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How to Cite Your Sources

APA 6: How to Cite a Source

Type of reference

Exact Wording (up to 40 words)


Enclose in quotes, with the author, year, and page number in parentheses

Ideas and Organization


Paraphrase with attribution to original author with year after author's name, page number after text, no quotation marks

Long Quotes (40+ words)


Indent full quotation with attribution at end, no quotation marks (unless part of quote)


Include everything you cited in the list of references
(note: for requirements of references page, see box below)


“Frying foods makes them crunchy and salty, both of which are appealing to small children” (Orlofsky, 2013, p. 23).

Orlofsky (2013) observed that small children really like fried potatoes (p. 23).

Small children will eat anything ... doused in ketchup. (Orlofsky, 2013, p. 23)

Orlofsky, V. L. (2013). French fries and small children. Journal of Fried Foods. 43(2), 19-34. Retrieved from

APA 6: Formatting In-Text & Reference List Citations


Three components are required:

Author (last name only), year of publication, page number (if applicable*).

This is expressed two ways:

  • By using the author's name in the text itself, known as a "signal phrase":
    • "Orlofsky discovered the powerful effects of fried potatoes on small children (2013, p. 23)."
  • By putting the author's name in the parentheses as well:
    • "One study found that small children are enraptured by fried potatoes and would eat as many as allowed (Orlofsky, 2013, p. 23)."


* Include a page number if you're directly quoting a work or discussing an observation from the work, but if you're speaking more generally about the gist of the work, page numbers are not needed.


The general formula for citing a source in the References list (in this case, an article) looks like this:

Author(s). (year, month day). Title of article or chapter. Journal Title, volume(number) or Book Title, page number-page number. DOI or Retrieved from [URL]


Orlofsky, V. L. (2013). French fries and small children. Journal of Fried Foods, 43(2), 19-34.
       Retrieved from


Formatting requirements:

  • The list is titled "References" (no quotation marks).
  • Each work cited in your paper must be included, and the list is to be alphabetized by author.
  • Each entry in the Reference list should have a hanging indentation (every line after the first line indented 1/2 inch from the left margin).

For more help, see the manual:

APA 6: Author/Authors in Citations & References


You refer only to authors by their last name, either in the use of the author's name in the text itself or in the parentheses. Use a page number if what you're citing is directly from a page (a quote or observation), but do not if you're speaking more generally about the gist of the work. The last of multiple authors is marked with an ampersand in parentheses, but spell out "and" if used in text.

  • One author:
    • In text: Orlofsky (2013) studied the effects of...fried potatoes (p. 12).
    • Parentheses: (Orlofsky, 2013, p. 12)
  • Two authors:
    • In text: Orlofsky and Walsh (2014)
    • Parentheses: (Orlofsky & Walsh, 2014)
  • 3-5 authors:
    • In text: Orlofsky, Walsh, and Espinel (2015)
    • Parentheses: The first mention of the work should include all authors as (Orlofsky, Walsh, & Espinel, 2015) but later mentions should list the first author followed by et al. (Orlofsky et al., 2015)
  • More than 5 authors:
    • In text: Orlofsky et al. (2016)
    • Parentheses: (Orlofsky et al., 2016)


Write all author names as Last name, First initial. Second initial (if applicable). (example: Orlofsky, V. L.). The last of multiple authors is marked with an ampersand unless there are more than seven authors (see example below).

  • One author: Orlofsky, V. L.
  • Two authors: Orlofsky, V. L., & Walsh, C. 
  • 3-7 authors: Orlofsky, V. L., Walsh, C., & Espinel, R.
  • More than 7 authors: After the sixth author, put an ellipsis and the name of the last author There should only be a total of 7 authors listed -- Orlofsky, V. L., Walsh, C., Espinel, R., Loscutoff, L., Smith, S., Valverde, M. E., ... Houghtaling, T.

APA 6: Journal Articles

Single author:

Strauf, S. (2011). Photonic crystals: Lasing woodpiles. Nature Photonics, 5(2), 72-74.


Multiple authors:

Ramirez-Marquez, J., & Rocco, C. M. (2010). Evolutionary optimization technique for multi-state two-terminal reliability allocation in multi-objective problems. IIE Transactions, 42(8), 539-552.

