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EDF 330: Educational Psychology: APA Citation

APA Manual

Purdue OWL APA Guide

The Purdue OWL also includes a sample paper formatted in APA Style.

Printable Guide

More Information

Video tutorial  from the American Psychological Association about the basics of APA Style.

Citing Business Databases in APA Style

APA Style (from Research and Documentation 5 by Diana Hacker)

Capitalization Rules

If you are more familiar with MLA, then the capitalization rules for APA might seem confusing. Following the rules below when capitalizing titles or works:

Within the text of the paper

  • Capitalize "major words in titles of books and articles." 
  • DO NOT capitalzie conjunctions (and, but, or), articles (a, an, the), and preopositions of less than four letters (in, on, of).
  • Any word with four letters or more is considered a "major words."
  • Capitalize verbs, nouns, adjectives, adverbs, and pronouns.
  • Capitlize both words in a hyphenated word
  • Capitalize the first word after a colon or em dash in a title

In the reference list or bibliography

  • Capitalize the first word in titles of books and articles
  • Capitalize the first word after a colon or em dash in the titles of books and articles 
  • Capitalize proper nouns

All this information can be found on pages 101 - 103 in the APA style manual.

Harbert Writing Center

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The examples below follow the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th ed., 2010 (APA-M). Correct spacing, use of italics, and punctuation are essential. APA style requires double-spacing throughout the paper, including the Reference List page (APA-M, p. 229). The first lines of paragraphs should be indented 5 to 7 spaces. For additional examples, see APA-M, pp. 228-231. Sample pages of a completed paper appear on pages 41-59 of the APA-M.
See pages 92 and 170-174 of the APA-M for information about direct quotations. Author-date citations, placed within the text, replace footnotes or endnotes. Two examples:

Martin (1984) urges roommates to settle differences...
In her list of rules for roommates (Martin, 1984)...

If a citation you need is not illustrated here, find the APA Publication Manual in the reference section. 
Call Number: Ref. BF 76.7 .P83 2010

APA style reference pages are double-spaced throughout and use “hanging indent” format, meaning that the first line of each reference is set flush left and subsequent lines are indented.  See the APA Citation Guide PDF for examples of correct spacing and indenting.

*All page numbers on this guide refer to the APA-M


Journal Article with Seven or Fewer Authors

Print (p. 198)
Hall, D. T. (1990). Promoting work/family balance. Organizational Dynamics, 18(3), 5-18. 
In this example, "18" is the volume number, “3” is the issue number, and "5-18" are the page numbers.

Electronic with no DOI (p.199)
Mates, B. F., & Strommen, L. (1995). Why Ernie can't read: 'Sesame Street' and literacy. The Reading Teacher, 49(4), 300-306. Retrieved from

Journal Article with Eight or More Authors

Electronic with DOI (pp. 198-199)
Alejos, A., Weingartner, A. Scharff, D.P., Ablah, E., Frazier, L., Hawley, S.R.,…Wright, K.S. (2008). Ensuring the success of local public health workforce assessments: Using a participatory-based research approach with a rural population. Public Health, 122 (12), 1447-1455. doi:10.1016/j.puhe.2008.06.008

Newspaper Article (p. 200)

Print: Blanton, K. (2007, August 24). Short sales of homes on rise. The Boston Globe, pp. A1, A6.
Electronic: Schwirtz, M. (2009, August 13). Russian navy joins search for freighter. The New York Times. Retrieved from

Magazine Article (p. 200)

Print: Dicum, G. (2007, September). Eyes in the sky and on your desktop. Sierra, 92(5), 58-62.
Electronic (No Author) accessed through a subscription: A wiser wiki. (2007, May). Utne Reader, (141), 10-11. Retrieved from

Encyclopedia Article

Print: Corey, G. (1994). Self-esteem. In Encyclopedia of Psychology (Vol. 3, pp. 369-370). New York: Wiley.
Electronic accessed through a subscription: Kaczkowski, C. (2006). Acid-base balance. In Gale Encyclopedia of Nursing and Allied Health (2nd edition). Retrieved


A book by one author

Print Source: Gardner, H. (1993). Creating minds. New York: Basic Books.

Electronic Book Based on Print: Krames, J.A. (2002). The Rumsfeld way: The leadership wisdom of a battle-hardened veteran. doi: 10.1036/0071406417

Electronic Book Not Based on a Print Version, no DOI available: Dujac, P. (n.d.). Ananda. Retrieved from

Edited Book (Print) Davis, W. C., & Robertson, J. I., Jr. (Eds.). (2005). Virginia at war: 1861. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky.

Book by two to seven authors (for more than seven authors follow rule on p. 184)

Print: Skidmore, R. A., Thackeray, M. G., & Farley, O. W. (1997). Introduction to social work (7th ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

Chapter in an Edited Book (p. 202)

Print: Carlyle, T. (1995). The hero as king. In J. T. Wren (Ed.), The leader's companion (pp. 53-55). New York: Free Press.
Electronic (no DOI available, viewed through a subscription): Lowenthal, D. (2002). The disenchanted future. In R. D. Sack (Ed.), Progress: Geographical Essays (pp.61-77). Retrieved from

Interviews and Personal Communications

Because they do not provide recoverable data, personal communications such as telephone conversations, email messages, and personal interviews are not included in the Reference list. Cite personal communication in the text only. Give initials, surname of the communicator, and provide as exact a date as possible: (N. Schwartz, personal communication, April 1, 2001).


Web page

Malkin, B. (2011, May 12). Planking: A beginner's guide. Retrieved from

Blog post (p. 215)

Ninja. (2009 August 9). A dollar a day [Web log message]. Retrieved from

YouTube (p.215)

Lustig, R.H. (2009, July 30). Sugar: The bitter truth [Video file]. Retrieved from