APA Demystified in 5 Minutes

In this video, Purdue Global Writing Center Tutor, Kurtis Clements explains the basics of APA and what it means to write a paper in APA style. Note. This video presents APA 7th Edition. Refer to the previous version of this video for APA 6th Edition here: https://youtu.be/yrrv8BdGwGY.

NEW! Common Citations in APA (7th Edition)

What is APA?

The American Psychological Association (APA) established writing and documentation guidelines in 1929, so readers could easily understand the major points and findings in scientific research. Today, APA Style is used across the disciplines as a standard style for academic and professional writing. APA Style helps writers think critically, communicate clearly and precisely, and document sources ethically. This tutorial on APA citations and references follows the guidelines of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association seventh edition. 

What are Citations and References?

Citations and references are forms of documentation. We must document the ideas, theories, definitions, data, images, and other information in our writing that originated with other authors, researchers, and artists. For example, our work must include documentation when we quote, paraphrase, or summarize another’s ideas or when using data from others’ research. Documentation means including select information about a source “in text” and including additional bibliographic information about that source in a “reference list entry.” In APA Style, for every retrievable source cited in text, there is a corresponding reference list entry with that retrieval information. 

Why Do We Document Sources? 

Documentation is how we establish our credibility as researchers and writers. It is how we write ethically and with integrity. Writing often involves using the ideas, theories, definitions, data, and images of others in order to support or refute our theses. Documentation is how we give credit to others for their contributions to our work. Documenting sources also differentiates our original ideas from the source contributions and enables readers to locate the original source to learn more about it. Documenting sources with in-text citations and reference list entries also prevents plagiarism, which “is the act of presenting the words, ideas, or images of another as your own” (APA, 2020, p. 254). 

In-Text Citations

APA Style in-text citations use the author-date system. In this system, the citation identifies a source used in the “text” (the body of a piece of writing) by providing the source’s author and the date of publication. Additional rules apply for in-text citations for varying source types and paraphrasing, but there are two primary types of in-text citations: narrative and parenthetical.

Narrative Citations

In narrative citations, the author’s name is part of a sentence and usually appears in a signal phrase that introduces the quoted, paraphrased, or summarized information. The second part of the citation, the publication year,  then appears in parentheses immediately following the author’s name. Here is an example: 

Smith (2010) recognized that more online learning opportunities are needed to reach marginalized high school students and decrease the dropout rate.

When citing a quotation using a narrative citation, the author’s name is used in the sentence, the date is given in parentheses after the author’s name, and the specific part of the source where the quote appears such the page, paragraph, time stamp on a video, or bar on a graph goes in parentheses after the quote and before any punctuation. Here are two examples: 

Smith (2010) stressed, “The importance of dedicated study time for online courses is crucial for student success” (p. 3). 

In his TEDX Talk video, Mulvey (2013) said, “Time is too long. Space is too large” (6:18).

Parenthetical Citations

In parenthetical citations, the author-date information goes after the paraphrase in parentheses as in the following example: 

Online learning opportunities are needed to reach marginalized high school students and decrease the dropout rate (Smith, 2010)

For a quotation, the parenthetical citation contains the author and date, and it also contains the specific part of the source such as the page or paragraph number or the timestamp of a video as in this example:

Many researchers have agreed: “Online education is a viable way to help working adults earn a college degree, but it is not for everyone” (Smith2010, p. 4). 

Author Names

An author may be an individual, multiple people, or a group such as an organization, company, or governmental agency. In an in-text citation, the format is to use the author or authors’ last names or the group author name. See No Author if a source does not specify an author.

Individual Author: (Hannah2010)

Multiple Authors: (Hannah & Lay2015); (Hannah, Lay, & Sleder2010)  

Group Author: (Hannah and Lay Company, 2020)

The URL, which stands for Uniform Resource Locator and is the web address for a source is not part of an in-text citation except in the rare cases that the URL is also the author’s name such as Drugs.com: (Drugs.com, n.d.).

Electronic Publications: Page Numbers

The in-text citation for a quotation includes the part of the source where the information is found. Page numbers are common in printed books and articles; however, for electronic sources without page numbers, you will need to provide another way for a reader to locate the original passage being quoted. The following options are acceptable: 

Paragraph number: (Mackenzie, 2018, para. 1)

Heading or section name: (Mackenzie2018, Highlands section).  In this example, the information being cited can be found on the source website or page under a section named "Highlands."

