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Citation Style - APA

APA's Official Resources

APA Online Tutorial

If you are new to using APA style, you may want to check out the following tutorial for new users, located on the APA website.

  What's New in the 7th Edition

In 2019, APA published a new manual of style. 

  • To learn more about the changes made in the new APA manual (7th edition), check out the "What's New" section on the official APA Website.
  • You may also want to check out the APA blog which contains helpful information on citing specific sources.
  • Learn more about those changes, including examples at the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL).  

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What is a citation?

citation is a reference to the source of information used in your research. Citations in your research are important because they have information about a resource/ resources that you have used. 

  • If the content of an online source you cited is no longer available, search for an archived version of the page on Internet Archive and use the archived URL—if available. If no archived version of the URL is available, delete the reference list entry and, if possible, substitute a reference for another source.

NOTE: Any time you directly quote, paraphrase or summarize the essential elements of someone else’s idea while writing your essay, an in-text citation should follow. An in-text citation is a brief notation within the text of your paper or presentation which refers the reader to a fuller end-of-paper list of references that provide all necessary details about that source of information.

إن عملية الإستشهاد المرجعي هي ذكر لمصدر المعلومة او المعلومات المستخدمة في بحثك. تكتسب قائمة المراجع التي توجد عادةً في نهاية البحث أهميتها من كونها تشمل المصادر و المراجع التي إعتمدت عليها و إستخدمتها في كتابة بحثك.

ملحوظة: في كل مرة تقوم بعملية الإقتباس المباشر، إعادة صياغة أو تلخيص العناصر الأساسية لفكرة شخص ما يجب أن يتبع ذلك عملية إستشهاد داخل النص أو ما يسمى التوثيق في المتن. الإستشهاد داخل النص هو تنويه سريع عن مصدر المعلومة المذكورة في بحثك و هي تحيل القارئ لقائمة المراجع في نهاية ورقتك البحثية و التي تحتوي على التفاصيل الكاملة الخاصة بذلك المصدر الذي استندت إليه.

The information included in a citation typically includes:

  • Author
  • Date of publication
  • Main title
  • Secondary title (or subtitle)
  • Publisher
  • Retrieval date (ONLY for some electronic resources)
  • Retrieval statement (ONLY for some electronic resources)

Below are a couple of examples to help identify parts of a citation:

Print resource (book):                                                                                         

Electronic resource (web site article):

Electronic resource (web site article): 

Click HERE when there is need to cite a TWEET 

An ARABIC Language guide is also available. 


Citing is done because:

  • It allows your readers to locate the sources you used to verify the information, or to do their own research on that subject.
  • It also shows how your research builds on the research of others. A citation after a phrase tells your readers which ideas came from someone else.
  • It is an important part of Academic Integrity as explained at Using another person’s ideas or words without indicating via a citation where you found them is plagiarism

لماذا نقوم بعملية الإستشهاد المرجعي:

  • تسمح تلك العملية لكل من يقرأ بحثك أن يتتبع مصدر المعلومات و ذلك سواء للتأكد من صحتها، الإستزادة بقراءة المزيد أو لإستخدامها و الإعتماد عليها في بحثهم الخاص.
  • تظهر عملية الإستشهاد أن بحثك هو مجرد تكملة و إضافة تبني على أبحاث آخرى قام بها آخرون. لذلك فإن عملية الإستشهاد بعد أي جملة تظهر للقارئ بشكل واضح أي المعلومات كان مصدرها شخص آخر.

تعتبر عملية الإستشهاد مكون مهم من عملية الأمانة العلمية و ميثاق الشرف الأكاديمي كما هو موضح ب    إن إستخدام أراء أو كلمات شخص آخر دون التنويه عن ذلك يعتبر إنتحال أو سرقة أدبية غير مقبولة.

About APA Style

American Psychological Association (APA) style is commonly used for citing references in student papers, usually in science and social science courses.

This guide is based on the 2019 Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.)

   But If the source is in ARABIC language, use the Arabic Language Guide


Click HERE if more RefWorks guidance is required

  • GoBiblio (a Free Bibliography and Citation Generator)


APA Examples: links

Examples of APA list of references, courtesy of Seneca, University of Maryland libraries, and Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL - a source of writing resources and instructional material to assist with a variety of writing projects).


Handouts from the APA website can be viewed and downloaded for reference

General Guidelines for APA Style

  • The References list should be double-spaced. Each entry should be formatted with a hanging indent (p.180).
  • References cited in text must appear in the References list and vice versa. The only exceptions to this rule are personal communications and classical works; they are cited in text only and are not included in the References list (p.174).

  • Use only the initial(s) of the author’s given name, not the full name (p.184).

  • If the References list includes 2 or more entries by the same author(s), list them in chronological order with the earliest first (p. 182).

  •  If the author’s name is unavailable, use the first few words of the title of the article, book or Web source, including the appropriate capitalization and italics formatting (pp.176-177). E.g. (Scientists Say, 2000).

  • Arrange References entries in one alphabetical sequence by the surname of the first author or by title or first word if there is no author (pp.181-183). Ignore the words A, An, and The when alphabetizing by title.

  • In titles and subtitles of articles, chapters, and books, capitalize only the first letter of the first word and any proper nouns, except in parenthetical (in text) citations (p.185).

  • Italicize book titles, journal titles, and volume numbers. Do NOT italicize issue numbers.

  • If a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) is listed on either a print or an electronic source it is included in the reference (pp.188-192).  A DOI is a unique alphanumeric string that is used to identify a certain source (typically journal articles).  It is often found on the first page of an article.  Example:

  • When the References entry includes a URL that must be divided between two lines, break it before a slash or dash or at another logical division point (p.192). 

  • For a helpful list of some of the abbreviations used in References (such as Vols. for Volumes) check out page 180 of the APA Manual.

Abbreviations & Numbers in APA

Many abbreviations are used in APA style. Below are the most common abbreviations:

n.d.   no date of publication




  multiple editors




  volume (only use when citing reference works, like encyclopedia articles)


  single page number (only use when citing print resources)


  multiple page numbers (only use when citing print resources)


  digital object identifier (only use when citing journal articles)









HOW TO ALPHABETIZE A NUMBER: Alphabetize the entry in the reference list as though the number were spelled out. So a reference that begins with 50 would be alphabetized as though 50 were written as fifty.  MORE INFORMATION on alphabetization 

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Library Guides Content - Adapted from Red Deer College Library / CC BY-NC-SA 2.5