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APA Research Style Crib Sheet

This article is published with the permission of the author, Professor Russ Dewey of Georgia Southern University, and remains the property of Russ Dewey, all rights reserved. It has been reproduced word for word from the original article which you can find here. We would like to thank Russ for allowing his resource to be published on

This page is a summary of rules for using APA style. The version you are reading was revised 10/10/96, edited and revised again on September 5, 2000 with Bill Scott of the College of Wooster, and updated in January 2003 by Doc Scribe. I have made every effort to keep this document accurate, but readers have occasionally pointed out errors and inconsistencies which required correction. I am grateful to them and invite additional feedback. This document may be reproduced freely if this paragraph is included. --Russ Dewey,

Download the APA Crib Sheet PDF and other APA style resources from Dr. Abel Scribe PhD.
See Professor Dewey's excellent Web site for Psychology Students.

APA Crib Sheet Contents
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APA style is the style of writing used by journals published by the American Psychological Association (APA). The style is documented in the APA Publication Manual (5th ed., 2001). The APA Manual began as an article published in Psychological Bulletin in 1929. That article reported results of a 1928 meeting of representatives from anthropological and psychological journals, "to discuss the form of journal manuscripts and to write instructions for their preparation" (APA, 2001, p. xix). By 1952 the guidelines were issued as a separate document called the Publication Manual. Today the manual is in its fifth edition, and the APA format described in it is a widely recognized standard for scientific writing in psychology and education.

Some of the more commonly used rules and reference formats from the manual are listed here. However, this web page is no substitute for the 440 page APA Manual itself, which should be purchased by any serious psychology student in the U.S., or by students in other countries who are writing for a journal which uses APA format. The APA Manual can be found in almost any college bookstore, as well as in many large, general-purpose bookstores, in the reference and style guide section. You may check the current price and delivery of the APA Manual by clicking on this link to The spiral bound edition is especially handy when formatting research papers.

The APA Manual draws a distinction between "final manuscripts" such as class papers, theses, and dissertations, and "copy manuscripts" to be submitted for review and publication. The APA Crib Sheet follows the instructions given in chapter six for "Material Other Than Journal Articles" (APA, 2001, pp. 321-330). Final manuscripts differ from copy manuscripts in these ways:

  • Spacing. "Double-spacing is required throughout most of the manuscript. When single-spacing would improve readability, however, it is usually encouraged. Single spacing can be used for table titles and headings, figure captions, references (but double-spacing is required between references), footnotes, and long quotations" (APA, 2001, p. 326).

  • Figures, tables, and footnotes. "In a manuscript submitted for publication, figures, tables, and footnotes are placed at the end of the manuscript; in theses and dissertations, such material is frequently incorporated at the appropriate point in text as a convenience to readers" (APA, 2001, p. 325).

The most notable additions and changes to fifth edition of the APA Manual (2001) include:

  • Electronic sources require new formats in references. The formats previously featured on the APA Web site have been superseded. Several formats are included in the Crib Sheet.

  • Italics or underline? "Use the functions of your word-processing program to create italic, bold, or other special fonts or styles following the style guidelines specified in this Publication Manual" (APA, 2001, p. 286). However, underlining in place of italics is still acceptable when using a typewriter (see APA, 2001, p. 100). Always be consistent!

  • Hanging indents. "APA publishes references in a hanging indent format. . . . If a hanging indent is difficult to accomplish with your word-processing program, it is permissible to indent your references with paragraph indents" (APA, 2001, p. 299).

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Following is a summary of rules and reference examples in the APA style manual. The manual itself contains all this information and more, organized and worded differently, indexed and illustrated. If in doubt about a specific rule or example, consult the manual itself.

