Research Help

Basic research information at your fingertips!

Missing Elements

No date?
No author?
Switch title and date. Title. (2012).
Are you sure there isn't a group author?

Order Questions

How do I order my references?
In alphabetical order, by author last name.
Different sources, same first author?
List by date.  List any n.d.s first.
Then list from oldest to newest.
What if there is no author?
Order alphabetically, by title.
Are you sure there isn't a group author?
Lots of authors?
References should include 20 authors. With two or more authors, include & before the last author.

See OWL Purdue for more thorough examples.


Steps to setting up an APA Reference:

  • Determine your source type. Is it a book, a video, a journal article, newspaper, report, etc?
  • Determine Who, What, When, Where.
  • Look up the right example, and plug in the correct info.

You will cite twice:

  • In the body of your text when information from the source is used.
  • At the end, in the reference section.

Reference Examples

Common mistakes include capitalization, punctuation, and including extra stuff in the author field like titles (PhD, MSN, etc.). If you use an automatic citation generator, please PROOFREAD.

Journal Articles
Lastname, A.A. (Year). Title of article in lower caps unless grammar dictates otherwise. Journal Title which is Italicized and Capitalized, Volume(Issue), page numbers.

Munger, M. P. (2015). The ministry of silly walks’ report: Representational momentum sensitive to awkwardness following action, not single posture. Visual Cognition, 23(6), 796–808.

What do I do if there is no doi?

Lastname, Z.Z. (Year). Book title in lower caps unless grammar dictates otherwise and italicized (ed if available). Publisher. not, then...non-database url...if not, then...leave blank.

Gill, G. (2004). Nightingales: The extraordinary upbringing and curious life of Miss Florence Nightingale (1st ed.). Ballantine Books.

How do I cite a specific chapter, what if I have an editor, etc.?

Check: Is your website really an online version of a book chapter, journal article, newspaper? If so, don't use the website format!

Check: If there is no author listed, check for a group author like an agency, corporation, or publisher, and use that. Under what conditions is it acceptable to use a source with no author in an academic paper?

Author, Agency, or Publisher. (Year, Month Day). Title in lower caps unless grammar dictates otherwise, and italicized. Source, Agency, or Publisher (you can leave this blank if this will be identical to the author). URL

Example (Group Author)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020, July 24). Outbreak of Cyclospora infections linked to bagged salad mix.

Example (Author Available)
Breus, M. J. (2020, January 4). Sleep smart with these 9 tips. Psychology Today.

In-Text Citations

You have more flexibility to cite your references in the body of your work.

  • According to Sanchez (2020) of sentence.
  • Sentence first....(Sanchez, 2020). Note that the period goes outside of the parentheses. 

If you think it is useful, you may also add page or paragraph numbers.

  • (Vincent, 2020, para. 1).
  • (Vincent, 2020, p. 49).

One Author
(Gargis, 2017) or Gargis (2017)

Two Authors
(Gargis & Means, 2012) or Gargis and Means (2012)

Three or More Authors
(Osborne et al., 1976) or Osborne et al. (1976)

Abbreviations/Group Authors
First Time
(Georgia Highlands College [GHC], 2002) or Georgia Highlands College (GHC, 2002)
Next Time
(GHC, 2002) or GHC (2002)

For a more thorough summary of the rules, please see Author-Date Citation Style on the APA website.

Don't Start From Scratch

Tutorials & Examples

Websites & Short Cuts

Floyd Library - 706.295.6318 | Heritage Hall - 706.295.6321 | Cartersville Library - 678.872.8400 | Marietta - 678.872.8501 | Paulding Library - 678.946.1007
©2015 Georgia Highlands College |