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APA Style Guide: More examples

A guide to help users create citations using APA (American Psychological Association) style.

No authors listed

In-Text No Identified Author [6.15]

  • Write out the title of the item (as a way to identify it), the date of publication and page and/or paragraph numbers


Example of no identified author in narrative and paraphrase:

The book Social Work in America (1934)…


Example of no identified author in paraphrase:

The field of social work covers many areas (Program Overview, 1987).

No date

Items without any date listed are most commonly websites, but use n.d. (for no date) for any item that does not have a publication date listed.


Example:

Johnson, K. L. (n.d.).

Lecture or Course Notes

NOTE: Use this format to cite a set of notes from a lecture (e.g. power point slides provided by your instructor). To cite something from a lecture that was notincluded in a set of lecture notes, use the "personal communication" format (see below on this page).

General Format

In-Text Citation (Quotation):
(Author Surname, Year)

References:
Author Surname, First Initial. Second Initial. (Year). Lecture title [Format]. Retrieved from Red Deer College Course name Blackboard site.


Example

In-Text Citation (Quotation):
(Mokry, 2007)

References:
Mokry, J. (2007). Lecture 3: The wonders of APA [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from Red Deer College ZOO 342 Blackboard site

Motion Picture/Film/Video

General Format

In-Text Citation (Quotation):
(Producer Surname & Director Surname, Year)

References:
Producer Surname, First Initial. Second Initial. (Producer), & Director Surname, First Initial. Second Initial. (Director). (Year). Title of film [Format {e.g. Motion picture or DVD}]. Country where movie was produced: Name of Studio.


Example

In-Text Citation (Quotation):
(Davidson & Davidson, 1999)

References:
Davidson, F. (Producer), & Davidson, J. (Director). (1999). B. F. Skinner: A fresh appraisal [Motion picture]. United States: Davidson Films

Group or organization as authors

In-Text Group or Organization as Author [6.13]

  • Write out the full name of the organization or group, the date of publication, page and/or paragraph numbers
  • Afterwards abbreviate the organization or group
  • When using a narrative, write out the organization or group name then abbreviate later
  • When not using a narrative, write out the organization or group name then abbreviate in brackets, each use afterwards, use the abbreviation

Examples of group or organization in narrative and paraphrase:

The American Psychological Association (APA, 2010) noted…

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH, 2009) reported…

In 2009, the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) found…


Example of group or organization paraphrase:

The field of social work covers many areas (National Association of Social Workers [NASW], 2008).


Example of group or organization in narrative and quote:

The American Psychological Association (APA, 2010) reported, “The mission of the APA is to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people’s lives” (para. 1).


Example of group or organization quote:

“The mission of the APA is to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people’s lives” (American Psychological Association [APA], 2010, para. 1).

Authors with same Surname

In-Text Authors with the Same Surname [6.14]

  • Write out the authors’ surnames, the date of publication, page and/or paragraph numbers
  • In order not to confuse the reader, include initials for those authors with the same surnames only
  • When using a narrative, write out the authors’ surnames with the word and
  • When not using a narrative, write out the authors’ surnames and use a semicolon [;] to separate the citations

Example of same author surnames narrative and paraphrase:

J. Diaz and Martin (1997) and A. Diaz (2010) noted…

D. Emerson (2009) and K. Emerson (1987) reported…


Example of same author surnames in paraphrase:

The field of social work covers many areas (D. Emerson, 2009; K. Emerson, 1987).

Two or more authors

In-Text Two or More Works [6.13]

  • Write out the authors’ surnames, the date of publication, page and/or paragraph numbers
  • Write the authors’ surnames in alphabetical order and not date of publication order
  • Do not include initials or full names of the authors’ first names
  • When using a narrative, write out the authors’ surnames with the word and
  • When not using a narrative, write out the authors’ surnames and use a semicolon [;] to separate the citations


Examples of two or more works in narrative and paraphrase:

Heath (1997) and Wallace (2010) noted…

Emerson (2009) and Oliver (1987) reported…


Example of two or more works in paraphrase:

The field of social work covers many areas (Heath, 1997; Wallace, 2010).

Image from an Electronic Source (e.g. Work of Art, Photograph, etc.)

NOTE: Citing images/art is NOT covered in the APA Manual. Examples are based on advice from the APA Blog.

General Format

In-Text Citation (Quotation):
(Artist Surname, Year)

References:
Artist Surname, First Initial. Second Initial. (Year). Title of the artwork [Format]. Retrieved from URL


Example

In-Text Citation (Quotation):
(Di Carpi, 1540)

References:
Di Carpi, G. (1540). The holy family [Image]. Retrieved from http://www.getty.edu/art/collections/objects/o707.htm

Personal Communication (e.g. Interview or Email)

Not all of your sources will come from books, journals, newspapers, etc.  Some of them will consist of personal communications, or personal conversations, emails, class lectures, performance art, or research interviews.  Cite personal communications only in the text,  give the initials as well as the surname of the communicator, and provide the exact date if possible (see APA, section 6.20, p. 179; APA Style Blog, "What Belongs in the Reference List?").

NOTE: Personal communications (e.g. interviews or emails) are not included in the reference list because they do not provide recoverable data. Cite them in text only.

