HUNTER COLLEGE READING/WRITING CENTER
THE DOCUMENTED ESSAY/RESEARCH PAPER
APA Citation and Bibliography Form
When writing your research paper, you must document everything that
you borrow--not only direct quotations and paraphrases but also information
and ideas. You must indicate the source of any appropriated material that
readers might otherwise mistake for your own.
The American Psychological Association (APA) supplies a guide to the
style most commonly used in the social sciences. This type of documentation
is primarily used in psychology and sociology classes. This style is not to be
confused with MLA format; there are significant differences between the two
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Note: A documented essay or reasearch paper using
APA format must be double spaced throughout,
including quotations, notes,
and reference list.
A WORK WITH ONE AUTHOR
When citing sources in the text of your paper, give the following
information: the last name of the author, followed by a comma and the year in
which the author published the cited information. This information is placed
in parentheses immediately following the cited material:
A number or experts now believe that cognitive development begins much
earlier than Piaget had thought (Gelman, 1978).
Note: In this example the writer was citing Gelman's information despite the
fact that no direct quotation was used.
If the author's name is included in your text, you only need to put the
year of publication in parentheses immediately following the author's name:
As Gelman (1978) points out, a number of experts now believe that
cognitive development begins much earlier than Piaget had thought.
If you refer to a specific page of a study, use "p." and set it off with
Dean Rusk's exposure to Nazi power in Europe in the 1930s seems to have
permanently influenced his attitude toward appeasement (Karnow, 1983,
Put page number in parentheses after the cited material, not after the
year of publication:
Karnow (1983) maintains that Dean Rusk's exposure to Nazi power in
Europe in the 1930s "scarred his mind" (p. 179).
Note the use of quotation marks in this example.
If you set off a long quotation in a block (a good rule of thumb is that
a quote of 40 words or more should be indented), you do not use quotation
marks, and the author's name and the publication year can follow the quote
with no additional period:
At least one critic maintains that Dean Rusk's exposure to Nazi power in
Europe in the 1930s permanently influenced his attitude toward
Then came the moment that transformed his life and his thinking.
He won a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford. More important, his
exposure to Europe in the early 1930s, as the Nazis consolidated
their power in Germany, scarred his mind, leading him to share
Acheson's hostility to appeasement in any form anywhere. (Karnow,
If you are citing more than one work by the same author, make sure you
give the dates for different sources:
One nuclear energy proponent for years has insisted on; the importance
of tight controls for the industry (Weinberg, 1972) .... He goes so for as
to call on utility companies to insure each reactor with their own funds
When you cite two or more sources by the same author from the same
year, arrange the titles alphabetically in the reference list (see below) and
identify each with a lowercase letter placed after the date (1976a, 1976b,
1976c, and so on). Identify them the same way in your text. Here the book
referred to is Stephen H. Schneider's The Genesis Strategy:
Those who advocate the "genesis strategy" would have the world store
up food in preparation for future climatic changes (Schneider, 1976b).
A WORK WITH TWO AUTHORS
If a source has two authors, cite them in the order in which their names
appear on the source material (not necessarily in alphabetical order). Use an
ampersand (&) in parenthetical citation but write out the word "and" if you
mention the authors' names in your text:
Ex-mental patients released from institutions but given no follow-up
care will almost surely fail to cope with the stresses of living on their
own (Bassuk & Gerson, 1978).
Bassuk and Gerson (1978) hold out little hope for ex-mental patients who
are released from institutions but are given no follow-up care.
A WORK WITH MULTIPLE AUTHORS
If a work cited has between three and six authors, use all the last names
in your first citation. In subsequent citations, use the first name and "et
al.," which means "and others." If a work has more than six authors, use the
first author's name and "et al." even in the first reference:
In one study, the IQs of adopted children were found to correlate more
closely with the IQs of their biological mothers than with those of their
adoptive mothers (Horn, Loehlin & Wellerman, 1975).
Later studies have challenged the genetic view advanced by Wesson et
al. (1978) by citing, among other things, selective placement on the part
of adoption agencies.
A WORK BY A GROUP AUTHOR
Use the full name of the group author in parentheses:
There are three types of oxygen deprivation (American Red Cross, 1974).
A GOVERNMENT DOCUMENT
A citation in your text, at the end of a sentence, simply identifies the
document by originating agency, as given in the reference list, followed by its
abbreviation (if any) and year of publication (and page number, if appropriate).
Clearly, it is of paramount importance to stop the spread of mosquito-
borne diseases (Department of Health and Human Services [DHHS], 1986,
Later citations just use the abbreviation and the date: (DHHS, 1986).
AN ANONYMOUS WORK
When you cite an anonymous work, such as a pamphlet or an unsigned
newspaper article, identify it with a short underlined title and a date:
There are questions people can ask themselves if they suspect their
drinking has gotten out of hand (Alcoholism, 1986).
Note that when a work's author is designated as "Anonymous," cite in text the
word Anonymous followed by a comma and the date.
MULTIPLE WORKS IN THE SAME ENTRY
Refer to works by different authors in alphabetical order, and include
the dates of the studies you cite:
Several studies (Bassuk & Gerson, 1978; Miller, 1977; Thompson, 1980)
blame society for the plight of homeless mental patients.
