Skip to main content

Citation Style: APA

Start Here

APA citation style is a set of rules created by the American Psychological Association that establishes standards of written communication (college research papers; articles, books and other documents submitted for publication) including:

  • formatting and page layout
  • writing style
  • citing sources

APA citation style is often used in the following classes/fields:

  • Social Sciences, such as Psychology, Sociology, Economics, and Criminology
  • Business
  • Nursing

We keep a copy of the manual at the Library Reference Desk at all three Reynolds campuses

If available, use the DOI (Digital Object Identifier) for online journals.

If there is no DOIuse the home page URL for the journal rather than the database name. The manual advises that this may necessitate a "quick web search to locate this URL."

Retrieval dates are no longer necessary for websites unless the material may change over time (e.g. Wikis).

When working on the References list at the end of your paper, if there are eight or more authors listed for a specific work, include the first six authors' names, then insert three dots and add the last author's name. The following is an example:

Yoon, P. W., Chen, B., Faucett, A., Clyne, M., Gwinn, M., Lubin, I. M., . . . Muin, J. (2001) Public health impact

of genetic tests at the end of the 20th century. Genetics in Medicine, 3, 405-410.

Save time by using Microsoft Word to format the hanging indent:

[1] Select the text you would like to format (you can select your entire list of citations, for example, to format all at once)

[2] From the Home tab in Word, select the arrow next to Paragraph

[3] Next, under Special, select Hanging

[4] Click OK.  Your selected text will now be formatted with a hanging indent.


To see how to format the hanging indent using Google Docs, see this tutorial.

Loading ...

Important Note

Always check with your instructor on what format specifications to use for a particular class or assignment, especially when citing online resources including material found in library databases.


This guide was adapted from the APA Style 6th Edition pages in the Citation Styles Playbook created by Piedmont Virginia Community College Library.