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Running head: APA HELP GUIDE

APA Help Guide


September 2016

Authors should use this resource as a supplemental resource to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. This guide
does not replace the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.

© 2016 Royal Roads University


APA HELP GUIDE 2

Table of Contents

Formatting Guidelines .....................................................................................................................7

Alignment ....................................................................................................................................7
Bulleted/Numbered Lists.............................................................................................................7
Font..............................................................................................................................................7
Footnotes .....................................................................................................................................7
Headings ......................................................................................................................................8
Indentation ...................................................................................................................................9
Line Spacing ................................................................................................................................9
Margins........................................................................................................................................9
Page Numbers .............................................................................................................................9
Running Head ..............................................................................................................................9
Tables and Figures Formatting ..................................................................................................10
Title Page...................................................................................................................................11
More Information ......................................................................................................................11

Quoting and Paraphrasing ...........................................................................................................11

Adding Words or Emphasis ......................................................................................................12


Block Quotations .......................................................................................................................12
Changes in Quotations Requiring No Explanation ...................................................................12
Incorrect Grammar or Spelling within a Quotation...................................................................12
Omitting Words in Quotations ..................................................................................................12
Paraphrasing ..............................................................................................................................13
Quotation Punctuation ...............................................................................................................13
More Information ......................................................................................................................13

In-Text Citations ............................................................................................................................13

One Work by One Author .........................................................................................................14


Corporate or Group Author .......................................................................................................14
Two Authors ..............................................................................................................................15
Three to Five Authors ...............................................................................................................15
APA HELP GUIDE 3

Six or More Authors ..................................................................................................................16


Two or More Works by the Same Author and in the Same Publication Year ..........................16
Multi-Author Citation ...............................................................................................................16
Citing an Ebook Without Page Numbers ..................................................................................16
Secondary Source Citations ......................................................................................................17
Works by Anonymous or Without a Listed Author ..................................................................17
Personal Communication (Non-Recoverable Materials) ..........................................................18
Citing Results of Original Research ..........................................................................................18
More Information ......................................................................................................................19

References: General Information ...................................................................................................19

Alphabetize References .............................................................................................................20


Author and Editor Information ..................................................................................................20
Publication Date ........................................................................................................................20
Title Information .......................................................................................................................20
Publication Information.............................................................................................................21
More Information ......................................................................................................................21

Reference Examples.......................................................................................................................22

Periodicals .................................................................................................................................22
Periodicals – General Reference Format ...................................................................................23
Journal Article with DOI ...........................................................................................................23
Journal Article without DOI ......................................................................................................23
Daily Print Newspaper Article, No Author ...............................................................................24
Online Newspaper Article .........................................................................................................24
Non-Periodicals/Monographs....................................................................................................24
Entire Book, Print Version ........................................................................................................25
Book Chapter, Print Version .....................................................................................................25
Ebook ........................................................................................................................................25
Ebook Chapter ...........................................................................................................................26
Entry in an Online Reference Work, No Author or Editor .......................................................26
Technical and Research Reports (Grey Literature) ...................................................................27
APA HELP GUIDE 4

Authored Report from a Government Department (Print) ........................................................27


Authored Report from an Agency Website ...............................................................................27
Report from a Private Organization (Print) ...............................................................................27
Report from a Private Organization (Online) ............................................................................28
Doctoral Dissertation or Master’s Thesis from a Commercial Database ..................................28
Unpublished Dissertation or Thesis ..........................................................................................28
Web Page...................................................................................................................................28
Web Page, No Identified Author, No Date ...............................................................................28
Entire Website (Not a Specific Document) ...............................................................................28
Online Video (e.g., YouTube or Ted Talks) .............................................................................28
Canadian Legislative Documents ..............................................................................................29
More Information ......................................................................................................................29

APA Style Resources .....................................................................................................................29


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List of Figures

Figure 1. The hanging indent option used to format a paragraph. ............................................... 20


