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IDS 108 - University Success Skills

This guide provides resources and information for IDS 108.

APA Style Structure of a Reference and In-text Citation

We use in-text citations and reference lists to guide the reader/viewer/audience member to the sources used to write, present, or create the paper, speech, or other creative piece.

It is common for individuals who want to learn more about a topic to find and use the sources in a reference list. The source format and type impacts what is and isn't included in the in-text citation and reference. Here are general example or look at the specific examples on this guide.

In Text Citation: Basic Structure

  • Only includes the author's (authors) last name followed by publication year and is in is parentheses e.g., (Adams, 2018).
  • Placed at the end of the sentence
  • Individual elements are separated by commas
  • If author (or authors) name is used in the sentence, only publication year is placed in parentheses and next to the author's name
    • e.g. - Adams and Brown (2018) highlight the use of...
Examples of APA Style in-text citations
Author Type Parenthetical citation Narrative citation
One author (McCord, 2012) McCord (2012)
Two authors (Green & Brown, 2017) Green and Brown (2017)
Three or more authors (Fisher et al., 2003) Fisher et al. (2003)

Group author with abbreviation

   

First citation*

(National Park Service [NPS], 2023) National Park Service (NPS, 2023)

Subsequent citations

(NPS, 2023) NPS (2023)
Group author without abbreviation (Illinois State University, 2024) Illinois State University (2024)

*Indicate the abbreviation for a group author only once in the text, choosing either the parenthetical or narrative format. Then use the abbreviation in the text for any additional mentions of the group. More information in Section 8.21 of the APA Publication Manual.

References: Basic Structure

  • Second line of a reference is indented .5 inches (Hanging indent)
  • Each author's name is listed last name, first initial - e.g., Adams, S.
  • Individual elements are separated by periods
Examples of APA Style references
Author Type Reference
One author McCord, E. L. (2012). The value of species. Yale University Press.
Two authors

Green, L. C., & Brown, P. B. (2017). The entrepreneur’s playbook: More than 100 proven strategies, tips, and techniques to build a radically successful business. AMACOM.

Three to twenty authors

Fisher, D., Frey, N., Quaglia, R. J., Smith, D., & Lande, L. L. (2018). Engagement by design: Creating learning environments where students thrive. Corwin Literacy.

Group author

National Park Service. (n.d.). Milkweed and monarchs. https://www.nps.gov/articles/000/milkweed-and-monarchs.htm

Take the hassle out of in-text citing and reference lists. Use a source manager:

Why Cite Sources

When you research a topic you may use information from articles, books, or the Open Web to support your ideas. Building upon the ideas and knowledge of other people is the way we as individuals build and contribute to the knowledge around us. When you integrate other peoples' ideas and work into your own, it is important to give those authors credit for their hard work.

Tips for researching and citing:

  • Take clear, accurate notes about where you found specific ideas.
  • Write down the complete citation information for each item you use.
  • Take advantage of online citing tools.
  • Use quotation marks when directly stating another person's words.
  • Always credit original authors for their information and ideas.

When to Cite

1. If you quote a resource, cite it.

2. If you paraphrase someone else's idea or statement, cite it.

3. If you're unsure, cite it.

4. If you state a fact that is not common knowledge, cite it.

Difference between Common Knowledge and Facts that need to be cited

Statement Cite? Reason
The internet has brought many changes to the field of journalism. No Most people are aware of this.
Newspaper circulation has dropped by 20 percent because of the Internet Yes This is a specific fact but not common knowledge.

An in-text citation is like a tag within a paper, presentation, poster, etc. It tells the reader or listener where to find a source's information in the associated bibliography.

 

A reference is the actual source's information such as author, title, and year of publication. This information appears within a bibliography.

Parts of a reference include:

  • author(s) name,
  • the complete title of the work,
  • publication information, and
  • the date of publication.

Different types of sources will dictate the inclusion of different elements in a reference. Consult the Styles Guides page for links to our specific styles guides.

Examples

MLA

Book

Author(s) name. Title of Book. Publishing company, Year.

Travis, Raphael. The Healing Power of Hip Hop. Praeger, 2016.


Articles

Author(s) name. "Title of article." Title of Journal/Magazine/Newspaper, vol. #, no. #, year, pp. #. Link/DOI [if applicable]

Martín, Gustavo A. Rodríguez. "Shaw by the Numbers." Shaw, vol. 33, no. 1, 2013, pp. 176–202.

Williams, Martin, and Francis Buttle. "Managing Negative Word-Of-Mouth: An Exploratory Study." Journal of Marketing Management, vol. 30, no. 13-14, 2014, pp. 1423-1447. doi: 10.1080/0267257X.2014.933864

Greene, Mairead, and Paula Shorter. "Building Conceptual Understanding in Precalculus." Transformative Dialogues: Teaching & Learning Journal, vol. 6, no. 2, 2012, pp. 1–16, http://www.kpu.ca/sites/default/files/TD.6.2.2_Greene%26Shorter_Precalculus.pdf

APA

Book

Author(s) name. (Year). Title of Book. Publishing company.

Travis, R. (2016). The Healing Power of Hip Hop. Praeger.


Articles

Author(s) name. (Year). Title of article. Title of Journal/Magazine/Newspaper, volume number(issue number), page numbers. Link/DOI, if applicable

Martín, G. A. R. (2013). Shaw by the numbers. Shaw: The Annual of Bernard Shaw Studies, 33(1), 176-202.

Williams, M., & Buttle, F. Managing negative word-of-mouth: an exploratory Study. Journal of Marketing Management, 30(13-14), 1423-1447. https://doi.org/10.1080/0267257X.2014.933864

Greene, M., & Shorter, P. (2012). Building conceptual understanding in precalculus. Transformative Dialogues: Teaching & Learning Journal, 6(2), 1-16. http://www.kpu.ca/sites/default/files/TD.6.2.2_Greene%26Shorter_Precalculus.pdf

Chicago

Book

Author(s) name. Title of book. Place of Publication: Publishing company, Year.

Travis, Raphael. The Healing Power of Hip Hop. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, 2016.


Articles

Author(s) name. "Title of article." Title of Journal/Magazine/Newspaper volume number, no. # (year): pages. Link/DOI [if applicable]

Martín, Gustavo A. Rodríguez. "Shaw by the Numbers." Shaw 33, no. 1 (2013): 176–202.

Williams, Martin, and Francis Buttle. "Managing Negative Word-Of-Mouth: An Exploratory Study." Journal of Marketing Management 30, no. 13-14, (2014): 1423-1447. https://doi.org/10.1080/0267257X.2014.933864.

Greene, Mairead, and Paula Shorter. "Building Conceptual Understanding in Precalculus." Transformative Dialogues: Teaching & Learning Journal 6, no. 2 (2012): 1–16, http://www.kpu.ca/sites/default/files/TD.6.2.2_Greene%26Shorter_Precalculus.pdf.

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