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  • Avoid abbreviations (acronyms) except for long, familiar terms (MMPI).
  • Explain what an abbreviation means the first time it occurs: American Psychological Association (APA).
  • If an abbreviation is commonly used as a word, it does not require explanation (IQ, LSD, REM, ESP).
  • Do not use the old abbreviations for subject, experimenter, and observer (S, E, O).
  • The following abbreviations should NOT be used outside parenthetical comments:
    • cf. [use compare]
    • e.g. [use for example]
    • etc. [use and so forth]
    • i.e. [use that is]
    • viz. [use namely]
    • vs. [use versus]
  • Use periods when making an abbreviation within a reference (Vol. 3, p. 6, 2nd ed.)
  • Do not use periods within degree titles and organization titles (PhD, APA).
  • Do not use periods within measurements (lb, ft, s) except inches (in.).
  • Use s for second, m for meter.
  • To form plurals of abbreviations, add s alone, without apostrophe (PhDs, IQs, vols., Eds).
  • In using standard abbreviations for measurements, like m for meter, do not add an s to make it plural (100 seconds is 100 s); when referring to several pages in a reference or citation, use the abbreviation pp. (with a period after it and a space after the period).
  • Do not use the abbreviation "pp." for magazine or journal citations; just give the numbers themselves. Do use "pp." for citations of encyclopedia entries, multi-page newspaper articles, chapters or articles in edited books.
  • Use two-letter postal codes for U.S. state names (GA).
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Avoiding Biased and Pejorative Language

In general, avoid anything that causes offense. The style manual makes the following suggestions:

DO NOT use . . .                              when you can use . . .
ethnic labels (for example, Hispanic)     geographical labels (Mexican Americans)
"men" (referring to all adults)           "men and women"
"homosexuals"                             "gay men and lesbians"
"depressives"                             "people with depression"

Correct use of the terms "gender" and "sex"

The term "gender" refers to culture and should be used when referring to men and women as social groups, as in this example from the Publication Manual: "sexual orientation rather than gender accounted for most of the variance in the results; most gay men and lesbians were for it, most heterosexual men and women were against it" (APA, 2001, p. 63).

The term "sex" refers to biology and should be used when biological distinctions are emphasized, for example, "sex differences in hormone production."

Avoid gender stereotypes. For example, the manual suggests replacing "An American boy's infatuation with football" with "An American child's infatuation with football" (see APA, 2001, p. 66).

Sensitivity to labels

Be sensitive to labels. A person in a clinical study should be called a "patient," not a "case." Avoid equating people with their conditions, for example, do not say "schizophrenics," say "people diagnosed with schizophrenia." Use the term "sexual orientation," not "sexual preference." The phrase "gay men and lesbians" is currently preferred to the term "homosexuals." To refer to all people who are not heterosexual, the manual suggests "lesbians, gay men, and bisexual women and men" (APA, 2001, p. 67).

In racial references, the manual simply recommends that we respect current usage. Currently both the terms "Black" and "African American" are widely accepted, while "Negro" and "Afro-American" are not. These things change, so use common sense.

Capitalize Black and White when the words are used as proper nouns to refer to social groups. Do not use color words for other ethnic groups. The manual specifies that hyphens should not be used in multiword names such as Asian American or African American.

Labels can be tricky, and the manual has a lot to say about them. For example, "American Indian" and "Native American" are both acceptable usages, but the manual notes that there are nearly 450 Native American groups, including Hawaiians and Samoans, so specific group names are far more informative.

The terms Hispanic, Latino, and Chicano are preferred by different groups. The safest procedure is use geographical references. Just say "Cuban American" if referring to people from Cuba.

The term Asian American is preferable to Oriental, and again the manual recommends being specific about country of origin, when this is known (for example, Chinese or Vietnamese). People from northern Canada, Alaska, eastern Siberia, and Greenland often (but not always!) prefer Inuk (singular) and Inuit (plural) to "Eskimo." But some Alaska natives are non-Inuit people who prefer to be called Eskimo. This type of difficulty is avoided by using geographical references. For example, in place of "Eskimo" or "Inuit" one could use "people from northern Canada, Alaska, eastern Siberia, and Greenland."