APA HELP GUIDE 6

APA Help Guide

The goal of the APA Help Guide is to provide an introductory overview of the APA Style
rules. While the APA Help Guide reflects the information provided in the Publication Manual of
the American Psychological Association (2010) (hereafter referred to as the APA Style manual),
this guide does not replace the APA Style manual. Rather, the guide aims to provide sufficient
information for authors to start using the rules, as well as show where authors can find more
information. If you have a question that is not answered within this document, it is your
responsibility to search out the information you need. For more information on APA Style,
please refer to the APA Style section of the Writing Centre website. If you are looking for an
answer to a specific APA Style question or you’d like to contact the Writing Centre for
assistance, please visit WriteAnswers. All of the information in this document is available via
WriteAnswers FAQs, but WriteAnswers also has a lot more information as we regularly add new
details and FAQs to the database.
The APA Style rules usually align with the expectations of RRU programs, but if your
instructor or your thesis/major paper has a different requirement, your program’s requirements
take precedence over the APA Style rules. If your program’s requirement is that you follow the
APA Style rules, then the program’s rules and those of the APA Style manual are the same thing.
If you are unsure of what is expected in your work, please check with your instructor or
supervisor. This document has been formatted according to the APA Style rules, with the
exception of line spacing. In the interests of shortening the overall length of the document, 1.5
line spacing has been used instead of the standard double-spacing.
The APA Help Guide has been organized into the same sections as those provided within
the Writing Centre’s “Introduction to APA Style” video: formatting, quoting and paraphrasing,
in-text citations, and references. For easy navigation through the document, please use the table
of contents or click the “Navigation Pane” option in the “Show” section of the View tab in
Microsoft Word.
APA HELP GUIDE 7

Formatting Guidelines

Alignment
Align the text in the body of your paper flush against the left margin with a ragged right
margin (e.g., the alignment of this page). Do not use justified alignment (when the text is equally
spread across the width of the page) (American Psychological Association, 2010, p. 229).
Bulleted/Numbered Lists
When considering the use of a bulleted or numbered list in your academic writing, please
take a moment to consider if the list will encourage understanding of the topic, or if the list is a
technique to avoid using full sentences to explain a concept. As you might imagine, the latter
isn’t a valid reason to use a bulleted or numbered list in a formal academic paper because
bulleted lists do not generally include analysis, but instead only provide surface-level
information. Since the focus of academic writing is to demonstrate your critical thinking, you
will more fully communicate your ideas by writing complete sentences. However, should you
choose to use bullets to separate three or more elements within a sentence, “capitalize and
punctuate the list as if it were a complete sentence” (American Psychological Association, 2010,
p. 64). See “Lists, Part 4: Numbered Lists” and “Lists, Part 5: Bulleted Lists” from the APA
Style Blog for more information. Following the formatting shown in those blog posts and on
pages 64 and 65 of the APA Style manual, bulleted lists in this document begin flush at the left
margin.
Font
Serif fonts (Times New Roman, Century Schoolbook etc.) are preferred over sans serif
fonts (Arial, Comic Sans etc.). The preferred font within APA style is Times New Roman in a 12
point font (American Psychological Association, 2010, p. 228).
Footnotes
The APA divides footnotes into two categories: content or copyright permission
footnotes. Content footnotes “supplement or amplify substantive information in the text; they
should not include complicated, irrelevant, or nonessential information. Because they can be
distracting to readers, such footnotes should be included only if they strengthen the discussion”
(American Psychological Association, 2010, p. 37). The APA guide further notes that, “in most
cases, an author integrates an article best by presenting important information in the text, not in a
footnote” (p. 38).
APA HELP GUIDE 8

