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ECON 2910 - Economics And Entrepreneurship: APA Citation Resources and Citation Managers

Citation Guidance : APA Style

Basic Principles of Citation

APA Style uses the author–date citation system, in which a brief in-text citation directs readers to a full reference list entry. The in-text citation appears within the body of the paper (or in a table, figure, footnote, or appendix) and briefly identifies the cited work by its author and date of publication. This enables readers to locate the corresponding entry in the alphabetical reference list at the end of the paper.

Each work cited must appear in the reference list, and each work in the reference list must be cited in the text (or in a table, figure, footnote, or appendix).

Both paraphrases and quotations require citations.

The following are guidelines to follow when writing in-text citations:

  • Ensure that the spelling of author names and the publication dates in reference list entries match those in the corresponding in-text citations.
  • Cite only works that you have read and ideas that you have incorporated into your writing. The works you cite may provide key background information, support or dispute your thesis, or offer critical definitions and data.
  • Readers may find a long string of citations difficult to understand, especially if they are using assistive technology such as a screen reader; therefore, include only those citations needed to support your immediate point.
  • Cite primary sources when possible, and cite secondary sources sparingly.
  • Cite sources to document all facts and figures that you mention that are not common knowledge.
  • To cite a specific part of a source, provide an author–date citation for the work plus information about the specific part.
  • Even when sources cannot be retrieved (e.g., because they are personal communications), still credit them in the text (however, avoid using online sources that are no longer recoverable).

Note: Adapted from APA Basic Principles by the APA Style Blog, 2021 ( 


The following citation resources for education & teaching students relate to the American Psychological Associations (APA) Style Guide, 7th Edition, which is the preferred. 

Below are some resources for the 7th Edition (2020) formatting rules for APA citations:


Introduction to APA

Run Time: 2:53

Key Student Learning Competencies:

  • What is APA? (0:30)
  • When to use APA (0:42)
  • Basic Elements of APA (1:02)
  • Primary v. Secondary Sources w/ APA (1:32)
  • Direct Quotes v. Paraphrasing in APA (2:25)


APA In-text Citations

Run Time: 2:55

Key Student Learning Competencies: 

  • Paraphrasing Citations--Parenthetical and Narrative (0:30)
  • Direct Quotations In-Text (1:20)
  • In-Text Citations for Organizations (1:59)
  • In-Text Citations for Personal Communications & Interviews (2:25)

APA Reference Lists

Run Time: 2:38

Key Student Learning Competencies: 

  • General Elements of Ref List Entries (0:42)
  • APA Ref List Entries: Books (1:03)
  • APA Ref List Entries: Newspapers (1:27)
  • APA Ref List Entries: Academic Journal Articles (1:42)
  • APA Ref List Entries: Web Pages (1:58)
  • APA Ref List Entries: Organizations as Authors (2:18)

APA Complete: Intro, In-text, & Ref Lists

Run Time: 7:45

Key Student Learning Competencies:

  • APA 7 Introduction (0:20)
  • Using APA (0:45)
  • Basic Elements (1:04)
  • In-Text Citations (2:53)
  • Reference Lists (4:50)

Basic Format for a Book:

  • Reference List: Authors' Last name, First Initial. (Year). Book title: Subtitle. (Edition) [if other than the 1st]. Publisher.
  • In-text: (Author, Year)

Book with One Author:

  • Reference List: Brader, T. (2006). Campaigning for hearts and minds: How emotional appeals in political ads work. University of Chicago Press. 
  • In-text: (Brader, 2006)

Book with Two Authors:

  • Reference List: Miller, T. E., & Schuh, J. H. (2005). Promoting reasonable expectations: Aligning student and institutional views of the college experience. Jossey-Bass.
  • In-text: (Miller & Schuh, 2005)
    *for more than two authors (3 or more), list only the first author’s name followed by “et al.” in every citation, even the first, unless doing so would create ambiguity between different sources. Example: (Kernis et al., 1993)

Basic format for an eBook:

  • Reference List: Author's Last name, First Initial. (Year). Book title [format of book]. Publisher. URL 
  • In-text: (Author, Year)

  ~ Example:

  • Reference List: Brock, J., & Arciuli, J. (2014). Communication in autism [eBook edition]. John Benjamins Publishing Company.
  • In-text: (Brock & Arciuli, 2014)

Basic Format for a Print Article: 

  • Last name, First Initial. (Year, Month Day). Article title. Magazine/Journal/Newspaper TitleVolume number(Issue number), Page numbers of the entire article.

   ~ Magazine Article:

  •  White, C. (2006, April). The spirit of disobedience: An invitation to resistance. Harper's Magazine, 312(1871), 31-40. 

