APA Reference Formatting

6th Edition


Thumb Rules of Thumb

  1. Never spell out an author's or editor's first or middle name.

  2. Always use an ampersand (&) before the final author or editor's name. Do not spell out "and."

  3. Never change the order of multiple authors from the way they are listed on the item.

  4. Always start with the smallest part. A chapter is smaller than a book so when referencing a book chapter the chapter author and title go before the book editor(s) and book title. An article is smaller than a journal so the article title goes before the journal title.

  5. Always put a space after a period.

  6. Never put a period after a url or a DOI number

  7. Always indent the second line and any following lines (a hanging indent).

  8. Never use a link that goes to a subscription database like EBSCO or WilsonWeb.

Thumb Rules of Thumb with a Few Exceptions

  1. Only the first word, the first word after a colon, and proper names are capitalized in titles. The exception is periodical names such as journals, newspapers or conference proceedings.

  2. Only the year goes in the date field. The exception is when the source is published very frequently like a newspaper, newsletter, or monthly magazine.

  3. Italicize the biggest part. A book is bigger than a chapter so when referencing a book chapter the book title is italicized and the chapter title is not. A journal is bigger than an article so the journal name is italicized and the article title is not. The exception is informally published materials. In blog posts, YouTube videos, message board posts, etc. nothing is in italics.

  4. Always double space unless your instructor tells you not to.

Digital Object Identifiers

Before talking about journal article reference formatting we need to talk briefly about Digital Object Identifiers (also known as DOI numbers). DOI numbers are unique alpha-numeric strings assigned to articles. No two articles will have the same DOI number. Whenever you reference an article you need to try to find the DOI number. They are often printed on the front page of the article like this:

Sometimes at the bottom of the page

doiExample1 

Sometimes at the top of the page:

doiExample2 

If the DOI number is not printed on your article, there are a couple of places to find it. One option is to search for your article on Google Scholar and click on the article title in the search results instead of the "Find at IUPUI" link. Clicking on the title will normally take you to the publisher's page for the article where they normally have the DOI listed:

doiExample3

The other option is to go to the CrossRef DOI Lookup site. There you enter the required information about your article and search the CrossRef database for the DOI:

CrossRef

 

A Book with a Single Author

Example:

King, K. P. (2005). Bringing transformative learning to life. Malabar, FL: Krieger.

Let's break it down:

  1. King, K. P. - The author's name formatted last name, comma,space, first initial, period, space, middle initial, period. Author's names are always formatted this way. Never spell out the author's first or middle name. This is true for books, articles, etc.

  2. (2005). - The publication date formatted as the year only inside parentheses and followed by a period and a space. Publication dates are always formatted inside parentheses for any source and they use only the year except when the source is published very frequently like a newspaper or a monthly magazine.

  3. Bringing transformative learning to life. - The title of the book formatted in italics and followed by a period. Note that only the first word, the first word after a colon, and proper names are capitalized in book, chapter, and article titles.

  4. Malabar, FL: Krieger. - The publication location and the publisher separated by a colon and followed by a period.

 

It all works basically the same for other variations:

A Book with Two or more Authors

Example:

Mellow, G. O., & Heelan, C. (2008). Minding the dream: The process and practice of the

        American community college.
Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Note the differences:

  1. The second author is added after the first and separated from the first by a comma and an ampersand. An ampersand is always used before the final author - never the word "and."

  2. Simply add additional authors in the order they appear on the book. Make sure to separate them with commas and place the ampersand before the final author.

  3. If you have a book with more than seven authors provide the first 6 followed by ellipses followed by the final author.

A Later Edition of a Book

Example:

Merriam, S. B., Caffarella, R. S., & Baumgartner, L. M. (2007). Learning in adulthood: A

        comprehensive guide
(3rd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Note the differences:

  1. The edition is noted after the book title in parentheses and not in italics. It is always formatted as the edition number followed by "ed." - the word "edition" is never spelled out.

