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Citation Guides

Guides on everything related to citing sources: MLA and APA style, citing websites, and avoiding plagiarism.

APA General Guidelines

General rules that apply to any APA style citation

No date: use (n.d.)

Smith, W. H. (n.d.). 

No author: start with title, then date, then the rest of the citation as usual.

Relativity. (2010). 

General author rules:
  • List author in this order: Last name, first initial. middle initial.
    • For example: Stonewall, T. H.
  • List authors or editors in the same order as presented in the work.
  • For 2 to 20 authors, list every author's name with a comma after each, and an ampersand (&) before the last name.
    • For example: Curtis, M. T., & Andrews, K. A.
  • For more than 20 authors, list the first 19 authors' names, insert an ellipsis (...) then the final author's name.
    • For example: Wiskunde, B., Arslan, M., Fischer, P., Nowak, L., Van den Berg, O., Coetzee, L., Juárez, U., Riyaziyyat, E., Wang, C., Zhang, I., Li, P., Yang, R., Kumar, B., Xu, A., Martinez, R., McIntosh, V., Ibáñez, L. M., Mäkinen, G., Virtanen, E., . . . Kovács, A.
  • Do not include publisher location.
  • Include only publisher name, as shown in the work.
  • Do not abbreviate unless shown that way in the work.
  • Omit publisher if same as author.
Title capitalization rules
  • For book, internet article, and magazine article titles and subtitles, capitalize only the first word, and any proper nouns. These titles are not italicized and do not use quotation marks.
  • For titles of academic journals, capitalize all major words.
Title italics rules
  • Use italics for titles of works that stand alone (for example: books, reports, webpages).
  • Use italics for journal titles (for example: The Journal of Child Development). 
Date formatting
  • Provide as much date detail as provided in the source. For example: (2019). (2019, August). (2019, August 27).
  • Do not abbreviate the month.
DOI rules
  • Do not put a period after the DOI.
  • Some books also have a DOI. Find out if your book has one by checking the Crossref website.
  • Shortened DOI may be used by checking the ShortDOI website
Website rules
  • Do not put a period after the URL.
  • Shortened URL may be used as long as you check it to make sure it goes to the correct location.
  • A URL within a reference may be left all on one line, or may be left to break across two lines.
  • Ask your instructor whether they want links to follow APA rules or link back to where you found the source (for example in a library database).
More style and grammar guidelines are on the APA website.

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