12 important APA Style® Tips Every Academic Writer Must Know

In this blog, we tell you how to cite book reviews, news articles, authors, no authors, emails, Facebook, Twitter, DOI, bibliography, website, scriptures, interviews, etc.

Writers from Tutors India show you with examples on how to utilize the APA referencing style for the various type of publications. So follow along and see what kind of tips apply to your subject (Arts & Humanities, Economics & Finance, Engineering & Technology, Computer Science and more.) You will find more information on referencing on our webpage https://www.tutorsindia.com/referencing/

1. Citing Articles From News

The following is an example of an actual printed newspaper:

John, L. (1991, October 10). Blood Pressure affects personal, financial status. The New York Times, pp. A2, A5.

You must ensure that you precede the page numbers for newspaper articles using pp. or p.

Suppose a newspaper article appears on different pages then you must mention all of the page numbers and ensure you differentiate the numbers with the comma punctuation (e.g., pp. A1, A3, A6–A8).

The following is an example from an electronic version of the newspaper’s printed version:

Junaid, K. M. (2004, September 21). Foods that nourish the brain. The Seattle Times. Retrieved from http://www.seattletimes.com

Ensure that you provide the link of the website landing page whenever the digital edition of the article is open during the search to ensure that the links are functional.

2. Citing Books With No Author

Here is an example (print version) to understand the concept better.

Richmond’s advanced medical dictionary (12th ed.). (2003). Enfield, London: Richmond’s.

You must have the title in the position of the author.

Arrange the books in alphabetical order for the books with no authoress or editor by the first major word of the title (Richmond’s in this case).

In the text, you must use only a few words of the book title, or the complete title if it is not lengthy, instead of an author name in the citation. Look at the following example:

(Richmond’s advanced medical dictionary, 2003).

Here is an example (digital version) to comprehend the concept better.

Venereal. (n.d.). In Richmond’s advanced medical dictionary (12th ed.). Retrieved from http://www. Richmond’smedicaldictionary/Venereal

Suppose the digital version mentions the print version/edition, then you must include the number after the title.

3. Citing Book Reviews

The following is an example of how Tutors India experts reference a book review for you:

Mitch, L. T. (1990, January 11). Discontent and content [Review of the book The personal saga of Sally, by J. B. Fox & Q. Rick].Science, 244, 1234. i:11.1243/science.220.5595.6304

If you do not find a title for the review then use the material in square brackets as the title; you must keep the square brackets to show that the material is a description of form and content only and it is not the title of the book.

You must ascertain the type of channel being reviewed in square brackets (publication, video, image, TV series etc.).

If the item that you are reviewing is a publication then you must have the names of the authors after the title of the book and separate them by the comma punctuation.

If the item that you are reviewing is a motion film, video, CD or other types of media then include the year of release after the title of the work, separated by a comma.

4. Multiple Authors

Alphabetically arrange the citations of 2 or addition works by various writers enclosed in the same parentheses according to the order they are given in the list of references. Ensure you include references that could otherwise condense to et al; ensure you use a semicolon to separate the list.

Here is an example to understand the concept better.

Various research reports (Johnson, 1998; Lee & Wang, 1998)

You must order 2, 3, or more writings by the same authoress (in a similar arrangement) by publication year; you must mention in-press references at the end and provide the authoresses’ surnames once. And for each consequent work, you must mention only the date.

Here is an example to grasp the concept better.

The previous report (Evans, 1991, 2000, in press)

You must ascertain writings of the same writers/authoresses (or by the similar 2, 3, or more authoresses in the similar arrangement) using the similar publication date by the suffixes a, b, c, and henceforth after the year; you must re-mention the year. Alphabetically arrange the list of references (see suffixes) for the complete work, article, or chapter.

Read the following example to learn the concept better.

Various studies (Gibson & Raymond, 2004a, 2004b, in press-a; Rothschild, 2002a, 2002b)

However, there is an exception that you must adhere to. You might use “see also” before the first of the remaining citations to differentiate it from the major citation and you must do this alphabetically.

Here is an example to grasp the concept better.

(Lindt, 2011; see also Sam, 1999; Martha, 2012)

5. Citing Individual’s Email Communications

You must cite emails from persons as personal communications because they do not provide recoverable data; the reference list does not comprise personal communications.

You must reference those personal pieces of written email communications in text alone; provide surnames and initials of the sender.  In addition, you must give a precise date whenever available or possible.

Read the following example to learn the concept better.

  1. K. Rowling (personal communication, June 10, 2011)

(V.K. Naidu, personal communication, October 18, 1808)

You must ensure the veracity of the communication before citing it as personal communication in your dissertation because emails may be camouflaged in another’s identity. The onus of ensuring this accuracy is on the authors/authoresses. Not copyeditors or journal/technical editors.