Both section and paragraph: (Mackenzie2018, Highlands section, para. 1)

For audiovisual works, provide the time stamp of when the quoted words begin: (Mulvey2013, 6:18).

Reference List Entries

Multiple Authors

Two authors.

For in-text citations, cite both names every time

(Rios & Pickle, 2010) or Rios and Pickle (2010) contend . . .

Note: The ampersand (&) is used between two authors when their names are written in parentheses but when when the names are written in the narrative. 

For reference list entries, cite both authors’ names (with the ampersand [&] between the names):

Rios, C. A. & Pickle, M. B. (2010). Fun and easy APA. Oxbow River Press.

Three or more authors.

For in-text citations, cite only the first author followed by et al.:

(Cairns et al., 2019) or Cairns et al. (2019) studied . . .

Note: Et al. is a Latin abbreviation for “and others.”

For a reference list entries, list the first 20 author names. Use an ampersand (&) before the last author’s name:

Author, A. A., Author B. B., Author, C. C., Author, D. D., Author, E. E., Author, F. F., Author, G. G., Author, H. H., Author, I. I., Author, J. J., Author, K. K., Author, L. L., Author, M. M., Author, N. N., Author, O. O., Author, P. P., Author, Q. Q., Author, R. R., Author, S. S., & Author, T. T.

For 21 or more authors, use three spaced ellipsis points ( . . . ) after the 19th author and then cite the last author’s name without an ampersand:

Author, A. A., Author B. B., Author, C. C., Author, D. D., Author, E. E., Author, F. F., Author, G. G., Author, H. H., Author, I. I., Author, J. J., Author, K. K., Author, L. L., Author, M. M., Author, N. N., Author, O. O., Author, P. P., Author, Q. Q., Author, R. R., Author, S. S., . . . Author, W. W.

Authors with the same surname.

If you have two or more different sources that have authors with the same surname, include the author’s first name initial in the in-text citation for the source used even if the date is different like this: 

(D. Martinez, 2001).

A narrative citation would look like this:

D. Martinez (2001) disagreed with S. Martinez (2003) in the findings . . .

In the reference list, D. Martinez would be alphabetized before S. Martinez.

Sources with the same author and year.

To tell references and in-text citations apart when the author and year are the same, add lowercase letters after the year: (2011a, 2011b, etc.). On the references list, first alphabetize the references by author name and then by title to determine which is “a” and which is “b.” 

Hood, R. M. (2011a). Where do I place commas? [Video file]. Available from http://www.wheredoIplaceacomma.com

Hood, R. M. (2011b). The writing process [Video file]. Available from http://www.thewritingprocess.com

Then add the letters to the corresponding in-text citations: (Hood, 2011a), (Hood, 2011b).

Sometimes there is missing information when formatting in-text citations and references. The following serves as guidance on how to handle those situations.

Missing month and/or day; missing volume and/or issue number; other missing information from template of reference citation: If a reference entry template shows to include information that is not available, omit the missing elements from the entry..

No Author: If a work does not specify an author or group author, use the title in place of the author.

  • The in-text citation for a paraphrase from article with no author: (“Whales in the Ocean," 2020)
  • The in-text citation for a quotation from a book with no author: (Plant -Based Cooking, 2020, para. 9)
  • The reference list entry for an article without an author begins with the title in sentence case (capitalizing the first word only and any proper nouns): 

Whales in the ocean. (2020). Ocean Life Magazine. https://www.oceanlife.com

  • The reference entry for a book or other whole work without an author begins with the title in sentence case and italics: 

Plant-based cooking. (2020). https://www.plant-basedcookingebook.com

  • Only use “Anonymous” as the author if the work specifically names the author as “Anonymous”: (Anonymous, 2020)

No Date. If no date is provided on the source, use n.d. in the date spot for both in-text citations and reference list entries. For example, an in-text citation would look like this: (Hendrix, n.d.).


