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APA (7th ed.) Citing Guide: Textual Works

APA 7th Edition

This guide is representative of the 7th edition Publication Manual of APA and focuses on a student paper structure.

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 September 2020.

What are Textual Works?

Textual works refer to written works. It doesn't matter where you find the textual work, for example, an online book or a report on a website, or the format.

Items in this category include:

  • periodicals, items published on a regular reoccurring basis such as magazines, newspapers, journals
  • books, ebooks
  • reference works (e.g. dictionaries, encyclopedias)
  • reports (e.g. annual report, government or agency report, financial report)
  • gray literature (e.g. press release, code of ethics)
  • conference sessions and presentations
  • dissertations and theses

Key Terminology

DOI - Digital Object Identifier

  • combination of numbers and letters uniquely identifying the article
  • used for scholarly or academic books or journals
  • can be entered at to verify the article information


  • refers to all issues published in a particular year
  • similar to a "season" for a TV series


  • refers to each item published within a particular volume
  • similar to an "episode" in a "season" for a TV series

Dates (See Publication Manual, Section 9.13)

  • can have 3 components: year, month, day
  • depending on the source, you use just the year or year and month or year, month, and day
  • specific dates (year, month, day) are used for items published more frequently, for example, news articles, blog entries
  • magazines typically use year and month  if they are published monthly, but will use year, month, and day if they are published multiple times in a month
  • journals typically only use year

Article number or eLocator

  • some databases assign unique numbers to articles; usually open access databases do this; the same article may appear more than once in search results and not consistently include the eLocator; use your discretion when choosing which result to cite
  • they look like "e1234567"
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