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Citation Styles

APA, MLA, Chicago/Turabian

This guide provides instruction for citing sources in APA style, both brief in-text citations and full source details on a Reference page. For more assistance, please contact a librarian.

(Adapted with permission from MiraCosta College.)

APA Style (7th ed.) Printable Guide

In-Text Citations

Placement of in-text citations varies depending on sentence structure. Include author (or abbreviated title if no author), year, and page # for quotations. Page # also encouraged—but not required—for summaries & paraphrasing.

In-text citation when paraphrasing:

  • According to one researcher, students learn best when they take notes (Gomez, 2020).
  • Gomez (2020) found that students learn best when they take notes.

In-text citation when quoting:

  • According to Gomez (2020), “college students learn best when they take notes” (p. 179).
  • One scholar stated that “college students learn best when they take notes” (Gomez, 2020, p. 17).

In-text citation for sources with no author:
If title is italicized in references list, italicize in-text. If not italicized, give first few words of title (capitalized) in quotation marks and year:

  • Communication is key to professional and romantic relationships (Interpersonal Skills, 2019, pp. 56-60).
  • Kittens make humans significantly happier (“Kittens are Great,” 2015).

In-text citation for 3 or more authors:
List "et al." after first author: (Brown et al., 2020).
On the References page for more than 20 authors, list the first 19 authors then an ellipsis (…) and final author.

References Page

A References page is the final element of a research paper and should be alphabetized and double-spaced. All citations longer than one line should have a 0.5" hanging indent.

Only cite available information. The most common reference examples are given here. Additional information and examples are available in the Publication Manual of the APA (7th ed.) or at the Excelsior College Online Writing Lab.

Reference Examples

Banksy graffiti in Palestine. (2018, October 11).

Davis, S. (2019). The Stonewall riots [Class handout].

Griggs, M. B. (2017, March 6). Ancient humans farmed the
Amazon too. Popular Science.

Marshall, C., & Kovacs, G. (2011). Classics and comics.
Oxford University Press.

Smith, B. L., & Levitt, H. M. (2008). Transgender. In W. A.
Darity, Jr. (Ed.), International encyclopedia of the social
(2nd ed., Vol. 8, pp. 431–432). Macmillan
Reference USA.

Tjoelker, M. J., & Brown, L. M. (2017). The many faces of
climate warming. New Phytologist, 176(4), 739–742.

Reference Examples

Books & eBooks

Print book:

Desmond, M. (2016). Evicted: Poverty and profit in the American city. Broadway Books.
In-text citation: Americans are evicted  "not by the tens of thousands or even the hundreds of thousands but by the millions.” (Desmond, 2016)

eBook from library database:

Marshall, C., & Kovacs, G. (2011). Classics and comics.
Oxford University Press.
In-text citation: Many comic book heroes seen in current movies are based on Greek gods (Marshall & Kovacs, 2011).

Essay / chapter from eBook in library database:

Smith, B. L., & Levitt, H. M. (2008). Transgender. In W. A. Darity, Jr. (Ed.), International encyclopedia of the social
(2nd ed., Vol. 8, pp. 431-432). Macmillan Reference USA.
In-text citation: Most medical doctors agree that a child’s gender identity and “assigned gender at birth” (Smith & Levitt, 2008, p. 431) may be different.

eBook in Google Books:

Vargas, Z. (2015). Labor rights are civil rights: Mexican American workers in twentieth-century America. Princeton University Press.
In-text citation: In the early 1930s “aggressive and hostile attitudes” (Vargas, 2015, p. 62) toward Mexican immigrants increased tenfold.

Essay / chapter in print book:

Pellerin, R. M., & Sanders, J. (2016). Disability and inequality. In J. Ballantine (Ed.), Our social world (5th ed., pp. 359–60). Sage.
In-text citation: Pellerin and Sanders (2016) think “students with disabilities need more support from teachers and school administrators” (p. 363).

Journal articles with a DOI

A digital object identifier (DOI) is a unique series of numbers & letters assigned to journal articles. They are usually on the first page of the article and look like this: 10.1111/j.1469.2007.02279.x APA style requires you to give a DOI as a URL. If an article’s DOI is not a URL simply add in front of it:

Author(s): Tjoelker, M. J., & Brown, L. M.
Year: (2017).
Article title: The many faces of climate warming
Journal title, volume & issue, pages: New Phytologist, 176(4), 739–742.
DOI as a URL:


Tjoelker, M. J., & Brown, L. M. (2017). The many faces of climate warming. New Phytologist, 176(4), 739-742.

In-text citation: Tjoelker and Brown (2017) discuss the negative impacts global warming has had on coastal marine plants and microbes (p. 711).

Kurlaender, M. (2006). Choosing community college: Factors affecting Latino college choice. New Directions for Community Colleges, 2006 (133), 7–16. https://doi-org.10.1002/cc.223

In-text citation: Kurlaender (2006) argues differences in higher education structures among different states affects students’ decision to attend community college (p. 14).

Journal articles without a DOI

For articles without a DOI in a library database, end the citation with the page range. For scholarly articles with no DOI published on a website, include the URL.

Flory, D. (2019). Moonlight, film noir, and melodrama. Western Journal of Black Studies, 43(3/4), 104–113.

In-text Citation: One scholar argues that cinematic melodrama “can be used to promote moral change and neutralize disgust” (Flory, 2019, p. 8).


Entire website:
For general mention of a website that you do not cite information from simply name the website and give URL in parentheses. Do not include on your References page:

  • The MiraCosta College Library website provides many great resources to help college students conduct quality research for their courses (

Article / page on a website with author:
Strickland, J.
Publication date: (2019, October 29).
Article / page title: How hackers work.
Website: How Stuff Works.

APA Citation:

Strickland, J. (2019, October 29). How hackers work. How Stuff Works.

In-text citation: A common way that hackers are able to maliciously gain access to websites is to exploit sensitive security weaknesses (Strickland, 2019).

Article / page on a website without an author:

Banksy graffiti in Palestine. (2019, October 11).

In-text citation: Banksy has many iconic graffiti paintings in the West Bank and Gaza Strip (“Banksy Graffiti In,” 2019).

YouTube Video:

BuzzFeedBlue. (2020, May 20). Where young Syrian refugees sleep [Video]. YouTube. E_kP2jMzn24

In-text citation: Many Syrian refugees have been displaced by ongoing civil unrest (BuzzFeedBlue, 2020).

Miscellaneous sources

Notes from class lecture:
Your own notes from a lecture are considered a personal communication that should be cited in the text of your paper but not in the References list. Include name of instructor, the words "personal communication," and the date:

In-text citation: The riots starting in the early hours of June 28, 1969 were the birth of the LGBT civil rights movement (S. Davis, personal communication, March 7, 2020).

Lecture in Canvas:

Davis, S. (2020). The Stonewall riots [Class handout].

In-text Citation: According to Davis (2019), police officers stormed the Stonewall Inn during the early hours of the morning on June 28, 1969.

Work of art on a museum website:

Gallagher, E. (1999). Untitled [Painting].

In-text Citation: Untitled (Gallagher, 1999) uses rubber to build figures and forms that are both subtle and dramatic.

Work of art in a museum:

Magritte, R. (1966). The shadows [Painting]. San Diego, CA: The San Diego Museum of Art.

In-text Citation: In The shadows, Magritte (1966) juxtaposes a tree and a giant pipe in a typical, fantastical scene.

Film in library database:

Romanski, A. (Producer), & Jenkins, B. (Director). (2016). Moonlight [Streaming video].

In-text Citation: Romanski and Jenkins (2016) masterfully illustrate the African American LGBT experience in Miami.