Reference List Entries in APA Style (7th Edition)

A reference list entry should be provided for each source cited in text. Reference list entries have four elements: author, date, title, and source. The “source” here is the publication where the information was published such as a website, book, or periodical. Each element of the reference answers a question:

  • Author: Who is responsible for this work?
  • Date: When was this work published?
  • Title: What is this work called?
  • Source: Where can I retrieve this work?

Reference entries and in-text citations correspond: The author or title given in the in-text citation is the first element of the reference entry. The following formatting requirements apply to the reference list:

  • Title the reference list References in bold font, centered at the top of the page.
  • Double-space all reference list entries. Also use double spacing within entries. Do not use additional spacing between entries.
  • Reference entries are not numbered or bulleted.
  • Use a hanging indent for all references, so the first line of the entry is against the left margin and subsequent lines of the entry are indented a half inch.
  • Alphabetize the entries according to the author’s last name. If the entry does not include an author, begin the entry with the title followed by the year in parentheses and alphabetize according to the first significant word of the title. If the title begins with the words A, An, or The, alphabetize using the next word in the title.  Example: The title The Whales of the Atlantic Ocean would be alphabetized using the letter “W” because “Whales” is the first significant word.

DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers) and URLs (Uniform Resource Locators)

Resources available online have URLs, which are web links, or DOIs, which are unique strings of numbers that provide persistent and reliable links to resources. Here are some basic guidelines for URLs and DOIs in reference entries:

  • If a source has a DOI, include it in the reference entry. Some print texts also have DOIs. The DOI is often given near the copyright information at the beginning of a text.
  • Present DOIs and URLs as hyperlinks in the reference entry. Hyperlinks begin http:// or https://. DOIs will begin https://doi.org/. It is acceptable to use the shortDOI® Service to shorten long DOIs and an URL shortener service such as https://bitly.com/ to shorten URLs .
  • All hyperlinks should be live and may appear using the automatic formatting of the word processing program (for example in blue font and underlined) or they may appear in standard black font without an underline, but they should still be live links when clicked.
  • Do not include additional words before the hyperlink such as “Retrieved from” or “DOI.”

In-Text Citations


Notes on this sample reference list for student papers:

  • The reference list begins on a new page at the end of the paper before any tables or appendices.
  • The right margin of the header provides the page number, continued from the previous page.
  • The word References is centered on the first line under the header in bold font.
  • The citations are formatted using a “hanging indent” where the second and subsequent lines are indented a half inch under the first line in order to improve readability.
  • Double space the reference list, including within a reference entry.
  • Two or more works by the same author are ordered chronologically by publication date.
  • References with the same first author and a different second author are alphabetized by the second author.


Notes on this sample text (body) page for student papers:

  • The font should be the same throughout the paper. A default word processing font such as 11-point Calibri is recommended. Other acceptable fonts are 11-point Arial, 12-point Times New Roman, 10-point Lucida Sans Unicode, 11-point Georgia, or 10-point Computer Modern.
  • Use 1-in. (2.54-cm) margins all around.
  • The text should align with the left margin and be uneven along the right margin with one space between words and after punctuation.
  • Double-space the entire paper without extra spacing between paragraphs. Indent the beginning of each paragraph 0.5 in. which is typically one click of the Tab key.



Notes on this sample title page for student papers:

  • In the header of the document at the right margin, insert the page number.
  • In the upper half of the page, three to four lines down from the header, provide the title of the paper in bold, Title Case. 
  • Double space the title page and entire paper, adding an additional double-spaced line between the title and the “byline”—author name.
  • Provide the byline and related information in regular font. First provide the author’s name and affiliated university.
  • Next, provide the number and name of the course (Course Number: Name), the professor of the course, and due date.

Always check with your instructor about additional information required on this page.

In-Text Citations Parenthetical   Narrative 


(Jensen2010, p. 5)

Jensen (2010stated, "The results of this global warming study are skewed to present a problem that has political pull" (p. 5).


(Jensen, 2010)

Jensen (2010) believes the results are being misconstrued to support a political agenda.