In general, call people what they want to be called, and do not contrast one group of people with another group called "normal" people. Write "we compared people with autism to people without autism" not "we contrasted autistics to normals." Do not use pejorative terms like "stroke victim" or "stroke sufferers." Use a more neutral terminology such as "people who have had a stroke." Avoid the terms "challenged" and "special" unless the population referred to prefers this terminology (for example, Special Olympics). As a rule, use the phrase "people with _______" (for example, "people with AIDS," not "AIDS sufferers").

In referring to age, be specific about age ranges; avoid open-ended definitions like "under 16" or "over 65." Avoid the term elderly. Older person is preferred. Boy and Girl are acceptable referring to high school and and younger. For persons 18 and older use men and women.

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  • Capitalize formal names of tests (Stroop Color-Word Interference Test).
  • Capitalize major words and all other words of four letters or more, in headings, titles, and subtitles outside reference lists, for example, "A Study of No-Win Strategies."
  • Capitalize names of conditions, groups, effects, and variables only when definite and specific. (Group A was the control group; an Age x Weight interaction showed lower weight with age.)
  • Capitalize the first word after a comma or colon if, and only if, it begins a complete sentence. For example, "This is a complete sentence, so it is capitalized." As a counter example, "no capitalization here."
  • Capitalize specific course and department titles (GSU Department of Psychology, Psych 150).
  • Do not capitalize generic names of tests (Stroop color test). "Stroop" is a name, so it remains capitalized.
  • Capitalize nouns before numbers, but not before variables (Trial 2, trial x).
  • Do not capitalize names of laws, theories, and hypotheses (the law of effect).
  • Do not capitalize when referring to generalities (any department, any introductory course).
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  • Do not use commas to separate parts of measurement (9 lbs 5 oz). Use the metric system, as a rule.
  • Use commas before "and" in lists, for example, height, width, and depth.
  • Use commas between groups of three digits, for example, 1,453.
  • Use commas to set off a reference in a parenthetical comment (Patrick, 1993).
  • Use commas for seriation within a paragraph or sentence. For example, "three choices are (a) true, (b) false, and (c) don't know." Use semicolons for seriation if there are commas within the items. For example, (a) here, in the middle of the item, there are commas; (b) here there are not; (c) so we use semicolons throughout.
  • Use commas in exact dates, for example, April 18, 1992 (but not in April 1992).
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  • Do not hyphenate -ly and superlative words (widely used test, best informed students).
  • Do not hyphenate common prefixes (posttest, prewar, multiphase, nonsignificant) unless needed for clarity (pre-existing).
  • Do not hyphenate foreign, letter, numeral terms (a priori hypothesis, Type A behavior) when the meaning is clear without it (least squares solution, heart rate scores).
  • Do not hyphenate if a noun comes first (a therapy was client centered, results of t tests).
  • Hyphenate adjectival phrases (role-playing technique, high-anxiety group, two-way analysis).
  • Hyphenate compound adjectives preceding nouns (client-centered therapy, t-test scores) unless the compound adjective involves a superlative (best written paper).
  • Hyphenate if the base is an abbreviation or compounded (pre-UCS, non-college bound).
  • Hyphenate if the base word is capitalized or a number (pre-Freudian, post-1960).
  • Hyphenate if the words could be misunderstood without a hyphen (re-pair, un-ionized, co-worker).
  • If in doubt, consult a recently published dictionary. Standards change. For example, "data base" is now "database," and "life-style" is now "lifestyle."
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Italics (Underlining)

  • Do not italicize or underline common foreign abbreviations (vice versa, et al., a priori).
  • Do not italicize or underline for mere emphasis.
  • Italicize or underline the titles of books and articles, species names, introduction of new terms and labels (the first time only), words and phrases used as linguistic examples, letters used as statistical symbols, and volume numbers in reference lists.
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Miscellaneous: Colons, dashes, parentheses, numbering paragraphs