Use a copyright footnote to indicate that you have received permission from a publisher
to reproduce another author’s content in your text. Under RRU’s Fair Dealing Policy, obtaining
copyright permission is only required for documents that will be made public outside of course
work (e.g., blog posting, major research project, thesis, dissertation). Please visit Copyright:
Students for more information. For the correct wording for a copyright permission footnote,
please refer to page 38 in the APA manual.
Headings
Section headings help to give structure to your document and allow your reader to
understand the levels of organization within your paper:
Levels of heading establish the hierarchy of sections via format or appearance. All topics
of equal importance have the same level of heading throughout a manuscript. For
example, in a multiexperiment paper, the headings for the Method and Results sections in
Experiment 1 should be the same level as the headings for the Method and Results
sections in Experiment 2.
Avoid having only one subsection heading and subsection within a section, just as
you would in an outline. Use at least two subsection headings within any given section,
or use none. (American Psychological Association, 2010, p. 62)
Please see below for the five levels of headings and their respective formatting:
Centred, Boldface, Uppercase and Lowercase Heading (1)
Flush Left, Boldface, Uppercase and Lowercase Heading (2)
Indented, boldface, lowercase paragraph heading ending with a period. (3)
Indented, boldface, italicized, lowercase paragraph heading ending with a period. (4)
Indented, italicized, lowercase paragraph heading ending with a period. (5)
(p. 62)
When using paragraph headings, begin your paragraph text on the same line after the heading.
Use Word styles to format your headings, and format them consistently within each level
throughout the entire document. Use the levels sequentially; that is, use heading one for your top
level of heading, heading two for your next level of heading, and so forth. For example:
Literature Review
Definitions
Historical perspective
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Pre-1700s.
Modern history. (Sentence text starts on same line as the heading)
Indentation
Indent each line of a new paragraph one tab space, which should be set at 1.27 cm or 0.5
inch (American Psychological Association, 2010, p. 229).
Line Spacing
Unless directed otherwise by an instructor or a program handbook, double-space
“between all text lines of the manuscript. Double-space after every line in the title, headings,
footnotes, quotations, references, and figure captions” (American Psychological Association,
2010, p. 229).
Margins
For regular assignments, format margins to 2.54 cm or one inch at the top, bottom, and on
both sides of the text (American Psychological Association, 2010, p. 229). If you are writing a
thesis or dissertation, there may be other requirements. Please refer to your thesis handbook and
“Formatting your thesis for publication” for more information.
Page Numbers
Use Arabic numerals (e.g., 1, 2, 3) throughout the document, and continue the page
numbers sequentially to the end of the report, including all appendices (American Psychological
Association, 2010, p. 229). Page numbers should be right-aligned in the header (Lee, 2010, para.
3); see the page numbers in the “Sample One-Experiment Paper” and in this guide for examples
of this formatting. Though the APA Style manual asks for page numbers on title pages to journal
article manuscripts, academic title pages often don’t show a page number. The title page in an
essay is included in the overall page count, which means page 2 is the first page to show a
number. If you are uncertain whether to provide a page number on the title page of your work,
please check with your instructor or advisor. For more information, please see “What are the
APA rules regarding page numbers?” and “Aligning the running head and page numbers”.
Running Head
The running head is an abbreviated title that is printed at the top of the pages of a
published article to identify the article for readers. The running head should be a
maximum of 50 characters, counting letters, punctuation, and spaces between words. It
APA HELP GUIDE 10