Article Source      Reference Template and Example

Reference for a blog article

       Author, A. A. (Year, Month day). Title of article. Blog Title. URL



      Wayne, J. M. (2010, January 3)Finding balance. Health for Life. http://wayne.blogger.com/longdays 



Reference for an editorial article 

       Author, A. A. (Year). Title of article [Editorial]. Periodical Titlevolume(issue). pages. DOI or URL


       Michaels, J. C. (2020). The seeds of change [Editorial]. Nutrition Today, 10(4)2-3.  http://doi.org/10.1199/00104345678654


Reference for a journal article with a non-database URL 

       Author, A. A. (Year). Title of article. Journal Titlevolume(issue), pages. URL


       Jones, L. (2009). How to eat and stay slim. Journal  of Healthy Living, 4(3), 120. https://journalofhealthyliving.org 


Reference for a journal article without a DOI from an online research database or in print

       Author, A. A. (Year). Title of article. Journal Titlevolume(issue), pages.


       Stultz, L. (2012). The life of a traveling contractor. Urban Living3(4), 12-15.


       Note: Do not include the database name or URL.


Reference for a print or online journal article with a DOI 

       Author, A. A. (Year). Title of article. Journal Title, volume(issue), pages. DOI

        West, B. I. (2019). A study of decisions. Academics Journal, 5(10), 152-155. https://doi.org/12345678910


Reference for a magazine article online or in print

       Author, A. A. (Year, Month day). Title of article. Periodical Title, pages. URL if online

Godwit, F. L. (2008, August 12). Epic journey of the Bar-Tail. Birding Magazine, 8(1), 11-19. http://bit.ly.bar-tail-journey

Goldfinch, G. B. (2020, January 28). Bird migration: Tracking radar hampered by weather. The New Yorker. 12-13.

       Note: Magazines published in regular issues may have volume and issue numbers. Include the volume and issue if available in the format Title, Volume Number(Issue).

Reference for a newspaper article in print

       Author, A. A. (Year, Month XX). Title of article. Newspaper Title, pages.

       Fuller, C. (2009, August 17). Mismanagement of valley waterways causes havoc. The Clovis HeraldA3- A4.

Reference for a newspaper article online

       Author, A. A. (Year, Month XX). Title of article. Newspaper Title. URL

       Brooks, D. (2008, December 27). Mental health issues raise concerns. New Brunswick Times. http://www.newbrunswicktimes.com 





In-Text Citations Parenthetical   Narrative 

(Clements, 2011, 00:54.)

Include the audio time stamp of when the quote begins.

Clements (2011) said in his podcast, “To be terrific, you must be specific” (00:54).


(Clements 2011)

Clements (2011) said in his podcast that precise wording is key to writing well.

Audio Source  Reference Template and Example

Reference for a podcast

     Host, H. H. (Host). (Year, Month day). Title of work [Description]. Publisher or Department Name, University Name. URL



    Clements, K. (Host). (2020)Understanding documentation [Audio podcast]. Academic Success Center, Purdue Global. https://bit.ly/understandingdocumentation


      Note: If an element shown in the template is not available, omit it from the reference entry.



Reference for a song or track

    Artist, A. A. (Year). Title of song. On Title of album. Label. URL (if available)



    Callaghan, M. J. (2015). The depths of rain. On Bitter wind. TC Artists. 


Reference for a speech audio recording 

    Presenter, P. P. (Year, Month day). Title of speech [Speech audio recording].  Production Company or Site Name. URL



    Kennedy, J. F. (1961). Presidential inaugural address [Speech audio recording]. American Rhetoric. https://www.american‌rhetoric.‌com‌/speeches/jfkinaugural.htm  



In-Text Citations Parenthetical   Narrative 

(Martinez, 2009, p. 3)

Martinez (2009) said, “The way to learn APA is to use a guide as a cross-reference” (p. 3).

(Martinez, 2009)

Martinez (2009) said APA does not need to be memorized.
Article Source  Reference Template and Examples

Reference for a book with an author, print or electronic. (Also include the DOI if available for print source.)

