Skip to Main Content

APA Guide

7th Edition


APA References are generally in the following format:

  1. Authors/Creators
  2. Date
  3. Title(s)
  4. Location within the Publication (vol., pg., etc.)
  5. Publication Info /
    of the Publication

See an example Reference page
on p. 49 of the manual.

Be Sure to Check the Title!

  • Italicize book & journal titles, not article or chapter titles.
  • Use sentence case for article, book, or book chapter titles, which means you capitalize only the first word, proper nouns, and the word after a colon.
  • For journal titles, use title case where each word is capitalized.

Things to Know: References

See steps below if you are missing info:


What Is Missing?




n/a Author. (date). Title. Retrieved from URL

See note below.

Title takes its place. Title. (date). Retrieved from URL.


Use n.d. for no date. Author. (n.d.). Title. Retrieved from URL.

(know approximate)

Use ca. followed by year in parentheses.

Author. [ca. date]. Title. Retrieved from URL


Use a description instead. Author. (date). [Description of document]. Retrieved from URL
Issue If no issue, leave it out. Author. (date). Title. Journal, vol., pgs. Retrieved from URL

Author & Date

Combine author & date methods above. Title. (n.d.). Retrieved from URL

Author & Title

Combine author & title methods above.

[Description of document]. (date). Retrieved from URL

Date & Title

Combine date & title methods above. Author. (n.d.). [Description of document]. Retrieved from URL
Author, Date & Title Combine author, date & title methods above. [Description of document]. (n.d.). Retrieved from URL


MORE ON AUTHOR: The author may be an institutional author; this is very common for webpages. In the case of an institutional author, cite the full institutional name in the author name place (examples below). Otherwise, use the table above.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012). Adolescent health.Retrieved from

World Health Organization. (2015). Physical activity. Retrieved from

Alphabetizing References

  • Alphabetize letter by letter beginning with the first authors' last names.
  • Alphabetize prefixes such as Mc and Mac literally.
  • Alphabetize surnames that contain articles and prepositions (de, la, du, von, etc.) according to the rules of the language of origin.
  • Alphabetize items with numerals as if the numerals were spelled out.
  • Alphabetize group authors such as associations or agencies by the first significant word of the name, and use the full official name, not an acronym.
  • If the author is designated as Anonymous, then the entry is alphabetized as if Anonymous were a true name.
  • If there is no author, the entry is alphabetized by the first significant word in the title.

American Psychological Association. (2009). Crediting sources. In Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (pp. 169-192). Washington, D.C.: Author.