  2. The third author is added after the second and separated from the second by a comma and an ampersand.

 

An ebook

Example:

Anderson, T. & Ellhoumi, F. (Eds.) (2008). Theory and practice of online learning (2nd

        ed.). Athabasca, Canada: University of Athabasca. Retrieved from

        http://cde.athabascau.ca/online_book/

Note that there are examples in the APA Publication Manual differentiating between a print version and an electronic version of a traditionally printed book. Students in the department can feel free to reference all traditionally published books in the standard book form whether you have a paper copy or are using Ebrary or netLibrary.

The main thing to remember when referencing a book chapter in an edited volume is to always start with the author of the chapter - not the editor of the book. If the entire book is authored by the same person(s) you simply reference the whole book. Only reference individual chapters if the book is an edited volume.

A Book Chapter in an Edited Book

Example:

Bounous, R. (2001). Teaching as political practice. In V. Sheared & P. A. Sissel (Eds.),

      Making space: Merging theory and practice in adult education
(pp. 195-208).

      Westport, CT: Bergin & Garvey.

Let's break it down:

  1. Bounous, R. - The author's name formatted last name, comma,space, first initial, period, space, middle initial, period. Author's names are always formatted this way. Never spell out the author's first or middle name. This is true for books, periodicals, etc. As with books generally, second authors and editors are added after the first and separated from the first by a comma and an ampersand. For multiple authors and editors, simply add additional names in the order they appear on the book. Make sure to separate them with commas and place the ampersand before the final name. If you have a chapter with more than seven authors provide the first 6 followed by ellipses followed by the final author.

  2. (2001). - The publication date formatted as the year only inside parentheses and followed by a period and a space. Publication dates are always formatted inside parentheses for any source and they use only the year except when the source is published very frequently like a newspaper or a monthly magazine.

  3. Teaching as political practice. - The chapter title formatted in plain text and followed by a period. Note that only the first word, the first word after a colon, and proper names are capitalized in book, chapter, and article titles. Also note that the chapter title is NOT italicized.

  4. In V. Sheared & P. A. Sissel (Eds.), - Book editors formatted as "In", first editor initials and last name, ampersand, second editor initials and last name, "(Eds.)," Note that here the initials come before the last name. This is the only place this occurs. Also note that the word "editors" is not spelled out. It should always be abbreviated either (Ed.) or (Eds.) depending on the number of editors.

  5. Making space: Merging theory and practice in adult education - The book title formatted in italics and using the same capitalization rule as the chapter title. Note that the book title is always in italics and the chapter title is not. The rule of thumb here is that the largest part is italicized. The book is larger the the chapter so the book is italicized and the chapter is not. This is the same for journal articles - the journal title is italicized, the article title is not.

  6. (pp. 195-208). - The page numbers of the chapter inside parentheses and followed by a period. This is the only place you will us "pp." in front of page numbers.

  7. Westport, CT: Bergin & Garvey. - Publication location and publisher separated by a colon and followed by a period.

A Reprint of a Chapter or Article Previously Printed Elsewhere Now Compiled in an Edited Book

Example:

Jarvis, P. (2011). Rediscovering adult education in a world of lifelong learning. In S.

Merrriam & A. Grace (Eds.), The Jossey-Bass reader on contemporary issues in adult

education (pp. 113-119). San Fransisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. (Reprinted from International

Journal of Critical Pedagogy, 1(1), 1-6.)

Let's break it down:

  1. Jarvis, P. - The author's name formatted last name, comma,space, first initial, period, space, middle initial, period.

  2. (2011). - The publication date of the edited book formatted as the year only inside parentheses and followed by a period and a space.

  3. Rediscovering adult education in a world of lifelong learning. - The chapter title formatted in plain text and followed by a period.

  4. In S. Merrriam & A. Grace (Eds.) - Book editors formatted as "In", first editor initials and last name, ampersand, second editor initials and last name, "(Eds.),"

  5. The Jossey-Bass reader on contemporary issues in adult education - The book title formatted in italics and using the same capitalization rule as the chapter title.

  6. (pp. 113-119). - The page numbers of the chapter inside parentheses and followed by a period.

  7. San Fransisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. - Publication location and publisher separated by a colon and followed by a period.

