APA citation follows the author-date style of formatting in-text and reference list entries. In APA author-date style, the last name of the author and the first name initial is the first element. After that, the year of publication is added to the citation followed by the rest of the source data. A citation is the combination of the in-text citation and the full source citation in the reference list.
In-Text Citation Format
To create an in-text citation in an APA school paper, follow the author-date style:
The in-text citation points the reader to the full source citation in the reference list. Include a source citation for every in-text citation except:
- Classical Works
- Bible/Religious Texts
- Personal Communications
Reference Source Citation
At the end of your paper, create a reference list that includes all the sources you’ve listed within the body of your paper. Each APA source citation includes these elements:
- Year of Publication
- Publication data
- Retrieval data
The reference citation should have enough data to guide the reader to the exact source.
After you’ve completed the reference list, go back through your paper and make sure you’ve matched every in-text citation to a full source citation.
Arranging APA References
To arrange your APA list, go through your preliminary bibliography or reference list. Delete sources you did not use in your paper. Alphabetize your APA references by using the letter by letter method. Alphabetize by author’s last name and use initials for first names.
Follow these steps to finalize your references:
- Check each source citation against the original publication for accuracy.
- Check the spelling of author names, titles and publication information.
- Check the dates of publication, especially if you have multiple works by the same author.
- Check in-text citations against reference source citations.
Your reference list will follow the same formatting as the rest of your APA paper.
Learning to create properly formatted in-text and source citations in APA style will make it easier for you to prepare research papers throughout your college years.