     Author, A. A. (Year). Title of work. Publisher. DOI (if it has one) or URL (if it is an e-book without a DOI)


    Martinez, D. L. (2009). Writing with humor (2nd ed.). A1 Press.  http//doi.org‌/10.1036/0091393733​

Reference for a book with an editor, print or electronic

    Editor, E. E. (Ed.). (Year). Title of work. Publisher. DOI (if it has one) or URL (if it is an e-book without a DOI)


    Sexton, A. S. (Ed.). (2017). Transformational webinars. Simon and Schuster. http//doi.org‌/10.1036/0091393733 https://doi.org/10.13232323232325 


Reference for a chapter in a book with an editor

    Author, A. A. & Author, B. B. (Year). Title of chapter. In E. E. Editor, F. F.  Editor, & G. G. Editor (Eds.), Title of book (X ed., Vol. X, pp. xx-xx). Publisher.

    Boone, J. A. & Cairns, C. A. (2008). Writer’s block demystified. In K. Clements, M. L. Pickle, & L. V. Hanson (Eds.), Writers write right (3rd ed., pp. 23-37). Genius Press. 

   Note: Omit missing elements from the reference entry, such as the volume number in the above example.

Reference for an entry in a reference book with a group author (dictionary, encyclopedia, thesaurus)

   Group Author. (Year, Month XX). Entry title. In Title of source . Retrieved Month day, Year,  from URL


   Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Diaspora. In Merriam-Webster.com dictionary.  Retrieved February 28, 2020, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diaspora 


                Use “n.d.” for “no date” for entries that are continuously updated. Provide a retrieval date before the URL when the site is continuously updated and does not provide a permanent, archived link (as in a Wikipedia entry reference).


Reference for a volume in a multivolume work or a book in a series

    Author, A. A. & Author, B. B. (year). Title of work (Vol. X). Publisher. DOI (if it has one) or URL (if it is an e-book without a DOI)


    Breiter, A. L. & Pickle, M. A. (1999). Writer’s block demystified (Vol. 1). Hachette Book Group. https://doi.org/10.132444463232325


    Author, A. A. & Author, B. B. (year). Title (X ed.). Publisher. DOI (if it has one) or URL (if it is an e-book without a DOI)


    Mason, R. J. & Schram, B. L. (2016). Restaurant management (5th ed.). Randolph Press. https://doi.org/10.13244456782325


Reference for a Wikipedia entry

    Entry title. (Year, Month XX). In Wikipedia. URL


    Diaspora. (2020, February 28). In Wikipedia. https://bit.ly/wiki-diaspora


               Note: Wikipedia entries have permanent, archived links. On the Wiki page, select “View History” then the time and date of the version you used. The link in the address bar will be an archived link to that version.

In-Text Citation Parenthetical Narrative
Quotation (Sullivan, 2011, para. 3) Sullivan (2011) said, “Discussions help students learn from each other’s professional experience” (para. 3).
Paraphrase (Sullivan, 2011) Sullivan (2011) believes peer-to-peer learning results from discussion forums.
Discussion or Resource Reference Template and Examples

Classroom discussion or course resource

(Use a reference for internal sources only when the reader can access the source.

Otherwise, cite internal sources as a personal communication.)

Author, A. A. (Year, Month day).  Title or content of the post up to the first 20 words. Site Name. URL or Retrieved Date, from https://xxx


Sullivan, M. (2011, January 5). Prewriting feedback reflection. CM107 Unit 3 Discussion 1. Retrieved January 29, 2020, from  https://purdueglobal.brightspace.com/d2l/e/40068/discussions 


Purdue Global. (n.d.) Learning outcomes and assessment UG. Course Resources. Retrieved January 29, 2020, from https://purdueglobal.brightspace.com/d2l/le/content 


Note: Use a reference list entry for internal sources only when the intended reader, such as an instructor, can access the source. Otherwise, cite internal sources that require a login to access as a personal communication.)

Note: Include a retrieval date when a source is updated regularly and may appear different to a reader who accesses it on a different date. 



In-Text Citation Parenthetical Narrative
Quotation or Paraphrase (D. L. Martinez, personal communication, March 5, 2011) D. L. Martinez (personal communication, March 5, 2011) said, . . .
No Reference Entry Works only accessible to an internal group that are not retrievable by other readers of your paper such as interviews, emails, text messages, conversations, memos, and lectures do not appear in a reference entry on the references page. These sources require an in-text citation only.


