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Citing Sources

Learn about frequently-used citation styles and citation tools.

APA Style Resources

APA Style and Grammar Guidelines -- Many guidelines, including "in-text citations" and "bias-free language"
APA Style Blog -- Answers to selected style situations. You can also search the blog using the box in the upper right corner.
Basics of 7th Edition APA Style
  • This is a tutorial about basic information for the 7th edition of APA style
  • Detailed information about how to cite and how to do other things is on the next tab ("APA -- Academic Writer")
APA Academic Writer has examples of how to cite.
  • Choose LEARN (at the top of the page), then "Go to Sample References":

Those Sample References include journal articles, news articles, and many other kinds of information. For example, here are several kinds of journal articles, and an example of how to cite one of them (an article that has a DOI):

Here is how to cite an online newspaper:

However, this tool does NOT include some other things, such as government websites or news websites.

Government sites: All government web sites DO have an author. If no person is listed, then the author is a "group author," meaning that the agency or agency department itself is the author. Examples:

-- National Cancer Institute (2018). Facing forward: Life after cancer treatment (NIH Publication No. 18-2424). U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National institutes of Health.

-- Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity. (2020). Adult Obesity Facts. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

-- Canada Council for the Arts. (2013) What we heard: Summary of key findings: 2013 Canada Council's Inter-Arts Office consultation. 
[Publication Manual of the APA, 7th edition, p.329]

News web site: Use this format for something published by an online news source (not a newspaper), such as BBC or CNN.
--- Bologna, C. (2018, June 27) What happens to your mind and body when you feel homesick? HuffPost.
In-text parenthetical citations: (Bologna, 2018)
In-text narrative citations: Bologna (2018) (for example, "According to Bologna (2018),...")
[Publication Manual of the APA, 7th edition, p.351]

Patents: Theobald, Daniel. (2016). Vehicle operating method and system (U.S. Patent No.9,471,062. U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
[Publication Manual of the APA, 7th edition, p.366]


More help with web pages

No citation tool is perfect! Always check your reference list to make sure that every citation has every piece that it needs to be complete and correct.

Purdue University's OWL (Online Writing Lab) site has a lot of information about writing about specific subjects or for specific purposes, and about the various kinds of writing styles.

This page has guides to APA, MLA, and Chicago styles.

The APA and MLA pages both have links to "Formatting and Style Guide," which is where you will find specific examples of citing articles, books, government documents, and other kinds of publications. (These are their APA pages for in-text citations basics, and in-text citations author/authors.)

Note: Citations for sources that you read off of a screen are different from those that you read off of a printed page. Please ask your librarian for citation help whenever you need it. It's very important that your citations are all correct and complete.

For APA 7th, RefWorks added a lot of options, which is confusing.

Why did they do this?

  • The APA 7th style requires certain things to be included in a citation.
  • However, databases export different versions of citations
  • For example:
    As it says, "PubMed sends only the short version of the DOI." So when you're exporting from PubMed, RefWorks suggests that you choose APA 7th -- No Case Changes (No Title Casing), DOI https://doi/org/ ,  because:

    This explains IN RED that this choice of APA 7th "will not change any of the title letters" and shows an article title IN RED with none of its letters changed. It then shows IN RED the base URL. The base URL needed to be added by RefWorks because as it says, PubMed exports only the short version of the DOI. So if RefWorks had not added that, the DOI in your citation would have been incomplete.

    This also explains IN BLUE that the rest of PubMed's DOI (also IN BLUE) will be added right onto the base URL, so that the entire citation will be correct.
    Citations from the ProQuest databases, however, are different. For citations from those databases, RefWorks recommends using
    APA 7th - No Case Changes (No Title Casing), DOI: empty.

    This is because, as this explains, ProQuest exports the entire URL (which in this case includes the DOI). So RefWorks doesn't have to add anything to the URL, because it's already complete.

  • Here is more explanation from RefWorks, and more examples are here.

Citing Generative AI Tools (such as ChatGPT)

APA Publishing Policies  (See this page for more information)

  • "For this policy, AI refers to generative LLM AI tools and does not include grammar-checking software, citation software, or plagiarism detectors."
  • "When AI is cited in an APA scholarly publication, the author must employ the software citation template, which includes specifying in the methods section how, when, and to what extent AI was used."
  • "Authors in APA publications are required to upload the full output of the AI as supplemental material."  

How to Cite ChatGPT (APA blog; last updated Februray 2024)

  • Examples of citing and in-text citations