Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

COSC 1301--Intro to computing: Citing in APA style

Find good quality information for your paper and presentation.

How citing in APA style works --

View a tutorial -- Why you need to cite sources

How APA citing works:

In APA style papers, give credit to your sources by providing a brief author-date citation in the text of your paper that leads the reader to an alphabetical list of citations at the end of the paper. For example, cite an article or book by author Anderson published in 2010 as (Anderson, 2010) at the end of a sentence or paragraph. Or, you may also cite author and date in the narrative by saying, "In 2010, Anderson found in her study that ..." or "Anderson (2010) found in her study that ... "

The list of sources referred to in the paper is at the end of the paper, arranged in alphabetical order. The references allow the reader to look up the cited information to check what the writer is saying. Every citation in the paper should be referenced in the list, and every reference in the list should be cited in the paper.

A bibliography is often confused with a reference list. A bibliography is a list of all sources consulted, not just those cited, such as background on the subject, or further reading, and may include descriptive notes about each source, which is called an annotated bibliography.

Formatting the References list:

  • Double-space the list. We did not double space our examples to save space. 
  • Use Times New Roman 12 pt font. We did use Times New Roman for the examples in our guide. 
  • Title the list "References" (no quotes) and center the title at the top.
  • Alphabetize the list by the author last names, the first citation part to appear in all types of citations. If a source did not have an author, alphabetize with the first word of the title, ignoring "The," "A," or "An" at the start of a title. 
  • Each citation should be in "hanging indent" format, with the first line on the left margin and subsequent lines indented. If using MSWord, highlight the citation, click the small arrow on the paragraph menu (lower right corner) to open the paragraph dialog box. Look under Indentation, under Special, and click the down arrow, highlight "Hanging." Click OK. The citation is in hanging indent format. 

Where do I find the citation information?

1. For books: Look at the main title page of the book for title and subtitle, author, editor, publisher city, state, and publisher name. Look on the back of the title page for the publication year. If you print the Catalog Record tab (not the item information tab) from the Library Catalog, you can look at the Title line for the full title and subtitle. After the slash (/) you will see the full author and editor information. Look at the Publication Info line for the publisher city, state, publisher name, and year.

2. For eBooks: If from our catalog, print the Catalog Record tab and see the title line and author/editor information after the slash (/). The database name for any eBook found in the catalog is "eBooks on EbscoHost." For other eBook databases always make note of the database name when using the database. Other information is found under "Source," for most databases. 

3. For articles from print reference books: Look for an author name at the end of the article. Most reference books have each article written by an author. Note the title of the article. Look at the title page of the reference book for the rest of the info, as with books. There is usually an editor of the reference book to cite.

4. For articles or chapters from books in databases: Look for an author of the article or chapter on the title page of the article or chapter. Look for the "Source" line for the rest of the information. It varies by database as to where this will be. Make note of the database name while using the database.

5. For articles from periodicals in databases: Look for a line in the full citation information that says "Source:" or look at the end of the article for the source information. Make note of the database name while using the database.

6. For articles from print periodicals: The article title is at the start of the article with authors below it. The name of the publication is usually on the article and also on the title page of the periodical along with the publication date and volume and issue numbers. Note the start and end pages of the article.

More on APA

Just ASK!

Library Hours

Fall/Spring Semesters
Monday-Tuesday: 7:30 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Wednesday -Friday: 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Sunday: Closed

Summer Semesters
Monday-Thursday: 7:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Friday: 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday: Closed

Monday-Friday: 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m 
Saturday-Sunday: Closed