  • Do not use "and/or." Write things out. For example, "Monday, Tuesday, or both" is preferable to "Monday and/or Tuesday."
  • Do not use a colon or other punctuation after an introduction which is not a complete sentence such as
    this one, or any other sentence in the body of text which flows into an extended quote. The quote "picks up where the sentence leaves off" and provides the punctuation.
  • Use a dash (rendered on typewriters and some word processors as a double hyphen) when there is a sudden interruption like this one--zoiks!--in the flow of a sentence. Overuse "weakens the flow of the writing" (APA, 2001, p. 81).
  • Use parentheses to introduce an abbreviation, for example, the galvanic skin response (GSR).
  • Use appendixes (appendices) as the plural of appendix. Use datum as singular, data as plural. Use matrix as singular, matrices as plural. Phenomenon is the singular form of the plural phenomena. Use schema as singular, schemas (not schemata) as plural.
  • When listing separate paragraphs in a series, use a number and a period, not parentheses.
    1. The first paragraph goes here.
    2. The second paragraph goes here.
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  • Spell out common fractions and common expressions (one-half, Fourth of July).
  • Spell out large numbers beginning sentences (Thirty days hath September . . .).
  • Spell out numbers which are inexact, or below 10 and not grouped with numbers over 10 (one-tailed t test, eight items, nine pages, three-way interaction, five trials).
  • Use numerals for numbers 10 and above, or lower numbers grouped with numbers 10 and above (for example, from 6 to 12 hours of sleep).
  • To make plurals out of numbers, add s only, with no apostrophe (the 1950s).
  • Treat ordinal numbers like cardinal numbers (the first item of the 75th trial . . .).
  • Use combinations of written and Arabic numerals for back-to-back modifiers (five 4-point scales).
  • Use combinations of numerals and written numbers for large sums (over 3 million people).
  • Use numerals for exact statistical references, scores, sample sizes, and sums (multiplied by 3, or 5% of the sample). Here is another example: "We used 30 subjects, all two year olds, and they spent an average of 1 hr 20 min per day crying.
  • Use metric abbreviations with figures (4 km) but not when written out (many meters distant).
  • Use the percent symbol (%) only with figures (5%) not with written numbers (five percent).
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Quotation Marks

  • Use quotation marks for an odd or ironic usage the first time but not thereafter, for example, "This is the "good-outcome" variable, but as it turns out, the good-outcome variable predicts trouble later on . . "
  • Use quotation marks for article and chapter titles cited in the text but not in the reference list. (In Smith's (1992) article, "APA Style and Personal Computers," computers were described as "here to stay" (p. 311).)

Extended quotations

  • Add emphasis in a quotation with italics, immediately followed by the words [italics added] in brackets.
  • Brackets are not necessary when changing the first letter of a quotation to upper case.
  • For quotations over 40 words in length, indent and single space the whole block (double space in papers for review or publication). Indent five more spaces (one-half inch, 1.25 cm) if there are paragraphs within the long quotation after the first. Always provide author, year, and page citation.
  • Expand or clarify words or meanings in a quotation by placing the added material in quotes. For example, "They [the Irish Republican Army] initiated a cease-fire."
  • Reproduce a quote exactly. If there are errors, introduce the word sic italicized and bracketed--for exammple [sic]--immediately after the error to indicate it was part of the original source.
  • Use three dots with a space before, between, and after each (ellipsis points) when omitting material, four if the omitted material includes the end of a sentence (with no space before the first). Do not use dots at the beginning or end of a quotation unless it is important to indicate the quotation begins or ends in midsentence.

Do NOT use quotes to . . .

