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APA Writing & Citing Guide

APA examples provided are not exhaustive. Students must seek assistance from the Writing Centre and/or their Professor for specific or problematic references. The library is not responsible for errors, omissions or problems of interpretation. Last Updated

Encyclopedias & Dictionaries

Encyclopedias, dictionaries & moreEncyclopedias, dictionaries and other reference type materials are cited in a similar way to the sections of a book. These reference page entries will usually include:

  • Author/Creator written in format Lastname, FirstInitial. SecondInitial.
  • Date
  • Title of the encyclopedia entry or word being used
  • Location & publisher information

Please consult the Writing Centre or your Professor for more helpYou may also need:

  • An edition
  • Web address (URL) for source if found online


Reference page entry (unknown author):

Therapy. (2010). In Collins Canadian Dictionary (1st ed., p. 621). Toronto, ON: HarperCollins Publisher.

In-text citation:

(Therapy, 2010)

Note: Use pp. if the entry spans multiple pages; use p. if the entry is only on a single page.

Many free, online dictionaries exist. The following example shows how to cite an entry / definition from :

Reference page entry:

Therapy. (n.d.). In Unabridged. Retrieved from

In-text citation:

(Therapy, n.d.)

Definitions can be obtained from Google by adding "define:" to the start of your search terms.

Sample Google definition search for "therapy"

However, if you require a definition to use in your assignment, it's better to use a standard web-based or printed dictionary for the purposes of citing. Google draws from a number of sources to create this definition, and it's not always easily to identify their source.

Choose an electronic or printed dictionary from the library, or use a free dictionary online for your definition.


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Wikipedia & other wiki type sites

Reference page entry:

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. (2014, April 30). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved, May 2, 2014, from,_Duchess_of_Cambridge&oldid=606514600

In-text citation:

(Catherine, 2014)

 Note: Webpages such as Wikipedia are frequently edited. You need to include the date you retrieved the information, just in case the information on the page changes at a later date!