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APA CITATION: Formatting

An expanded guide to APA Citation

Details of formatting




For narrative (in-text) citations, the publication date is put in parentheses, those curved brackets: ().

In parenthetical citations, both the authors names and the publication year are put in parentheses, those curved brackets: (). The authors’ names are separated from the publication year by a comma.

For reference lists, to know how to punctuate your references properly, look at the examples included in this guide. Some key rules are:

(1) The publication date, which comes after the author’s name, is put in parentheses.

(2) Do not put the titles of article or book chapters in quotation marks. Nothing in APA references is ever put in quotation marks, apart from words within titles that have quotation marks on them.

(3) Follow an article title or a book title with a period.




For the titles of articles, books, and chapters of books, capitalize just the first letter of the title (and also the first letter after a colon), as well as any proper nouns (i.e., names). For journal titles, capitalize all words except prepositions, conjunctions, and articles (a, and, the, but, of, and others.)




In many citations, some of the words have to be put into italics (italics are slanted letters). These cases are:

(1) the titles of books;

(2) the titles of journals, newspapers, and magazines (anything that articles are published in);

(3) the titles of webpages; and

(4) the volume numbers of journals.




If your source has numbered pages, you need to include the page number(s) for the location if

(1) you are including a direct quotation (i.e., when you copy words from the source and put them inside quotation marks) or

(2) the information you cite comes from a particular page in the source, rather than the overall source in general.

If a source (such as a webpage) has numbered paragraphs, use those.