should appear flush in all uppercase letters at the top of the title page and all subsequent
pages. (American Psychological Association, 2010, p. 229)
In this document, you can see the running head in the top left corner of each page. Note that the
running head has a different format on the title page than on the other pages. For another
example, please see the sample papers created by the American Psychological Association via
APA Style Sample Papers. Please also see “Aligning the running head and page numbers” for
instructions on how to create the running head.
Tables and Figures Formatting
Present tables and figures according to the rules provided in Chapter 5 of the APA Style
manual. Please see below for more information about formatting tables and figures, and refer to
the manual for detailed instructions.
Tables. Please refer to pages 127-150 of the APA Style manual for rules for formatting
tables, but here are some of the basics:
• Tables may be single- or double-spaced, depending on what is best for readability (American
Psychological Association, 2010, p. 141).
• Include a table title (p. 133), table headings (pp. 133-137), the table body (pp. 137-138), and
a table note (general, specific, probability) (pp. 138-141).
• Limit the use of ruling, or lines, “to those that are necessary for clarity” (p. 141).
• Using tables from another copyrighted source in a work that will be made public (e.g., blog
post, thesis, or dissertation) requires copyright permission; note the granted permission in the
table note and include the source in the references. See “Navigating Copyright for
Reproduced Images: Part 4. Writing the Copyright Statement” from the APA Style blog for
information and examples.
• See pages 129-149 in the APA style manual for sample tables, and page 150 for a table
checklist.
Figures. Please see pages 150-167 of the APA Style manual for rules for formatting figures,
but here are some of the basics:
• Figures are any type of illustration other than a table, including graphs, charts, maps,
drawings, and photographs (American Psychological Association, 2010, p. 151)
• See pages 152-156 in the APA Style manual for the standards for figures.
• A legend and a caption are required (p. 158-159):
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o “Figure legend should be positioned within the borders of the figure” (p. 159).
o Italicize “Figure x.” that precedes the caption but not the caption text (p. 159).
• Lettering in a figure should be in a simple typeface (e.g., Arial), and should be no smaller
than 8 points and no larger than 14 points (p. 161).
• Using figures from another copyrighted source in a work that will be made public (e.g., blog
post, thesis, or dissertation) requires copyright permission; give credit in the figure caption
(p. 167) and include the source in the references. See “Navigating Copyright for Reproduced
Images: Part 4. Writing the Copyright Statement” from the APA Style blog for information
and examples.
• See pages 152-166 in the APA Style manual for sample figures and page 167 for a figure
checklist.
Title Page
Instructors may have individual preferences for title page content, so use the title page
approved by your instructor. The title page may include, but not be limited to, the “title, running
head, author byline, [and] institutional affiliation” (American Psychological Association, 2010,
p. 229). For your thesis or major project, check with each of your supervisors and sponsors who
are listed on your title page to see what academic degrees they would like listed after their name.
For information on creating an effective title, see page 23 in the APA Style manual.
More Information
• “Formatting” (3:04 section of the “Introduction to APA Style” video)
• “APA Style Formatting Checklist”
• Search WriteAnswers by keyword or see the APA Formatting topic within
WriteAnswers.
Quoting and Paraphrasing

Quoting from another source involves integrating words or phrases taken directly from
another author’s work. In order to avoid plagiarizing material, be sure to enclose short quotations
(fewer than 40 words) within double quotation marks and properly cite the source material (see
“In-Text Citations” within this document). Format a quotation of 40 words or more as a block
quotation; see “Block Quotations” within this section, and page 170 in the APA Style manual for
more information.
APA HELP GUIDE 12

Adding Words or Emphasis


To insert material in a quotation, “use brackets, not parentheses” (American
Psychological Association, 2010, p. 173). To “emphasize a word or words in a quotation,
italicize the words or words. Immediately after the italicized words, insert within brackets the
words emphasis added, that is, [emphasis added]” (p. 173). For example, “They [the judges]
were convinced that the swimmer had missed the two-handed [emphasis added] turn.”
Block Quotations
A quotation 40 words or more in length must be formatted as a block quotation
(American Psychological Association, 2010, p. 171). Do not use quotation marks, and indent the
quotation 1.27 cm or one-half inch from the left margin (i.e., the same position as a new
paragraph) (p. 171). When a block quotation exceeds one paragraph, indent the first line of each
paragraph a further 1.27 cm or one-half inch (p. 171). If there is a quotation within the block
quotation, use double quotation marks to indicate the quotation (p. 92). The parenthetical citation
should follow the last punctuation mark in the quote, and as with all quotations, the author, year,
and location reference (e.g., page or paragraph number) must be provided. Double-space the
entire quotation (p. 171). Please see the block quotations in the “Running Head” and “Corporate
or Group Author” sections of this document for examples.
Changes in Quotations Requiring No Explanation
In order to better integrate your quotation into your text, you can change the
capitalization of the first letter of the first word without indicating that you changed the text
(American Psychological Association, 2010, p. 172). As well, the closing punctuation mark at
the end of a quoted sentence may also be changed, and single and double can quotation marks be
exchanged, where appropriate (p. 172). Note all other changes according to the APA Style rules.
Please refer to page 172 in the APA Style manual for more information.
Incorrect Grammar or Spelling within a Quotation
If “incorrect spelling, grammar, or punctuation in the source might confuse readers, insert
the word sic, italicized and bracketed, immediately after the error in the quotation” (American
Psychological Association, 2010, p. 172). For example, “they made they're [sic] lunches.”
Omitting Words in Quotations
If you remove words from the middle of quotation, use three spaced ellipsis points (. . .)
to indicate the change from the original quotation (American Psychological Association, 2010, p.
APA HELP GUIDE 13