Primary sources are original reports, findings, or works. Secondary sources are works that refer to primary sources and other secondary sources. If you are using a secondary source for your research, and it refers to another source or a primary source, whenever possible, locate the original source of the desired quote. If the original source is not available, use this “as cited in” method by citing the secondary source that you have while still attributing the quote in text to the original author or source.


In-text citation for a quotation


In this example, you are using Bragdon’s work, but the information you are citing actually comes from Wright’s work, so you acknowledge both works in text.

Wright’s report (2012, as cited in Bragdon, 2013) stated, “Obesity research indicates people need to drink more water” (p. 223).

Dehydration was shown as a common problem for those with obesity (Write, 2012, as cited in Bragdon, 2013).

Reference for the secondary source where you retrieved the primary source information.

Bragdon, A. A. (2013). Obesity research. Medical Journal, 23(4), 223-227.





In-Text Citations Parenthetical Narrative



(Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office [EERE], 2019, Supplementary Information, para. 5). 

Use brackets to enclose the abbreviation of a group author name first mentioned in parentheses.

  (EERE, 2019, Supplementary     Information, para. 5).

The Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office (EERE, 2019) reported "The cost for propane is derived from its price relative to that of heating oil"(Supplementary Information, para. 5).

Note: Abbreviate a group author if it is well-known and after using the full name one time in the text.

When page, numbers are not given, use the part of the source that would help a reader locate the quote such as the section heading and paragraph in this example. 

Paraphrase (Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office [EERE], 2019) The EERE(2019) based the cost of propane on the cost of oil. 
Report Type Reference Templates and Examples

Reference for a government report

If the author and publisher are the same, omit the publisher from the entry.

Author, A. A. & Author, B. B. (Year).Title of report (Report No. XXX if available). Publisher. DOI or URL


Burrows, M. J. & Peter, E. (2020). What world post-Covid-19? Three scenarios. Atlantic Council. https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/in-depth-research-reports/report/what-word-post-covid-19-three-scenarios/


Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office. (2019). Energy conservation program for consumer products: Representative average unit costs of energy (Report No. 2019-04245). US Department of Energy. https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EERE_FRDOC_0001-1398


Note: If the author and publisher are the same, omit the publisher element from the entry. Also omit any missing elements from the entry.

Reference for an issue brief

    Author, A. A. & Author, B. B. (Year).Title of brief [Issue brief] or (Issue Brief No. X). Publisher. DOI or URL


    Salas, R. N., Knappenberger, P., & Hess, J. (2018). 2018 Lancet countdown on health and climate change brief for the United States of America [Issue brief]. Lancet Countdown. https://bit.ly/2018Lancet


Note: If the a number for the brief is not provided, put the description "Issue brief" or "Policy brief if it is a policy brief in brackets after the title.

  Parenthetical Citations Narrative Citations
Quotation or Paraphrase


(PG Academic Success Center, n.d.)

Hughes (2020) posted, "Support local businesses first!  #takeouttuesday."

PG Academic Success Center (n.d.) has on its Twitter profile that "Tutors are available throughout the week to assist and support Purdue Global students with their course work." 

Note: When quoting, include any emojis or hashtags and use the same spelling as the original post even if the spelling is incorrect.

Media Source  Reference Template and Examples

Reference for a post or page on Facebook and others

   Author, A. A. or Name of Group [Username]. (Year, Month XX). Content up to the first 20 words [Description of audiovisuals such as Thumbnail with link attached, Video, or Infographic] [Type of post, for example Status update, Poll, Story, or Facebook page]. Site Name. URL or Retrieved Month XX, Year from URL if citing a page (Timeline, Album, Home, About…) that is regularly updated


    APA Style [APAStyle] . (2020, March 16). For an #APAStyle reference to a webpage, although there may seem to be no individual authors, the author is very [Thumb-nail with link attached] [Status update]. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/APAStyle/photos/a.419499744742118/4211771922181529/?type=3&theater


    Purdue University Global [PurdueGlobal]. (n.d.). Home [Facebook page]. Facebook. Retrieved May 4, 2020 from https://www.facebook.com/PurdueGlobal/ 

Reference for a post on Twitter or Instagram

   Author, A. A. [@username] or Group [@username]. (Year, Month XX). Content up to the first 20 words [Description of audiovisuals] [Type of Post]. Site Name. URL or Retrieved Month XX, Year from URL if a Highlight-a story featured on the Instagram profile 


