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Citing Bibliographic Sources: APA: Home

An introduction to the most popular guide for the social sciences.


  • Publication manual of the APA, 6th ed. (Reserve & Reference Desk)


The format defined in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition (APA Manual) does not utilize footnotes (unless used to provide additional content or to acknowledge copyright permission status). Rather, the references are included in the text itself and an author-date citation system is used, which features just the last name of the author(s) and the year of publication. For example: Brookeman (1991) or Katona, Rough & Richardson (1993). See the APA Manual, pages 174-192 for more specific examples. The bibliography itself is called a reference list and is included at the end of the paper.  For more information on applying APA principles of style to a variety of resources see pages 193-224 in the APA Manual, 6th edition.  If citing electronic sources, read pages 187-192 to familiarize yourself with locator information (6.31) and publication data for electronic sources (6.32).


Prepared by John Stierman, with the assistance of Jeanne Stierman (Fall 2010)