Although reviews of books, movies, video games and other published entertainment are not primary sources, they can still be helpful in your research. As such, you’ll need to know how to cite reviews as part of writing your APA research paper.
Where to Find Reviews
You can find reviews in many places, including:
Even your local small-town newspaper probably publishes reviews. You may even find reviews of reviews!
How to Format a Review Citation in APA
The proper APA citation format when referencing a review is as follows:
Reviewer, R.R. (Date). Title of review [Review of the book Title of book, by A.A. Author]. Title of complete work, xx, xxx-xxx.
- Include the medium, such as book or movie, inside the brackets.
- Include the name of the author(s) for books. Place this after the book’s title, using a comma.
- Include the year of release for films and DVDs. Place this after the title, also using a comma.
How to Cite Untitled Reviews
When citing a review without its own title, follow these guidelines:
- Use the information inside the brackets as the title.
- Keep the brackets.
Include the DOI or URL at the end of the citation, if you found the source online. Do not place a period after the URL.
Review these examples for how to cite reviews in an APA style references list.
Example Book Review
Example Video Review
Example Review of Video Game – No Author
Peer commentaries are articles written by others in your field about your paper. Unlike a peer-reviewed paper, commentaries are written after publication in a scholarly journal. The purpose of these articles is to add to the discussion of the topic, rather than to critique or edit the paper.
Commentaries can be useful as sources for your research as often additional citations are added, or perhaps, they can help you understand the original paper more clearly.
Reviews Published in Magazines
Use this basic format to create reference list entries for reviews published in magazines.
Author Last Name, First Initial(s). (Year, Month Day if applicable). Title of review: Subtitle if needed [Review of the publication type Publication title, by author first initial(s) last name]. Title of publication, volume number (issue number), page number(s).
Reviewing Your Review References
Even though reviews are not primary sources, they can be a fun way to add to your research sources. Follow your teacher’s instruction on using these sources in your school paper. If you are writing a short paper, you may want to focus on authoritative primary sources instead.