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APA (6th ed.) Writing & Citing Guide

APA examples are not exhaustive & focus on referencing & citations. Assistance from your professor and/or Writing Centre is suggested. The library is not responsible for errors, omissions, or interpretation.

APA 6th Edition

This guide is representative of the 6th edition Publication Manual of APA.

APA examples are not exhaustive and focus on referencing and citations. Assistance from your professor and/or Writing Centre is suggested for clarification.

Users are responsible for interpretation of APA style guidelines and to seek further assistance when necessary.

Effective October 1, 2019.

Getting Started

APA reference page entries for electronic journal, newspaper or magazine articles from a library database will typically include:

  • Author/Creator written in format Lastname, FirstInitial. SecondInitial.  eg. John Andrew Smith would be Smith, J. A. 
  • Date
  • Title of article
  • Publication name
  • Volume & issue number
  • Month and year of publication
  • Page numbers of the article
  • DOI or
  • Retrieved from URL

When using a database that does not contain mostly articles, newspapers, etc. (such as DSM or Natural Standard) or one that looks more like an encyclopedia, please see the section on Specialty Databases & Resources.

Something is missing

Something is missing

What to do if information (such as date or author) is missing for your APA citation.

Something is missing

Where do I find

Where do I find?

Learn how to find the author, date, title and publication information.

Where do I find ...?

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Article without a DOI

Reference page entry:

Graser, M. (2013, October 29). Man on 'fire': Lionsgate marketing chief Tim Palen has drawn fans into a complementary world alongside the 'Hunger Games' universe. Variety, 321(17), 30. Retrieved from http://variety.com/2013/biz/news/lionsgates-tim-palen-crafts-stylish-universe-for-hunger-games-catching-fire-1200772931/

In-text citation:

(Graser, 2013)

Note: This article was found within the MultiSearch database, but because it does not have a DOI listed, we had to search for the article on the web and provide that URL to ensure our reader could access it. Review Articles: Where do I find... below for more details.

Reference page entry:

McKernan, B. (2014, April 4). London’s first cat café offers purr-fect brew for feline fans. The Press. Retrieved from http://www.ctvnews.ca/world/london-s-first-cat-cafe-offers-purr-fect-brew-for-feline-fans-1.1761047

In-text citation:

(McKernan, 2014)


Note: Please check the News articles section for more examples of how to cite news articles in various formats.

Reference page entry:

Boudarbat, B. (2008). Field of study choice by community college students in Canada. Economics of Education Review, 27(1), 79-93. Retrieved from http://www.journals.elsevier.com/economics-of-education-review/

In-text citation:

(Bourdarbat, 2008)

Caution: This article was found within the MultiSearch database, but because it does not have a DOI listed, we had to search for the article on the web and provide that URL to ensure our reader could access it. Review Articles: Where do I find... below for more details.

When searching in Library databases, do not copy & paste a link from the browser URL / address bar.

  • These links are temporary and may not work if you come back to them later!
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Articles with a DOI

Reference page entry:

Coristine, L. E., & Kerr, J. T. (2011). Habitat loss, climate change, and emerging conservation challenges in Canada. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 89(5), 435-451. doi: 10.1139/z11-023

In-text citation:

(Coristine & Kerr, 2011)

Note: See Articles: Where do I find... for tips about how to find the DOI for your article.

Articles: Where do I find...

Each article entry in MultiSearch contains all the info needed to make an APA citation such as article title, author, journal, year, volume/issue number, page numbers.

The above parts go together in the following way to create an APA reference page entry:

Subapriya, K. K. (2009). The importance of non-verbal cues. ICFAI Journal of Soft Skills, 3(2), 37-42.

DOI is the short form for "Digital Object Identifier", a unique number (eg: 10.1037.a0034500) given to SOME resources, designed to help find a particular items quickly. DOIs are sometimes used in citations.

In library databases, look for the DOI in your results list:

If a DOI is available, you do not need to use "Retrieved from..." in your citation, just use the DOI.

Article on a regular webpage:

For a regular webpage, you can usually copy & paste the URL from your browser for the "Retrieved from" URL.


Library Databases:

APA guidelines state that if a DOI is not available, you must use the URL of the homepage where the article is available by a search - to avoid adding a URL that won't work for your reader.

Caution: When searching in Library databases, do not copy & paste a link from the browser URL / address bar. - These links are temporary and may not work if you come back to them later!

  • Check the detailed record (click on the title of the article) in your database results

Look at the detailed record to see if there is a URL mentioned. Click to check - if you can access, use this URL.
MultiSearch, August 2016

  • If there is no URL in the detailed record, you may want to Google the name of the journal and find it's homepage
  • Alternatively, ask your professor if they would accept the Library database name (eg. Retrieved from Canadian Reference Centre) in your reference list.
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Dealing with multiple authors

When a source has only one author, prepare your reference list entry by typing the author's name in the format Lastname, Initials.

Convert the author's name into the format Lastname, Initials and use as the first part of your reference page entry.

In this example, your reference page entry would start with the author's names in this format:

Schneider-Mayerson, M.

Your in-text citation for one author is quite simple:

(Schneider-Mayerson, 2013)

If your source has two authors, format the authors' names (Lastname, Initials) and include with an & in between.

If your source has two authors, include both names with a & in between

Your reference page entry will start with:

Schöpfel, J. & Leduc, C.

In-text citation:

(Schöpfel & Leduc, 2012)

If your source has 3 to 5 authors, format the authors' names as shown (Lastname, Initials), and insert all authors' names before the date, including an "&" before the last author:

An example of 3 to 5 authors in MultiSearch.  Remember to change the author's names into the correct APA format.

In this example, your reference page entry would start with the authors' names in this format:

Bush, A.A., Nipperess, D.A., Duursma, D.E., Theischinger, G., Turak, E. & Hughes, L.

If you have 3-5 authors: the first time you use an in-text citation, include all authors' last names.

(Bush, Nipperess, Duursma, Theischinger, Turak & Hughes, 2014)

In the next or any other instances, use only the first author's last name and add "et al.", with the date:

(Bush et al., 2014)

If you have 6 or more authors, use only the first author's last name and add "et al." with the date when writing your in-text ctiation:

(Bush et al., 2014)

If your source has more than 8 authors, include the first six authors' names in the correct format (Lastname, Initials), then add a ... and include the last author's name.

For sources with more than 7 authors, include the first six authors and the very last author

In this example, the reference page entry authors' names would look like this:

Ngongo, P.B., Priddy, F., Park, H., Becker, J. Bender, B., Fast, P., ... Mebrahtu, T.

TIP: You may need to click on the article title (as above) to see all authors' names and retrieve the last author for your reference page entry.

In-text citation:

(Ngongo et al., 2012)

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Using Citation Generators

Wait - citation generators frequently cause errors. Check your citations!Many Library databases, including MultiSearch, can help you generate a basic APA citation. There are also citation generators available on the web that can also be helpful. However...

Any automatically generated citation has the potential to contain errors.

You must check the citation carefully to avoid errors.

Watch for problems such as:

  • Capitalizing Every Word In The Article Title or using ALL CAPS

Watch out for wrong capitalization for APA reference list entries.

  • Not abbreviating the author's first name eg: Thomas, John instead of Thomas, J.
  • Switching the order of elements in the citation

Please consult the Writing Centre or your Professor for more help