172). If you remove text from the end of a sentence but continue quoting from the following
sentence, use four spaced ellipsis points (. . . .) to indicate the removal of material from between
the sentences (pp. 172-173). Start your quotation at the point where the text is relevant; ellipses
are not necessary at the beginning or end of a quotation (p. 173).
Paraphrasing
Paraphrasing refers presenting another author’s work in your own words, and it is
important that the text is significantly different from the original; simply rearranging words or
changing a couple of words is not sufficient to qualify as paraphrasing. Since the text isn’t
directly quoted, don’t use quotation marks to indicate a paraphrase. See “Summarizing and
Paraphrasing” for information and examples.
Citations to paraphrases do not need to include a page or paragraph number; however,
“you are encouraged to provide a page or paragraph number, especially when it would help an
interested reader locate the relevant passage in a long or complex text” (American Psychological
Association, 2010, p. 171); see #3 in the “APA Style Citations Checklist” for more information.
Quotation Punctuation
For a quotation of 39 words or fewer in the text, place the sentence punctuation after the
closing bracket of the reference: “A terrible storm started last night as I took the dog for our
nightly walk” (Jamieson, 1999, p. 12). For a block quotation, the closing punctuation appears
before the reference citation. See the block quotation in the “Running Head” section of this
document for an example.
More Information
• “Quoting and Paraphrasing” (2:11 section of the “Introduction to APA Style” video)
• “Quoting, Summarizing, and Paraphrasing”
• Search WriteAnswers by keyword or see the Quotations topic within WriteAnswers
In-Text Citations

An in-text citation provides sourcing information about quoted or paraphrased text. The
purpose of the citation is to indicate which information originated with someone else and to give
your reader sufficient information that they can then find the corresponding entry in your
reference list. Please note that, “if the quotation appears in mid-sentence, end the passage with
quotation marks, cite the source in parentheses immediately after the quotation marks, and
continue the sentence” (American Psychological Association, 2010, p. 171). The same approach
APA HELP GUIDE 14

would also apply to paraphrased information. The standard format for a citation is (Author’s last
name/corporate or group author, year of publication/copyright, location reference). For a printed
resource or a document in PDF format, the location reference will be a page number. For
electronic resources that are not paginated, use a paragraph number (e.g. para. 4) or “if the
document includes headings and neither paragraph nor page numbers are visible, cite the heading
and the number of the paragraph following it” (p. 172). For example: (Government of Canada,
1968, p. 5), (Kim, 2008, para. 7), or (Jones, 2006, Recommendations section, para. 4). See “How
to Cite Part of a Work” from the APA Style Blog for more examples of in-text citations to
resources that don’t have page numbers.
When presenting information in a paragraph, you may find that you’re citing repeatedly
from the same resource. While APA style doesn’t use ibid., you can use a shortened citation that
provides only the page number after the first full citation as long as you don’t introduce another
resource into the paragraph or begin a new paragraph. For more information and examples, see
“I'm quoting/paraphrasing repeatedly from the same author in a paragraph. Can I put one citation
at the end of the paragraph (APA)?”.
For additional examples of in-text citations, please see page 177 in the APA Style manual
for a chart that compares the basic citation styles, as well as the information provided below. For
information on how to create a citation when source information such as the author name or date
is missing, please see “Writing in-text citations in APA Style”.
One Work by One Author
When citing a resource by one author, provide the last name of the author and the date of
publication at the appropriate point. To decide the placement of the citation, “if the name of the
author appears as part of the narrative…cite only the year of publication in parentheses.
Otherwise, place both the name and the year, separated by a comma, in parentheses” (p. 174).
For example, according to the American Psychological Association (2010), “cite only the year of
publication in parentheses” (p. 174). Equally correct is, “cite only the year of publication in
parentheses” (American Psychological Association, 2010, p. 174).
Corporate or Group Author
You may use a corporate or group author name in place of a person’s name. When using
a source that uses an abbreviation as its title, you must spell out the full title in the first citation
APA HELP GUIDE 15

