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Citation Guide

Introduction to APA Citation

APA stands for the American Psycological Association. APA is the organization responsible for creating the guidlines and rules set forth in the APA Manual. This manual dictates how APA citation format should be implemented in academic publications and research papers to properly format a paper and provide credit to the sources used in the creation of the work.

There are two parts to citing resources in APA: intext citations and the Reference List. Watch the video below for an introduction to these components:

Recommended Resources:

APA Paper Formatting Rules

  • Include a title page

  • Double space the text of your paper

  • Use legible font

  • Use 11 pt. font size

  • One space after periods

  • 1-inch margins on all sides

  • Include page numbers in the top right-hand corner

In-Text Citations

In-text citations are brief citations within your research paper that are placed after information which is quoted or paraphrased from the sources you use. In text citation for APA generally requires three pieces of information:

  1. Author's last name
  2. Year the source was published
  3. The page number the information came from

The intext citation is often included at the end of a quote or paraphrase and is formatted like this: (Author's Last Name, Year, p. #). However, the placement of the intext can change depending on  whether or not you introduce the author in your quote or paraphrasing, but the same information for the citation is still required. See examples below.

Example 1 (quoted): "...the predominant measure of the university teacher performance [...] worldwide"  ‚Äč(Pounder, 2007, p. 178).

Example 2 (paraphrased): Similarly, Darwin (2012) refers to teacher evaluation as an established orthodoxy...

In-text Citation Research Paper Sample


Animals’ Positive Effects on Happiness

     Humans and animals have coexisted for hundreds of generations. Evolution has changed most organisms over time, and in some cases, the relationship between man and beast became intertwined. As domestication occurred, animals began an even closer relationship with humans. It's hard to say when the first domestication took place, but ancient Egyptians used cats in fields and worshiped them as gods. The domestication of dogs can be dated back over 12,000 years and used to provide protection (Morrison, 2007, p. 51). In modern times, more than fifty percent of households have pets and reap the benefits of their company and companionship. Animals provide us with unconditional love, affection, and friendship, which brings humans ever closer to happiness and positive emotions. Therapy animals and pets in our daily lives can significantly increase our overall happiness and provide lasting health benefits. This is proved by the emotional and physiological changes observed in humans who interact with an animal. As Granda (2020) notes, this interrelationship has become even more clear during the recent pandemic where the surge in pet adoptions has soared (p. 3).

     Roko Belic’s documentary Happy (2015), discusses the human need for happiness. This broad concept is linked to positive psychology, which is the scientific study of characteristics that motivate humans to thrive and find positive emotions. Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., is a Professor of Psychology at US Riverside; she discusses this drive in the film Happy. She states that human happiness "can be attributed to 50% genetics, 10% life circumstances, and 40% intentional activity."


References List

The last page of your essay is called the "References" list. This is where you list the full citation of the sources you used to write your paper. To create the citations for your sources:

  1. Identify the type of source you are citing (book, magazine article, website, etc.)
  2. Look up the APA format for that source type. 

Owl Purdue Writing Lab also provides basic rules on the organization and formatting of the APA References page.

Sample References List 



Beetz, A., Uvnäs-Moberg, K., Julius, H., & Kotrschal, K. (2012). Psychosocial and psychophysiological effects of human-animal interactions: The possible role of oxytocin. Frontiers in Psychology, 3, 1-15.

Belic, R. (Director). (2015). Happy [Film]. Films Media Group.

Granda, N. (2020, April 21). Animal shelters across the state seeing increase in adoptions during COVID-19 outbreak. ABC30 Fresno.

Hedin, M. (2018, February 13). Therapy dogs may unlock health benefits for patients in hospital ICUs. The Hub.

Morrison, M. L. (2007). Health benefits of animal-assisted interventions. Complementary Health Practice Review, 12(1), 51-62.


APA References List Rules:

  • Include the References list at the end of your paper on a new page
  • Title the page: References (in bold)
  • Double space all citations. Do not include extra spacing between entries
  • Use hanging indent, which means indenting the second and subsequent lines of a citation by 0.5 inches
  • One space after all punctuation
  • One inch margins on all sides
  • Top right header should include the page number
  • Uppercase only the following: first word of the title, first word of the subtitle, proper nouns
  • Title Case and italicize titles of periodicals

APA Citation Formats and Examples by Source type

Please note that References pages require hanging indents for each citation.

Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of work: Use uppercase letter for first word in subtitle.
Publisher Name. DOI (if available) or URL (if available) 

Example (Print):
Muller, K. (1988). San Jose: City with a past. San Jose Historical Museum Association.

Example (eBook):  

Arunima Datta. (2021). Fleeting Agencies : A Social History of Indian Coolie Women in British Malaya. Cambridge University Press.

Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of chapter. In Editor First Initial Last Name (Ed.), Title of book (Page #s). Publisher.

Boilard, S. D. (2020). College admissions. In M. J. O’Neal (Ed.), Civil rights movements: Past and present (2nd ed., Vol. 1, pp. 159-160). Salem Press/Grey House.

Author, A. A. (Year, Month Day). Title of article. Magazine or Newspaper Title, Volume (Issue), Page#s.

Magazine Example:
 Geddes, L. (2010, March 27). Slow thinking may nurture creativity. New Scientist, 205(2753), 12.

Newspaper Example:
Schwartz, J. (1993, September 30). Obesity affects economic, social status. The Washington Post, B2.

Author, A. A. & Author, B. B. (Year). Title of article. Journal Title, Volume (Issue Number if given), Page#s

Mellers, B. A. & Barton, M. (2000). Choice and the relative pleasure of consequences. Psychological Bulletin, 126(2), 910-924

Name of Group. (Year). Title of report. Publisher Name. DOI or URL

Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. (2020). Universal masking guidelines for staff, patients, and visitors during COVID-19 pandemic. Retrieved from Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Intranet.

NOTE: If the document is accessible online, include the URL. If it is accessible online to certain individuals (i.e. intranet), state that you “Retrieved from [name of institution] Intranet” as mentioned above.

Author, A. A. or Group (Year, Month Day of publication). Title of page. Title of web site. URL

Website with Author Example:
Price, D. (2018, March 23). Laziness does not exist. Medium. does-not-exist-3af27e312d01

Person or group who uploaded video. (Date of publication). Title of video [Video]. Website host. URL

CNBC. (2019, November 28). Can big tech curb a housing crisis it helped cause? [Video]. YouTube.