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APA 6th Edition

This guide is an introduction to APA 6th edition.

How to Use This Guide

If you are looking for some examples of how APA Style is applied in the body or in the works cited of a research paper, this guide will be helpful!

When you need an in-depth look into APA Style, the Academic Writer database will give you all the information Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association in a digital interface.

Parenthetical References in the Text of Your Paper

Book, Journal, Magazine with page numbers (electronic* or print version)
*Most PDF formatted documents (which are an electronic version) contain page numbers; if they do not, follow the instructions below for the articles without page numbers.

Direct Quote

  • Wilson (1985) claimed to have found "absolutely no supporting evidence" (p. 13).
  • One researcher claimed to have found "absolutely no supporting evidence" (Wilson, 1985, p. 13).


  • Wilson (1985) found no evidence for this (p. 13).
  • Researchers decided that the results were inconclusive (Wilson, 1985, p. 13).

Journal, Magazine, Web Page, etc. without page numbers (electronic version)
Many electronic versions of articles and web pages do not have page numbers listed. If there are no page numbers listed, you will need to refer to the paragraph numbers if given or count the paragraphs. 

Direct Quote - the paragraph numbers are given in the document

  • Wilson (1985) claimed to have found "absolutely no supporting evidence" (para. 13).

Direct Quote - the article has headings but no paragraph numbers are listed (list the heading and then count the number of the paragraphs following it.)

  • Wilson (1985) claimed to have found "absolutely no supporting evidence" (Conclusion section, para. 1).
  • One researcher claimed to have found "absolutely no supporting evidence" (Wilson, 1985, Conclusion section, para. 1).

Paraphrase - the paragraph numbers are given in the document

  • Wilson (1985) found no evidence for this (para. 13).

Paraphrase - the article has headings but no paragraph numbers are listed (list the heading and then count the number of the paragraphs following it)

  • Researchers decided that the results were inconclusive (Wilson, 1985, Conclusion section, para. 1).
  • Wilson (1985) was uncertain of the ramifications of the experiments (Conclusion section, para. 1).

Reference List at the End of Your Paper

Print Versions (Books, Articles, etc.)

Book with One Author 

  • Becker, Ed. (1969). Angel in armor: A post-Freudian perspective on the nature of man. New York: Braziller.

Article or Chapter in an Edited Book 

  • Brook, Y., & Schwartz, P. (2005). Israel has a right to exist. In J. Woodward (Ed.), Israel: Opposing viewpoints (pp. 20-25). Detroit:

Encyclopedia Article - Signed

  • McNeil, J.S. (1995). Bereavement and loss. In T. Mizrahi & L.E. Davis (Eds.), Encyclopedia of social work (19th ed., Vol. 1, pp. 284-
         291). Washington, DC: NASW Press.

Encyclopedia Article - Unsigned (when an encyclopedia article does not have an author's name, start with the article title and place the date after the article title)

  • Miranda v. Arizona. (2005). In West's encyclopedia of American law (2nd ed., Vol. 7, pp. 83-85). Detroit: Thompson Gale.

Magazine/Journal Article

  • Remley, T.P. (1993). Rehabilitation counseling: A scholarly model for the generic profession of counseling. Journal of Applied
         Rehabilitation Counseling
    , 24(4), 71-73.

Online Versions (eBooks, Articles, etc.)

eBook from EBSCOhost

  • Rassool, G. (2006). Dual diagnosis nursing. Retrieved from

An Edited eBook from EBSCOhost

  • ​Kennaugh, A. Setting up services. In K. Oakley (Ed.), Occupational health nursing (pp. 27-42). Retrieved from

Magazine/Journal Article with DOI 
A DOI (Digital Object Identifier) is an identification number for digital (electronic) versions such as an article that you printed from a library database. Some databases, such as PyscARTICLES, list the DOI number on the citation page for the article or you may see it at the top of the print article page - be sure to make note of it because you need to use the DOI when you cite an article.

  • Jensen-Doss, A., & Weisz, J. (2008). Diagnostic agreement predicts treatment process and outcomes in youth mental health clinics. 
         Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology76(5), 711-722. doi: 10.1037/0022-006X.76.5.711

Magazine/Journal Article without DOI
The DOI number is not always available. When no DOI number is listed you will need to give the direct web address (home page) for the journal or the publisher, not the database. If you are using an EBSCOhost database, you can find the web address of the publisher by clicking on the name of the journal listed in the article citation. Otherwise, you will have to do a second search using an Internet search engine to get the journal web address.

For example, the article below was found using the OmniFile Full Text Select database. A second search was done using an Internet search engine for "School Library Journal" to obtain the direct web address for the journal.

  • Czarnecki, K. (2010). Public libraries by design. School Library Journal, 56(11), 23-25. Retrieved from

Reference Databases such as Issues and ControversiesCQ Research, etc. 
If no author is given, place the date after the title. Make note of which database you are searching and the web address since you will need to include this information in your reference list.

  • Government transparency. (2009, June 26). In Issues and Controversies. Retrieved from
  • Bush, George. (2010). In Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Retrieved from http//
  • Burundi: Historical notes. (n.d.) Retrieved from

WWW Document - Email, Blog Post, etc.
In most cases, Internet email or blog postings should note be used as a source of scholarly information when writing papers. If you need to cite an email message, refer to the APA guidelines for citing Internet message boards, electronic mailing lists and other online communities.

