American Psychological Association, 7th ed. Citation Guidelines
- What is APA Style?
- What's New in APA 7?
- When to Cite in APA
- NEW APA 7 videos
What is APA Style?
The guidelines of the American Psychological Association, 7th edition (APA, 2020) specify how to apply citations, references, headings, tables, appendices and other elements in an academic document.
Citation information includes author and date of publication; it is presented in parentheses in the text of the document. Learn more about requirements for in-text citations.
Cited sources are listed in a “References” section at the end of the paper. Learn more about creating a references list.
What’s New in APA 7?
APA 7 is similar to previous versions of APA style, but includes several modifications aimed to make it easier to use, especially for students, as well as more inclusive. While the list below does not cover all of the changes in APA 7, it does highlight those most relevant to university writers.
- A new format for student and professional paper title pages, which does not include a running head.
- No specific word limits on a paper title
- The title of the paper is bolded
In Text Citations
- For sources with 3 or more authors, use the et al. format for all citations, even the first time you cite the source.
- If you quote directly from an audio or video file, include a time indicating when the quotation began.
- When using the “as cited in” format, include the original publication date of the source you are discussing.
- The word “References” is now bolded.
- For sources with many authors, list up to 20 authors by last name and first initial.
- For a journal article, always include an issue number for an article if one if listed.
- For books, do not list the city of publication. Name the publisher with no information about its location.
- Both Digital Object Identifiers (doi) and URLs should be written as hyperlinks that start with http:// or https://).
- The words “doi:” or “retrieved from” are no longer needed before most URLs or dois
- When referencing a document found on a website, put the name of the website in plain font before the URL.
- There are many new reference examples for social media sources.
- Separate formatting guidelines have been created for student papers and professional papers prepared for publication.
- New capitalization rules for levels 3, 4, and 5 heading and new spacing for level 3 headings.
- A wider range of fonts are now acceptable.
The word “they” is now considered the preferable singular pronoun when a person’s gender is not explicitly relevant or known. It is also permissible to use theirs and them to describe a singular noun if gender is not explicitly relevant or known. Always use “they,” “them,” and “theirs” to describe an individual if this is their preference.
When to Cite
Academic writing synthesizes original work with the work of others. To avoid plagiarism, give credit for anything taken from other sources.
You must document all sources used in a paper.
Cite the following
- Cite all paraphrases or summaries of ideas or information that are not your own.
- Cite all direct quotations of two or more consecutive words. In fact, a single distinctive term taken from a source should be placed in quotation marks and cited.
- You can use sources that are not simply written words. These need to be cited too (some examples include charts, films, maps, graphs, web pages, photographs, television news reports, lectures, and audio tapes).
Do not cite the following
- Your ideas, opinions or conclusions
- Common knowledge in the discipline. Common knowledge in psychology might be that Skinner was a Behaviourist. In sociology, it might be that Durkheim created the academic discipline sociology.
If you are ever confused about whether to cite or not, cite. It is better to err on the side of citing than to neglect to cite and risk plagiarising. Read more about avoiding plagiarism.
APA 7 Videos - NEW!
APA 7 Key Elements: Formatting, Style, Referencing
If you are new to APA referencing and formatting, this video will help you understand the core requirements outlined by the APA Manual (2020).
What's new in APA 7: In-text Citations and Referencing
If you're proficient with APA6, this video will help you understand updated requirements for citations and referencing in the latest edition of the APA Manual (2020).
What's new in APA 7: Formatting and Language
If you're proficient with APA6, this video will help you understand updated requirements for formatting and language in the latest edition of the APA Manual (2020).