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Citation and Documentation Styles

Find resources on Citation and Documentation Styles. APA, MLA, and Chicago Manual of Style have resources you can find at Forsyth Library and online, as well as a quick guide to the types of sources most often cited.

APA Resources

Quick Guide to APA Citation 7th Edition

Four Elements of Reference List Entires

  1. Author
  2. Date
  3. Title
  4. Source


Author. (Date). Title. Source.


  • Reference entries have a hanging indent.
  • For resources that are part of a greater whole (such as journal articles or book chapters), DO NOT italicize or use quotation marks for the article or chapter title. Capitalize title using sentence case. The journal, newspaper, magazine, or book title is still italicized. 
  • For resources that are stand-alone ( such as books or web pages), italicize the title, and capitalize it using title case. 
  • More than one Author: Name all the authors in the bibliographic reference- up to 20. For 21 or more authors list the first 19, then use an "..." [ellipsis] and the final name. 
  • For 20 authors or less, list all the names with a comma between authors, and a & before the last author. 
  • Use Bias-Free Language to talk about all people with inclusivity and respect. 
  • Editor instead of author: Use (Ed.) after their name.
    • Example: Willis, L. (Ed.). (2013). Electronic devices in schools. Greenhaven Press.
  • 20 or more authors: List the first 19 authors, then use ... before the final author's name. You DO NOT need to use an ampersand (&) for this.
  • No author: Start with the Title, then the date.
    • Example: Educational psychology. (2020). In Encyclopædia Britannica.


Author Last Name, Author Initial(s). (Year in parentheses). Title. Journal Title ItalicizedVolume Italicized(Issue in parentheses), page range. DOI, permalink, or URL


Vrchota, D. (2011). Communication in the disciplines: Interpersonal communication in dietetics. Communication Education, 60(2), 210–230.

Published Dissertation or Theses 

Author Last Name, Author Initial(s). (Year in parentheses). Title of dissertation or thesis italicized [Doctoral dissertation/Master's thesis, Name of Institution Awarding the Degree in brackets]. Database or Archive Name. URL.


Blinne, K. C. (2014). Communication as yoga [Doctoral dissertation, University of South Florida]. ​ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global.


Author Last Name, Author Initial(s). (Year in parentheses). Title italicized. Publisher Name.


Egolf, D. (2012). Human communication and the brain: Building the foundation for the field of neurocommunication. Lexington Books.

Encyclopedia or Dictionary Entry with an individual author and an editor:

Author Last Name, Author Initial(s). (Year in parentheses). Title of entry. In Editor Initial(s) Last Name (ed.), Title of encyclopedia italicized (edition, page numbers in parentheses). Publisher Name. URL, permalilnk, or DOI


Mitcho, S. R. (2017). Feminist pedagogy. In M. Peters (ed.), Encyclopedia of educational philosophy and theory. Springer Science+Business Media.

Encyclopedia or Dictionary Entry with no author and no editor:

Title of entry. (Year in parentheses). Title of encyclopedia italicized (edition, page numbers in parentheses). Publisher Name. URL, permalilnk, or DOI

Education. (2003). In The MacMillan encyclopedia (2nd ed.). Market House Books Ltd. 


Author Last Name, Initial(s) or Corporate Author. (Date published or updated in parentheses). Title of webpage italicized. Site Name. URL


Silver, F. (2018, July 01). Why is it important for teachers to have good communication skills? Chron.

Use the Author-Date Citation System to cite your references in the text of your paper


(Last Name, Year)

Example:  (Vrchota, 2011)

Narrative Citations: If you refer to the author in your written text, use only the year in parentheses after the author's name.

Example: Vrchota (2011) interviewed seven registered dietitians. 

Specific Quotes: Direct quoting is rare in APA, and should be used sparingly.

When you do directly quote a resource, include information about the specific part of your citation, such as page, paragraph, or chapter.

Example: "Relationships are built through the negotiated progression of increased and reciprocated disclosures by the participants" (Vrchota, 2011, p. 221).


  • Use only the surname (or last name) of the author(s)
  • Use only the year
  • No date? Use n.d.  Example: (Auerbach, n.d.)
  • Three or more authors? Use the first author plus "et al." Example: (Chad, et al. 2013)
  • Use Block format for quotations over 40 words

Formatting APA in Word