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KIN 481: Analysis of Critical Issues in Kinesiology

Before the Library Session

Before the library session, use the modules in this guide to:

Practice Creating an APA Citation

Use the tips below to practice creating a citation in APA style. Use an example article from 1Search and try to create the citation as you walk through this guide.

What is APA Style?

APA style, developed by the American Psychological Association, is commonly used in the behavioral and social sciences to style in-text references and bibliographies. The complete rules for APA style are found in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th edition). There are multiple copies located in the library that can be used/checked.

APA is an author-date style meaning that author name(s) and publication date are key pieces of information in every citation. A reference list organized according to APA style is put in order by author last name.

Basic Rules - Author Names (Reference List)

Obviously, to correctly format a citation in APA, the source type will matter though we'll focus on journal article citations.  But there are certain rules that apply to all APA citations in your reference list:

  • Authors' names are always written as Lastname, First Initial. Middle Initial. [if the author uses a middle name]
    • EXAMPLE:  Smith, J. M.
  • Formatting for multiple authors follows the same pattern, but there are specific rules on how many authors to list depending on how many authors there are. An ampersand (&) always precedes the last author's name.
    • EXAMPLE (2 authors): Smith, J. M., & Wesson, Z.
  • Reference lists are alphabetized by the authors' last names.


Basic Rules - Publication Date (Reference List)

The publication date is included immediately after the author names. It is put in parentheses, followed by a period.

  • Smith, J.M. (2015).

Basic Rules - Article Title (Reference List)

The article title follows the publication date and is written in sentence capitalization. This means only the first letter of the first word is capitalized (unless there are proper nouns or acronyms included in the title). If the article title includes a subtitle, only the first letter of the first word of the subtitle in capitalized (unless there are proper nouns or acronyms included in the subtitle).

  • Smith, J.M. (2015). Really cool journal article title: Followed by excellent subtitle that includes the name Brad.

Basic Rules - Journal Title (Reference List)

The title of the journal follows the article title and is displayed in italics. Every major word is capitalized and the title is followed by a comma (,).

  • Smith, J.M. (2015). Really cool journal article title: Followed by excellent subtitle that includes the name Brad. Journal of  Cool Kinesiology Research,


Basic Rules - Volume/Issue/Page Numbers (Reference List)

The volume number comes after the journal title and is also italicized. If the journal repaginates (starts over at page 1) with each issue in the volume, then the issue number is included in parentheses, but not italicized. Finally the page number rage is included.

NOTE: This example also shows that APA citations are formatted with a hanging indent (second and subsequent lines are indented under the first line) and are double-spaced.

Example of article citation with volume/issue/page range highlighted

Basic Rules - DOI (Reference List)

APA style now requires the inclusion of the article DOI (digital object identifier) if it is available. The DOI is a unique identifier and no two articles have the same one. Usually the DOI can be found on the article itself, even if it is not in the 1Search record or other database record. Do not put a period after the DOI.

NOTE: The DOI can show up in two different formats, and both are good to use in the citation:

  • doi:10.1037/rmh0000008

Example article citation with DOI highlighted

Where to Find Citation Info on the Article Itself

See the image below for one example.

article citation information

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