  • . . . cite a linguistic example; instead, underline or italicize the term (the verb gather).
  • . . . hedge, cast doubt, or apologize (he was "cured"). Leave off the quotes.
  • . . . identify endpoints on a scale; underline or italicize instead (poor to excellent).
  • . . . introduce a key term (the neoquasipsychoanalytic theory).
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The APA Manual
notes that "the size of the type should be one of the standard typewriter sizes (pica or elite) or, if produced from a word processing program, 12 points" (2001, p. 285). The body of the paper should be in a serif typeface (like Courier or Times Roman) with lettering on figures in a sans serif typeface (such as Helvetica or Arial).

APA title & text page format
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APA headings follow a complex hierarchy, with provision for up to five levels. These come, in descending order, as levels 5, 1, 2, 3, 4. But, if one, two, or three levels of headings are required in a paper, use levels 1, 3, and 4, in that order. If four levels are required, interleave level 2 between levels 1 and 3. If five levels are required, start with level five and work down the remaining hierarchy in order (5, 1, 2, 3, 4). Confused? Most papers will need no more than three levels. To avoid confusion these are labeled A, B, and C below (APA levels 1, 3, and 4 respectively) (see APA, 2001, pp. 114�115).

Level A Headings are Centered and Set in Heading Caps

Level B: Flush with Left Margin, Italicized, Set in Heading Caps

         Level C headings: Indented, italicized, sentence caps, end with a period. These headings are sometimes referred to as paragraph or run-in headings. Although they end with a period (or other punctuation) they need not be complete sentences or grammatically correct.

Use headings in the order presented. If you need just two levels, use Level A and Level B headings. Level A and B headings do not end with punctuation except to add emphasis with an exclamation point or question mark. Do not begin a paper with the heading Introduction. It is understood that all papers begin with an introduction.

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Text details

  • Abstracts are limited to 120 words (APA, 2001, p. 13).
  • Double space the text, but single space within block quotes, references, and the abstract.
  • Footnotes are rarely used in APA papers, except for author affiliation and contact information--the author note.
  • Hyphenation should not occur at the end of lines, only between words when necessary.
  • Indent paragraphs, block quotes, and hanging indents one-half inch (1.25 cm or five to seven spaces).
  • Justification should be set to "off" or "left margin only" (the right margin should be uneven, a ragged right margin).
  • Keyword emphasis requires the use of italics, but only the first time a term is used. If the intent is to indicate odd or ironic usage, use quotation marks.
  • Margins should be at least 1" all around (about 2.5 cm).
  • Page numbers are required on every page: Number pages consecutively.
  • The page header summarizes the title in a few words. The header and page number go inside the margin space, double spaced above the text, next to the right margin.
  • Word processor features--such as bold and italic fonts and hanging indents--should be used as appropriate.
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References and tables

APA reference page and table
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Table notes

Number tables consecutively as they appear in your text. Use only whole numbers, no 5a, 5b, etc. See recent issues of the American Psychologist or other APA journals for more complex table layouts. "Tables are efficient, enabling the researcher to present a large amount of data in a small amount of space" (APA, 2001, p. 147).
  • Place tables close to where they are first mentioned in your text, but do not split a table across pages. (Tables in papers submitted for review or publication are placed on separate pages at the end of the paper.)
  • Label each table beginning with the table number followed by a description of the contents.
  • Horizontal rules (lines) should be typed into tables; do not draw them in by hand.
  • Each row and column must have a heading. Abbreviations and symbols (e.g., "%" or "nos.") may be used.
  • Do not change the number of decimal places within a column.
  • Do not change the units of measurement within a column.
  • "Use a zero before the decimal point when numbers are less than one" (APA, 2001, p. 128). Write "0.23" not ".23" unless the number is a statistic that cannot be larger than one, for example a correlation r = .55, or a probability p < .01.
  • Add notes to explain the table contents. These may be general notes or footnotes. The latter are labeled "a, b, c, etc."
  • Use asterisks to indicate statistical significance explained in the probability level note at the bottom of the table. "Assign a given alpha level the same number of asterisks from table to table within your paper, such as *p < .05 and **p < .01; the largest probability receives the fewest asterisks [the smaller probability get more asterisks]" (APA, 2001, p. 170).
  • You may both single space and double space within a table to achieve clarity. Tables in papers submitted for review or publication (only!) must be double spaced throughout.
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Use the author-date format
to cite references in text. For example: as Smith (1990) points out, a recent study (Smith, 1990) shows. . .  Every source cited in your text--and only those sources cited in your text--are referenced in the reference list.

