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Citation Help for APA, 7th Edition: APA FAQ's

Help with common issues and questions with APA 7th edition

Variations in APA References

Does your source NOT match up with the examples?


See the following webpages for variations in your APA references:

Advanced Formatting Help from APA

Question 1 - APA Style

Question

What is APA style, and why do I need to use it?

Answer

APA style is a set of guidelines created to help writers express their ideas and researching clearly and consistently. APA style was created by the American Psychological Association and it is used in the social sciences, sciences, and health sciences. Specific programs that use APA at CSS include psychology, nursing, management, education, physical therapy, occupational therapy, project management, CIS, as well as other programs. Check with your program director or course instructor to see what citation style should be used in your courses. 

To assist you with writing in APA Style, the American Psychological Association published the APA Manual, 7th edition. This manual is available in the Library, and you can purchase it at any major bookstore and online. The manual outlines the guidelines and "rules" for writing in APA style. It also includes numerous examples, templates, and other resources to assist you in your writing.
 

 More Information

For more information about writing in APA Style, 7th edition, consult the APA Manual or contact a librarian for assistance. 

Question 2 - Spacing the Reference List

Question

Do I double-space my reference list, and if I do, do I add an extra space between references?

Answer

The reference list should be double spaced; however, there should not be an extra space between references.
 

More Information

For more information about formatting the reference list, see Sect. 2.12 on pages 39-40 and Section 9.43 on page 303 of the APA Manual, 7th edition. Also, see the student example papersThere is also a student sample paper in the APA Manual on page 61. 

Question 3 - Spacing and Comma

Question

What is the proper use of a comma when I have a series of three or more words or phrases in a sentence?

Answer

When listing items in a series of 3 or more, add a comma after the word that is before the AND or the OR. This type of comma is known as a serial comma or an Oxford comma. 
 

Examples
  • as discussed by Olson, Larson, and Klein (2018)
  • apple pie, blueberry pie, or pumpkin pie
     
​More Information

For more information about the use fo commas, see Section 6.3 on pages 155-156 of the APA Manual, 7th edition

Question 4 - Spacing Between Initials

Question

If the author has a first and middle name, do I put a space between the initials?

Answer

Yes, include a space after the period of the initials of an author's name. 
 

Example
  • Gerdner, L. A. (2010). 
  • G. E. Johnson 

​More Information

For more information about spacing after punctuation marks, see Section 6.1 on page 154 of the APA Manual, 7th edition. 

Question 5 - Secondary Source

Question

How do I cite an article that is cited in the article I am using?

Answer

According to APA, this is known as a secondary source. To cite a secondary source, provide a reference in the reference list for the secondary source you are using or reading. In the body of the paper, identify the original source or the source that was cited and include a citation for the secondary source with "as cited in" before the parenthetical citation. Additionally, if the date of the original source is known, include this information. You can either include the author's name and date in the narrative of the text or include in the parenthetical citation. See the examples below. 

If the date of the original source is not known, then include the author's name of the original source but omit the date. NOTE: Secondary sources should be used very sparingly. Examples of when you may need to cite a source as a secondary source include, if the source is no longer in print, unavailable, or available only in a language that you do not know or understand. You should try to track down the source, read the content, and cite it accordingly. 
 

Example 

You discovered a potentially great source for your paper! It is an article written by Seidenberg and McClelland that is cited in the Coltheart et al. article that you read, and it looks promising to include in your paper. But you cannot locate the original article by Seidenberg and McClelland. 
 

The Parenthetical & Narrative Citation Looks Like:

The groundbreaking 1989 study by Seidenberg and McClelland outlined .... (as cited in Coltheart et al., 1993) 

OR

A new approach to .... (Seidenberg & McClelland, 1982, as cited in Coltheart et al., 1993)
 

Reference in the Reference List

Coltheart, M., Curtis, B., Atkins, P., & Haller, M. (1993). Models of reading aloud: Dual -rout and parallel-distributed-processing approaches. Psychological Reviews, 100(4), 589-608. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-295X.100.4.589
 

More Information

For more information about secondary sources, see Section 8.6 on page 258 of the APA Manual, 7th edition.

Question 6 - Block Quote

Question

What is a block quote, and how is it formatted?

Answer

A block quote is any quote that is 40 or more words. A block quote is formatted differently than a quote that is less than 40 words. 

  • Begin the block quote on a new line.
  • Indent the entire block quote 0.5 inches from the left margin.
  • If the block quote continues over several paragraphs, indent each new paragraph an additional 0.5 inches (a total of 1 inch from the left margin. 
  • Do not put quotation marks around the block quote. The indentation sets the quote off and signals to the reader that it is a quote. 
  • The block quote should be double spaced.
  • Do not add additional spacing before or after the block quote.
  • Include a narrative or parenthetical citation that includes the page or paragraph number. To include a narrative citation, begin by introducing the quote with the author's last name in the text and date in parentheses before the block quote. After the final punctuation of the block quote, include the page or paragraph number in parentheses.  To include a parenthetical citation, include the author, date, and page or paragraph number at the end of the quote after the final punctuation of the quote. 
  • The ending punctuation of the quote should come immediately after the quote.
  • Do not include a period after the parentheses of the page number (of the narrative citation) or the parenthetical citation. 
     

