URL that will resolve for readers (e.g., it is from an online journal that is not part of a database), include the URL of the article at the end of the reference.

Retrieval dates for online and Internet sources

Do not include a retrieval date unless the content is likely to change over time, such as a wiki that is publicly edited.

The U.S. Constitution

Begin the citation with U.S. Const., followed by the article, amendment, section, and/or clause as needed, abbreviated as art., amend., §, and cl., respectively. Use Roman numerals for articles and amendments.

Basic Reference List Formatting

Print Books:

Last name, Initials. (Year published). Title of book. Name of Publisher.

Print Periodicals

Last name, Initials. (Year, Month and day published). Title of article. Title of Periodical, Volume number(issue number), pages.

Periodical Articles from an Online Database:

Last name, Initials. (Year, Month and day published). Title of article. Title of Periodical, Volume number (Issue number), pages. URL of DOI (if available).

Web Pages:

Web pages have several factors that can affect their citations. See the last section below for examples.

Example Reference List

Note: Always integrate all source types (print, online, etc.) into a single alphabetical list. Double-space the list and indent any line of an entry subsequent to its first line (use a “hanging indent” style).

Reference List Examples By Format

Print Sources:
Book with a corporate author

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Author.

Specialized, multi-volume encyclopedia

Cappenberg, R. P. (2004).  Family crises. In R. J. Corsini, (Ed.), Encyclopedia of psychology (2nd ed., Vol. 2, pp. 8-9).  Wiley.

Magazine article with an author

Fredersen, J. H. (1997, April 13). When fathers raise children alone. U.S. News and World Report, 112(14), 61-62.

Magazine article with no author

Gone rehabbing: Fathers in rehab. (2006, June 5). Parental Rehabilitation Magazine, 13(6), 5-9.

Scholarly journal article

Larson, G. (2009). Cross-cultural studies of fatherhood. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 47(3),18-24.

Book with editors

MacNeil, L., & O’Brien, M. B. (Eds.). (2002). The father figure (3rd ed.). Tavistock.

Book

McBain, R. W. (2005). The father as actor and hero. Harvard University Press.

Newspaper article with author given

Schorr, B. (2001, April 12). States cracking down on fathers dodging child-support payments. New York Times, A1, A14.

Government document with the same author and publisher

U.S. Department of Justice. (1999). Child-support payment laws (ACLW Publication 16).  Author.

A work or chapter within a larger work

Valsiner, J. (1989). The father’s role in the social network of the Soviet child. In M.E. Lamb (Ed.), The role of the father in child development (pp. 187-201).  Wiley.

Pamphlet

Weiderman, S. G. (1995). Becoming a father.  Chicago, IL:  National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse.

 

Audiovisual Sources:
Streaming video from library source such as Films on Demand

Films Media Group. (2009). Fathering: What it means to be a dad  [Video].  https://fod.infobase.com/PortalPlaylists.aspx?wID=79355&xtid=41268

Web video such as from YouTube

TED. (2013, January 23). Colin Powell: Kids need structure [Video]. YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhYnouvrG_8

Audiovisual work on a disc

Wilson, P. (Producer). (1994). When fathers desert families [DVD]. Maxwell.

 

Online Sources From Library Databases:
Article from an online database with no DOI

Evans, G. (1998, May 15). A father’s place is in the home.  New Statesman  & Society, 11(4385), 22-23.

Scholarly journal article from an online database with a DOI

Forste, R. L., Bartkowski, J., & Jackson, M. A. (2009). "Just be there for them": Perceptions of fathering among single, low-income men. Fathering: A Journal of Theory, Research, & Practice about Men as Fathers7(1), 49-69. https://doi:10.3149/fth.0701.49

Electronic book from an ACC library

Goldberg, W. A. (2014). Father time: The social clock and the timing of fatherhood Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137372727

Online encyclopedia article

Kohama, S. (2002). Genetics: Parental influence. In D. J. Ekerdt (Ed.), Encyclopedia of aging (Vol. 2, pp. 553-555). Macmillan Reference USA.

 

Online Sources From the Web:
Magazine article directly from the web

Wilcox, W. B. (2013, June 14). The distinct, positive impact of a good dad: How fathers contribute to their kids' lives. The Atlantic, https://www.theatlantic.com/sexes/archive/2013/06/the-distinct-positive-impact-of-a-good-dad/276847

Web newspaper article with author

Hauser, C. (2015, August 15). Beckham defends daughter’s pacifier, stirring parenting debate. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/12/nytnow/david-beckham-defends-his-daughters-pacifier-use.html

Web page whose content may change over time

National fatherhood initiative research. (n.d.). http://www.fatherhood.org/research.asp

Radio or television transcript from a web page

Gross, T. (Host.) (1998, January 13).  Geoffrey Canada: The destructive myths of masculinity [Radio broadcast transcript]. WHYY. https://freshairarchive.org/segments/destructive-myths-masculinity

 

Example - References

Note:  Always integrate all source types (print, online, etc.) into a single alphabetical list. 
Double-space the list and indent any line of an entry subsequent to its first line (use a "hanging indent" style).

 

References

Ames, M. (2014). Where have all the good men gone?: A psychoanalytic reading of the absent fathers and damaged dads on ABC's LostJournal of Popular Culture47(3), 430-450. https://doi.org/10.1111/jpcu.12139

Cappenberg, R. P. (2004).  Family crises. In R. J. Corsini, (Ed.), Encyclopedia of psychology (2nd ed.,  Vol. 2, pp. 8-9).  Wiley.

Doucet, A. (2013). A 'choreography of becoming': Fathering, embodied care, and new materialisms. Canadian Review of Sociology50(3), 284-305. https://doi.org/10.1111/cars.12016

Gone rehabbing: Fathers in rehab. (2006, June 5). Parental Rehabilitation Magazine, 13(6), 5-9.

Larson, G. (2009). Cross-cultural studies of fatherhood. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 47(3), 18-24.

McBain, R. W. (2005). The father as actor and hero. Harvard University Press.

National fatherhood initiative research. (n.d.). http://www.fatherhood.org/research.asp

TED. (2013, January 23). Colin Powell: Kids need structure [Video]. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhYnouvrG_8

Weiderman, S. G. (1995). Becoming a father. National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse.


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