  8. (Reprinted from International Journal of Critical Pedagogy, 1(1), 1-6.) - Information on the original publication follows the normal reference and is in parentheses. Formatted as "(Reprinted from" followed by the original journal or book title. If it is a journal, the title should be followed by the volume and issue number and the page numbers formatted as they would be for a standard journal article reference. If it is a book, the book title should be followed by the year of publication, the publication place, and publisher (i.e. (Reprinted from A book on things, 2004, New York, NY: PersonalPublishing)

The Special Case of New Directions for . . . .

Jossey-Bass publishes several quarterly mongraphs under the titles of New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education | Teaching and Learning | Community Colleges | etc. Each volume has an editor or editors and chapters written by a variety of individuals. Since it is published quarterly and has a volume number there is tendency to want to reference it like a journal. According to Jossey-Bass chapters in a volume of New Directions are to be referenced as chapters in an edited book with some stipulations.

Example:

Roberts, N. A., & Plakhotnik, M. S. (2009). Building social capital in the academy: The

nature and function of support systems in graduate adult education. In C. R. Nanton & M.V.

Alfred (Eds.), New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education: No. 122. Social capital

and women’s support systems: Networking, learning, and surviving (pp. 43- 52). San

Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Let's break it down:

  1. Roberts, N. A., & Plakhotnik, M. S. - We're still beginning with the chapter author's name formatted last name, comma,space, first initial, period, space, middle initial, period. Author's names are always formatted this way. Never spell out the author's first or middle names.

  2. (2009). - The publication date formatted as the year only inside parentheses and followed by a period and a space. Even though the volume will say Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter only the year is used in the date field.

  3. Building social capital in the academy: The nature and function of support systems in graduate adult education. - The chapter title formatted in plain text and followed by a period. Note that only the first word, the first word after a colon, and proper names are capitalized in book, chapter, and article titles. Also note that the chapter title is NOT italicized.

  4. In C. R. Nanton & M.V. Alfred (Eds.), - Volume editors formatted as "In", first editor initials and last name, ampersand, second editor initials and last name, "(Eds.)," Note that here the initials come before the last name. This is the only place this occurs. Also note that the word "editors" is not spelled out. It should always be abbreviated either (Ed.) or (Eds.) depending on the number of editors.

  5. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education: No. 122. Social capital and women’s support systems: Networking, learning, and surviving - This is that part that is different. YOu need to include the full name of the series (New Directions for ...) in title case followed by a colon, "No." for number, and the volume number followed by a period. This is then followed by the title of the volume you are referencing in standard chapter case. This whole piece is formatted in italics.

  6. (pp. 43- 52).. - The page numbers of the chapter inside parentheses and followed by a period. This is the only place you will us "pp." in front of page numbers.

  7. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. - Publication location and publisher separated by a colon and followed by a period.

 

Journal Article with a DOI

Example:

Taylor, M. C. (2006). Informal adult learning and everyday literacy practices. Journal of

        Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 49
(6), 500-509. doi: 10.1598/JAAL.49.6.5

Let's break it down:

  1. Taylor, M. C. - The author's name formatted last name, comma,space, first initial, period, space, middle initial, period. Author's names are always formatted this way. Never spell out the author's first or middle name. This is true for books, articles, etc. As with books, second authors are added after the first and separated from the first by a comma and an ampersand. For multiple authors, simply add additional names in the order they appear on the article. Make sure to separate them with commas and place the ampersand before the final name. If you have an article with more than seven authors provide the first 6 followed by ellipses followed by the final author.

  2. (2006). - The publication date formatted as the year only inside parentheses and followed by a period and a space. Publication dates are always formatted inside parentheses for any source and they use only the year except when the source is published very frequently like a newspaper or a monthly magazine.

  3. Informal adult learning and everyday literacy practices. - The title of the book formatted in normal type (no italics) and followed by a period. Note that only the first word, the first word after a colon, and proper names are capitalized in book, chapter, and article titles.

  4. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 49(6), - The journal title formatted in italics followed by a comma, the volume number in italics, the issue number NOT in italics and in parentheses, and another comma. Note that the journal title is capitalized in normal title case.

  5. 500-509. - Page numbers of the article followed by a period. Note that "pp." is NOT used here.

  6. doi: 10.1598/JAAL.49.6.5 - the DOI number.

 

Article without a DOI

Example:

McInnerney, J. M., & Roberts, T. S. (2004). Online learning: Social interaction and the

        creation of a sense of community. Educational Technology and Society, 7(3), 73-81.

