Citing sources with APA format

While writing a research paper or a Master’s thesis, it is critical to give credit and correctly cite your sources and references. Citing your references lets you acknowledge others’ ideas and research you have used in your own work. Not doing so can be considered plagiarism.

APA style is one of the most commonly used citation styles used to prevent plagiarism.

A reference displays all of the information about the source — the title, the author’s name, the year it was published, the URL, all of it! References are placed on the final page of a research project.

In-text APA citations format

There are two types of in-text citations that are used within the body of an APA paper to help the reader locate the corresponding reference in the reference list. The two types of in-text citations are parenthetical citations and narrative citations.

Parenthetical citations are the more commonly seen form of in-text citations for academic work, in which both required reference elements are presented at the end of the sentence in parentheses.

Example: Inferences of manipulative intent were found to lower advertising persuasion (Campbell, 1995).

If there are two authors listed in the source entry, then the parenthetical reference must list them both:

(Pfiffelmann & Soulez, 2021)

If there are three or more authors listed in the source entry, then the parenthetical reference can abbreviate with “et al.”, the latin abbreviation for “and others”:

(De Keyzer et al., 2015)

Narrative citations allow the author to present one or both of the required reference elements inside of the running sentence, which prevents the text from being too repetitive or burdensome. When only one of the two reference elements is included in the sentence, the other is provided parenthetically.

Example: According to Campbell (1995), inferences of manipulative intent are found to lower advertising persuasion.

If there are two authors listed in the source entry, then the narrative reference must list them both:

Pfiffelmann and Soulez (2021) investigated…

If there are three or more authors listed in the source entry, then the narative reference can abbreviate with “et al.”, the latin abbreviation for “and others”:

De Keyzer et al. (2015) argued…

References page in APA Format

Journal article references

Campbell, M. C. (1995). When attention-getting advertising tactics elicit consumer inferences of manipulative intent: The importance of balancing benefits and investments. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 4(3), 225–254.

Pfiffelmann, J., & Soulez, S. (2021). Persuasive effect of potential employees’ names and photographs in a recruitment advertisement. Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences, 38(3), 303–317.

De Keyzer, F., Dens, N., & De Pelsmacker, P. (2015). Is this for me? How consumers respond to personalized advertising on social network sites. Journal of Interactive Advertising, 15(2), 124–134.

Parenthetical citations: (Campbell, 1995; Pfiffelmann & Soulez, 2021; De Keyzer et al., 2015)

Narrative citations: Campbell (1995); Pfiffelmann and Soulez (2021); De Keyzer et al. (2015)

Book references

Baker, S. (1961). Visual persuasion: The effect of pictures on the subconscious. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Chaiken, S., & Trope, Y. (1999). Dual-process theories in social psychology. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Holmqvist, K., Nyström, M., Andersson, R., Dewhurst, R., Jarodzka, H., & Van De Weijer, J. (2011). Eye tracking: A comprehensive guide to methods and measures. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Parenthetical citations: (Backer, 1961 ; Chaiken & Trope, 1999; Holmqvist et al., 2011)

Narrative citations: Backer (1961); Chaiken and Trope (1999); Holmqvist et al. (2011)

Chapter in an edited book references

Dillard, J. P. (2020). Currents in the study of persuasion. In M. B. Oliver, A. A. Raney, & J. Bryant (Eds.), Media effects: Advances in theory and research (4th ed., pp. 115–129). Routledge.

Petty, R. E., Barden, J., & Wheeler, C. (2002). The elaboration likelihood model of persuasion: Health promotions that yield sustained behavioral change. In R. J. DiClemente, R. A. Crosby, & M. C. Kegler (Eds.). Emerging theories in health promotion practice and research (pp. 71–99). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Parenthetical citations: (Dillard, 2020; Petty et al., 2002)

Narrative citations: Dillard (2020); Petty et al. (2002)

Conference proceeding references

Duckworth, A. L., Quirk, A., Gallop, R., Hoyle, R. H., Kelly, D. R., & Matthews, M. D. (2019). Cognitive and noncognitive predictors of success. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 116(47), 23499–23504.

Parenthetical citation: (Duckworth et al., 2019)

Narrative citation: Duckworth et al. (2019)

Conference presentation references

Daems, K., De Pelsmacker, P., & Moons, I. (2018). The effect of brand integration and brand interactivity on young teenagers’ brand memory, brand attitude and personal data sharing. Presented at the 16th international conference on research in advertising (ICORIA), Valencia, Spain.

Parenthetical citation: (Daems et al., 2018)

Narrative citation: Daems et al. (2018)

Blog post references

Schmidt, E. (2022, April 15). Brands that align message and messenger build an authentic voice. Adweek.

Parenthetical citation: (Schmidt, 2019)

Narrative citation: Schmidt (2019)

Newspaper article references

Carey, B. (2019, March 22). Can we get better at forgetting? The New York Times.

Parenthetical citation: (Carey, 2019)

Narrative citation: Carey (2019)