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Citing Sources: Articles - APA

This guide indicates the appropriate form for layout, in-text citations, and bibliography for MLA, APA, and Chicago formatted papers.

General Information

NoodleTools will help you correctly format your citations for the Reference list. The following information is basic information you should remember when working with articles.

You may need to correct the capitalization of titles you find in databases.
  • Please pay attention if you are cutting and pasting titles. The titles may not be in APA format.

Articles from Databases:  In general, when you cite an article from a database, the format is the same as for a print article.

  • Note about the DOI: APA asks for the DOI number (digital object identifier) - some of the databases St. Paul's subscribes to will provide this number but some will not. If you can find the DOI, provide it. If not, at the end of the citation, provide the URL of the journal, magazine, or newspaper home page OR the name of the database where you retrieved the article.

  • In addition, APA rules do not require a retrieval date for electronic sources, unless they are likely to change. At St. Paul's, your teacher required the retrieval date.

General formatting for Reference List:

  • Double space all of the citations on your reference page.
  • Alphabetize your reference list by the first word of the citation (usually the author's last name).
  • Indent the second & following lines of the citation 5-7 spaces (use a hanging indent).  
  • For 2-7 authors: Wingert, P., Smith, J., & Brown, P.
  • For more than 7 authors: List the first six authors, then put an ellipses (. . .) before the final author’s name.
  • Only capitalize the first word of the document title. If there is a colon in the title, capitalize the first word after the colon.
  • Italicize the title of the magazine or journal.  Also italicize the volume number - but do not italicize the issue number.
  • Page Numbers: For newspaper articles: Use p. before the page number for articles one page long and pp. for articles longer than one page. Do not use p. or pp. for magazine or journal articles. If no page numbers are available, just leave blank.
  • Dates: Use n.d. (no date) when a publication date is not available

Creating Article Entries for Reference list

In-text Citations with APA - One Author

If the author's name is in your text, you do not need to repeat it in the in-text citation.

Signal phrase, Author (Year), "quote" (p. page number).

One researcher, Carol Gilligan (2005), concluded that "women impose a distinctive construction on moral problems" (p. 105).

If the author's name is not in your text, you  must include it in the in-text citation.


Signal phrase, "quote" (Author, year, p. page number).


As a result, studies suggest that "women impose a distinctive construction on moral problems" (Gilligan, 2005, p. 105).

In-text Citations with APA - Two Authors

Use last names only. Add an "&" before the second name.

Signal phrase, "quote" (Author, & Author, Year, p. page number).

According to a study, "The poor and minorities were victims" (Frieden & Sagalyn, 2005, p. 29).

In-text Citations with APA - Three to Five Authors

First time cited
Signal phrase, "quote" (Author, Author, & Author, Year, p. page number).

Our text discussed the "ethical dilemmas in public relations" (Wilcox, Ault, & Agee, 2005, p. 125). 

Subsequent times cited
Signal phrase, "quote" (Author et al., Year, p. page number).

As mentioned before, there may be "ethical dilemmas in public relations" (Wilcox et al., 2005, p. 125).

In-text Citations with APA - Six or More Authors

In either the signal phrase or parentheses, give only the first author’s last name, followed by et al.

Signal phrase, "quote" (Author et al., Year, p. page number).

Signal phrase with First Author et al. (Year) …

Recent research showed that … (Graham et al., 2010). 

According to a research study by Graham et al. (2010), …

In-text Citations with APA - No author

Use shortened version of title.

Signal phrase, "quote" ("Shortened Title", Year, p. page number). Note: Titles of articles in "Quotation Marks", titles of Books or Longer Works are italicized.

One article stated that, "A death row inmate may demand his execution for notoriety" ("Right", 2005, p. 135).

In-text Citations with APA - Electronic Sources with No Page Numbers

A database source is NOT the same as an Internet source. Most sites do not reproduce the article exactly as it was published in the original journal or magazine. If you find an article on a news website, such as the BBC site or CBC site please remember to cite the source as a website.

Use author or title and year. 

For an electronic source without pages but with numbered paragraphs, use “para.” and the paragraph number. If there are no numbered paragraphs, provide a section header.

Signal phrase, "quote" (Author, Year).

Signal phrase, "quote" (Shortened title, Year).

According to a study, "Twins reared apart report similar feelings" (Palfrey, 2005, Conclusions section).

In-text Citations with APA - Electronic Sources with No Publication Date

Use the abbreviation “n.d.” for “no date.” 

If there are no page numbers on an electronic source, you can use numbered paragraphs. Use "para." and paragraph number or provide a section header.

Signal phrase with author’s name (n.d.), “quote” (p. page number).

Signal phrase, “quote” (Author, n.d., p. page number).

According to Magnus (n.d.), "it has been difficult to identify a connection between watching television and eating habits" (p. 67).

APA Checklist - Quick Guide for Printing

Citation Tools


This LibGuide is based on the MLA Citations LibGuide created by Montgomery College Libraries. The content and format are used with permission.