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Citing Sources

Citation Examples in APA Format

Basic APA Reference Format

The basic APA format for a reference includes 4 elements: author, date, title, and source. The reference might also include a DOI or URL. In this tabbed box, there are specific examples for some of the most used types of references. See your instructor or the 7th Edition of the APA Manual for specific information on other types of resources that are not included in this reference guide.

Follow these guidelines for including DOIs or URLs:

  • If a print work has a DOI include it at the end of the reference. If it does not have a DOI, do not include a DOI or URL.
  • If an online work has a DOI include it at the end of the reference. If an online work has both a DOI and URL, only include the DOI. If an online work does not have a DOI, only include an URL if it leads the reader directly to the source. Do not use database URLs.
  • List DOIs and URLs as hyperlinks.
  • You can shorten a complex DOI


Friedman, T. L. (1999). The lexus and the olive tree. Farrar. 

Miller, G. A., Galanter, E., & Pribram, K. H. (1960). Plans and the structure of behavior. Henry Holt and Co.

  • In a work with two or more authors, write all authors’ names, last name first, in the order in which they appear in the source document, and separate them with commas.
Urry, L. A., Cain, M. L., Wasserman, S.A., Minorsky, P. V., & Reece, J. B. (2017). Campbell biology (11th ed.). Pearson.

For a selection from an edited book that has different authors for different chapters.

Valetk, H. A. (2006). A federal law criminalizing cyberstalking is needed. In J. Carroll (Ed.), Privacy (pp. 214-219). Greenhaven.


Teague, M. (2009, August). Isn’t she lovely? National Geographic, 216(2), 114- 125.

If the volume or issue is missing, omit them from the reference as shown below.

Carmichael, M. (2007, June 4). The changing science of pain. Newsweek, 40- 47.

If the article is in print, omit the URL.

Yervasi, C. (2008). Ouaga Saga, magical realism, and postcolonial politics. Research in African Literatures, 39(4), 40-57.

• Italicize both the title and volume number of the journal, but not the issue number.

Auerbach, J. D. (1986, June 22). Nuclear freeze at a crossroads. The Boston Globe, A19.
Schwartz, J. (1993, September 30). Obesity affects economic, social status. The Washington Post, pp. A1, A4.


United Nations. (2020, March 9). Amid COVID-19 constraints, UN women’s commission meets to push gender equality forward.

Other Examples

Generally, personal communications are indicated in the body of your writing and not in the reference list (because it is not a retrievable resource). However, if a professor requires that you include them in your reference list, check with that professor for the desired reference format. See the following examples for in-text citations for personal communications:


The interviewee explained his ideas (P.T. Samuels, personal communication, October 15, 2008). H. Matthews explained his ideas on the topic (personal communication, July 8, 2009).

Spielberg, S. (Director). (1993). Schindler’s list [Film]. Universal Studios.


The Slow Mo Guys. (2014, January 6). Super hydrophobic surface and magnetic liquid [Video]. YouTube.


Murimirwa, A. (2019, December). How repaying loans with social service transforms communities [Video]. TED Conferences. ransforms_communities


TEDx. (2012, January 13). Ivan Joseph: The skill of self confidence [Video]. YouTube.