Note the use of semi-colons in this type of entry.
Mention nonprint sources (television, radio, broadcast news, etc.) in the
same style as print sources; i.e. source's name and date of publication
Personal communications, including E-mail, discussion groups, telephone
conversations, interviews, letters, menos, etc. are not listed in the reference
list at the end of your paper. In your text, however, you should include the
initial(s) and surname of your communicator, with the date remembered as
exactly as possible:
C. G. Sherwood (personal communication, September 29, 1986) has specific
suggestions about the market in Belgium.
It is important to keep in mind the cultural differences between
countries, especially in this case the difference between the United
States and Belgium (C. G. Sherwood, personal communication, September
LISTING: APA STYLE
In APA style, the list of works cited is called "References" and appears
on a separate page at the end of your paper. When listing print sources, your
list should be alphabetical by author's last name. Note: your reference list
must be double-spaced. The first line of each entry must be indented 5 spaces.
Do not number your entries.
In your reference list, the author's name comes first, followed
immediately by the year in parentheses. In the title only the first word,
proper names, and the word following a colon are capitalized. For the author's
first and middle names, only use initials. Note that APA style calls for the
complete name of a publisher (including the word 'Press' for example):
Karnow, S. (1983). Vietnam: A history. New York: Viking Press.
If you cite more than one work by the same author, list the entries in
order by year of publication (oldest to most recent). If you have multiple
entries by the same author from the same year, arrange the titles
alphabetically and identify their order with lowercase letters beginning with
Schneider, S. H. (1976a). Climate change and the world predicament:
A case study for interdisciplinary research. Boulder, CO: National
Center for Atmospheric Research.
Schneider, S. H. (1976b). The genesis strategy: Climate and global
survival. New York: Plenum Press.
A WORK WITH TWO OR MORE AUTHORS
In a work with two or more authors, write all authors'names last name
first in the order in which they appear on the source document and separate
them with commas:
Miller, G. A., Galanter, E., & Pribram, K. H. (1960). Plans and the
structure of behavior. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
Note that even before the ampersand you place a comma.
A WORK BY A GROUP AUTHOR
Books by group authors are treated very much like books by single
American Red Cross. (1974). Lifesaving: Rescue and water safety.
New York: Doubleday.
Start with the name of the governmemtal department and then give the
date of publication, the title (and author, if known), identifying number, and
Department of Health and Human Services. (1986). Mosquito control
measures in Gulf Coast states (DHHW Publication No. F 82-06000).
Washington, DC: U. S. Government Printing Office.
List anonymous books, pamphlets, or news articles by their full titles.
If, and only if, the work is signed "Anonymous," the entry begins with the word
Anonymous spelled out, and the entry is alphabetized as if Anonymous were a
Alcoholism and you. (1986). Pearl Island: Okra Press.
New drug appears to sharply cut risk of death from heart failure.
(1993, July 15). The Washington Post, p. A12.
AN ARTICLE OR CHAPTER IN AN EDITED BOOK
For a selection from a book with an editor, use the following form:
Lewontin, R. C. (1976). Race and intelligence. In N. J. Block & G.
Dworkin (Eds.), The IQ controversy (pp. 78-92). New York: Pantheon.
Note that you do not put quotation marks around the title of the article or
If you cite an article from a journal that uses continuous pagination
throughout the year, the reference listing looks like this:
Gelman, R. (1978). Cognitive development. Annual Review of
Psychology, 29, 297-332.
Note that the periodical title is capitalized normally and the volume number
29 is underlined.
Posner, M. I. (1993, October 29). Seeing the mind. Science,
If, however, each issue of a periodical is paginated separately, the
listing should look like this:
Bassuk, E. L., & Gerson, S. (1978, February). Deinstitutionalization
and mental health services. Scientific American, pp. 46-53.
A citation for a newspaper article looks like this:
Auerbach, J. D. (1986, June 22). Nuclear freeze at a crossroads. The
Boston Globe, p. A19.
LISTING NONPRINT SOURCES
Nonprint sources appear alphabetically in your "References" along with
the printed works.
Miller, R. (Producer). (1989). The mind. New York: WNET.
Single episode from a television series
Restak, R. M. (1989). Depression and mood (D. Sage, Director).
In J. Sameth (Producer), The mind. New York: WNET.
Costa, P. T., Jr. (Speaker). (1988). Personality, continuity, and
changes of adult life (Cassette Recording No. 207-433-88A-B).
Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
If you know the location and name of the distributor, they appear at the
end of your citation.
As with any published reference, the goals of an electronic reference
are to credit the author and to enable the reader to find the material.
Bender report [Computer software]. (1993). Melbourne, FL:
National Health Interview Survey--Current health topics: 1991--
Longitudinal study of aging (Version 4) [Electronic data tape]. (1992).
Hyattsville, MD: National Center For Health Satistics [Producer and
The newest APA guidelines suggest omitting personal communications
form your list of references since they do not provide recoverable
(verifiable) data. Simply indicate personal communications in the body of your
text, as indicated in the first half of this handout.
For further information concerning APA Citation and Bibliography
Form, consult the Publication Manual of the American Psycological
Association (4th edition)
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