APA Checklist


The APA style calls for three kinds of information to be included in in-text citations. The author's last name and the work's date of publication must always appear, and these items must match exactly the corresponding entry in the references list. The third kind of information, the page number, must appear in a citation to a direct quotation.


In APA style, each text reference is linked to a specific entry in the list of References. The essential elements of an in-text citation are the author's last name (or the document's title, if no author is identified) and the date of publication. Information such as a page or chapter number may be added to show where in a source cited material appears. Create an in-text reference to an Internet source by using a signal phrase or a parenthetical citation.


1. Using a signal phrase   To introduce a short quotation, paraphrase, or summary, mention the author's name either in an introductory signal phrase or in a parenthetical reference immediately following the signal phrase and containing the publication date.


According to a Benton Foundation study (1998), Families with no telephone service have difficulty accessing social services for which they are qualified.


2. Electronic Resources The Publication Manual requires that, in citing a print source, you "give the author, year, and page number in parentheses" (p. 120). Because Internet sources are rarely marked with page numbers, you will need to use paragraphs, making use of the ¶ symbol or the abbreviation para.


Citing sources: The name of the speaker/author relating to what was written in the paper must be included. The citation with date belongs directly after the name. If the name is the same in the citation, then only the date is used. DO NOT just place a citation at the end of a sentence without using the name of the speaker/author. All sources must be directly related to your writing by indicating "who said what about what you wrote." When writing longer papers and work for publication, you will learn other ways to incorporate sources effectively. For now, always use author's name.


Citation placement: The citation with date belongs directly after the name. If the name is the same in the citation, then only the date is used. The page number belongs after the quote (outside quotation marks and inside ending punctuation). APA Manual  pp.207-208

Page numbers are placed at the end of a quote, outside quotations and inside ending punctuation. Note placement of punctuation.

More that one citation in a paragraph: When using citing same author more than once in a paragraph, the date is not used after the first time; page numbers are used for every quote. If paraphrasing includes any words the same as in the source, then a page number must be cited.

One author

Issac (2001) indicated in his research..


In a recent study, research indicates (Isaac, 2001)


Two or more authors: When a work has two authors, always cite both names every time the reference occurs. For works with three, four, or five authors, cite all authors the first time the reference occurs.  In subsequent citations, include only the last name of the first author followed by et al.


Silver, Strong, & Perini (2000) stated that tracking the intelligences used in each lesson “ensures students are given the chance to work in all the intelligences, including their weakest and strongest” (p.13). Silver et al. say that the principles of diversity serve as the guidelines for getting the most out of the learning process.


Works with no author   Cite in text the first few words of what appears first for the entry on the list (usually the title) and the year.


(“New Student Center,” 2002)


There are three options for placing citations in relation to your text:




Sample Citation

1. Idea-focused

Place the author(s) and date(s) in parentheses at an appropriate place in or at the end of a sentence

Researchers have pointed out that the lack of trained staff is a common barrier to providing adequate health education (Fisher, 1999).

2. Researcher-focused

Place only the date in parentheses

Fisher (1999) recommended that health education be required for high school graduation in California.

3. Chronology-focused

Integrate both the author and date into your sentence

In 2001, Weist proposed using the Child and Adolescent Planning Schema to analyze and develop community mental health programs for young people.


This information can also be found online from
LEO: Literacy Education Online

An introductory tag introduces a quote by providing the authority's name and a strong verb:

 Authority's  Name + Strong Verb =  "Introductory Tag"

Verbs used in an introductory tag should be chosen according to meaning.  Be careful to avoid subtle meaning changes; "to admit" does not mean the same as "to express."

Common Verbs Used in Introductory Tags



























Eisenhower (1997) admitted in retrospect that Sputnik had created two problems:  the "near hysteria" of the American people and the need "to accelerate missile and satellite perspectives" (p. 211).

In his memoirs, Eisenhower (1997) claims to have been kept silent because of the confidentiality of government secrets (p. 225).

Note:  When referring to something written by a deceased authority, always use present tense.  When referring to something that was said by a deceased authority, use the past tense.  Examples are shown above.

Placement of the List:

·       Your reference list should be on a separate page, numbered sequentially with the rest of the paper. It should come after Notes pages, if there are any. 

·       You should title the reference list page, References, without any punctuation and no italics or bold print. If there is only one reference, the title of the page is Reference.


Spacing and Organization:

·       Each entry should start on a new line.

·       The references must be listed in alphabetical order, by author's last name, or by first significant word of the article title (if no author).

·       Do not indent the first line, but the second line, and thereafter must be indented five spaces. (In Microsoft Word use what is commonly called a "hanging indent" under 'Format, Paragraph'.)

·       Use one space after a colon, comma, semicolon or period. Use one space after any sentence-ending punctuation.


Information and Punctuation:  

·       When writing authors' names, use the author's last name, first initial, and middle initial, if any.

·       If there is more than one author, use an ampersand (&) before the last author's name.

·       Place date of publication in parenthesis after the name information (If there is no available date, put n.d. in parenthesis after the name information).

·       For book and article titles, capitalize only the first word of the title, and the first word after a colon.

·       Italicize the title of longer works, like books, magazines, newspapers, periodicals or journals that contain the cited articles.

·       Do not underline, italicize, or put quotes around titles of shorter works, like article titles.

·       Do not abbreviate publication months; write out the full month name. 

·       Use Retrieval Statement with electronic references.




Carrey, A., & Hollis, F. (1989). Fish and underwater life. Boston: Big Press.


Carrey, A., Hollis, F., & Katerdunk, S. (1990). Early water experience. New York: Howard Press.


Central Intelligence Agency. (2000, March 14). Keeping our computers safe. Cryptology. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved April 12, 2001 from http://www.cia.com/cryptology


Diet rites. (1997, August/September). Health Wise Editor, 3, 1-2.


Fisher, H. (n.d.). The best way to entertain your cat. Cats are fun. Retrieved August 4, 2000, from http://www.catsarefun.com/entertain


Harris, P.K. (1998, July 14). The young generation. Seattle: Coastal University. Retrieved June 5, 2000 from http://www.coastaluniversity.edu/younggen


Juror’s perceptions of the justice system. (1999, November 19). Washington, DC: American Justice. Retrieved June 9, 2000 from http://www.armericanjustice.org


Posher, N.I. (1992, October 24). How to budget your finances wisely. Money Wise, 432, 13-17.


Writing strategies for first time writers (6th ed.). (1998). Springfield, IL: Writers Association.