APA Citation Style

APA citation style is most frequently used in the social and behavioral sciences (psychology, education, anthropology, social work, etc).

The first style rules were published in 1929. The American Psychological Association has produced 7 editions of the Publication Manual in the ensuing 80+ years.

APA style relies on in text citations (author, date) for paraphrased, summarized, or quoted material within a paper. In text citations correspond to sources in the References list at the end of the paper.

In this Guide:


Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association

Call #: Shields Library Humanities/Social Sciences Reference BF76.7 .P83 2020 (Lib Use Only)

See also: APA Style


What is a DOI?

Digital Object Identifiers are unique identifiers that may be assigned to published articles. Their purpose is ensure persistant access to online content.

Example: doi:10.1016/j.jslw.2003.08.2004

If a DOI is available, you should include it in your APA citation.

These free tools prompt you to enter in the components of a citation and configure the elements according to APA guidelines. Make sure you verify the accuracy of your results by consulting the Publication Manual!


Easy to use and developed by the team behind Zotero.

Citation Builder

Developed by the North Carolina State University Libraries.

NoodleTools Express

This tool is useful if you only need to generate citations for a couple of sources.

These tools can help you manage large research projects and cite sources in a wide variety of citation styles.

Citation Manager Comparison