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APA style

APA style
Parenthetical references and reference list 


What are parenthetical references?

 “When you use the ideas or language of someone else, you can refer your reader easily to that resource by using something called parenthetical citation. In parentheses, at the end of the quoted language or borrowed idea, key words can refer your reader to your page of References, where he or she can then find out whatever bibliographic information is necessary to track down that resource.” (Darling, 2004)


How do I do them?

Generally, a citation for a source has the author’s last name followed by a comma and the year of publication:


            Up to eight kittens can be born in any one litter (Lockyer, 1968).


If the author is named in the text, only the year is cited:


            According to Irene Taylor (1990), the personalities of Charlotte. . .


If both the name of the author and the date are used in the text, parenthetical reference is not necessary:


              In a 1989 article, Gould explains Darwin's most successful. . .



What is a reference list?

A reference list is a list of all the sources that you have used to complete your assignment.  It includes articles, books, websites, videos, interviews and any other place where you found useful information.  You will put it on a separate page entitled ‘Reference list’ at the end of the assignment, with the sources listed alphabetically. All lines should be double-spaced.


How do I do it?

There are lots of special cases.  The most common are listed below.  For additional explanations and exceptions, see the Publication manual of the APA in the library’s reference section, call number REF 808.02 PUB or check the Concordia University Library website at http://library.concordia.ca/help/howto/apa.php. Also, the APA runs a very useful (and fascinating!) blog at http://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle which you can search for help with obscure or cutting-edge sources, or for help with any aspect of documentation. 



Reference list


Must be double-spaced!


Author’s last name, author’s first initial.  (Year of

     publication). Title: subtitle.  Place of publication:



Johnson, L. G.  (1983).  Biology: the chemical basis of life.

     Dubuque, IA: Wm. C. Brown Company Publishers.


Encyclopedia or reference book

Author’s last name, author’s first initial. (Year of

     publication). Title of article.  In name of 

     encyclopedia (pp. page numbers of article).  Place

    of publication: publisher.


Bergman P.G.  (1993). Relativity.  In The New Encyclopedia

     Britannica (pp. 501-508).  Chicago: Encyclopedia




Author’s last name, author’s first initial. (Year of

    publication, month day).  Title of article.  Title of 

    periodical, volume number, page numbers.


Maddux, K. (1997, March 21). True stories of the internet

    patrol. NetGuide magazine, 17, 88-92.


Online periodical database

(ex. CPI.Q)

Author’s last name, author’s first initial. (Year of 

    publication, month day).  Title of article. Title of

    periodical, volume number, page numbers.

    Retrieved from URL of database’s home page


Schneiderman, R.A. (1997, June 15).  Librarians can make

    sense of the Net. San Antonio journal,11, 23-27.  Retrieved

    from http://go.galegroup.com.



Author’s last name, author’s first initial.  (Year, month

     day page was created or last revised). Title of web 

    pageRetrieved from URL of webpage


Zeitel, S. (1999, June 15). Table of periodic elements.

     Retrieved from http://phys.utoronto.edu/table.




Reference list

Darling, C. (2004, June). A guide for writing research papers based on styles

            recommended by the American Psychological Association. Retrieved from



Publication manual of the American Psychological Association.  (2010).  Washington,

            DC: American Psychological Association.


David Warlick's Son of Citation Machine will generate APA citations for you -- but you still have to enter the information.  Give it a try!