    PG Academic Success Center [@PurdueGlobalASC]. (2020, March 23). Action plans for online learners: New video series [Thumb-nail with link attached] [Tweet]. Twitter. https://bit.ly/actionplansontwitter

   Purdue University Global [@purdueglobal]. (n.d.). Study break [Highlight]. Instagram. Retrieved April 20. 2020 from https://www.instagram.com/stories/‌‌highlights/18021688519263190/

Reference for online forums 

   Author, A. A. [Username] or Name of Group [Username]. (Year, Month XX). Content of the post up to the first 20 words  [Type of post]. Site Name. URL or Retrieved Month XX, Year from URL if referencing a page that is regularly updated


    National Aeronautics and Space Administration [nasa]. (2020, March 17). We are the NASA and university scientists who study exoplanets, the weird and wonderful planets beyond our solar system. [Online forum post]. Reddit. https://reddit.com/r/space/‌comments/‌g35wtm/we_are-the-nasa-and_university-scientists_who/


In-Text Citation Parenthetical Citation Narrative Citation
Quotation (Lessard, 2016, as cited in Michigan DNR, 2016, 0:27)

Rebecca Lessard, Founder/Director of Wings of Wonder (2016, as cited in Michigan DNR, 2016said, “The mission here is really about education” (0:27).

See the Primary Sources section for more about the “as cited in” format.

Paraphrase (Lessard, 2016, as cited in Michigan DNR, 2016) Rebecca Lessard, Founder/Director of Wings of Wonder (2016, as cited in Michigan DNR, 2016described the mission as one that teaches people to respect and appreciate raptors.
Type of Source  Reference Template and Examples
Reference for a Film

Director, D. D. (Director). (Year). Title of work [Film]. Production Company. URL if film is accessible by an URL


Gondry, M. (Director). (2004). Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind [Film]. Anonymous Content.


Reference for a recorded webinar (if the recording is retrievable; otherwise, cite as a personal communication)

   Instructor, I. I. (Instructor) (Year, Month XX). Title of work [Webinar]. Production Company or Department Name, University Name. URL


    Huston, T. (Instructor) (2020, March 17). Critical thinking and writing [Webinar]. Academic Success Center, Purdue Globalhttps://bit.ly/asc-criticalthinking


Reference for a YouTube video or other streaming video

Artist, A. A. [username]. (Year, Month XX).Title [Video]. Production Company, Label, or Site. URL


Michigan Department of Natural Resources [MichiganDNR]. (2016, November 10). Wings of Wonder: Raptor education, rehabilitation and research. [Video]. YouTube. https://youtu.be/m4jgfaxfo4k





In-Text Citations Parenthetical Narrative
Quotation (Park, 2015, slide 9) During her presentation, Park (2015) stated, “All parties must be equally represented at all meetings” (slide 9).

(Park, 2015)

Park (2015) said representation of every member is important at meetings.

Copyrighted photographs require permission for use by the copyright holder; however, permission is not required for using your own photography, a photo from a website such as Pixabay.com that provides free images that do not require attribution, Public Domain images, and Creative Commons licensed images. However a copyright statement in a Figure note under the image is required when using Creative Commons images, Public Domain images, and copyrighted images that you acquired permission to use.

Template and Examples for a Copyright Note for an Image:

Note. From (or “Adapted from” if you changed or cropped the original), Title of Image [Photograph], by A. Author, Year (URL). Creative Common License abbreviation or In the public domain or Copyright year by Copyright Holder. Reprinted or Adapted with permission (if permission of the copyright holder was sought and granted.)

Note. Tiger lilies holding water droplets. From Lilies After Rain [Photograph], by C. Cairns, 2015 (https://flic.kr/p/vDHife). CC BY 2.0.