APA text citations
  • For two-author citations, spell out both authors on all occurrences.
  • For multiple-author citations (up to five authors) name all authors the first time, then use et al., so the first time it is Smith, Jones, Pearson and Sherwin (1990), but the second time it is Smith et al., with a period after "al" but no underlining.
  • The first time an "et al." reference is used in a paragraph, give the year, thereafter (if the citation is repeated in the paragraph) omit the year.
  • For six or more authors, use et al. the first time and give the full citation in references.
  • Include a page reference after the year, outside quotes. For example: The author stated, "The effect disappeared within minutes" (Lopez, 1993, p. 311), but she did not say which effect; Lopez found that "the effect disappeared within minutes" (p. 311). The sentence quoted is capitalized only if it follows a comma, and is a complete sentence not merged into the flow of the text.
  • If two or more multiple-author references which shorten to the same "et al." form, making it ambiguous, give as many author names as necessary to make them distinct, before et al. For example: (Smith, Jones, et al., 1991) to distinguish it from (Smith, Burke, et al., 1991).
  • Join names in a multiple-author citation with and (in text) or an ampersand (&) in reference lists and parenthetical comments. For example: As Smith and Sarason (1990) point out, the same argument was made by in an earlier study (Smith & Sarason, 1990).
  • If a group is readily identified by its initials, spell it out only the first time. For example, "As reported in a government study (National Institute of Mental Health [NIMH], 1991), blah blah . . . " and thereafter, "The previously cited study (NIMH, 1991) found that . .
  • If the author is unknown or unspecified, use the first few words of the reference list entry (usually the title), for example: ("Study Finds," 1992).
  • If citing multiple works by the same author at the same time, arrange dates in order. In general, use letters after years to distinguish multiple publications by the same author in the same year. For example: Several studies (Johnson, 1988, 1990a, 1990b, 1995 in press-a, 1995 in press-b) showed the same thing.
  • For old works cite the translation or the original and modern copyright dates if both are known, for example: (Aristotle, trans. 1931) or (James, 1890/1983).
  • Always give page numbers for quotations, for example: (Cheek & Buss, 1981, p. 332) or (Shimamura, 1989, chap. 3, p. 5).
  • For e-mail and other "unrecoverable data" use personal communication, for example: (V.-G. Nguyen, personal communication, September 28, 1993). These do not appear in the reference list.
  • For quoting electronic documents without page numbers, cite paragraph numbers if given, indicated by the paragraph symbol or the abbreviation para. in the citation (e.g., Smith, 2000, ¶ 17). If there are no paragraph numbers, cite the nearest preceding section heading and count paragraphs from there (e.g., Smith, 2000, Method section, para. 4).
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Your text and the reference list must agree. "References cited in text must appear in the reference list; conversely, each entry in the reference list must be cited in text" (APA, 2001, p. 215). See the section on Reference citations for citing references in text.

Abbreviating within a reference

Here are approved abbreviations for use in a reference list:
  • chap. for chapter
  • ed. for edition
  • rev. ed. for revised edition
  • 2nd ed. for second edition
  • Ed. for Edited by
  • (Eds.) for multiple editors
  • Trans. for Translated by
  • p. for page number, with a space after the period
  • pp. for page numbers (plural)
  • Vol. for a specific Volume
  • vols. for a work with xx volumes
  • No. for Number
  • Pt. for Part
  • Suppl. for Supplement,
  • Tech. Rep. for Technical Report
Use the abbreviation "pp." for page numbers in encyclopedia entries, multi-page newspaper articles, chapters or articles in edited books, but not in journal or magazine article citations, where numbers alone should be used (see examples of reference formats).

