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SOC 391: Methods of Social Research: Social Science Literature Reviews: APA

General APA Format

How to format your paper using APA Guidelines

  • double-spaced
  • 1" margins on all sides
  • 12 pt. Times New Roman font (recommended, but any clear readable font is acceptable)
  • include a page header or running head at the top of every page that includes page numbers in the upper right. Include the title of your paper in the upper left in all caps.

For more information, visit the Purdue Online Writing Lab.

Additional help can be found below or at APA Style Help



A DOI (Digitial Object Identifier) is a unique code for an electronic document. The DOI will never change, even even if the URL changes. 

Some citation formats require the DOI if there is one.

To look for a document's DOI:

To find a document using the DOI: click on the DOI or go to doi®.


Nursing, education, and many of the sciences use APA citation style.

The final authority for APA is the American Psychological Association, specifically the Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed., 2010). The final authority for the bibliographic form used in your paper is your professor.


Full-text journal article from a database:

  • APA prefers a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) when available.  No period follows the doi or URL.
  • APA also accepts the URL of the "home page of the journal," see 2nd example (not required by the GC Nursing Dept., which accepts the database information, see 3rd example).
  • For journals, date only includes the year.

Day, K. (2001). Constructing masculinity and women's fear in public space in Irvine,

   California. Gender Place & Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography, 8(2), 109-128.



Kim, E., Newton, F. B., Downey, R. G., & Benton, S. L. (2010). Personal factors

   impacting college student success: Constructing college learning effectiveness

   inventory. College Student Journal, 44(1), 112-125. Retrieved from


Hager, M. H. (2007). Therapeutic diet order writing: Current issues. Topics in

   Clinical Nutrition, 22(1), 28-36. Retrieved from CINAHL database.


Pharmacy contract to offer seasonal flu jabs renewed. (2016). Practice Nurse,

   46(6), 8. Retrieved from CINAHL database.

Magazines, newsletters, and newspapers:

  • Give the year and the exact date of the publication (month and month or day), separated by a comma and enclosed in parentheses.  If the date is given as a season, give the year and the season, separated by a comma and enclosed in parentheses.

Latinos in school: Why do many fail? (1983, August 1). Los Angeles Times, p.

   A3. Los Angeles, CA.


Managing stress: A guide for college students. (2010, July 22). Retrieved from

   University of Georgia, University Health Center.



Coltrane, S. (1998). Gender and families. Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press.


Book with more than one author:

Goulding, M., & Mahar, D. (1996). Floods of fortune: Ecology and economy along the

   Amazon. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.


Journal article:

Egan, S. E., & Perry, D. G. (2001). Gender identity: A multidimensional analysis

   with implications for psychosocial adjustment. Developmental Psychology, 37(4),



Chapter in a book:

Kampwirth, K. (2010). Gender politics in Nicaragua: Feminism, antifeminism, and

   the return of Daniel Ortega. In E. Maier & N. Lebon (Eds.), Women's activism

   in Latin America and the Caribbean: Engendering social justice, democratizing

   citizenship (pp. 111-126). New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. 


Essay in a multivolume work (each volume with a unique title):

Bloom, L. Z. (1985). Maya Angelou. In T. M. Davis & T. Harris (Eds.), Dictionary

   of literary biography: Vol 38 Afro-American writers after 1955: Dramatists and

   prose writers. Detroit, MI: Gale.


Article in a reference work:

Lieberman, L. S. (2003). Diabetes. In K. Kiple (Ed.), The Cambridge Historical

   Dictionary of Disease. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from



Biblical citation:

Reference entries are not needed for the Bible and other major classical works (APA Publication Manual, 2010). 

However, your professor may require full publication information; if you are not sure, ask him or her. 



Lazarus, M., & Wunderlich, R. (Producers). (2000). Beyond killing us softly:

   The strength to resist : The impact of media images on women and girls.

   [Videotape]. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge Documentary Films.


  • Include the author's last name with the year, e.g., (Coltrane, 1998)
  • Include the page number if quoting directly, e.g., (Coltrain, 1998, p. 33)
  • If there is no author, use one or two words of the title, e.g., ("Afro-American," 1985)
  • If there are multiple works by the same author, use lowercase letter assigned to the year in the reference list, e.g., (Lazarus, 2000b)
  • When a book has two authors, use both names and the year, e.g, (Day & Neubauer, 2001)
  • Biblical in-text citations: identify the version you used, in the first in-text citation; for example:  (2 Cor. 5:17 New International Version)


From Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th ed, 2010:

In-text citations, p. 175:
"When a work has six or more authors, cite only the surname of the first author followed by et al. and the year for the first and subsequent citations."

Reference list, p. 184:
"Invert all authors' names; give surnames and initials for up to and including seven authors (e.g. Author, A. A., Author, B., B., & Author, C., C.). When authors number eight or more, include the first six authors' names, then insert three ellipsis points, and add the last author's name."