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Citation and Formatting: APA Citation

An introduction to available materials on MLA, APA, Turabian/Chicago Styles, legal resources and legal citations.

APA Style Resources

About APA Citations

In-Text Citations:

Brief references in the text of the paper indicating the source used for a quote, paraphrase, or summary.

Direct readers' attention to corresponding entries on the References section.

Consist of the source authors' last names (or part of the source's title, when author names are unavailable), the year of publication, and a page number (when available), all enclosed in parentheses.

Short quotations
  • Within the normal paragraph format of your paper
  • Citation follows the quotation mark.
  • Punctuation follows the citation.
Long quotations
  • 40 words or more
  • Begin on a new line
  • Use no quotation marks
  • Indent the entire quotation an additional 1⁄2 inch (5 spaces, 1 tab).
  • Punctuation follows the quotation.
  • Citation follows the punctuation.
  • Every source quoted, summarized, or paraphrased in the body of your paper should be cited in the References section, and vice-versa.

Reference Citations

  • Listed in alphabetical order by first word in the references (normally the author's last name).
  • Use hanging indentation (every line except the first line is indented 1/2 inch, or 5 spaces, or 1 tab).

Citation Examples

Every source quoted, summarized, or paraphrased in the body of your paper should be cited in the References section, and vice-versa.

In the body of your paper, you must include - either in the body of the sentence or parenthetically - the source authors' last names and the page number (if there is one) where the information may be found.

Direct Quote

Direct Quote (Book, 2 Authors)


"For the most part, though, the oral microbiomes of people are rather healthy assemblages of cohabitating microbes" (DeSalle & Perkins, 2015, p. 104).


DeSalle, R., & Perkins, S. L. (2015). Welcome to the microbiome: Getting to know the trillions of bacteria and other microbes in, on, and around you.. Yale University Press.

Summary (Book, 3 Authors)

In text: 

Siegel, Schmalleger, and Worrall (2015) suggest that knowing how the courts work is important to students because of the power of the courts in our society (p. xi).

This text examines moral implications of court rulings as well as legal implications (Siegel et al., 2015, p. xi).


Siegel, L. J., Schmalleger, F., & Worrall, J.L. (2015). Courts and criminal justice in America (2nd ed.), Pearson.

Block Quote

Long Quote (Article, 1 Author)


For example, if I were writing about the history of the Supreme Court, I would introduce a block quote with contextualizing information. In this case, I might discuss how prominent political figures discussed Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes reverentially on Holmes's retirement. One scholar has written that

when time came to show the more mundane aspects of respect, the nation proved surprisingly stingy. Within a few months of Holmes’s resignation, a so-called Economy Act cut federal salaries and almost perversely targeted Holmes. One clause on resigned federal judges set a maximum pension of $10,000, which would cut Holmes’s income in half and would similarly threaten any other Supreme Court justice who resigned. (Glock, 2019, p. 47)

This text serves as a block quote, and the reader can see that there is no punctuation between the quote’s introduction and the quote itself. Note, too, that the quote’s end punctuation goes before the parenthetical citation.


Glock, J. (2019). Unpacking the Supreme Court: Judicial retirement, judicial independence, and the road to the 1937 court battle. Journal of American History, 106(1), 47–71.

More Documentation Examples

One or Two Authors

(Evers-Vermeul & Tribushinina, 2017, p. 27)

Evers-Vermeul, J., & Tribushinina, E. (2017). Usage-based approaches to language acquisition and language teaching. De Gruyter, Inc.


Three to Twenty Authors

(Sheikh et al., 2013, p. 23)

Sheikh, A., Platts-Mills, T., Worth, A., & Holgate, S. (2013). Landmark papers in allergy: Seminal papers in allergy with expert commentaries. Oxford University Press, Incorporated.


More Than Twenty Authors

(Jakobsson et al., 2012, p. 29)

Jakobsson, M., Mayer, L., Coakley, B., Dowdeswell, J. A., Forbes, S., Fridman, B., Hodnesdal, H., Noormets, R., Pedersen, R., Rebesco, M., Schenke, H. W., Zarayskaya, Y., Accettella, D., Armstrong, A., Anderson, R. M., Bienhoff, P., Camerlenghi, A., Church, I., Edwards, M., ... Weatherall, P. (2012). The international bathymetric chart of the arctic ocean (IBCAO) version 3.0. Geophysical Research Letters, 39(12), n/a.