General Format

In-Text Citation (Quotation):
(Interviewee First Initial. Second Initial. Surname, personal communication, Month Day, Year)

References:
Not included


Example

In-Text Citation (Quotation):
(Y. Martel, personal communication, April 15, 2005)

References:
Not included

Personal Conversation

In text format:

According to S. Brown (personal communication, July 22, 2012), the statistics class is full.

The statistics class is full (S. Brown, personal communication, July 22, 2012).

If the personal communication is recoverable, then the source should be cited as an archived material.


Individual Email

Since emails are not recoverable, APA treats them like personal communications (see APA Style FAQ, "How Do You Cite E-Mail Communications from Individuals?").  These are not included in the reference list.

In text format:

An example given by M. Lankershim (personal communication, May 11, 2008)

There were 100 participants in the study (M. Lankershim, personal communication, May 11, 2008)


Facebook Page (private, friends-only) (see APA, section 6.10, p. 173)


If a Facebook page privacy settings have been set to "friends only" or "private," then communications can only be referenced in text as personal communications.  However, if the content is visible to everyone, then communications can be posted to the reference page.


Irretrievable Class Lecture

If a class lecture is irretrievable, it is considered unrecoverable data.  Only reference the source within the text, and not on the reference list.

In text format:

According to Professor L. Tucker (personal communication, May 17, 2009)

The post-war depression of the early 1900s was a hardship for all citizens, rich and poor (Professor L. Tucker, personal communication, May 17, 2009)


Personal Interviews (see APA Style FAQ, "How Do You Cite an Interview"; APA Style Blog, "APA Style for Citing Interviews")

Because personal interviews are not considered recoverable data, these references should not be posted in the reference list.

In text format:

M. Hughes (personal communication, February 10, 2005) suggests that

Too many hot dogs are not good for your gut (M. Hughes, personal communication, Febrauary 10, 2005)


Performance Art (see APA Style Blog, "There's an Art to It")

Because people cannot go back to the actual performance unless it has been recorded, performance art should be formatted like a personal communication by giving the artist(s) and date of performance.  This source is not included in the reference list unless the performance has been recorded.


In text format

A. Adler's (personal communication, March 06, 2005) rendition of The Nutcracker is a postmodern attempt at a classical piece of ballet

The postmodern rendition of The Nutcracker (A.Adler, personal communication, March 06, 2005) was a success amongst the critics.


Research Interviews (see APA Blog Post, "What Belongs in the Reference List?")

Though most personal communications include the communicators first initial and surname, in the case of research interviewees, the participant's identity must remain anonymous for ethical reasons.  As a result, you should not include any identifying information.  Here are some ways to keep your participants anonymous:

  • Do not provide any identifying information:

Observations by one of the students interviews draws more attention to the inital problem: [Insert quote without other attributions]

  • Identify the participant by age or some other type of data:

"The experience was different and exhausting (male participant, 43 years of age)."

"In retrospect, I would have spent more time with the research librarian (female psychology student)."

  • Use letters, nicknames, or roles to identify participants

    Student A, Student B;   Participant A, Partcipant B

    John, Mary

    Doctor, Patient; Librarian, Patron; Teacher, Student

Secondary Source

NOTE: Sometimes an author writes about research that someone else has done, but you are unable to track down the original research report. In this case, because you did not read the original report, cite only the source you did consult. The words “as cited in” in the parenthetical reference indicate you have not read the original research.

APA (see APA, section 6.17, p. 178; APA Style FAQ) suggests that secondary sources should be used sparingly, especially when the full-text of the original source is available.  However, there are instances in which the original source is:

  • Out of print
  • Unavailable through the usual sources
  • Not available in English

In these cases, you would list the secondary source in the reference list, name the original work and use an in-text citation for the secondary source.

General Format

In-Text Citation (Paraphrase):
(Author Surname, Year qtd. as cited in Author Surname [of the source you read], Year)

References:
Author Surname, First Initial. Second Initial. (Year). Book title: Subtitle. Place of Publication: Publisher.
TIP: For sources other than books, see other examples on this guide or refer to the APA manual


Example

In-Text Citation (Paraphrase):
Fong’s 1987 study (as cited in Bertram, 1996) found that older students’ memory can be as good as that of young people, but this depends on how memory is tested.

References:
Do not include Fong (1987) in your References; do include Bertram (1996).

Citing an original work from a secondary source:

a. Secondary citation within the text:

According to Freud (as cited in Skinner, 1923), the characteristics ….

b. The document used is cited in the reference list:

Skinner, B. F. (1974). About behavioralism.  New York, NY: Knopf.

Notice that Freud is mentioned in the body of the paper so the reader would understand that any ideas being cited even though the actual book that discussed Freud's ideas was actual written by Skinner.

Citing an unpublished manuscript from an archival collection

Original documents for unpublished and archived sources are difficult to retrieve so secondary sources may be used. An example includes a diary entry like the example in APA (6th ed.), p. 178, section 6.17.

a. Secondary citation ithin the text (direct APA example, p. 178)

    Allport's diary (as cited in Nicholson, 2003).

b. The actual document  used  is cited in the reference list

Nicholson, I. (2003). Inventing personality: Gordon Allport and the science of selfhood. Washington, DC, US: American Psychological

Association. doi: 10.1037/10514-000

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