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Alphabetizing within reference lists

  • Use prefixes in alphabetizing names if commonly part of the surname (De Vries).
  • Do not use von in alphabetizing (Helmholtz, H. L. F. von), or Jr., III, or Sr.
  • Treat Mc and Mac literally; Mac comes before Mc.
  • Disregard apostrophes, spaces, and capitals in alphabetizing; D'Arcy comes after Daagwood, Decker comes after de Chardin.
  • Single-author citations precede multiple-author citations of the same year (Zev, 1990 then Zev et al., 1990).
  • Alphabetize corporate authors by first significant word. Do not use abbreviations in corporate names.
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APA reference style

The APA Publication Manual now instructs authors to use hanging indents for references, and to use italics for titles. The hanging indent is one-half inch (1.25 cm), just like paragraph indents. All titles in references are set in sentence caps, but titles quoted in the text are set in heading caps. No quotation marks are used around titles of articles in references, but quotes are used when citing article titles in the text. The APA Publication Manual (2001) contains 95 examples of different reference types (pp. 240-281). Here are a few examples of the most commonly used formats.

Anonymous or unknown author (common in newspapers):

� �  Caffeine linked to mental illness. (1991, July 13). New York Times, pp. B13, B15.

Citation: ("Caffeine Linked," 1991). Use heading caps when citing titles in text citations.

Books (Group author, 3�5 authors, reprint/translation, edition other than first):

   American Psychiatric Association. (1990). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (3rd ed.).
Washington, DC: Author.

Citation: (American Psychiatric Association [APA], 1990); next citation (APA, 1990). Note: "Author" is used as above when author and publisher are identical.

   Booth, W. C., Colomb, G. G., & Williams, J. M. (1995). The craft of research. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Citation: (Booth, Colomb, & Williams, 1995); next citation (Booth et al., 1995).

   Ebbinghaus, H. (1913). Memory (H. A. Rueger & C. E. Bussenius, Trans.). New York: Teachers College. (Original
work published 1885)

Citation: (Ebbinghaus, 1885/1913).

   Strunk, W., Jr., & White, E. B. (1979). The elements of style (3rd ed.). New York: Macmillan.

Citation: (Strunk & White, 1979).

Chapter or section in a book (online & print):

   Beers, M. H., & Berkow, R. (1999). Mood disorders. In The Merck manual of diagnosis and therapy (17th ed.,
sec. 15, chap. 189). Retrieved January 17, 2003, from
   Stephan, W. G. (1985). Intergroup relations. In G. Lindzey & E. Aronson (Eds.), The handbook of social
psychology (3rd ed., Vol. 2, pp. 599�658). New York: Random House.

Citations: (Beers & Berkow, 1999, chap. 189); (Stephan, 1985). Note: Break a URL to wrap a line only after a slash or before a period. Do not add a hyphen or any other punctuation.

Conference paper (unpublished):

   Shrout, P. E. (Chair), Hunter, J. E., Harris, R. J., Wilkinson, L., Strouss, M. E., Applebaum, M. I., et al.
(1996, August). Significance tests�Should they be banned from APA journals? Symposium conducted
at the 104th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Toronto, Canada.

Citation: (Shrout et al., 1996). APA references list up to the first six authors to a work. If there are more add et al. (and others) to the list of names. In text citations give just the lead author, et al. Published papers are referenced as a chapter in a book.

Government report online accessed through GPO database:

   National Institute of Mental Health. (2002). Breaking ground, breaking through: The strategic plan for mood
disorders research of the National Institute of Mental Health (Publication No. 0507-B-05). Retrieved
January 19, 2003, from NIMH Web site via GPO Access:
Citation: (National Institute of Mental Health [NIMH], 2002); next citation (NIMH, 2002).