Reference for a photograph

Artist, A. A. (Year).Title of image [Photograph]. Publisher or Site. URL


Cairns, C. (2015). Lilies after rain. [Photograph]. Flickr. https://www.‌flickr.com/photos/scotlandcairns/19461114229/ 

Reference for a PowerPoint or presentation slide

    Instructor, I. I. (Year, Month XX).Title of image  [PowerPoint Slide]. Production Company or Department Name, University Name. URL


    Park, L. (2011). Effective working teams [PowerPoint slides]. Business Center, Purdue Global. http://www.company.meetings/teams


In-Text Citations Parenthetical Narrative

(Smith & Jay, 2013, para. 10)

When page numbers are not given, use the section heading and/or paragraph number.

Smith and Jay (2003) are sure that the best way to “preserve nature is to plant native trees" (para. 10).

(Smith & Jay, 2013)

("Raising Roofs," n.d.)

Use the title in text for a work without an author. 

Smith and Jay (2013) believe the seeds of native trees are the key to environmental salvation.

Following the county’s affordable housing initiative, "Raising Roofs," (n.d.) reported 100 new homes have been built.

Reference for a website or webpage with an individual author

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Year or Year, Month day if available). Title of work. Site Name. URL or Retrieved Month XX, Year from URL if website is regularly updated. 

Smith, M., & Jay, J. (2013). Growing a better forest. Leelanau Trees.            http://www.leelanautrees/plant-native-trees.com


Reference for a website or webpage with a group author such as an organization or company

Author. (Year, Month day). Title of page. Site Name. URL or Retrieved Month XX, Year from URL if page is regularly updated.

National Geographic. (2011a). Hybrid Cuban-American crocodiles on the rise. http://bit.ly/24ndK95

National Geographic. (2011b). Iceman’s stomach sampled – filled with goat meat. http://bit.ly/1QAf58E

Note: When using two or more sources with the same author and year, add lowercase letters after the year (2015a, 2015b, etc.). First alphabetize the references by author name and then by title to determine which is “a” and which is “b.” Then also add the letters to the corresponding in-text citations. If the site name is the same as the author, omit the site name element from the reference.

Reference for a webpage with no individual or group author

         Title of page. (Year, Month day or n.d. if a date isn’t available). Site Name. URL or Retrieved Month XX, Year from URL if website is regularly updated.

      Raising roofs. (n.d.).  http://www.raisingroofs.com


Common Citations in APA (6th Edition): Click the tabs to view the in-text and reference citation formats.

In-Text Citations             


Signal Phrase


(Jensen, 2010, p. 5)

Note:  If no author is provided, use a shortened version of the title enclosed in quotation marks (“Immigration Rules,” 2009, p. 7).


Jensen (2010) stated, “The results of this global warming study are skewed to present a problem that has political pull” (p. 5).

A spokesperson for the Arizona Border Patrol said, “We have only so many rangers to guard hundreds of miles of border land; there are bound to be problems” (“Immigration Rules,” 2009, p. 7).


(Jensen, 2010)

Note:  If no author is provided, use a shortened version of the title enclosed in quotation marks (“Immigration Rules,” 2009).

Jensen (2010) believes the results were fabricated to cater to a certain political agenda.

The Border Patrol’s problems are too many miles to patrol and not enough rangers to patrol them (“Immigration Rules,” 2009).


Reference citation for a print journal

Author, A. A. (year of publication). Title of article. Title of Journal, volume(issue), page-page.

Stultz, L. (2012). The life of a traveling contractor. Urban Living, 3(4), 12-15.

Reference citation for a online journal article with no DOI

Author, A. A.  (date of publication). Title of article. Journal Title, volume(issue), page numbers. Retrieved from URL

Jones, L. (1990). How to eat and stay slim. Journal of Healthy Living, 4(3), 120-125.  Retrieved from http://journalofhealthyliving.org

Note: Give the journal home page as the URL. Do not reference the database where the resource was retrieved.

Reference citation for a print journal article with a DOI

Author, A. A. (date of publication). Title of article. Journal Title, volume(issue), page numbers. http://dx.doi.org/xxxx

VanNess, V. (2009). Understanding the Vikings. Journal of Norwegian History, 24(3), 223-227. http://dx.doi.org/10.1026/0098987677

Note: Do not put “Retrieved from” before the DOI link. Also correct is to put the DOI number after “doi:” as shown below:

VanNess, V. (2009). Understanding the Vikings. Journal of Norwegian History, 24(3), 223-227. doi: 10.1026/0098987677