APA 6: Books & Book Chapters

Book with a single author:

Luftman, J. N. (2011). Managing IT human resources: Considerations for organizations and personnel. Hershey, PA: Business Science Reference.


Book with multiple authors:

Bullen, C. V., LeFave, R., Selig, G. J., & Chittenden, J. (2010). Implementing strategic sourcing: A manager's guide to world class best practices. Zaltbommel: Van Haren Publishing.


Chapter in a book:

Bruno, M.S. & Hires, R.I. (2006). Oceanography. In J.R. Pfafflin & E.N. Ziegler (Eds.), Encyclopedia of environmental science and engineering (pp. 790-801). New York: Taylor and Francis.



Burhans, D. E. (2008). Crunch!: A history of the great American potato chip. Retrieved from

APA 6: Conference Papers

Gorod, A., Fridman, A., & Sauser, B. (2010). A quantitative approach to analysis of a system of systems operational boundaries. Paper presented at the 2010 International Congress on Ultra Modern Telecommunications and Control Systems and Workshops, ICUMT 2010, 655-661.

APA 6: Websites & Social Media

Page from a Website:

Cape Cod Chips. (n.d.) History. Retrieved from



Nielsen [Nielsen]. (2018, January 31). U.S. consumers spent $278M on potato chips and $86M on popcorn for last year's #SuperBowl [Tweet]. Retrieved from

APA 6: Reviews

When citing a review of a work (music recording, film, artwork, book, etc.), it's important to include the name of the work being reviewed as well as citation information about the review itself.

Lastname, F. (Year, Month Day). Title of review. [Review of the {medium} Title of work, by A. Author]. Title of Periodical Volume(Number), page(s). doi: ___ (if applicable).

Dickar, M. (2000, March). Coming of age in New Jersey. [Review of the book Teenage New Jersey, 1941-1975, by K. Grover]. American Quarterly 52(1), 127-144.

(source: APA Style Blog)

APA 6: Musical Works

Musical works are cited in different ways depending on their medium. Sound recordings are different from sheet music which is different from .mp3 files, so it's important to be specific when you cite a work you have used.

  • Recorded music
    Writer, A. (Copyright year). Title of song [Recorded by B. B. Artist]. On Title of album [Medium of recording]. Location: Label. (Date of recording)

    Hood, O. (1940). You are my sunshine [Recorded by P. Seeger]. On American favorite ballads vol. 4 [CD]. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian/Folkways. (1961)
  • Musical score (example from APA Style Blog)
    Composer, A. A. (Date). Title of work. Location: Publisher.

    Picker, T. (Composer), & McClatchy, J. D. (Librettist). (1995). Emmeline: An opera in two acts [Score and parts]. Mainz, Germany: Schott Helicon.
  • YouTube video
    Author, A. A. [Screen name]. (year, month day). Title of video [Video file]. Retrieved from http://xxxxx

    Chakraborty, A. (2013, July 26). You are my sunshine by Pete Seeger [Video file]. Retrieved from

APA 6: Art Works

When using images in a paper, you must include a full citation of the image in your list of works cited.

Aerial view of Hoboken Digital ID: 1630052. New York Public Library(this image is in the public domain!)


Author (Role of Author). (Year image was created). Title of work [Type of work], Retrieved Month Day, Year, from: URL (address of website) - See more at:
Author (Role of Author). (Year image was created). Title of work [Type of work], Retrieved Month Day, Year, from: URL (address of website) - See more at:
Author (Role of Author). (Year image was created). Title of work [Type of work], Retrieved Month Day, Year, from: URL (address of website) - See more at:

Fairchild Aerial Surveys, Inc (Photographer). (N.d.). Aerial view of Hoboken [Photograph]. Retrieved January 24, 2014, from:

(source: Landmark College)

APA 6: Government Documents

APA 6: Translated Works

Piaget, J. (1966). La psychologie de l’enfant [The psychology of the child]. Paris, France: Presses Universitaires de France.
(Example taken from the APA Style Blog: Citing Translated Sources in APA Style, 2012)