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APA Citation Style (6th edition): APA Style

This guide provides an overview of the APA format for citations and references list. Links to more detailed guides are included.

APA Quick tips

This guide covers the basics, examples of references and in-text citations for some of the more commonly used resources. If you need more information, there are APA reference books available at the Lansdowne and Interurban libraries.

The following handouts are easy to print and have readily accessible when you are researching and writing your assignments and essays. 

The PPT presentation provides the highlights of APA citation style. 

Searching by DOI

To search for an article by its doi (Digital Object Identifier) add the following prefix:  

Off campus? Be sure to add the Camosun proxy prefix as well.

What is APA style?

When editors or teachers ask you to write in "APA style," they do not mean writing style. They are referring to the editorial style that many of the social and behavioral sciences have adopted to present written material in the field.

APA style refers to the entire presentation and structure of your written document including rules or guidelines such as:

  • line spacing, margins, page headers
  • font size - use a serif font (e.g. Times New Roman) for text and san serif (e.g. Arial) for figure or table labels
  • punctuation and abbreviations
  • construction of tables
  • selection of headings
  • citation of references
  • presentation of statistics
  • as well as many other elements that are a part of every manuscript

Proper documentation requires that you acknowledge sources within your paper.  A citation appears in two places in your essay. Once in the body of your paper; these are called in-text or parenthetical citations. The citation will also be in the list at the end of your paper; this is called a References list.


What is a DOI?

DOI is a digital object identifier.  It is a unique set of characters that are attached to a digital object to allow it to be found when you use a DOI resolver (search tool) on the Internet.

Where are they used?

The most common place they are found is on journal articles but they can be attached to any digital object.  They were introduced in 2002 so they will often not be assigned to objects created prior to that date.

How do I find them?

For journal articles, go to the PDF version of the article and look in the top left corner of the first page of the article.  If available, DOI's will also be in the database record for an article.

2017 update to the DOI

All of the following are currently considered correct APA Style:

* this is the new format however, the other two are currently still acceptable. This change was made, in part, to ensure security with https

APA Website