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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 Entries

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


Author. (Date). Title. Source.


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.

Author Last Name, Author Initial(s), (Year in parentheses). Chapter title in sentence case. In Editor first initial. Editor Last Name (Ed.); Book title in italics. (edition, pp. page numbers of chapter). Publisher. 

Peterson, B. (2011). Media violence has harmful effects on young people. In N. Merino (Ed.), Introducing issues with opposing viewpoints. Media violence (pp. 11-16). Greenhaven Press.

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. 


Wikipedia entry title. (Year, Month Day). In Wikipedia. Version URL.

  • To find the date of the version you are viewing, look at the updated date at the bottom of the page, or the version date if you are using a prior version of the page.
  • To find the version URL for the version you viewed, click on "View History" at the top right of the page. Choose the version you want to cite, and use that URL. 


Manchester baby. (2022, June 21). In Wikipedia.


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.

A personal interview, whether in person, online, or via email, is considered personal communication and should be cited in-text, but does not require a citation in your reference list. 

(First Initial. Last Name, personal communication, Month Day, Year).


(H. Smith, personal communication, May 08, 2020)

YouTube Videos:

Real last name, First initial. [Username]. (Year, Month Day). Video title [Video]. YouTube. URL


Wagner, S. [Simone Wagner]. (2016, June 29). What is media literacy? [Video]. YouTube.

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).


In-Text Summary

(Last Name, Year).

Many programs do not have curriculum dedicated to classroom management and, if it does, it is restricted within one course at best (Hammerness 2011).

In-Text Narrative Summary

This is evidenced by Dunn and Rakes (2011) who appraised the collective impact of teacher efficacy and concerns on learner-centered practices (LCP) which they link to classroom management.

In-Text Summary with more than one source

Instead, a-contextual understanding persists and is particularly problematic given the introduction and importance of CRCM, which is used to address the diverse needs of students (Whitaker and Valtierra 2018; Yang and Montgomery 2013).

In-Text Summary combining narrative and ideas with more than one source

Chambers and Hardy (2005) found that classroom management beliefs tend to stay consistent over time based on a pretest-posttest questionnaire of secondary teacher-education students, whereas others have identified preservice teachers shifting towards a more relational understanding (Jones and Vesilind 1995; Kwok 2020).

In-Text Direct Quote

(Last Name, Year, p. number)

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

In-Text Narrative Direct Quote

Kaufman and Moss (2010) found that teachers defined classroom management as “maintaining discipline and controlling behavior” (p. 127).

In-Text with 3 or more authors

Use the first author plus "et al." 

Teacher candidates (TCs), also called preservice teachers, often are the least prepared in classroom management compared with any other pedagogical skill (Albrecht et al. 2009).

Quick Guide to Formatting in APA

  • 1 inch margins on all sides
  • Choose a legible font and use consistently throughout the paper.
    • Calibri 11-point
    • Arial 11-point
    • Times New Roman 12-point.
  • Student Papers
    • A running head is NOT needed 
    • include the page number in the top margin of every page
  • Your paper should have four main parts
    • Title Page
    • Abstract
    • Main Body
    • References

For the Title Page, the type should be centered justification and centered vertically


The Title of Your Paper in Bold

Then the Author’s Name

Institutional Affiliation

(for publishing: An Author’s Note)

(Student papers include:)

Course Number and Name

Instructor’s Name

Assignment Due Date

Start the Abstract on a separate page. It should be a single paragraph, double-spaced, and no more than 250 words.

  • The Abstract is a concise summary of the important points of your research and may include:
    • Research topic
    • Research questions
    • Participants
    • Methods
    • Results
    • Data Analysis
    • Conclusions

After the Abstract, on a new page, begin the main body of the text.

After the Abstract, on a new page, begin the main body of the text.

Format of headings

The following table demonstrates how to format headings in APA Style.




Centered, Bold, Title Case Heading

Text begins as a new paragraph.



Flush Left, Bold, Title Case Heading

Text begins as a new paragraph.



Flush Left, Bold Italic, Title Case Heading

Text begins as a new paragraph.



Indented, Bold, Title Case Heading, Ending With a Period. Text begins on the same line and continues as a regular paragraph.



Indented, Bold Italic, Title Case Heading, Ending With a Period. Text begins on the same line and continues as a regular paragraph.


  • Start the References page on a separate page.
  • Entries should be in alphabetical order by author's last name.
  • Use a hanging indent for all entries
  • Retrieval dates are only needed for unarchived work that may change over time. 

Bias-Free Language

“Authors must strive to use language that is free of bias, meaning the implied or irrelevant evaluation of the group or groups they are writing about.” (Publication manual of the American Psychological Association 2020, p. 131)

  • Focus on Relevant Characteristics
  • Acknowledge Relevant Differences that Do Exist
  • Be Appropriately Specific
    • Choose terms that are specific to the topic
  • Acknowledge People’s Humanity
    • Avoid using adjectives as nouns to label people
  • Provide Operational Definitions and Labels
  • Avoid False Hierarchies
  • Respect the Language people use to describe themselves
    • Call people what they call themselves

For more information check chapter 5, pages 131-149, of APA 7th edition.


What is APA?

This style focuses on the need of presenting psychological information in a uniform format, style, and writing language. It is primarily used in social, behavioral, and health sciences.

Where do I put in-text citations? 

  • When explaining someone’s idea in a paragraph, the in-text citation should be at the end of the paragraph.
  • When quoting the in-text citation should be directly after the quote.
  • And if using a quote several times, in-text should be used each time the quote is used.

Do in-text citations count towards word count?

No, the in-text citation is not counted towards the word count of a paper. 

What are the General Guidelines for a Reference List?

  • Use a hanging indent.
  • Use only the initials for the authors' first and middle names and invert them. This is oftentimes because there is more than one author for work.
  • Double Spaced and alphabetical

Does the Reference list need to have a hanging indent?

Yes, the Reference list for a research paper should have all sources in hanging indent format.

How should more than one Author be cited?

With more than one author (for 20 or fewer authors), name all the authors in the bibliographic reference, with a comma between each author, and an ampersand (&) before the last authors.

For 21 or more authors, list the first 19, then use an “…” (ellipsis) and the final name. You DO NOT need to use an ampersand (&) for this.

How should an Editor be cited?

When citing an Editor instead of an author, use (Ed.) after their name

Example: Willis, L. (Ed.). (2013). Electronic devices in schools. Greenhaven Press.

How do I cite a reference when there is no author?

No author: Start with the Title, then the date.

Example: Educational psychology. (2020). In Encyclopædia Britannica.

How do I capitalize a journal, book, or webpage title in my References?

  • Titles of articles, books, reports, webpages, and other works use sentence case (capitalize like it is a sentence). Note that when referring to the title in your paper, use title case. 
  • Titles of journals use title case in the References (capitalize all major words).