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PSYC 101 (Olson-Bermudez): APA guide

Creating references

To format citations correctly, you must be able to:

1.) understand what kind of publication you are citing (is it book with 1 author? journal article from database? an essay in an anthology? etc.)

2.) find the matching publication type in a perfectly-formatted list of citation samples (eg. Miracosta Library's list, Purdue OWL website, etc.)

APA Tips

A quick overview of how to write APA references. For more help, view the Miracosta Library APA Citation guide or go directly to the Purdue OWL (Online Writing Lab).

Purdue OWL: Sample APA paper

Purdue OWL: Sample References page

Purdue OWL: APA in-text citations help: basics and author-authors


Video: How to make an APA citation

Video: APA In-Text citations

Using databases to create APA references

Most online / subscription-based resources will format your reference in the style of your choice. In databases produced by EBSCO, look for the icon on the right side of the record description page; it looks like this:

Other databases use different icons or words, but if you look carefully you will usually find the auto-cite button.

CAUTION! Most of the time automatically-generated citations are not perfect. It is your responsibility to search for these errors and correct them before using them in your final References list.

APA in-text citations

A note about doi's

DOI or Journal URL?

A digital object identifier (DOI) is a unique alphanumeric string assigned by a registration agency (the International DOI Foundation) to identify content and provide a permanent link to its location on the Internet. The DOI is like a digital fingerprint: Each article receives a unique one at birth, and it can be used to identify the article throughout its lifespan, no matter where it goes.
Fingerprint_WhorlDeveloped by a group of international publishers, the DOI System  provides a way to guarantee that digital copies of articles can remain accessible even if a journal changes its domain name or ceases publishing, or is dropped from an online database (Source: DOI's are usually found on the first page of the article itself or on the database's article information page; in an EBSCO database this page is called the Detailed Record.

If an article has a DOI, add it to the end of your APA citation.

Here's a sample APA citation for a database article with a doi:

Poulin-Dubois, D. (2011). Review of 'The Cambridge companion to Piaget'. Canadian Psychology/Psychologie Canadienne, 52(1), 66-67. doi:10.1037/a0022280

If your article does not have a DOI, insert the URL of the journal/publisher homepage instead. This is different from the URL of the database, or the peristent link to the article. In an EBSCO database, find the journal/publisher URL by clicking the Source link:

Here's a sample APA citation for a recent article without a doi:

Gaultney, J. F. (2010). The Prevalence of Sleep Disorders in College Students: Impact on Academic Performance. Journal Of American College Health, 59(2), 91-97. Retrieved from