   ~ Journal Article:

  • Newman, J. L., Fuqua, D. R., Gray, E. A., & Simpson, D. B. (2006). Gender differences in the relationship of anger and depression in a clinical sample. Journal of Counseling & Development84, 157-161.

    ~ Newspaper Article: 

  • Zernike, K. (2015, October 25). White House moves to limit school testing. New York Times, p. A1. 
  • Note: For newspaper articles, p. or pp. precedes page numbers for a newspaper reference in APA style. Single pages take p., e.g., p. B2; multiple pages take pp., e.g., pp. B2, B4 or pp. C1, C3-C4. 

Basic Format for an Online Article:

  • Author’s Last Name, First Initial. (Year). Article title. Magazine/Journal/Newspaper Title, Volume number(Issue number), Page numbers. doi or URL of publication home page

   ~ Online Journal Article with DOI Assigned:

  • Basic Format: 
    • Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Year). Title of article. Title of Journal, volume number(issue number), page range.
  • Example:
    • Denhart, H. (2008). Deconstructing barriers: Perceptions of students labeled with learning disabilities in higher education. Journal of Learning Disabilities41(6), 483-497.

   ~ Online Journal Article with no DOI Assigned:

  • Basic Format:
    • Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Year). Title of article. Title of Journal, volume number(issue number).
  • Example: 
    • von Busch, O., & Palmas, K. (2016). Designing consent: Can design thinking manufacture democratic capitalism? Organizational Aesthetics, 5(2), 10-24. 

   ~ Newspaper Article Found on a Newspaper's Website:

  • Basic Format:
    • Author, A. A. (Year, Month Day). Title of article. Title of Newspaper. 
  • Example:
    • Zernike, K. (2016, February 29). Testing for joy and grit? Schools nationwide push to measure students’ emotional skills. The New York Times. 

Basic Format for citing an image in the Reference List:

  • Last name, First initial. (Year image was created). Title of work [Type of work]. URL 

Note: If you can only find the screen name of an author, use that as the author's name. Maintain the formatting of the screen name. For example, if a screen name is in all lower case, keep the name in lower case in your citations. If there is no title, create your own title that describes the content of the image.

Example of a Reference List citation for an image: 

Formatting Figures in Your Paper:

Each image in your paper should have a figure number, a title, and a caption. The caption should describe the image, provide a citation for the image, and provide copyright information. For example:

Figure 1

Two Cats Resting

           Two orange cats sleeping next to each other

Note. This photo shows two orange cats resting in the "loaf" position. From Nap time [Photograph], by D. Sipler, 2005, Flickr ( CC BY 2.0.

If you have taken the photo or created the image, you do not need to cite it or provide copyright information for it. You will still need to label the picture with a figure number and title, and you will need to provide a caption with information on what the image shows. 

For more information on formatting tables and figures in your APA style paper, see:

Navigating Copyright for Reproduced Images

If you did not create the image, you need to provide a copyright statement for that image. The APA Style Blog takes you through the four steps of navigating copyright for reproduced images:

  1. Understand the copyright status of the image.
  2. Determine whether permission is needed to reproduce the image.
  3. Secure permission to reproduce the image, if permission is needed. 
  4. Write the APA Style copyright statement and reference list entry for the image. 

For more information on copyright and finding safe to reuse images, see the library's Copyright Guide

Reference List Format: 

Inventor, A. A. (Year patent issued). Title of patent (U.S. Patent No. ###). U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. URL

Reference List Example:

Bell, A. G. (1876). Improvement in telegraphy. (U.S. Patent No. 174,465). U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

In-Text Citation Format: 

In text, cite the patent identifier and the year.

In-Text Citation Example: 

(U.S. Patent No. 174,465, 1876)

What is a citation management system?

Citation management tools are software clients loaded on your computer or web/cloud-based applications that are used to store, organize and utilize bibliographic citations.  Essentially, these tools are a database of the researcher's selected citations.

Most provide the following functions:

  • Means of adding citations to the database, either manually or be importing citations from bibliographic databases or other sources.
  • Methods for saving and organizing citations and/or searching within the database.
  • Integration with word processing or other document production software to incorporated properly formatted citations into scholarly writing.
  • Mechanisms for sharing citations with collaborators.
  • Methods to create a stand-alone bibliography

Which is best? That completely depends on your needs and preferences. They generally offer the same general functionality, but with different interfaces  ---  and with different "bells & whistles".

Currently, The WPI Gordon Library provides institutional access to EndNote Desktop/Client, EndNote Web, and Mendeley. We also support Zotero, a freely available, open source citation management system.

Check out some of the information below about citation managers!