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Legacy Library

APA Quick Guide: 6th Edition: Dissecting a Citation


Single Author

Provide the author's name in reversed order using only initials of given names (Surname, Initials of Given Names).  Reversed order facilitates an alphabetical listing in the Works Cited section of the paper.

Example: Boring, E. G.

Multiple Authors

Provide the all authors' names in reversed order and using only initials of given names, preceding each name with a comma and the final name with an ampersand.

Example: Mathews, L. A., Cabarcas, S. M., & Hurt, E. M.

Date of Publication


Provide the year of publication in parentheses.

Example: (2001). 

For magazines, newsletters, and newspapers, give the exact date separating the year from the month and date with a comma.  Do not abbreviate the month.

Example: (2012, April 27). 

If no date can be found, use (n.d.).


Transcribe the title of the publication or article as given on the item.  Capitalize only the first word of the title and of the subtitle.  Title and Subtitle are separated by a colon.  Retain any interior punctuation (e.g., quote marks) and final punctuation (e.g., question mark) that is part of the title. 

Article Title

The title of a part of a publication (e.g., an article in a book or journal, a page in a website) should not be italicized nor enclosed in double quotes. 

Example:  Society versus context in individual development: Does theory make a difference?

Publication Title

The title of the entire publication (book, journal, web site, etc.) is given in italics.  Take the title from the title page of the publication. 

Example: Mood genes: Hunting for origins of mania and depression

Publication Information


Provide the location of the publisher as City, ST or City, Country.  For states use the two-letter U.S. postal abbreviation. 


Provide the name of the first named publisher in as brief a form as is understandable.  Omit generic expressions such as 'Publisher' and 'Co.'  When the author is the publisher, use 'Author' (without the quotes) to indicate the publisher.

Separate the place and publisher with a colon.

Example:  Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.

Serial Numbering


Provide the volume number after the title.  Put it in italics and do not use Vol. before the number. 


If each issue of the periodical is paginated begining with 1, provide an issue number in parentheses and not in italics. Use no space between volume and issue numbers.


Provide the pagination of the entire article, inclusive.  If the article appears on non-sequential pages, give all page numbers separated by commas.

Example:  40(3), 16-27, 43.

DOIs and URLs

Provide either a DOI or a URL for each electronic document.


A DOI (Digital Object Identifier) is preferred over a URL when available.  This is an alphanumeric string assigned by a registration agency that uniquely identifies the article.  Precede the DOI with "doi:" (without the quotes).

Example: doi: 10.1037/a0033595


If no DOI is available, provide the URL of the home page of the journal or publisher.  For informally published items that may not be indexed and may be difficult to find, provide the entire URL.  If the URL extends over one line, break it before a punctuation symbol.  Be careful not to let your word-processor insert a hyphen.  Precede the URL with "Retrieved from" (without the quotes).

Example: Retrieved from