Referencing – The APA way

The American Psychological Association (APA) style is one of the most commonly used guidelines to cite sources within the social sciences. It is the most well-known for advocating of the use of alternatives to sexist language when it published the seminal guideline titled “Guidelines for Nonsexist Language in APA Journals.” The APA style guide has several revisions, with major editions being released in 1974, 1983, 1994, and 2001. Hundreds of scientific journals, textbooks, and academia use the APA style either entirely or with modifications. The citation examples are available for various options, namely, books, magazines, newspapers, Web sites, journal article, film, interview, lecture, TV show/radio broadcast, encyclopedia, and photographs. In the following, we will take a look into a few of the most frequently used examples:


Format: Author, A.A.. (Year of Publication). Title of work. Publisher City, State: Publisher.

Example: Arslan, H., Chen, Z. N., & Di Benedetto, M. G. (Eds.). (2006). Ultra wideband wireless communication. John Wiley & Sons.


Format: Author, A.A.. (Year, month of Publication). Article title. Magazine Title, Volume (Issue), pp.-pp.

Example: Woods, V. (2011). Meryl Streep: Force of Nature. Vogue Magazine, 12.


Format: Author, A.A.. (Year, Month Date of Publication). Article title. Retrieved from URL

Example: Simmons, B. (2015, January 9). The tale of two Flaccos. Retrieved from

Journal article

Format: Author, A.A.. (Publication Year). Article title. Periodical Title, Volume(Issue), pp.-pp.

Example: Liu, L., Zhao, H., See, T. S., & Chen, Z. N. (2006, September). A printed ultra-wideband diversity antenna. In 2006 IEEE International Conference on Ultra-Wideband (pp. 351-356). IEEE.

Format (with DOI): Author, A.A.. (Publication Year). Article title. Periodical Title, Volume(Issue), pp.-pp. doi:XX.XXXXX or Retrieved from journal URL

Example: Brownlie, D. (2007). Toward effective poster presentations: An annotated bibliography. European Journal of Marketing, 41, 1245-1283. doi:10.1108/03090560710821161

A DOI (digital object identifier) is an assigned number that helps link content to its location on the Internet. It is, therefore, important that if one is provided, it needs to be used when creating a citation. All the DOI numbers begin with the number “10” and are separated by a slash. If no DOI is assigned and the article or e-book is retrieved from a database, the name of the database needs to be included in the reference list entry.

3 replies on “Referencing – The APA way”

  1. layla says:

    What about the presentations? How to reference them? The information here is incomplete

  2. Bertha says:

    How are you supposed to cite those online sources and other articles that do not have an author name?

  3. Whitney says:

    I think you use the name of the organisation in such a case.

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