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H 312: HIV/AIDS and STIs in Modern Society

APA Citation Basics

The OWL (Online Writing Lab) website from Purdue University provides some great examples of citing in APA style and in MLA style (look at the left side menu on the page for the links to examples for various source types).

There are certain basic things you need to cite just about any source, using just about any format:

  • The AUTHOR (or creator) of the work.  This may be one person, many people, or a group or organization.
  • The TITLE OF THE WORK itself.  For example, the article title, the book title, the chapter title, etc.
  • The JOURNAL or the PUBLISHER or the ORGANIZATION RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CONTENT .  For an article, you include the name of the specific magazine or journal.  For a book, the publishing house. For a website/webpage, include individual authors, if they are noted. Otherwise include the organization name.

There are also certain things that must be included for specific types of works.  For example, for an article or a book chapter, you would provide page numbers.  For a website, you would provide the URL.

The moment when you are most likely to have easy access to all of this information?  When you find it in the first place.  Know then what you need to take note of to cite it effectively later.


Citing Websites/Web Sources in APA Style

The APA Style Blog post, How To Cite Something You Found on a Website in APA Style, is particularly helpful for formatting citations to websites or web-based reports, etc. The blog itself is searchable and is a valuable source of APA style information.

Journal Article Citation in APA Style: What Info Do I Need?

The basic format for a journal article citation in APA style is as follows (pay attention to capitalization in the article and journal titles and to where italics appear).

In-text Citation:

(AuthorLastName, Year)


Reference List:

basic journal article citation format in apa style



In-text Citation (3-5 authors)

(Bull, Levine, Black, Schmiege, & Santelli, 2012)


Reference List

example journal article citation in apa style


So where do you find this information on the article?  See the image below for one example.

article citation information

Database Citation Tools

Many databases and search tools will help you create formatted citations for the sources you have chosen to save or email. Here are a few examples:

1Search: Under the Actions menu, look for the Citation option when using any of the main tabs like Item Details

image of citaton option in 1Search


Medline (an EBSCOHost database): Open the full record for the reference, look for the Cite option

image of citaton option in Medline









Google Scholar: Look for the Cite option below each source (click the More option if you don't see Cite):

image of citaton option in Google Scholar