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Citing Sources: APA

NCC Library and Learning Center APA Handout

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association: The Official Guide to APA Style

Find the complete APA Publication Manual in the library collections.

Basics of APA Citation

Core Elements for Journal Articles Core Elements for Books Core Elements for Electronic Sources
Author(s) Author(s) Author(s)
Year of publication Year of publication Date of publication
Article title Title of Book Title page
Journal title Publisher name Website name
Volume & issue information URL
Page numbers
Retrieval Information (hyperlink or DOI)    

In-text Citations: (Author, Date) Format

APA uses the author, date format for in-text citations.  Please see the examples below for examples with one author, two authors, and three or more authors.

One author:

An in-text citation for a work with one author consists of the last name and year of publication:

The characters of Billy Parham and John Grady Cole represent the bridge between the traditional mythology of the American west and the the cruelty of it's reality (McCarthy, 1998).

Two authors:

An in-text citation for a work with two authors consists of the last names of both authors separated by an ampersand and the year of publication:

The study showed that telemedicine can be helpful to deliver services to MS patients during the COVID-19 pandemic (Alnajashi & Jabbad, 2020).

Three or more authors:

An in-text citation for a work with three or more authors consists of the first author's last name followed by et al., and the year of publication:

The research showed that children exposed to trauma at an early age had more positive adolescent outcomes with research based, early intervention (Sanders et al., 2020).

Reference List Citation Examples:

One author:

A reference list entry with one author is formatted with the last name and author's initials:

McCarthy, C. (1998). Cities of the Plain. Alfred A. Knopf.

Two authors:

A reference list entry with two authors is formatted with first author's last name, initials., followed by ampersand second author's last name, initials:

Alnajashi, H., & Jabbad, R. (2020). Behavioral practices of patients with Multiple Sclerosis during Covid-19 pandemic. PLoS ONE, 15(10), 1-11.

Three to twenty authors:

A reference list entry with three to twenty authors is formatted by last name, initials, and an ampersand before the last name of the final author:

Sanders, M. T., Welsh, J. A., Bierman, K. L., & Heinrichs, B. S. (2020). Promoting resilience: A preschool intervention enhances the adolescent adjustment of children exposed to early adversity. School Psychology, 35(5), 285–298.

See the NCC Libraries & Learning Center's APA Citation handout at the top of this guide for more in-depth information on APA in-text citations and reference list entries.