Organization as Author

(APA, 2020, p. 37)

American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed).

Chapter or Essay in an Anthology

(Strain, 2019, p. 89)

Strain, C. (2019). The Ballot and the Bullet: Rethinking the Violent/Nonviolent Dichotomy. In Jeffries H. (Ed.), Understanding and Teaching the Civil Rights Movement (pp. 83-94). University of Wisconsin Press. doi:10.2307/j.ctvvsqcd0.12

Journal Article Examples

Journal Article (Print)

(Shreya & , 2015, p. 2259)

Shreya, K., Grande, D., & Trinh-Shevrin Chau. (2015). From rhetoric to reality - community health workers in post-reform U.S. health care. The New England Journal of Medicine, 372(24), 2277-2279.

Journal Article (With DOI)

(Ducharme et al., 2015, p. 269)

Ducharme, S., Albaugh, M. D., Nguyen, T., Hudziak, J. J., Mateos-Pérez, J., Labbe, A., Evans, A. C., & Karama, S. (2016). Trajectories of cortical thickness maturation in normal brain development -- the importance of quality control procedures. NeuroImage, 125, 267-279.

Journal Article (Without DOI)

(McCulloch et al., 2009, p. 1109)

McCulloch, P., Altman, D. G., Campbell, W. B., Flum, D. R., Glasziou, P., Marshall, J. C., & Nicholl, J. (2009). Surgical innovation and evaluation 3: No surgical innovation without evaluation: The IDEAL recommendations. The Lancet, 374(9695), 1105-12.

Online Video

(Heinz, 2015, 01:49)

Heinz, W., (2015, Nov. 1). Natalie (And the flea) [Video]. YouTube.

Social Media

(Glass, 2019)

Glass, E. [@erinroseglass]. (2019, Feb. 23). What if public libraries were open late every night and we could engage in public life there instead of having to choose between drinking at the bar and domestic isolation. [Tweet].

APA Style: A Brief Introduction

General Information:

  • Every source that you quote, summarize, or paraphrase must be cited. See Section 2.21, p. 45 for exceptions.

Formatting in the Body of Your Paper 

  • Margins: 1" all sides of the paper
  • Spacing: Double-spaced, no extra spaces between paragraphs
  • Header: Page number, right justified
  • Font: For reasons of accessibility, APA has suggested the following fonts:
    • Sans serif fonts: Calibri, 11 point; Arial, 11 point; Lucida Sans, 10 point
    • Serif fonts: Times New Roman, 12 point; Georgia, 11 point; Computer Modern, 10 point
  • Capitalization:
    • All words except articles, conjunctions, or prepositions of fewer than 4 letters.
    • The first word after a punctuation mark
    • Note that capitalization rules work differently in the References section
The Title Page:

All content on the title page should be centered.

Title: Begins upper half of first page, 3-4 lines below the page number, in bold type. Capitalize all words except articles, conjunctions, or prepositions of fewer than 4 letters.

Add one empty line after the title.


Institution: The school or other institution for which the paper was written

Class: The course number and name

Instructor's Name

Date due

Formatting References

References Section:

This section starts fresh on a new page after the body of your paper.

Center and bold the word "References" at the top of the first page of this section.

Capitalize titles of all works as follows:

  • Journals: 
    • All words except articles, conjunctions, or prepositions of fewer than 4 letters.
    • The first word after a punctuation mark
  • Books, Web Pages, Reports, etc.:
    • Capitalize the first word, proper nouns, and the first word after punctuation (like a colon).
  • Note that capitalization rules work differently in the body of your paper.

Hanging Indentation

Note: the following examples are in APA 7.

Using Word:

1) Ctrl+T - Place your cursor at the beginning of the second line of your citation.

Image depicting the text of a book citation. An arrow points to the space before the first word on the second line.

2) Press the control & the T keys at the same time (command + T on some operating systems).

Image depicts the text of a book citation. The second line is indented 5 spaces to the right of the first.


Using Google Docs:

1) Highlight your citations.

Image of highlighted book-citation text.

2) Select Format from the top tool bar. Select Align & Indent, then Indentation Options from the emergent menus.

Image showing successive menus.

3) In the resulting pop-up menu, select Special Indent, then Hanging, then click Apply.

Image depicts menu labeled "indentation options" with purple boxes around the selected items.

The resulting citation should look like this:

Image of book citation in hanging indentation.