Chapter 13: Works Cited

Citation Tip!

Read the assignment instructions to determine which citation style you should use. If you are allowed to choose one for yourself, the most important thing to remember is: use one style per assignment and be consistent, do not mix and match styles within a paper.

APA citation style

The American Psychological Association style is used primarily in the social sciences, including economics, geography, journalism, criminology and law.

APA reference style is based on the following:

  • Each reference begins with the author’s last name followed by initial(s), and the list is in alphabetical order
  • Capitalize only the first letter of the first word of a title and subtitle, the first word after a colon or a dash in the title, and proper nouns.
  • The first line of each entry in your reference list should be left justified and remaining lines indented one-half inch from the left margin, which is called hanging indentation.
  • Italicize titles of longer works such as books and journals, but not the titles of shorter works such as journal articles or essays in edited collections.
  • Do not italicize, underline, or put quotes around the titles of shorter works.
  • APA recommends providing a Digital Object Identifier (DOI), when it is available, as opposed to the URL. Always check with your instructor to confirm that you should include DOIs or URLs in your bibliography.

See the full list of instructions on citing with APA at the OWL Purdue Online Writing Lab.

APA citation for a journal article

Author surname, initial. (Date). Title of article. Title of journal, volume number (issue number), pages.

Brown, J., & Duguid, P. (1996). The Social Life of Documents. First Monday, 1(1).

How to cite and reference with APA

When summarizing the facts from another writer’s piece of writing, an in-text citation is used to credit the original author. You can do this by including a short quotation from the original text within your work, or a paraphrase of the ideas, followed by the author and year of publication.

Despite the media’s insistence that it is colourblind, Serena is most often portrayed as a symbol of black pride and heritage.  (Schultz, 2005).

Another option is to begin the sentence with a signal phrase that includes the author’s last name followed by the date of publication in parentheses:

According to Schultz (2005), despite the media’s insistence that it is colourblind, Serena is most often portrayed as a symbol of black pride and heritage.

When including a direct quote, add the page numbers.

According to Schultz (2005) “In the overwhelmingly white world of professional tennis, Serena Williams and her older sister Venus are frequently re-presented in the tradition of black pride and heritage” (p. 339).

Include the full reference of the journal article in the References:

Schultz, J. (2005). Reading the catsuit: Serena Williams and the production of Blackness at the 2002 US Open. Journal of Sport and Social Issues, 29(3), 338-357.

In this APA example of in-text citing, the author’s name & publication date is included as part of the sentence. The quote is followed by the page number in parentheses (including lowercase letter p. — which MLA does not include)

Ruffo (2015) said his poems were a natural and spontaneous response to being moved by Morrisseau’s art, and focused on the paintings he admired most (p. 9).

Include the full reference in the bibliography at the end of your paper like this:

Ruffo, A. G. (2015). The Thunderbird poems. Harbour Publishing.

APA reference examples


Vowel, C. (2016). Indigenous writes: A guide to First nations, Métis, and Inuit issues in Canada. HighWater Press.

Chapter in a book

Fong, E. (2017). Residential segregation of visible minority groups in Toronto. In Roland Sintos Colomba and Gordon Pon  (Eds.), Asian Canadian studies reader. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Scholarly journal article

Deflem, M. (2013). Professor goes gaga: Teaching Lady Gaga and the sociology of fame. The American Sociologist, 44(2), 117-131.

Government document online

Mackay, R., Phillips, K., & Canada. Parliamentary Information and Research Service. (2016). The legal regulation of marijuana in Canada and selected other countries. Library of Parliament. Retrieved from


Ehret, S. (18 January 2018). Introduction and Overview of the Canadian criminal justice system. CRM 100: Introduction to Canadian Criminal Justice [Lecture]. Ryerson University.


Monkman, K. (Director) & Lee A. (Producer). (2015). Sisters & brothers [Film]. Canada: National Film Board.

Online magazine article

Cole, D. (2015). The Skin I’m in. Toronto Life, 49.


@ladygaga. (12 Sept. 2017). In our documentary the #chronicillness #chronicpain I deal w/ is #Fibromyalgia I wish to help raise awareness & connect people who have it. [Tweet]

YouTube video

Stoehr, K. & Eisen A. (2014). Research 101: Scholarship is a Conversation. [Video file]. Retrieved from:


Beyoncé (2016). Formation. On Lemonade, Parkwood Entertainment.


Pratt, C. (1965). Young girl with seashells [Oil on board]. Memorial University Art Gallery Permanent Collection, Corner Brook, NL.


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Write Here, Right Now: An Interactive Introduction to Academic Writing and Research Copyright © 2018 by Ryerson University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.