6. Citing Social Media

  1. Facebook

Refer the APA style guide for guidelines on citing electronic references pertaining to Facebook.  Here is the link that you must review; you must refer the guide on electronic/digital citations. Click here.

The blog on style for APA discusses examples of citing from Facebook; for more information, refer the following; you must refer the guide on social media citations.

  1. Twitter

Refer the APA style guide for guidelines on citing electronic references pertaining to Twitter.  Here is the link that you must review:

The blog on style for APA discusses examples of citing from Twitter; for more information, refer the following:

7. References or Bibliography?

Please note that in APA Style®, use a reference list, not the bibliography. Read the following table to get a better understanding.

References or bibliography

1. Citing Sources From Another Source

You must leverage a negligible amount of secondary sources if you find that the source (original) material is no longer in print, not available, not available in the English language. List out the sources of secondary information in the reference section; the in-text citations must comprise actual work of the author accompanying the source citation.  Here is an example to give you a better picture of what we are talking about:

For instance, if Johnson’s work is referenced in Lucy’s work and you are not cognizant of Johnson’s work, but Lucy’s, then list Johnson’s in the reference list; do the following for in-text citations:

Lucy’s journal (as cited in Johnson’s, 2011).

2. Citation’s Retrieval Date

You do not need more retrieval information if your references have a DOI; refer the article from the following link:

If the source of the material is bound to change then you need not have the retrieval date provided the DOI is unavailable and URL is not excluded. A good example of this is articles in wikis.

Using pp., or p. for page numbers in the case of periodicals.

To inform your reader about pagination in periodicals, you must have pp. before the page numbers and in the case of volume number, you must put it in italics and change to regular typeface and mention the range of pages without pp.; you must p. or pp. if the page is not lengthy. Take, for example, chapters of a book or articles from the news article.

3. Citing Websites

In this section, we discuss how to cite websites; you must mention the URL of the website in the text.

Read the following example to learn the concept better:

ABCY is a beautiful engaging website for adults (http://www.abcy.uk).

Websites with no author

If you find that there is no author information given then the title displaces to the number 1 point of the entry in the reference list. Here is an example to grasp this tip better:

All 10 Thai children freed from a cave. (2018, August 21). Retrieved from http://www.abcxyznews.com/id/43434343/nw/global_news-asiapacific/

When it comes to in-text citations, you must cite the initial few words of the reference list entry, which is the title and year; you must have double quotes enclosing title or the short form of the title. Follow the example given below:

(“All 10 Thai children,” 2018).

For the in-text citation, you can mention the full title of the web page if it is brief; the articles found on the website are enclosed in quotations in the in-text citation similar to a news article and they are not italicized in the reference section and in-text.

If you find reports pertaining to a web page, then use italics for the entry in the reference section. Use italics for the reference list for any reports pertaining to the website; please refer examples in the 6th edition of the manual.

Websites with no author, no year, and no folio numbers

You must refer to any of the items mentioned below to cite quotations if the material is devoid of page numbers.

Count the paragraphs downwards from the beginning of the document if the part numbers are provided.

The paragraph heading with a paragraph number in that column.

Enclose the short title in quotes if the heading is too big to cite completely. If you don’t have an authoress, date then in your in-text citation you must have n.d. for no paragraph, and no date.

Here is a very good example of what we are talking about:

Futuristics, n.d. In The Oxford online dictionary (13th ed.). Extracted from http://www.oxfordonline/dictionary/futuristics

4. Citing Scriptures

You can do away with a reference section when it comes to scriptures; for example, citing early Islamic, Biblical, and Hebrew works, or classical spiritual works; however, in the first mention of the in-text citation, you must show the description of the religious work you used.

5. Citing Content From Interviews

You must first ascertain if the data is recoverable or non-recoverable; interviews are is not reckoned as recoverable and hence, not referenced in the list of references. Because an interview is a piece of personal communication, you must provide in-text citations in the reference list. Because it is a personal communication, ensure that you refer/cite the interview excerpt in the text.

Follow the examples given below:

(K. Johnson, personal communication, June 10, 1999)

A Note on Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

The DOI international foundation is a registration agency that allocates a special alphanumeric code through a publisher to a permanent and persistent link to an electronically published article; this is a number that starts with 10 and includes slashes with prefixes and suffixes.

You will see the DOI on the article’s landing page in the database and if you do have a DOI then ensure you include it in digital and print and sources; you will see the DOI on the first page of the electronic article beside the copyright.

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