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APA Style Guide: What to Include

Key Points

Never include a document in a reference list that you have not seen.

Reference citations for electronic publications! When in doubt, locate all of the information needed to cite an electronic publication as if it were a print document. Then, add the retrieval statement. At the very least this includes the URL.

Square brackets are used to identify material that is not found in a document, but that has been added by you.

Title is required for all references.

USPS Two-Letter State Abbreviations

USPS two-letter state abbreviations for publisher designation. When citing countries outside the U.S., spell out the city and country name (i.e. London, England).

Components of References

References for books and articles require specific components. The sequencing of these components is prescribed by APA. Consistent ordering is important to avoid confusion and to help the reader find information. 

Books Journal Articles    Newspaper Articles Websites
Author(s)                                       Author(s) Author(s) Author(s)
Date (year) Date (year, month) Date (year, month day) Date (year, use n.d. if none)
Chapter title (optional) Article title Article title Website title
Editor(s) (if given) Title of Journal Title of Newspaper Retrieval statement (always necessary)
Book title Volume Pagination (use p. or pp.)  
Edition (if given) Issue (if given) Retrieval statement (when necessary)  
Volume (if given) Pagination    
Pagination (when citing a chapter) Retrieval statement (when necessary)    
Place of publication      
Retrieval statement (when necessary)