APA Style: General Info

If you are directly quoting from a work, you will need to include the author, year of publication, and the page number for the reference (preceded by "p."). Introduce the quotation with a signal phrase that includes the author's last name followed by the date of publication in parentheses.

  1. Example (one author): According to Jones (1998), "Students often had difficulty using APA style, especially when it was their first time" (p. 199).   OR
  2. Example 2: Jones (1998) found that "students often had difficulty using APA style" (p. 199); what implications does this have for teachers?
If the author is not named in a signal phrase, place the author's last name, the year of publication, and the page number in parentheses after the quotation.
  1. Example (no author): In the article “Using APA in College,” (1998) it was reported that “students often had difficulty using APA style, especially when it was their first time" (p. 199). 
  2. Example (one author): She stated, "Students often had difficulty using APA style" (Jones, 1998, p. 199), but she did not offer an explanation as to why.
Other examples with authors in signal phrases:
  1. Example (two authors): Jones and Smith (1998) reported that “students often had difficulty using APA style, especially when it was their first time" (p. 199). 
  2. Example (three to five authors): In 1998, Jones, Smith, Banks, and Johnson reported that “students often had difficulty using APA style, especially when it was their first time" (p. 199). 
  3. Example (six or more authors): According to Jones et al. (1998), "Students often had difficulty using APA style, especially when it was their first time" (p. 199). 

The phrase "et al." takes the place of the other authors, and must have a period after it. 

What about citing a "primary source" in a "secondary source?" In this example, you were using a work by "Jones," but Jones herself used an author named "Culver" in her work:

  • According to Culver (as cited in Jones, 2009), learning APA "can be tough, but like any skill, it just takes practice" (p. 23).  In addition, the mastery of APA increases an author's chance of scoring well on an assignment (Culver, as cited in Jones, 2009). 

Remember to include only the secondary source in your reference list.

"Block" quotations (for longer quotes):

  • In papers using APA style, direct quotations that are 40 words or more should be placed in a block quote. See “MLA General Info” handout for an example of a block quote.

References:

  • Your reference list should appear at the end of your paper. It provides the information necessary for a reader to locate and retrieve any source you cite in the body of the paper. Each source you cite in the paper must appear in your reference list; likewise, each entry in the reference list must be cited in your text.
  • Your references should begin on a new page separate from the text of the essay; label this page "References" centered at the top of the page (do NOT bold, underline, or use quotation marks for the title). All text should be double-spaced just like the rest of your essay. See the following:

For additional examples of in-text citations and References entries, see Purdue OWL online.