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Psychology Research: Citing in APA style

How to find scholarly information on mental disorders for a research paper.

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. 

Citing journal articles in APA style

Articles from scholarly journals follow this pattern:

  1. Author names: All citations begin with the author names, in the same order as given in the source information. Cite last name, a comma, and initials (only) for all authors. Cite both initials if both are given. When more than one author, separate each author with a comma, and place an ambersand (&) before the final author's name. Cite up to seven names in this manner. If there are eight or more authors, cite the first six names, insert the ampersand (&), then insert three ellipsis points: . . . (periods with spaces between), indicating something is omitted, and cite the last author's name.
  2. Publication year: Give the publication year in parentheses (year) after author names.
  3. Title of the article: Subtitle of the article. Capitalize first words of titles and subtitles only, unless a word is a proper noun (a person, place or thing). End with a period. (No quotes around title are needed as is the case in MLA style.)
  4. Name of the journal in italics, followed by the volume number, also in italics, followed by issue number in parentheses, not italicized. End with a comma.
  5. Starting and ending page numbers of the article. End with a period.
  6. If retreived online, say "Retreived from" and give the database name.
  7. Many scientific articles now provide a doi: number, which is a universal access code used on the Web to find scientific articles. It may or may not be retreivable to anyone on the open Web, however, as the hosting database may not be open to all Web users. You may check access by going to  Place the number in the box and search.    

For example:

Shott, M. E., Filoteo, J., Jappe, L. M., Pryor, T., Maddox, W., Rollin, M. H., & . . . Frank, G. W. (2012). Altered implicit category learning in anorexia nervosa. Neuropsychology, 26(2), 191-201. Retreived from PsycArticles database. doi:10.1037/a0026771

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