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Plagiarism and Citation

This guide provides information on how to properly cite your sources and avoid plagiarism.

APA 7 Reference List

All sources cited within the text of a document must be listed on the Reference page. 

The Reference page format: 

  • Starts on a new page
  • The word "References" should appear centered on the page, capitalized, and in bold
  • Use a hanging indent - the first line of each reference entry should be flush to the left side, all lines after the first line of each entry should be indented 0.5 inches from the left margin
  • Double space all reference entries
  • Alphabetize entries by the first authors' last names
  • Two or more works by the same author should be ordered by publication date, with the oldest entry listed first. For additional order rules, see sections 9.44-9-49 in the APA Manual (7th ed.).
  • Format reference entries according to type – refer to the citation examples on other pages within the APA Style Guide

APA Citation Guides

In text citations

Basic elements of an in text citation include: Author(s) and Date

Parenthetical (citation after a paraphrased statement or direct quote): (Author, Date) 

  • Paraphrased statement or direct quote (Smith, 2020).

Narrative (citation within a paraphrase): Author (Date)

  • Smith (2020) proposes use of qualitative research. 

In text citations of 2 authors: 

Parenthetical: (Author 1 Last Name & Author 2 Last Name, Date) 

  • Paraphrased statement or direct quote (Bradshear & Smith, 2020).

Narrative: Within a Author 1 Last Name and Author 2 Last Name (Date) paraphrased statement 

  • Qualitative research as proposed by Bradshear and Smith (2020) is appropriate for this study.

In text citations with 3 or more authors are cited with "et al." 

Parenthetical: Paraphrased statement or direct quote (Author 1 Last name et al., Date).

  • Qualitative research methods are common among medical studies (Macon et al., 2020).

Narrative: Citation Author 1 Last name et al. (2020) within a paraphrased statement.

  • Macon et al. (2020) propose the use of qualitative methods for medical studies. 

In a citation where the author is unknown or cannot reasonably be determined the title of the work takes the place of the author. 

If the title of the work is italicized in the reference list, the title is italicized for the in text citation.

  • Parenthetical or Direct quote: (Translation of evidence, 2021).
  • Narrative: In the work, Translation of evidence, (2021) qualitative research methods are supported. 

If the title of the work is not italicized in the reference list, use double quotation marks for the in text citation. 

  • Parenthetical or Direct quote: ("Medical curriculum protocols," 2021).
  • Narrative: "Medical curriculum protocols," (2021) require the synthesis of evidence to support capstone proposals. 

Parenthetical in text citations of multiple works are used when paraphrased information is acquired from multiple sources. 

The citations are listed alphabetically and separated by a semicolon. 

  • (Abrams, 2019; Gunther & Davis, 2020; Schuster, 2018). 

In the first in text citation of a group or organizational author, the full name of the group or organization name must be provided with the abbreviation listed immediately after the full name. 

All in text citations following the first, the group or organizational author may be abbreviated. 

Parenthetical: Parenthetical in text citations of a group or organizational author, the abbreviation is contained in square brackets. 

  • (American Nursing Association [ANA], 2021). 
  • Subsequent citations of the same group: (ANA, 2021).

Narrative: In the first narrative citation of a group or organizational author, the group name is provided in full, with the abbreviation immediately after, followed by the date of publication. 

  • The American Nursing Association (ANA, 2021) acknowledges healthcare worker burnout with its support of the Health Care Provider Protection Act. 
  • Subsequent narrative citations: ANA (2021) supports global vaccination of all health care workers. 


If the date of an information/evidence source is unknown, the work is dated as "no date" and written as "n.d." 

Tip: For website sources, check the bottom of the webpage for dates of revision or copyright, this would be the date used. 

Parenthetical: (Gladdine, n.d.)

Narrative: Gladdine (n.d.)


Book citations

Print book basic format: 

Includes the author(s) last name(s) and intial(s). (Date of copyright) The title of the book is italicized (edition, volume.). Publisher name. 

  • Author Last name, Initials. (Date) Title of book (ed, vol.). Publisher name. 

Author Last Name, Initials, & Author Last Name, Initials. (Date). Title of book. (ed. vol.). Publisher name. DOI or URL

**Note: Include the DOI when available. If the book has no DOI but is available on a website outside of an academic database, include the URL. Do not include the URL for books from academic research databases.

If a book has 21 or more authors, include the first 19 authors, and then use the an ellipsis (...) followed by the name of the last author. 

