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APA Help: References examples

Need help with APA formatting? Start here!

References basics

The first thing you want to figure out when you are creating a reference is what type of material you are referencing. Depending on what your item is, the reference will look slightly different. Some different types of material you might be citing include a book, a journal article, a webpage on a website, a chapter in a book, an entry in a dictionary or encyclopedia, or a video. Of course, there are many more.

Once you've identified what type of source you have, take a look at this page to see a layout of how a reference for that type of source should look, and an example of a real reference of that type. If you need help figuring out what information should go where, check out the "references visually" tab.

Once you have all your references created, you will need to alphabetize them, and then format the page. Your Reference page will be a new page at the end of your paper. At the top, it should have the word “References” centered and in bold. The references will be in alphabetical order, double spaced, and have hanging indentation. Hanging indentation means that the first line of the reference is all the way to the left, and the rest of the lines of the reference are indented. You can think of this as opposite the way normal text is, where the first line of the paragraph is indented, and the rest of the text is flush to the left.

Book examples

Citing an entire book

Authorlastname, A. A. (Date of publication). Italicized title: Subtitle if there is one. Publishing Company.

Damour, L. (2019). Under pressure: Confronting the epidemic of stress and anxiety in girls. Ballantine Books.

Citing a chapter of an edited book

Authorlastname, A. A. (Date of publication). Title of chapter. In Editor’s name (Ed.), Italicized title of book (pp. page numbers of chapter). Publishing Company.

Klein, E. R. (2020). Space exploration is a moral imperative. In A. E. Hurt (Ed.), The future of space exploration (pp. 93-102). Greenhaven Publishing.

Citing a book with an organizational author

Organization name. (Date of publication). Italicized title: Subtitle if there is one (edition statement if there is one). Publishing Company, unless it's the same as the author, in which case leave it off.

American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.).

Article examples

Citing a journal or magazine article

Authorlastname, A. A. (Date of publication). Title of article: Subtitle if there is one. Italicized Title of Journal or Magazine, Volume(Issue), page numbers. DOI (if available)

Hang, W., & Banks, T. (2019). Machine learning applied to pack classification. International Journal of Market Research, 61(6), 601-620.

Hickox, S. (2017). It’s time to rein in employer drug testing. Harvard Law & Policy Review, 11(2), 419-462.

Citing an online news article

Authorlastname, A. A. (Date of publication). Title of news article. Name of News Source. URL of article

Avramova, N. (2019, January 3). The secret to a long, happy, healthy life? Think age-positive. CNN.

Citing a print newspaper article

Authorlastname, A. A. (Date of publication). Title of article. Name of Newspaper, page number.

Hess, A. (2019, January 3). Cats who take direction. The New York Times, C1.


Website and specific database examples

Basic website citation

Authorlastname, A. A. (Date of publication). Italicized title of webpage: Subtitle if there is one. Name of Site. URL

Martin Lillie, C. M. (2016, December 30). Be kind to yourself: How self-compassion can improve your resiliency. Mayo Clinic.

If the site has an author that is the same as the name of the site, leave off the name of the website.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018, January 23). People at high risk of developing flu-related complications.

If the site has no author, put the title of the webpage where the author would normally go.

Birds: Living dinosaurs. (n.d.). American Museum of Natural History.

Britannica Library 

Use the cite button in Britannica Library to generate the citation. When an online encyclopedia is continuously updated and doesn't have a date you also include a retrieval date. 

Encyclopaedia Britannica. (n.d.). Japan. Britannica Library. Retrieved March 18, 2024, from

CountryWatch and CultureGrams

Follow the same style as citing a website. Some may have authors and dates and others may not. 

Youngblood Coleman, D. (2019). Papua New Guinea: People. CountryWatch.

Opposing Viewpoints, Issues & Controversies, and SIRS Issues Researcher

Follow the website format for the topic overview articles, the pro/con articles, and the leading issues articles that contain content that is unique to that database. Many times there is not an author listed so you will start with the title. For newspaper articles and articles from a journal, follow those formats.

Social media. (2024). Gale Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection.

Artificial intelligence. (2024, March 15). Issues & Controversies.