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Citation Guide: APA

Citation help for popular styles such APA, MLA, and Chicago, as well as some of the less common styles such as ACS and CSE.


While the  American Psychological Association (APA) has not released official guidelines on citing generative AI quite yet, the recent post on the APA Style Blog provides guidance on citing ChatGPT adaptable to other AI tools. 

In-text example: 

  • Parenthetical citation: (OpenAI, 2023)
  • Narrative citation: OpenAI (2023)


Reference example: 

OpenAI (2023). ChatGPT (May 24 version) [Large language model].

These are basic guidelines to citing sources for your works cited page using APA 7 style.


Book by One Author

Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle. Publisher Name.

Shanker, J. L., & Cockrum, W. A. (2014).  Reading inventory (6th ed.). Pearson Education.


Book with Editors Instead of Authors

Editor, E. E. (Ed.). (Year of publication). Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle. Publisher.

Flood, J., & Anders, P. L. (Eds.). (2005). Literacy development of students in urban schools: Research and policy. International Reading Association.

Journal Articles

Journal article read in print or from a database, no doi assigned

Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume number(issue number), pages.

Scruton, R. (1996). The eclipse of listening. The New Criterion, 15(3), 5–13.

Journal article, with doi

Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume number(issue number), pages.

​Baniya, S., & Weech, S. (2019). Data and experience design: Negotiating community-oriented digital research with service-learning. Purdue  Journal of Service-Learning and International Engagement, 6(1), 11–  16.                                                                      

Note: For more information on DOI numbers see the box below or refer to the APA Style Manual, 7th Edition.


Journal article with three to twenty authors
Miciak, J., Stuebing, K. K., Vaughn, S., Roberts, G., Barth, A. E., Fletcher, J.
       M., & VanDerHeyden, A. (2014).  Cognitive attributes of adequate and
       inadequate responders to reading intervention in middle school.  School
       Psychology Review, 43
, 407-427.


Dissertation from a database

Lastname, F. M. (Year). Title of dissertation/thesis (Publication No.) [Doctoral dissertation/Master’s thesis, Name of Institution Awarding the Degree]. Database or Archive Name.

Crittenden, E. M. (2013).  The effectiveness of two spelling approaches on
        vocabulary development for Hispanic learners (Publication No.
3560525) [Doctoral dissertation, Purdue University].
        ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. 



Lastname, F. M. (Year, Month Date). Title of page. Site name. URL

Clarke, B. L. (2014). Rurality and reading readiness:  The mediating role of
       parent engagement 
(R2Ed Working Paper No. 2014-1).  The National Center for Research on      Rural Education 

APA 7 Style Rule for DOI

When citing journal articles (print or electronic), APA style requires the inclusion of the DOI, if it is available (see example below).


What it is:

A DOI is a unique "digital object identifier" that is permanently attached to a specific article. It is a cross of numbers and letters, and always begins with a "10."


When & How to Cite a DOI:

If a DOI is available for an article being cited, it must be included (as the final element, without a full stop/period) in the reference.

When used, the DOI replaces an article's URL in the reference.

Neither the URL nor an access date are included when the DOI is used in a reference.


Locating the DOI

You can find the DOI either...

1) in the database record (there will be a field in the article record that says "DOI") or

2) on the first page of the article, usually near the copyright information.


No Apparent DOI?

If you don't see a DOI in the online article information or printout, you can query it's DOI status by clicking and entering in your citation information.


Further Info

For more information, consult the APA Style Manual. The APA website also has a helpful video tutorial on finding DOIs.

APA Style uses the author–date citation system, in which a brief in-text citation directs readers to a full reference list entry. The in-text citation appears within the body of the paper (or in a table, figure, footnote, or appendix) and briefly identifies the cited work by its author and date of publication. This enables readers to locate the corresponding entry in the alphabetical reference list at the end of the paper.

Each work cited must appear in the reference list, and each work in the reference list must be cited in the text (or in a table, figure, footnote, or appendix).


Both paraphrases and quotations require citations.


The following are guidelines to follow when writing in-text citations:

  • Ensure that the spelling of author names and the publication dates in reference list entries match those in the corresponding in-text citations.
  • Cite only works that you have read and ideas that you have incorporated into your writing. The works you cite may provide key background information, support or dispute your thesis, or offer critical definitions and data.
  • Readers may find a long string of citations difficult to understand, especially if they are using assistive technology such as a screen reader; therefore, include only those citations needed to support your immediate point.
  • Cite primary sources when possible, and cite secondary sources sparingly.
  • Cite sources to document all facts and figures that you mention that are not common knowledge.
  • To cite a specific part of a source, provide an author–date citation for the work plus information about the specific part.
  • Even when sources cannot be retrieved (e.g., because they are personal communications), still credit them in the text (however, avoid using online sources that are no longer recoverable).

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