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Journal articles (Print, electronic copy, changed source, online journal, paged by issue):

   Hypericum Depression Trial Study Group. (2002). Effect of Hypericum perforatum (St John's Wort) in major
depressive disorder: A randomized controlled trial. JAMA, 287, 1807�1814.

Citation: (Hypericum Depression Trial Study Group, 2002). The APA Manual requires citing the full name of a corporate author like this; the acronym would not be easily recognized. However, shortening the author to "Hypericum Depression Trial" in subsequent citations would probably be acceptable to editors of APA journals.

Journal article, electronic facsimile:

   Hypericum Depression Trial Study Group. (2002). Effect of Hypericum perforatum (St John's Wort) in major
depressive disorder: A randomized controlled trial [Electronic version]. JAMA, 287, 1807�1814.

Many documents are now available online as exact facsimile copies of the print original (usually in Adobe's PDF format). References to these facsimiles just add the note [Electronic version] to the reference. If the document is not an exact copy of a print version--"(e.g., the format differs from the print version or page numbers are not indicated)"--add the date you retrieved the document and the URL to the reference (APA, 2001, p. 271).

Journal article, changed/doubtful source:

   Hypericum Depression Trial Study Group. (2002). Effect of Hypericum perforatum (St John's Wort) in major
depressive disorder: A randomized controlled trial. JAMA, 287, 1807�1814. Retrieved July 7, 2002,

Journal article, retrieved from a database:

   Hypericum Depression Trial Study Group. (2002). Effect of Hypericum perforatum (St John's Wort) in major
depressive disorder: A randomized controlled trial. JAMA, 287, 1807�1814. Retrieved July 7, 2002,
from MEDSYS database.

Online only journal (paged by issue):

   Kortepeter, M. G., & Parker, G. W. (1999). Potential biological weapons threats. Emerging Infectious
Diseases, 5(4). Retrieved January 20, 2003, from ncidod/EID/vol5no4/kortepeter.htm

Citation: (Kortepeter & Parker, 1999). There is no period after the URL in a reference.

Note: When directly quoting or citing a document, a page number or other means of identifying a specific passage is required. In the absence of page numbers, if paragraph numbers appear in an electronic document, add the paragraph symbol or the abbreviation para. and the paragraph number to the citation (e.g., Kortepeter & Parker, 1999, ¶ 17). If there is no paragraph number, cite the nearest preceding section heading and count paragraphs from there (e.g., Kortepeter & Parker, 1999, Method section, para. 4).

Note: Occasionally a research journal may be paged by issue, that is, page numbering in each issue begins at page one. Add the number in the volume (in parentheses in plain text) to these references immediately after the volume number, as in the example above.

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Letter to the editor:

� �  O'Neill, G. W. (1992, January). In support of DSM-III [Letter to the editor]. APA Monitor, 4-5.

Magazine article:

� �  Gardner, H. (1991, December). Do babies sing a universal song? Psychology Today, 70-76.

Newsletter/newspaper articles:

� �  Brown, L. S. (1993, Spring). My research with orangs. The Psychology Department Newsletter, 3, 2.

   Goleman, D. (1991, October 24). Battle of insurers vs. therapists: Cost control pitted against proper
care. New York Times, pp. D1, D9.

   Markoff, J. (1996, June 5). Voluntary rules proposed to help insure privacy for Internet users. New York
Times. Retrieved April 1, 1996, from
The date is given as it appears on the publication. For anonymous newspaper articles, see the previous section on "Anonymous or unknown authors."


� �  Just Say No Foundation. (1992). Saving our youth. (9th ed.) [Brochure]. Washington, DC: Author.

Web page:

� �  Dewey, R. A. (2002). Psych Web by Russ Dewey. Retrieved January 25, 2003 from

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APA Crib Sheet - January 2003

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