Cite Your Sources: APA Style

This guide provides information on citation styles, how to read a citation and how to avoid plagiarism.

APA Citation Basics for Journal Articles

The primary point of a citation is to enable your reader to easily find your source. Every source cited in the text of your paper should appear in the reference list. 

Journal Article

Author, A. & Author, B. B. (Year). Title of article: The subtitle. Title of Journal, volume number(issue number), first page number-last page number.

Journal Article with DOI*

Author, A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. (Year). Title of article: The subtitle. Title of Journal, volume number(issue number), pages. 

*A DOI is a unique number assigned to an individual electronic item, such as an online journal article. DOI are almost always available from the PDF of the document or on the journal publisher's webpage. 

D O I on article P D F

Citing Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers

The following has been adapted from the University of British Columbia's APA Citation Style Guide, Indigenous Knowledge Keepers

Citing Traditional Knowledge or Oral Traditions of Indigenous Peoples 

How this information is cited is dependent on if and how the information was recorded. If it has been recorded in a format or manner that can be retrieved, for example, a book, YouTube video, podcast etc., cite it as you would that type or format of the source with an in-text citation and an entry in the reference list.

For Traditional Knowledge or Oral Traditions that are not in a retrievable format, you must provide an in-text citation with as much detail as possible to outline the content and contextualize the origin of the information. You do not need to include a reference entry.

Did you speak to an Indigenous person directly to learn information?

If they are not a research participant, then you can cite them as you would personal communication. Include in an in-text citation the person's full name and the specific Indigenous group they belong, location, and additional details that are relevant to them, ending with the words "personal communication" and the date of the communication. 

Parenthetical in-text citation: (A.A. Smith, Indigenous group, location, additional details, personal communication, March 31. 2020) 

Narrative in-text citation: A.A. Smith (Indigenous group, location, additional details, personal communication, March 31, 2020)

Did your information gathering occur over a number of dates?

If this is the case you should include a general date or range of dates that reflect when you consulted with the person. 

Are you including information from your own experience and/or community?

If you are an Indigenous person and are including information from your own experience or information that has previously not been recorded of your people "describe yourself in the text (e.g., what nation you belong to, where you live) to contextualize the origin of the information you are sharing." (APA, 2020, p.261). You do not need to include a personal communication citation or have a reference list entry.

Additional helpful sections and resources

For further details on citing Traditional Knowledge or Oral Traditions for Oral History purposes for research participants please see page 261 of the APA Publication Manual.

For further details on terms to use when describing Indigenous Peoples, see Section 5.7 (APA, 2020, pp. 142-145).

APA 7 - Web Resources

APA style is used in the social science disciplines such as psychology, sociology, and anthropology. The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association  is not available online, although some supplementary information is available at the APA's website.  Print copies are available at the Reference Desk at the PSU Library.

For examples of APA citations, see the Online Writing Lab at Purdue University.

APA Formatting Tutorials

APA - Books in Print at PSU Library

Using Automatic Citation Generators Video