Whenever you write a paper, you draw from existing sources of information. It is important to acknowledge those sources when you write your own paper. But how exactly do you write an acknowledgement of a source you incorporated into your paper? What does a source citation look like?
The following guide can help you write citations in the American Psyschological Association (APA) style. (And yes, the APA style is used by many different disciplines, not just psychology).
Citations consist of two elements:
- A quick note in the text of your paper anytime you use an existing source of information. The "in-text citations" tab above shows you how to include a note in the text of your paper when you use a source.
- A complete list of the sources you used at the end of your paper. The tabs above will show you how to present a webpage, article, book, encyclopedia, or DVD in the list of references at the end of your paper. General guidelines on how you present a your list of references include:
- Reference list starts on a new page. Type the word "References" centered at the top of the page.
- Double-space all reference list entries
- The first line of each reference is set at the left margin and subsequent lines are indented ½ inch
- Arrange alphabetically, not by format (book, journal, etc)
Please see the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association for further info. The library has one copy of the Manual in the Ready Reference section on the second floor of the library, and one held on 24 hour reserve.
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How to reference a Website using the Chicago Manual of Style
The most basic entry for a website consists of the author name(s), page title, website title, web address, and date accessed.
Last Name, First Name. “Page Title.” Website Title. Web Address (retrieved Date Accessed).
Smith, John. “Obama inaugurated as President.” CNN.com. http://www.cnn.com/POLITICS/01/21/obama_inaugurated/index.html (accessed February 1, 2009).
The first author’s name should be reversed, with a comma being placed after the last name and a period after the first name (or any middle name). Titles and affiliations associated with the author should be omitted. A suffix, such as a roman numeral or Jr./Sr., should appear after the author’s given name, preceded by a comma.
For a page with two or more authors, list them in the order as they appear on the website. Only the first author’s name should be reversed, while the others are written in normal order. Separate author names by a comma.
Smith, John, and Jane Doe. “Obama inaugurated as President.” CNN.com. http://www.cnn.com/POLITICS/01/21/obama_inaugurated/index.html (accessed February 1, 2009).
If no author is available, begin the citation with the website owner.
Cable News Network. “Obama inaugurated as President.” CNN.com. http://www.cnn.com/POLITICS/01/21/obama_inaugurated/index.html (accessed February 1, 2009).
The full page title, which is followed by a period, should be placed within quotation marks. Place the period within the quotation marks. Then include the website title, followed by a period. If the website title is not available, include the website owner in its place.
Smith, John. “Obama inaugurated as President.” Cable News Network. http://www.cnn.com/POLITICS/01/21/obama_inaugurated/index.html (accessed February 1, 2009).
Include the web address of the page. Next, place the text “accessed” and the date on which you accessed the website (written in the format of “month day, year”) in parentheses. Conclude the citation with a period after the parentheses.
For informal websites (such as home page or fan websites) or websites without formal titles, use descriptive phrases in your citation in place of page or website titles.
If the website has a print counterpart, such as the website for a newspaper, place the website title in italics.
Smith, John. “Catalonia Declares Independence from Spain.” New York Times. http://www.newyorktimes.com/POLITICS/11/21/catalonia_spain.html (accessed February 1, 2017).
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