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H 513: Integrated Approach to Public Health

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.


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

APA Website Citation: What Info Do I Need?

The basic format for a website citation in APA style is as follows (please follow the guidance from the APA Style Blog entry about when to use Format Description).

In-text citation:

(Author, Year)


Reference List:

Author, A. (Year, Month Day). Title of document [Format description]. Retrieved from http://URL

Example Citation

In-text Citation:

     (Mayo Clinic, 2014)


Reference List:

example of website citation in apa format








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.

AMA Citation Basics

AMA style has the following basic requirements for reference lists:

  • Within the body of the text, references should be numbered consecutively with superscript arabic numerals
  • At the end of the document, references should be listed in numerical order
  • Two references should not be combined under a single reference number
  • Abbreviate names of journals to the format listed in the NLM catalog (search for the journal by title to get the abbreviation)
  • For 1-6 authors, list each author; for 7 or more authors, list the first 3 followed by “et al.” (without the quotation marks)