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Research & Applications MSED/MSOD

Strategies and tips for locating resources for your literature review project.

APA Essentials for Your Literature Review

There are many free or subscription based tools to help you build your reference lists and format your citations.  The most reliable tool for you to use is the "Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association," 6th edition, 2010. Whether you check out a copy from the library (we have 2 copies) or you purchase your own, this manual is intended for writers of all types of papers and documents.  It can be difficult to interpret at times, and it can be more convenient to use a web-based program to do the same thing.  Whichever option you choose to make use of, know that consistency is of primary importance.

Below you will find samples for the most common APA style references ready for you to use as a basis for yours. There are also brief samples given for what basic in-text citations should look like.  It is in no way comprehensive for the wide variety of in-text citations you may choose to use. Title pages, running heads and other more technical aspects are not covered in this guide, but will be addressed as a part of your APA activity and assignment at the beginning of your course.

The writing tutors that are available through the Academic Resource Center are also available to help you check more than your citations.  Whether you can meet in person with a tutor or use the email tutoring services, they provide a high-level of service that can enable you to turn in the best completed project possible.  Look on the left hand column of this page to discover how to contact the Academic Resource Center for assistance.

Sample APA References

References are given using APA 6th edition.

In Text Citation

Indirect Quotes or References to Material

When using APA format, follow the author-date method of in-text citation. This means that the author's last name and the year of publication for the source should appear in the text, for example, (Jones, 1998), and a complete reference should appear in the reference list at the end of the paper.

If you are referring to an idea from another work but NOT directly quoting the material, or making reference to an entire book, article or other work, you only have to make reference to the author and year of publication and not the page number in your in-text reference. All sources that are cited in the text must appear in the reference list at the end of the paper.

Example: (Black, 2014)

Direct Quotes

If you are directly quoting from a work, you will need to include the author, year of publication, and the page number for the reference (preceded by "p."). Introduce the quotation with a signal phrase that includes the author's last name followed by the date of publication in parentheses..

Example: According to Peshori (2015), "In India it was the Kautilya who was the first economist who openly recognized the need of the forensic accountants" (p. 28).

Reference List


One author

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

Black, B. P. (2014). Professional nursing: Concepts & challenges. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.

More than one author

Two authors: List by their last names and initials. Use the ampersand instead of "and."

Held, J.S. & Posner, D. (1971). 17th and 18th century art: Baroque, painting, sculpture, architecture. New York, NY: H.N. Abrams.

Three to seven authors: List by last names and initials; commas separate author names, while the last author name is preceded again by ampersand.

Kotler, P., Hessekiel, D., & Lee, N. R. (2012). Good works!: Marketing and corporate initiatives that build a better world--and the bottom line. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Eight or more authorsList by last names and initials; commas separate author names. After the sixth author's name, use an ellipses in place of the author names. Then provide the final author name. There should be no more than seven names.

Smith, B. G., Harrison, F., Hunter, D. T., Goodman, K. T., Williams, T. P., McGillis, A., . . . Cleary, B.

Edited works

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

Lane, E., & Shengold, N., (Eds.). (1988). The actor's book of scenes from new plays. New York, NY: Penguin Books.

Chapter or article from a book

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Year of publication). Title of chapter. In A. A. Editor & B. B. Editor (Eds.), Title of book (pages of chapter). Location: Publisher.

Kuh, G. D., Boruff-Jones, P. D., & Mark, A. E.(2007). Engaging students in the first college year: Why academic librarians matter. In L.L. Hardesty (Ed.), The role of the library in the first college year (pp. 17-28). Columbia: SC: University of South Carolina.

Journal Articles

One author

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

Peshori, K. S. (2015). Forensic accounting a multidimensional approach to investigating frauds and scams. International Journal of Multidisciplinary Approach & Studies, 2(3), 26-36. 

More than one author

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

Chen, W., Wu, F., You, Z., Zhang, Z., Guo, Y., & Zhong, L. (2015). Analyzing the differentially expressed genes and pathway cross-talk in aggressive breast cancer. Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology Research, 41(1), 132-140. http://10.1111/jog.12495

Other Types of Sources


Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of document. Retrieved from http://Web address

DeNoon, D. J. (2012). How much caffeine is in your energy drink? Retrieved from

Videos (includes DVDs, VHS, Digital formats)

Producer, P. P. (Producer), & Director, D. D. (Director). (Date of publication). Title of motion picture [Motion picture]. Country of origin: Studio or distributor.

Grazer, B. (Producer), & Howard, R. (Director). (2001). A beautiful mind [Motion picture]. United States: Universal Pictures.

Interviews or Personal Communication


Personal communications may be private letters, memos, emails, personal interviews, and telephone conversations. According to APA, because they are not considered recoverable data, they are not included in the reference list and should be cited in the reference list. 

For your in-text citation include their name, the type of communication and as accurate a date as possible. The other person's name will be listed in the same format used for authors in a reference.

(A. A. LastName, personal communication, Date of communication)

(J. A. Parker, personal communication, October 28, 2018)

Interview or Personal Communication

Recording or Transcript Available

If you have an audio file or written transcript of the personal communication, it should be cited in text and in your reference list. If you do not have all of the information, complete as much as possible.

Audio file:

LastName, A. A. (Date). Interview by B. B. LastName [format of recording]. Title of interview, Place where recording available, Place of Publication.

Jones, B. L. (2016, June 11). Interview by J. K. Lotz [mp3 file]. Library Services at Newman University, Copy in possession of author.

Written transcript (no audio available):

LastName, A. A. (Date) Title of interview with interviewer name/Interviewer: FirstName A. LastName. Occassion of recording, Publisher, Place of Publication.

Jones, B. L. (2016). Library services at Newman University 1933-2006 with Bob L. Jones/Interviewer: Jim K. Lotz. Newman Archives Project, Newman University, Wichita, KS.