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Writing 101 (Silbaugh)

Writing Discipline: Psychology

About APA Style

  • a common citation style, often used in social and behavior sciences
  • APA stands for American Psychological Association
  • includes parameters about the language, format of the whole paper
  • includes in-text citations and References page

Publication Manual

Tutorial: The Basics of APA Style

In-Text Practices

Key Characteristics

  • Author's last name (not needed if noted in text)
  • Date of publication
  • Include page number if a direct quote; though page number is encouraged even if paraphrased
  • page number NOT needed if referring to the book as a whole
  • items separated by commas
  • p. used for page; pp. used for multiple pages
  • et al. for three or more authors


Reference List Practices

Key Characteristics

  • called References (centered at top)
  • hanging indents after first line for each entry
  • organized alphabetically by last name of first author
  • first names are given initials
  • italicize book and journal titles
  • book & article titles, first word capitalized & first word after semi-colon (for subtitle)
  • journal titles, all major words are capitalized
  • edition information follows a book title; example (2nd ed.)


APA 7th edition no longer requires the use of “Retrieved from” before URLs or DOIs.
APA 7th edition now requires that up to 20 author names are listed in the citation -- meaning 19 with ellipsis followed by a 20th name.  (Previously this was six before the ellipsis.)

APA Cite Functionality in PsycInfo


  1. Select the item(s) you want. 
  2. Click Cite
  3. Select the Citation Style from the drop-down menu.
  4. Copy the citation(s) or email to yourself etc.

screenshot of Cite in PsycInfo