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APA is most often used in the Humanities and Social Sciences (such as Psychology and Information Studies). The 6th Edition of the Manual of the American Psychological Association is the most recent publication and is available at the Service Desk on the 2nd floor of the J.N. Desmarais Library. You could also consult the highly respected and up-to-date online APA reference guide from Purdue University.

APA Style uses the Author-Date system. For both cited and paraphrased in-text references, use (Author, Date, Pages) at the end of the sentence, otherwise, the author and date information is included within the text with the pages at the end of the sentence. Two authors require an ampersand; three to five authors require commas and one ampersand; and more than five authors list the first author followed by “et al.”


Short citation example (long citations have a hanging indent):

“So long as settler society perceived a need to tame Aboriginal sexuality, men in power could reorder Aboriginal society with impunity” (Barman, 2010, 284).


Example of paraphrasing (It is not required to include page numbers for paraphrasing, but it is recommended):

Barman (2010) expands on aboriginal sexual deceptions by institutions, giving documentary evidence of the depiction of uncontrollable sexuality (283-284).


N.B. APA uses a hanging indent (which is not replicated here).

Author, A. A. (Year). Title of book: Capital used on the first word after the colon. Publication place: Publisher.

Obama, B. (2006). The audacity of hope: Thoughts on reclaiming the American dream. New York: Vintage Books.

Translated Book

Author, A. A. (Year). Title of book: Capital used on the first word after the colon. (Name(s) of translators, Trans.). Publication place: Publisher. (Original work published date).

De Saint-Exupéry, A. (1971). The little prince. (K. Woods, Trans.). San Diego: Harcourt, Brace, & World. (Original work published 1943).

Chapter in a Collected Works

Author, A. A. (Year). Chapter title. In Editor, B. (Ed.), Title of book: Capital used on the first word after the colon (pages). Publication place: Publisher.

Barman, J. (2010). Taming Aboriginal sexuality: Gender, power, and race in British Columbia, 1850-1900. In Kelm, M.-E. and Townsend, L. (Eds.), In the days of our grandmothers: A reader in Aboriginal women’s history in Canada (270-300). Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Journal Article

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date). Article title. Journal title, volume(issue). Retrieved from URL or doi

Buchanan, B. (2007). The time of the animal. PhaenEx: Journal of Existential and Phenomenological Theory and Culture, 2(2), 61-80. Retrieved from

Newspaper Article

Author, A. A. (Year, Month day). Article title. Name of newspaper. Retrieved from URL

Smith, T. (2012, October 31). Drought-stricken Almonte farmer receives much-needed hay from Saskatchewan. Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved from


Organisation. (Year). Project name if available [type of data]. Retrieved from URL

Statistics Canada. (2006). 2006 cumulative profile, provinces and territories in Canada: Common-law couples, couple families by family structure [data table]. Retrieved from


Title of page. (Year, Month day). Retrieved Date from ___ Wiki: URL

Travel news. (2012, October 26). Retrieved November 7, 2012 from Wikitravel:

Online Presentation /Conference

Author, A. A. (Year, Month day). Title of presentation [format]. Retrieved from URL

Brown, B. (2010, June). The power of vulnerability [video]. Retrieved from

Online Video

Author or Organisation. (Year, Month day). "Title of presentation". [format]. Retrieved from URL

ESPNInternational. (2011, March 6). "Roy Halladay All-Access." [YouTube]. Retrieved from


Author or Organisation. (Year, Month day). Page/document title. Retrieved from URL

Historica Dominion Institute. (n.d.). Richard Pierpoint. Retrieved from


Author or screen name. (Year, Month day). Title of post [blog]. Retrieved from URL.

Geist, Michael. (2012, November 7). Canadian copyright reform in force: Expanded user rights now the law [blog]. Retrieved from


The DOI (Digital Object Identifier)

When it is available, APA style requires the addition of a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) in a reference.  In essence, the DOI is a permanent link to the cited document when it is avaiable online.  For more see the chart below prepared by APA in 2009: