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Ethel K Smith Library

*Citation Basics Guide: APA Citation Guide

Brief Overview of Changes

How to: Capturing Evidence

The 3 Basic Ways to Capture Evidence 

  1. Direct Quote
  2. Paraphrase
  3. Summary

Direct Quote
A direct quote is information taken from a source verbatim, or exactly as it appears in the source. In APA, it is standard to put quotation marks around your direct quote. The writer must include an in-text citation. 

For example: "Pluto is the only world (so far) named by an 11-year old girl" (National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2018). 

When paraphrasing information/an idea from a source, a writer uses his or her own words to represent the information taken from the source. Keep in mind that although the writer is using their own words, the information/ideas are not his or her own information/ideas, so the paraphrase must have an in-text citation.

For example: Venetia Burney, an 11-year old girl at the time, named the dwarf planet Pluto in 1930 (National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2018). 

A summary is similar to a paraphrase because the writer is using his or her own words, but unlike a paraphrase, a summary condenses an entire source into a sentence. Again, although the writer is using their own words to summarize the source, the information/ideas are not his or her own information/ideas, so the summary must have an in-text citation.

For example: The origin of Pluto's name is described in NASA's web page on the dwarf planet (National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2018). 

Additional Resources

Google Web Search

APA 7th edition Citations

How to Format a References Page

At the end of an APA style paper, a writer will include a list of all the sources used in the paper; this list is called References. The References page needs:

  • To begin on its own separate page
  • A title that reads References in Bold
  • Full citations for every source used in the essay, double spaced with hanging indents, sorted alphabetically


Last, F. (Year of publication). Title of book. Publisher. 

Redfern, M. (1998). The Kingfisher young people's book of space. Kingfisher.

eBook from a research database

Last, F. (Year of publication). Title of book. (edition). Publisher. Include DOI if available

Elkins-Tanton, L. T. (2011). Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, and the outer solar system. (revised ed.). Facts on File Inc.

Journal Articles

Last, F. (Year of publication). Title of article. Title of Journal, volume(issue), pages. DOI preferred or URL.

Ksanfomality, L. (2016). Pluto: Dwarf planet 134340. Solar System Research, 50(1), 67-80., A. (2016). New horizons and the exploration of the Pluto system. Mercury, 45(2), 20-28.

*APA states that "works without DOIs from most academic research databases do not include a URL or database information in the reference because these works are widely available." However, "works from databases that publish works limited circulation (such as ERIC database) . . . include the name of the database or archive and the URL of the work." If the URL requires a login or is session specific . . . provide the URL of the database . . . instead of the URL for the work (Section 9.34).

The librarians highly recommend asking your professor for their preferences with this rule.

Web Page

*APA states to "use the webpages and websites category if there is no other reference category that fits and the work has no parent or overarching publication (e.g., journal, blog, conference proceedings)" (Section 10.16).

Last, F. (Year, month day of publication). Title of web page. Title of website. Retrieved from URL 

National Aeronautics and Space Administration. (2018, January 01). Overview: Pluto. Solar System Exploration.

Multiple Authors

In APA, you will always list the authors names in the order they appear on the source.
For 1-20 authors, include all authors:

Calandra, M. F., & Gil-Hutton, R. (2017). Cratering rate on Pluto produced by the inner trans-Neptunian population. Astronomy & Astrophysics 601, 1-5.

For 21 or more authors, include the first 19 authors' names, an ellipses, and the last author's name:

Schmitt, B., Philippe, S., Grundy, W. M., Reuter, D. C., Côte, R., Quirico, E., Protopapa, S., Young, L. A., Binzel, R. P., Cook, J. C., Cruikshank, D. P., Dalle Ore, C. M., Earle, A. M., Ennico, K., Howett, C. J. A., Jennings, D. E., Linscott, I. R., Lunsford, A. W., Olkin, C. B., … Weaver, H. A. (2017). Physical state and distribution of materials at the surface of Pluto from New Horizons LEISA imaging spectrometer. Icarus, 287, 229–260.

No Author/No Date

If you find a source with no author or date listed, please find a librarian for assistance.

Corporate/Government author. (Year of publication). Title of web page. Title of website. URL

National Aeronautics and Space Administration. (2018). Overview: Pluto. Solar system exploration.

How to Cite In-Text

In-text citations in APA follow the author-date method. That is, all in-text citations will include the author's(authors') name and the date of publication. The in-text citation will typically appear one of two ways:

      1. At the beginning of captured material: According to Redfern (1998), ...

      2. At the end of captured material: ... (Redfern, 1998).

If using a direct quote from the source, a writer will also include the page number in the in-text citation; use a p. to denote page number. 
For example: (Redfern, 1998, p.14) 

Work with Multiple Authors

For 2 authors:

      1. At the beginning of captured material: According to Calandra and Gil-Hutton (2017), ...

      2. At the end of captured material: ... (Calandra & Gil-Hutton, 2017)

For 3 or more authors:

      1. At the beginning of captured material: According to Ortiz et al. (2012), ...

      2. At the end of captured material: ... (Ortiz et al., 2012).

Work with No Author

Sometimes writers encounter sources that do not name an author. In such cases, determine whether the source lists a corporate author, such as a government body, association, company, etc. OR if the source is entirely anonymous.

If the source has a corporate author, you will use the organization's name as the author's name.
For example: (National Aeronautics and Space Administration)

If the source is entirely anonymous, use the full or shortened title in place of an author and add the year.
For example: ("Overview: Pluto," 2018) for a title that is not italicized or (Overview: Pluto, 2018) if the title is italicized.

 Work with No Date 

If a writer is using a source that does not contain a date of publication, n.d. is used to signify no date.

For example: (National Aeronautics and Space Administration, n.d.)