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Social Work: APA Citations

Information resources in social work and social welfare.

APA Style Citations

Below you will find information on how to accurately cite information using APA style. This is not a comprehensive guide. For more complete information please see the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association or the Purdue OWL.

Please click on one of the links below to jump to that section.

APA Style Manual

A copy of this book is also available at the Help Desk.

APA Style Blog

Purdue OWL: Reference List

Below are links to some of the most commonly cited types of sources.

APA Style Citations: WCC

Generative A.I. and A.P.A. Style

As of 4/17/2023, the American Psychological Association had not yet released guidelines on using or referencing generative A.I.. 

Until they do, we recommend describing your use of the tool in a note and, for the citation, using the company as the author, the date, a description of your prompt, the name and version of the tool, and the URL of the tool. For example: 

OpenAI. (2023, April 17). [Response to a prompt to list important questions regarding emerging technologies]. ChatGPT Mar 23 Version.

APA Style In-Text Citations

When you mention another's work or ideas in your paper, provide an in-text citation.

  • If you use the author's name(s) in the signal phrase, follow it with the year of publication in parentheses.
  • If you do not use the author's name(s) in the signal phrase, include the name, year and page number in parentheses.
  • Always give the page number for direct quotations.
  • Page numbers are recommended but not required for paraphrased references. 


Paraphrased idea; Author is named in a signal phrase: 

According to Volkow, Compton, & Wardo (2017), women who are – or are trying to become – pregnant should not use marijuana, even to treat morning sickness (p. 129).

Direct quote: Author is not named in a signal phrase:

"Pregnant women and those considering becoming pregnant should be advised to avoid using marijuana or other cannabinoids either recreationally or to treat nausea" (Volkow, Compton, & Wardo, 2017, p. 129).

Reference List

The Reference List:

  • Includes all sources used in your paper
  • Is located after the main body of the paper and before any appendices. 
  • Is alphabetized, double-spaced, and in 12-point Times New Roman (or similar) font.
  • Uses hanging indentations. 

For further information on this topic please see the APA Paper Format section of this subject guide.

APA Style Reference List Citations: General Information

Tips for formatting APA style citations:

  • Title your reference "References".
  • Capitalize the titles of periodicals (National Geographic).
  • For all other titles, capitalize only the first letter of a title, words beginning sentences, words beginning sub-titles, and proper names.
  • If no author is named, move the title to the author position, before the publication date.
  • If no publication date is given, use n.d. in place of the date.
  • Pay attention to the punctuation used in your citations. 

APA Style Reference List Citations: Articles

The basic format:

Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume number (issue number), pages.

Journal Article with a Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

Banet-Weiser, S. (2011). Convergence on the street: Rethinking the authentic/commercial binary. Cultural Studies, 25, 641-658.

Meyer, C. G., O'Malley, J. M., Papastamatiou, Y. P., Dale, J. J., Hutchinson, M. R., Anderson, J. M., & ... Holland, K. N. (2014). Growth and maximum size of tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier) in Hawaii. Plos ONE, 9(1), 1-9. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0084799

Online Journal Article with No DOI

Lindsey, D. (2010). Evaluating quality control of Wikipedia's feature articles. First Monday15(4). Retrieved from

Journal Article from a Database with No DOI

  1. Search to see if a DOI exists. If there is, use the DOI. If there isn't:
  2. Search Google Scholar to see if the article is available from the journal or publisher's website. If it is, use that URL. If it isn't:
  3. Use either:
    1. (a) the database name and article accession number OR
    2. (b) the database URL. 

APA Style Reference List Citations: Books

The basic format for citing a book is:

Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle. Location: Publisher.

For example:

Book with a single author:

Pukui, M. K. (1995). Folktales of Hawai‘i. Honolulu, HI: Bishop Museum Press.

Book with multiple authors:

Hunt, T. and Lipo, C. (2011). The Statues that walked: Unraveling the mystery of Easter Island. New York, NY: Free Press.

(Insert the authorʻs names in the order that they appear in the book/paper)

Online book:

Jung, M. (2006). Reworking race: The making of Hawaii’s interracial labor movement. Retrieved from
(for online books replace "Location: Publisher" with "Retrieved from" and insert the URL)

APA Style Reference List Citations: Webpages

The basic formatting for citing a webpage is:

Author, A.A. (Year, Month Date Published). Title of article. Title of WebpageRetrieved from URL

For example:

Webpage, author named:

Povich, E, S. (2018, May 7). Why most states are struggling to regulate Airbnb. Pew. Retrieved from analysis/blogs/stateline/2018/05/07/why-most-states-are-struggling-to-regulate-airbnbb

Webpage, no author named:

The Road to resilience. (n.d.). American Psychological Association. Retrieved from

(when there is no date given use "n.d.")

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