Example

Narrative Citation Example

According to Milton (2014),

The DMIS [Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity] continuum extends from ethnocentrism, the experience of one's own culture as "central to reality," to ethnorelativism, the experience of one's own and other cultures as "relative to context." Developmental movement is one way, permanent, and applicable to any defined as cultural difference, although there may be "retreats" from some positions. More or less familiarity with particular cultures does not change one's level of sensitivity, although it affects the breadth of competence on can enact. (para. 3)


Parenthetical Citation Example

The Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity was summarized as follows:

The DMIS continuum extends from ethnocentrism, the experience of one's own culture as "central to reality," to ethnorelativism, the experience of one's own and other cultures as "relative to context." Developmental movement is one way, permanent, and applicable to any defined as cultural difference, although there may be "retreats" from some positions. More or less familiarity with particular cultures does not change one's level of sensitivity, although it affects the breadth of competence on can enact. (Milton, 2014, para. 3)
 

 More Information

For more information about block quotes, see Section 8.27 on pages 272-273 of the APA Manual, 7th edition. 

Question 7 - Multiple Chapters from the Same Book

Question

How do I cite multiple chapters of a book with the same authors?

Answer

It depends on the type of book you are trying to cite. If the book is an authored book, a type of book where all chapters are written by the same author, then you would cite the entire book. In the reference list, create a reference for the entire book.

Do not include chapter information within the reference list. Instead, within the body of the paper, refer to each specific Chapter in the parenthetical or narrative citation. 

If the book is an edited book and each chapter is written by a different author, then you should cite each chapter separately in the reference list. See the following webpages for examples and explanations:

Additionally, see question 8 about adding multiple sources with the same author and same date. 
 

More Information

For more information, see the introduction paragraph of Section 10.2 on page 321 of the APA Manual, 7th edition. 

Question 8 - Multiple Sources with Same Author

Question

How do I cite multiple sources by the same author? What if the sources have the same author and the same publication date?

 

Answer

Sources with One Author and Different Publication Dates 


If the source has 1 author, first alphabetize in the reference list by the first author. Then, organize each source by the publication date. The oldest sources should be listed before sources with newer publication dates. Also, if the source has no date, it should be listed before those with dates.
 

Example

Newman, T. R. (n.d.).

Newman, T. R. (1992).

Newman, T. R. (2000).

Newman, T. R. (2016). 
 

Sources with Multiple Authors and Different Publication Dates 


If the source has more than 1 author, first alphabetize in the reference list by the first author. If all the authors are the same in all the sources, then, order each source by the publication date. Sources with older publication dates should be listed first. If a source has no date, then it would be listed before sources that have a date.   

If the first author is the same but subsequent authors are different, order sources by alphabetical order of the second or subsequent authors. 
 

Example

Newman, T. R., & Ross, K. (n.d.)

Newman, T. R., & Ross, K. (2015).

Newman, T. R., & Ross, K. (2018).

Newman, T. R., Ross, K., & Smith, J. E. (2019).

Newman, T. R., Ross, K., & Yang, K. (2017).
 

Multiple Sources with the Same Author(s) and the Same Publication Date


First, alphabetize the source in the reference list by the first author. Then, order each source by date. Next, when multiple sources have the same date, order these sources by alphabetizing the title. Once all sources are in the correct order, add a small letter (a, b, c, etc.) after the date. This small letter helps the reader to distinguish between each source with the same date. 
 

Example

Newman, T. R. (2018a). Learning how to teach: Instructional services to the rescue for new faculty.

Newman, T. R. (2018b). Online faculty experiences in the first year. 

Newman, T. R, & Ross, K. (2017a). Support for returning graduate students. 

Newman, T. R., & Ross, K. (2017b). Understanding the needs of online students. 
 

Parenthetical & Narrative Citations Examples


Parenthetical Citation Example

(Newman, 2018a)
 

Narrative Citation Example

Newman and Ross (2017a) outlined ...
 

More Information


For more information about multiple sources with the same author with the same or different publication dates, see Sections 9.46-9.48 on pages 304-306 of the APA Manual, 7th edition. 

Question 9 - Abbreviations

Question

When should abbreviations be used, and how should they be used?

Answer

Abbreviations may be used for long, technical terms that are used frequently within a paper written in APA Style. When adding an abbreviation in a paper, consider the following:

  • The abbreviation must be introduced the first time it is used in the paper. This means you should spell out the word or phrase within the text of the paper and put the abbreviation in parentheses afterward.
  • All subsequent uses of word or phrase should use the abbreviation only.
  • Abbreviations should be used at least 3 times within the paper. If you are not using the abbreviation at least 3 times, do not abbreviate. Instead, spell out the word or phrase completely each time you use it in the paper.  
  • Do not introduce abbreviations within headings. However, once an abbreviation has been introduced within the text of the paper, you may use an abbreviation in subsequent headings. 
  • When an abbreviation is introduced within a parenthetical citation put the abbreviation within brackets. 
  • If a citation accompanies an abbreviation, include the abbreviation and parenthetical citation within the same parentheses. Put the abbreviation first, followed by the citation. Separate the abbreviation and the citation with a semi-colon. 
  • For the plural form of the abbreviation, add a small "s" after the abbreviation.

 

Examples 

  • National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
  • (National Association of Social Workers [NASW], 2019)
  • (NASW; Saturno, 2020)
  • Eds.

More Information

For more information about abbreviations, see sections 6.24-6.26 on pages 172-174 of the APA Manual, 7th edition.