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TEL 130: Computing Technology and Information Systems for Technology Careers

Quick & Dirty APA Reference

Most APA citations have two parts:

In-Text Citations

In-text citations should have:

  • the author's (or authors') last name
  • the year of publication
  • the page number(s), if you're using a direct quote

There are two ways to do in-text citations:

  • Parenthetical citations – all citation information is in parentheses

    Ex. Some studies have found that students with disabilities are not always encouraged to go to college (Elmore, Veitch, & Harbor, 2018).

  • Narrative citations – citation information is split up

    Ex. Elmore, Veitch, and Harbor (2018) found that students with disabilities are not always encouraged to go to college.

General rules for in-text citations:

  • The quotation mark goes before the parentheses
  • The period goes after the parentheses
  • If the quotation is on just one page, use "p." before the page number. If the quotation spans across two pages, use "pp." (see the "Books" example)

Reference List Citations

Most things in reference list citations should be lowercase - the exceptions are:

  • The first letter of the first word of the title
  • The first letter of the first word after a colon (see the "Magazine & Journal Articles" example)
  • Proper nouns (see the "Magazine & Journal Articles" example)
    • Not sure if something is a proper noun? Google it!

Citation Types You May Use

Magazine & Journal Articles

In-text citation

Masta (2018) notes that participants in her study were "most at ease interacting with other Native American students" (p. 29).

Reference list

Masta, S. (2018). Strategy and resistance: How Native American students engage in accommodation in mainstream schools. Anthropology & Education Quarterly, 49(1), 21-35.

Note: The general format for article citations is:

  • The author's (or authors') last name, followed by their first initial (and middle initial, if they choose)
  • The publication year
  • The article title
  • The journal or magazine title, in italics
  • The volume number, also in italics
  • The issue number, in parentheses but not in italics
  • The page numbers


In-text citation

Lederman (2018) notes that although OER can save students money, in many cases, "the institution itself is picking up the costs that were formally borne by the students, through some combination of direct subsidies to instructors to create the content and a loss of textbook revenue to a campus store, among other costs".

Note: In most cases, websites don't have page numbers, so you'll leave them off.

Reference list

Lederman, D. (2018, July 25). Calculating (and acknowledging) the costs of OER.

Note: The general format for website citations is:

  • The author's (or authors') last name, followed by their first initial (and middle initial, if they choose)
  • The year and day published; if you can't find a date on the webpage, use n.d. in the parentheses
  • The website title, in italics
  • The URL to the website - make sure not to put a period after the URL

Additional APA Resources

What I've shared above has the very basics, but doesn't go into a lot of detail about how to deal with things like multiple authors. Here are some other resources to help you out:

Using citations from the library databases

Most library databases provide you with a citation for their articles. They are usually mostly correct. It's more common that there are problems with the citations, usually having to do with capitalization and author names.

Here's an example from the Education Source database:

In the citation, most of the words in the article title are capitalized, which is not correct.

Note: the journal in this example has a volume number, but no issue number. This is becoming more common as more journals become online-only!

How to do a hanging indent

When putting together a reference list in APA style, the first line should be normal, but all other lines should be indented. This is called a hanging indent. Here's how you can do it.

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