APA Citation Examples
An APA citation is a specific way to format a reference to a text that is used in the publication of another text. APA stands for American Psychological Association. APA style is used for articles, books, and other manuscripts in the sciences and social sciences.
When a writer references information from other sources in his/her manuscript, a citation is necessary. APA style requires in-text citations, and a complete list of references at the end.
In-text citations for APA are formatted according to these rules:
1. The author and the year of publication are required. You can put these in parentheses at the end of the reference or quotation from the work. You separate the author's last name from the year of publication using a comma. You can also incorporate the name of the author and sometimes the name of the author and the year into the sentence:
a. Smith (2010) argues that . . .
b. In 2010, Smith's study . . .
c. The study has led to advancements in treatment options (Smith, 2010).
2. If there is more than one author, you would refer to both:
a. The study has led to advancements in treatment options (Smith & Jones, 2010).
3. If there are more than 2 authors, you follow slightly different rules.
a. Three to five authors-list all in the first citation and then just use the first author's name and "et al." after:
i. (Smith, Jones, Heath, & Bruce, 2010)
ii. (Smith et al., 2010)
b. With 6 or more authors, just use the first author's name and "et al." for all citations:
i. (Smith et al., 2010)
4. If you quote directly from the text, you also need to include the page number-preceded by "p.":
a. Smith (2010) claims, "Sunscreen can only protect you from so much sun damage" (p. 34).
At the end of an APA manuscript, you also include a references section. This contains complete information about the works that have been cited or referenced in the text.
These references are arranged by author's name alphabetically. They also include the author's/authors' name(s), year of publication, title of the work, and publication information. There are rules that govern how to format various types of sources, including electronic sources. For complete information refer to the current edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.
Here are a few examples of APA citations from a reference section:
Coburn, C.E., & Stein, M. K. (2006). Communities of practice theory and the role of teacher
professional community in policy implementation. In M.I. Honig (Ed.), New Directions in Education Policy Implementation: Confronting Complexity (pp. 25-46). Albany, NY: SUNY.
Cuban, L. (1991). Curriculum stability and change. In P. W. Jackson, (Ed.), Handbook of research on curriculum (pp. 216-247). NY: Macmillan.
Dahlkemper, L. (2013). What does scientifically based research mean for schools. SEDL Letter,
15(1). Retrieved from www.sedl.org/pubs/sedl-letter/v15n01/2.hmtl
Denton, C. A., Nimon, K., Mathes, P. G., Swanson, E. A., Kethley, C., Kurz, T. B., & Shih, M.
(2010). Effectiveness of a supplemental early reading intervention scaled up in multiple schools. Exceptional Children, 76(4), 394-416. Available at http://www.cec.sped.org/Content/NavigationMenu/Publications2/ExceptionalChildren/default.htm