of that source and insert the abbreviation in parentheses after the full title. Regarding whether to
abbreviate the title of the author,
the names of groups that serve as authors. . . are usually spelled out each time they appear
in a text citation. The names of some group authors are spelled out in the first citation and
abbreviated thereafter. In deciding whether to abbreviate the name of a group author, use
the general rule that you need to give enough information in the text citation for the
reader to locate the entry in the reference list without difficulty. If the name is long and
cumbersome and if the abbreviation is familiar or readily understandable, you may
abbreviate the name in the second and subsequent citations. If the name is short or the
abbreviations would not be readily understandable, write out the name each time it
occurs. (American Psychological Association, 2010, p. 176)
Use the full name of the author in the reference list. See page 176 in the APA Style manual for
more information.
Example citation: (Royal Roads University, 2001)
Reference list entry:
Royal Roads University. (2001). The university. Retrieved from http://www.royalroads.ca/about-
rru/the-university/
Two Authors
If a work has two authors, insert an ampersand (&) between the authors’ names in the
citation. Cite both authors every time the resource is referenced (American Psychological
Association, 2010, p. 175). For example, (Green & Doble, 1988, p. 34).
Three to Five Authors
Cite all the authors in the first reference citation, but “in subsequent citations, include
only the surname of the first author followed by et al. (not italicized and with a period after al)”
(American Psychological Association, 2010, p. 175).
First citation of source: The study concluded that the sky is not actually blue (Smith, Robertson,
& White, 1999, p. 14).
Second citation of source: Smith et al. (1999) further concluded that clouds are not actually white
(p. 16).
Reference list entry:
APA HELP GUIDE 16

Smith, A., Robertson, B., & White, C. (1999). What colour is your sky? Victoria, Canada:
Authors.
Six or More Authors
For documents that have six or more authors, “cite only the surname of the first author
followed by et al. . . . and the year for the first and subsequent citations” (American
Psychological Association, 2010, p. 175). If you have two references that shorten to the same
form, please refer to page 175 in the APA Style manual for instructions on the proper citation
format. Please refer to page 198 in the APA Style manual for a sample reference with more than
six authors.
Two or More Works by the Same Author and in the Same Publication Year
To distinguish between works by the same author with the same publication date, use the
suffixes a, b, c, etc. after the year (American Psychological Association, 2010, p. 178). This
format must also be used in the corresponding references. To determine which resource gets
what suffix, order the resources alphabetically by the title of the article (excluding "a" or "the")
(p. 178). The first resource would be (2013a), the second resource would be (2013b), and so
forth. You can append the lowercase letters to n.d. as well: n.d.-a, n.d.-b (Krupa, 2013, para. 6).
In your in-text citations, please make sure that you're using the same lower case letter as you
used in your references. For example, (Royal Roads University, n.d.-a, para. 3) and (Royal
Roads University, n.d.-b, para. 2) would correspond to the following references:
Royal Roads University. (n.d.-a). Education & technology. Retrieved
from http://www.royalroads.ca/prospective-students/programs/education-technology
Royal Roads University. (n.d.-b). Humanitarian studies. Retrieved
from http://www.royalroads.ca/prospective-students/programs/humanitarian-studies
Multi-Author Citation
Use a semi-colon between authors in a multi-author citation; listing of authors must be in
alphabetical order (American Psychological Association, 2010, p. 178): e.g., (Anderson, 1988;
Lee, n.d.-a; Lee, n.d.-b; Roy, 1999; Smart & Weston, 2001).
Citing an Ebook Without Page Numbers
Citing from an ebook can be a bit tricky because some ebooks don't have page numbers.
Please see the “Ebook” section of this document and “How do you cite an e-book (e.g., Kindle
Book)?” for information and examples of how to cite an ebook. For more information regarding
APA HELP GUIDE 17

