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SOC 101 (Introduction to Sociology): APA Style

What is APA Style?

APA Style

Citation style from the American Psychological Association (APA).  For the social sciences, behavioral sciences, and many other sciences.

Features: Focuses on dates the study was published; page numbers may also be cited.  Features in-text parenthetical citations of author(s) and date: (Smith, 1998). A page number also must be added for quotes taken from a specific page: (Smith, 1998, p. 123).  Endnotes or footnotes may be used to add supplementary comments.

Citation Manual: Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association

Citation Examples: Books

Note: Examples based on the 6th edition, updated in 2009.  For questions about the changes see the APA Style Blog.


Lastname, Initial. (Year). Title of book. Place of publication: Publisher.

Single author
Howard, B. (1976). Boston, a social history. New York: Hawthorn Books.

Two or three authors
Gilbert, S. M., & Gubar, S. (1979). The madwoman in the attic: The woman writer
    and the nineteenth-century literary imagination
. New Haven:
     Yale University Press.

Editor or compiler as author
Monson, I. (Ed.). (2000). The African diaspora: A musical perspective. New York:

Article or chapter in a book
Bjork, R. A. (1989). Retrieval inhibition as an adaptive mechanism in human memory.
    In H. L. Roediger & F. I. Craik (Eds.), Varieties of memory & consciousness (pp.
    309-330). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Citation Examples: Periodicals

Note: Examples based on the 6th edition, updated in 2009.  For questions about the changes see the APA Style Blog.


Lastname, Initial. (Date). Title of article. Title of Periodical, Volume, Pages.

Article in a scholarly journal
Strecher, M. C. (1998) Beyond ‘Pure’ literature: Mimesis, formula, and the postmodern
    in the fiction of Murakami Haruki. Journal of Asian Studies, 57(2), 354-378.
NOTE: Issue number is included only if each issue begins on page 1.

Entire issue or special section of a journal
Barlow, D. H. (Ed.) (2006). Diagnoses, dimensions, and DSM-IV: The science of
    classification [Special issue]. Journal of Unusual Psychology, 235(3).

Article in a newspaper
Hall, C. (2002, August 18). Reliving the 1200’s with sweat, muscle, and no-tech tools.
    New York Times, p. B27.

Article in a popular magazine
Lacayo, R. (2002, Sept. 23). Kids are us! Time, 160, 68-70.

Periodical published annually
Fisk, C. (1978). Social cognition and social perception. Annual Review of Psychology,

Citation Examples: Electronic Resources

Note: Examples based on the 6th edition, updated in 2009.  For questions about the changes see the APA Style Blog.


  • Many scholarly publishers have begun assigning digital object identifiers (DOI).  A DOI is a unique alpha-numeric string that identifies content and provides a permanent link to the article's internet location.  When a DOI is available, include it instead of the URL.
  • You do not have to include the database name unless the book or document is extremely hard to find.  If you include the database name, do not include the database URL.
  • If the date of a website is not given, use (n.d.).  No retrieval date is necessary for content that is not likely to be changed or updated, such as a journal article or book.

Journal article from library database with DOI assigned
Stultz, J. (2006). Integrating exposure therapy and analytic therapy in
     trauma treatment. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 76(4), 4820488. doi:

Journal article from library database with no DOI assigned
Sillick, T.J., & Schutte, N.S. (2006). Emotional intelligence and self-esteem mediate
     between perceived early parental love and adult happiness. E-Journal of Applied
     Psychology, 2(2), 38-48. Retrieved from

Newspaper article
Hilts, P.J. (1999, February 16). In forecasting their emotions, most people flunk out.
     The New York Times. Retrieved from

Online magazine with no print counterpart
Fredrickson, B. L. (2000). Cultivating positive emotions to optimize health and
    well-being. Prevention & Treatment.  Retrieved November 20, 2000, from

Online book
O’Keefe, E. (n.d.). Egoism & the crisis in Western values. Retrieved from
NOTE: If a DOI has been assigned, use it instead of the URL.

Online encyclopedia
Graham, G. (2005). Behaviorism. In E. N. Zalta (Ed.) The Stanford encyclopedia of
     philosophy. Retrieved from

Tufts University Archives and Special Collections. (1999). Women’s bodies, women’s
     property. Retrieved September 30, 2003 from Tufts University Digital Collections
     and Archives web site:

Psychometric assessment. (n.d.). Retrieved January 28, 2007, from The Psychology

Audio podcast
Van Nuys, D. (Producer). (2006, October 13). Understanding autism [Show 54]. Shrink
     Rap Radio. [Audio file]. Retrieved from

Blog post
Maria. (2009, January 22). Re: The unfortunate prerequisites and consequences of
     partitioning your mind [Web log message]. Retrieved from