        Retrieved from http://www.ifets.info/

Note the differences:

  1. The second author is added after the first and separated from the first by a comma and an ampersand. An ampersand is always used before the final author - never the word "and."

  2. In place of the DOI number you have to say "Retrieved from" and list the url of the journal web site. This is NOT the database page where you actually retrieved the article. The "Retrieved from" is an artifact of the 5th edition. Please don't let it confuse you. To find the journal web site you will need to search for it using Google or another search engine. Do not use any url that has "iupui.lib" anywhere in it.

Other text-based resources basically follow the same rules of thumb but with a few small adjustments.

Conference Proceedings

Example:

Rocco, T. & Peterson, E. A. (2007). Critical race theory: Nature and relevance. In R. C.

       
Young (Ed.), Proceedings of the 24th Annual Midwest Research to Practice

        Conference in Adult, Continuing, and Community Education
(pp. 195-208). Muncie,

        IN: Ball State University.

Articles in conference proceeding basically work like chapters in a book except the proceedings title is in title case like a journal.

Newspaper Article

Example:

Curtis, P. (2008, October 7). Oxford v Cambridge: Battle of the podcasts. The Guardian.

        Retrieved from http://www.guardian.co.uk/

Newspaper articles basically work like journal articles with no DOI except you have to add the month and day to the date. Note that you only put the url for the main newspaper site - not the direct link to the article - if you retrieved it online.

ERIC Document

Example:

Florez, M. C. (2001). Reflective teaching practice in ESL settings. Retrieved from ERIC

       database. (ED451733)

Make sure you have the ERIC document number

Informally Published Works*

Example of a paper posted on personal or institutional web site:

Nasseh, B. (1997). A brief history of distance education. Retrieved from http://www.bsu.

        edu/classes/nasseh/study/history.html

Example of a blog post:

Moore, C. (2009, August 8). Why you want to focus on actions, not learning objectives

        [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://blog.cathy-moore.com/2009/08/why-you

        -want-to-focus-on-actions-not-learning-objectives/

For a blog post you need to add the month and day of the post tand a bracketed note [Web log post]. Note that nothing here is in italics.

Unpublished Works

Unpublished and unarchived items such as email messages and memos are cited in the text as a personal communication but not listed on the references list.

Example of personal communication cited in text:

and the changes were made the following week. (C. Weathers, personal communication, April 23, 2008)

Example of course materials:

Young, J. C. (2007). Qualitative research [Course notes]. Retrieved from Oncourse Web

        site: https://oncourse.iu.edu/

Example of unpublished internal documents:

Marks, A. L. (2008, March 12). Recommendations for revision to course design template.

        Unpublished internal document, Stephens & Co.

Or, if no author is noted:

Stephens & Co. (2008, November). Policy for documenting off-site training. Unpublished

        internal document.

Give what you have of the date whether that is just the year, or the year and month, or year, month and day. If there is no date available use "n.a."


* For informally published media such as YouTube videos and podcasts please see the Video and Audio tab.

Motion Pictures

Example:

Zadan, C. (Producer), & Reiner, R. (Director). (2007). The bucket list [Motion picture].

        USA: Warner Bros.

List the producer and director where you would normally list the author for a written work.

Series Episode

Example:

Novak, B. J. (Writer), & Ramis, H. (Director). (2007). Safety training [Television series

        episode]. In G. Daniels (Executive producer), The office. New York: NBC.

These work like a book chapter - the series is the book and the episode is the chapter. List the episode writer and director where you would normally list the chapter author and then the producer in the book editor place.

YouTube Video

Example:

Chotani, I. (2008, September 21). Spotlight on Malcolm Knowles [Video file]. Retrieved

        from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4iMFu4CnLQ

Note here that nothing is in italics. The same format is used if the video is posted at any other video hosting site.

Podcasts

Example:

King, K. P. (2009, August 2). The teachers' podcast [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from

        http://www.podcastforteachers.org/

Note that the name of the podcast is used - not the name of the episode even though you are referencing one episode by date.


Jeani YoungdotDepartment of Adult EducationdotIndiana UniversitydotCreative Commons License

last updated January 23, 2013