WWW Document
If no date is listed use (n.d.) to indicate no date. If no author is listed, start the citation with the title of the document. 

  • Author. (Date). Title. Retrieved from web address.
  • Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. (2004, December 9). How your bills get paid. Retrieved from​

Online Streaming Video

  • Fitne (Producer). (2012). Betty Neuman - Neuman systems model (Portraits of Excellence, Vol. I) [Streaming video]. Retrieved from
         Nurse Theorists Vols I and II and Excellence in Action.


  • CNN. (2014, March 9). The great American science divide [Video file]. Retrieved from

Reference List Tips

In what order should the sources in the reference list be arranged?
Arrange your citations alphabetically by first word in your citation.

There are several sources by the same author. How are these entries arranged?
List them chronologically starting with the earliest date.

What if the source has eight or more authors?
List the first 6 authors, then type three ellipses before listing the last author: First, F., Second, S., Third, T., Fourth, F., Fifth, F., Sixth, S., ... Last, L.

What happens when the source does not appear on consecutive pages?
List all pages and separate the breaks with commas: 6-9, 11, 13.

The source does not have an author listed. Now what?
Start your entry with the title instead. When arranging your reference list page, ignore "a", "an", or "the".

When citing a book, what should happen if the author and the publisher are the same?
Use the word "Author" as the name of the publisher.

What if a specific edition or volume of a book is the source?
These are listed in parentheses after the title, then a period: (Rev. ed.) or (Vol. 20, pp. 111-130).

Helpful Resources

  • APA Style Blog answers questions that are not addressed in the Publication Manual regarding reference citations, grammar and usage, the publication process.
  • MS Word will help you create a Works Cited list.

What Does Academic Writer Offer?

APA Style Central is a database that includes learning, writing, and publishing tools to help students manage their research papers. It currently incorporates all of the reference and other content from the Publication Manual (6th ed.), the APA Style Guide to Electronic References, and the APA Style Blog, which is used to answer user questions. 

For those who create their own free account, more resources are available! When logged in, you are able to use:

  • Tools for planning and documenting research 
  • 8 preformatted templates for research papers that can be exported into Word
  • A citation management tool that allows you to store and manage citations

To look into further content, please check out this video

Breakdown of Sections

There are several sections to Academic Writer. The Learn section is designed to help you apply the APA style. It includes:

  • Quick guides to answer specific questions on how to apply the Publication Manual, such as how to create the running header or how to cite a specific source. Each quick guide describes the topic in a short video, which is accompanied by a transcript, and offering an e-reader view of the pages from the Publication Manual or APA Style Guide to Electronic Resources.
  • Video tutorials describe more involved concepts such as plagiarism or how to determine a title for your paper. The videos are also accompanied by transcripts.
  • Sample papers, references, tables, and figures in proper formatting are also available. 

The references that can be added to your personal library can come from any source. When you click on Add References you will find that you can either import or create a reference. Creating a reference involves identifying what type of reference you have, even something as specialized as a dissertation or brochure, and then completing a form.

You may also add references from the citations that you find in the library's databases. EBSCOhost and ProQuest both have tools to export the data from their databases' citations. In order to do this you will need to export a RIS file and save it to your computer. 


Then in Academic Writer, you are able to import that RIS file. For more details about importing RIS files, click hereThe references that you save to Academic Writer will be perpetually available in your library. When using the Write tools in Academic Writer, you can easily add these citations to your reference list and to your in-text citations.

The Write tools offer the opportunity for collaboration from other Academic Writer users. Once you being a research paper template, you may add one or more users as collaborators or reviewers. A collaborator can read, write comments, and edit in sections of the research paper that you give permission for. A reviewer can read and write comments but cannot directly edit the text. For more information on the collaboration capabilities, click here


There are eight different templates available to get you started with writing a research paper:

  1. Empirical
  2. Multiexperiment
  3. Literature Review
  4. Theoretical
  5. Methodological
  6. Case Study
  7. Reaction
  8. Basic

There are sample papers of each type that you can view to help determine which one is appropriate for your theme. Then you will have to begin by giving it a working title (you are able to change this later) and are asked if you to select the references from your library.

The online word processing tool is very similar to Microsoft Word. In addition to the tools that you would find in Word, you also have a toolbar to navigate different sections of the research paper and the other Academic Writer tools along with a third toolbar to manage your references, tables, figures, footnotes, and appendices.

When adding references there are two places that you have citations: in-text citations, which is in the body of the paper and the reference list, which is the bibliography at the end of the paper. In either circumstance, you must first select the reference by checking off the box next to the reference and then choosing the button for "Cite" to add the in-text citation or "Add New Reference" to add the citation to the reference list. 

Please note that when using the References tool, you will need a critical eye! The program is filling in the fields through a computer algorithm and may need some editing in regards to DOI number or initialing the author's first name. 

For more details about the process of adding references to a Write template, click here

When you are done writing, you need to export the research paper so that you have a deliverable document in either PDF or MS Word format. You can either email the research paper or download a copy to your computer. 

Faculty and graduate students who are interested in publishing their research professionally will find that Academic Writer has streamlined the process of determining which journal(s) would be most suitable for your area of study. 

For a walk-through of the Publishing tools, click here.