UMGC Library

Library Instruction ASTD 135: Cite (APA)

Citing Your Sources in APA

APA Citation

For this class, you'll be using the citation rules developed by the American Psychological Association (APA). Each APA citation has two parts:

1) An in-text citation:

When you use an idea or fact or direct quotation from a source inside your paper, give the authors' names, the date of the source, and a page number if available. For example:

LGBTQ individuals often prefer to seek information related to gender identity online, because they can be anonymous while doing their research (Fox & Ralston, 2016, p. 640).

You can also put the authors' names directly in the sentence, rather than inside parentheses:

Fox and Ralston (2016) noted that LGBTQ individuals often prefer to seek information related to gender identity online, because they can be anonymous while doing their research (p. 640).

2) A reference list citation:

Each in-text citation directs your readers to a list at the end of your paper that gives more complete information about each source cited. For example, the reference list citation for the article mentioned above is:

Fox, J., & Ralston, R. (2016). Queer identity online: Informal learning and teaching experiences of LGBTQ individuals on social media. Computers in Human Behavior, 65(4), 635-642.

Reference Citation Examples

Article from a database, with a DOI:

Dumais, S. A., Rizzuto, T. E., Cleary, J., & Dowden, L. (2013). Stressors and supports for adult online learners: Comparing first- and continuing-generation college students. American Journal of Distance Education, 27(2), 100-110.

Article from a database, without a DOI:

When an article has no DOI, just finish the reference citation with the article page numbers:

Chiloane-Tsoka, G. (2013). How effective affirmative tender procurements assist women entrepreneurs operating in small business in South Africa. Gender & Behaviour, 11(1), 5135-5145. 


Freitas, N. (2015, January 6). People around the world are voluntarily submitting to China’s Great Firewall. Why? Slate.

Note in the above example that we do NOT write "Retrieved from" before the webpage URL. According to APA 7th edition style, we almost never use "Retrieved from."

See APA Citation Examples for different types of citations.

The APA website has a sample APA student paper containing in-text and reference citations (click the link to download as a pdf).

This short APA Citations video provides further information on how to cite sources using APA.

APA Citation Quiz

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