Daclafani, C. B., Drahl, D., Nison, S., Chrest, S., Collson, C., Randive, M., Smith, T., Davis, R., Cameroon, M., Reiner, B., Hand, T., Burtick, K., Stenston, P., Walker, R., Coxx, N., Colvey, S., Jackson, B., Mastre, A., Creswell, J., ...Polsdam, N. (2016). A compilation of works. Lippincott Williams Wilkins.

Note: An edited book will replace the author's name with the editor's name.

Guitar, B. & McCauley, R. (Eds.) (2016). Treatment of stuttering: Established and emerging interventions. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. 

Journal article citations

Basic elements of a journal citation: 

  1. Author(s)'s last name(s) and initial(s) 
  2. Date of article publication Note: include more specific dates (such as month and day) when available
  3. Title of article/document
  4. Title of journal
  5. Publication information: volume, issue, page numbers 
  6. Retrieval information (if known): DOI or URL

Author(s) Last name, Initials. (Date). Article title. Journal TitleVolume(Issue), page numbers.

All authors (up to 20) are listed within the reference list of a journal citation. 

  • Parenthetical citation of multiple author journal articles: (Sworsky, et al., 2019).
  • Narrative citation of multiple author journal articles: Sworsky et al. (2019)

Journal article with a DOI:

  • Palmryd, L., Rejnö, Å., & Godskesen, T. E. (2021). Integrity at end of life in the intensive care unit: A qualitative study of nurses’ views. Annals of Intensive Care11(1).

Journal article without a DOI: 

Note about DOI: 

  • APA Style includes digital object identifiers (DOIs) in an article citation.

  • DOIs are usually located on the article or in the database where the article was found
  • Some articles do not have a DOI
    • If the article has a stable URL, replace the DOI with the URL
    • If the article has no stable URL and no DOI, do not include any additional retrieval statements
  • Find DOIs

As noted in the ATSU Writing Center

Special Permissions
You need to use either the DOI or the URL of the webpage that takes a reader directly to the journal article referenced. A webpage that requires either special permission (such as access to ATSU/EBSCOhost) or a subscription will not work. Do some sleuthing to see if you can find the original article and then use the appropriate DOI or URL. If neither the DOI nor direct URL exist, the home page of the journal can be used if necessary.


If the source is an online scholarly article that has no DOI and is published on a database, such as EBSCO, and is considered "widely available," it does not need a URL or any database information in the reference (see Section 9.30 of the APA manual). However, the exception to this rule is if the original is a dissertation or thesis through ProQuest or a similar database (in limited circulation), see the templates for unpublished and published dissertations in Section 10.6 of the APA manual for proper format of the references.  

Website citations

Author, Initials. (Year, Month, Day). Title of page. Website name. URL

If the publishing organization and the website name are the same, you do not need to include the website name in your citation.

Name of Organization Or Group. (Date). Title of page. Website name. URL

Name of Specific Agency or Organization Responsible for Content. (Date). Title of webpage. Add names of parent agencies if available. URL

Webpages may not have individual authors. Use the agency, company or organization responsible for the information. If there is no obvious date, there may be a date last modified located near the end of the content. If neither are present, use n.d. for "no date". 

If you are citing a website in which the contents of the page are likely to change frequently, include a retrieval date in your citation.

Author, Initials. (Date). Title of page. Website name. Retrieved Date, from URL



Other Citation Types

Individual author(s) or Organization. (Date). Title of report or gray literature (include report number if applicable). Publisher name. DOI

Presenter Last name, Initial. (Date of presentation). Title of contribution [Type of contribution]. Conference name, location. DOI or URL. 

Type of contribution may include:

  • conference session
  • paper presentation
  • poster presentation
  • symposium contribution


Author Last name, Initial. (Date). Title of dissertation [Doctoral dissertation, Name of Institution Awarding the degree]. Database name. Archive Name. URL. 


Author Last name, Initial. (Date). Title of dissertation [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. Name of Institution awarding the degree. 

Author Last name, Initial. (Date). Title of thesis [Unpublished master's thesis]. Name of institution awarding the degree. 

Citing Data


Author. (Publication Date). Title of Dataset. (Version #) [Data set]. Publisher. DOI/URL


O’Donohue, W. (2017). Content analysis of undergraduate psychology textbooks (ICPSR 21600; Version V1) [Data set]. ICPSR.

Cool, H. E. M., & Bell, M. (2011). Excavations at St Peter’s Church, Barton-upon-Humber [Data set]. doi:10.5284/1000389

APA Tutorial

Our librarians have created an interactive, online escape room tutorial to help you learn more about how to cite sources in APA style. See the links below to take the tutorial or view a PDF version of the tutorial.