citing a work without page numbers, please visit “How to Cite Part of a Work” in the APA Style
Blog.
Secondary Source Citations
When referencing a secondary source, name the text where you found the information
(American Psychological Association, 2010, p. 178). For example, if you quoted Souper’s text,
which you found in Green’s book, you should reference Green because you read Green’s book:
“Souper (as cited in Green, 1999) notes that . . .”. Please note that it is always best to work with
original research, so if, for example, Souper’s study is important to your study, read Souper’s
original work so that you can derive your own conclusions, rather than relying on Green’s
interpretation. If you need help finding primary sources, please contact the RRU librarians.
In the reference list, provide the author of the secondary text that you read, not the
primary author (e.g., Green). Do not list the primary source (e.g., Souper) in your reference list
unless you directly refer to it elsewhere in your text.
For more information on secondary source citations, please see #9 in the “APA Style
Citations Checklist”.
Works by Anonymous or Without a Listed Author
If your document was authored by “Anonymous”, instead of the author’s last name, cite
“Anonymous” in the citation (American Psychological Association, 2010, p. 177). For example,
(Anonymous, 2005, p. 42). “Anonymous” would also appear in the author field in the reference
list.
If the work you are referencing does not name an author (which is different than
Anonymous being the identified author), you can instead use the first few words of the title
(American Psychological Association, 2010, p. 176). Before using the first few words of the title,
check to determine if the resource has a corporate or group author. For example, a report
obtained from an organization’s website may not list the specific authors of the text, but if the
organization is responsible for or produced the resource, the organization can be listed as the
group author. See the “Corporate or Group Author” section of this guide for more information. If
neither an individual nor a group author can be identified, identify the resource by the first few
words of the resource’s title, and “use double quotation marks around the title of an article, a
chapter, or a web page and italicize the title of a periodical, a book, a brochure, or a report” (p.
176). For example, “quoted text” (“First Few Words”, year, p. X). Since the title of the work is
APA HELP GUIDE 18

taking the place of the author’s name in the citation, the formatting of the reference also shifts;
please see Daily Newspaper Article, No Author in this guide for an example reference.
Personal Communication (Non-Recoverable Materials)
The APA Style rules consider material or information that isn’t recoverable or not
publicly available as personal communication. Examples of this type of sources include a phone
call, conversation, email, class lecture, materials posted to Moodle that aren't available elsewhere
(e.g., an instructor's PowerPoint presentation or unpublished paper), and organizational
documents that only available via a company’s intranet. When citing personal communication,
provide the first initial and last name of an individual or the organizational name, the words
“personal communication”, and a date. The date could be the date of the email, lecture, or
posting; in the case of an unpublished resource, the date may identify the completion date of the
resource or the date that you accessed it. It is unnecessary to specify the type of communication
within your citation. For example:
• A. Lastname (personal communication, Month day, year) said “quotation”.
• In 2014, paraphrased text (Organizational name, personal communication, Month day, year).
Since the source doesn’t provide recoverable information, it isn’t necessary to provide a page or
paragraph number in the citation, nor should the resource be included in the references. See
“How do I cite or reference personal communication in APA style?” for more information.
Citing Results of Original Research

If you’re writing up the results of your original research for your major project, thesis, or
dissertation, please check with your academic supervisor to see how he or she would prefer that
you present quoted or paraphrased information taken from your research. The usual approach is
that a citation isn’t necessary; rather, please provide sufficient information within the text so that
your reader can tell that the information came from your original research. A citation isn’t
necessary since the information is a product of your original and as yet unpublished research. For
example, “in response to the first survey question, Participant A noted that, ‘insert response
here’, whereas Participant B stated that, ‘insert statement here’”. If you have promised
anonymity to your research subjects in your ethical review, please make sure that you use
pseudonyms or otherwise mask your participants’ identity when you provide the attribution to
the quoted or paraphrased information. See “Let’s Talk About Research Participants” from the
APA Style Blog for more information.
Running head: APA HELP GUIDE

More Information

• “Introduction to APA Style” video


o “In-text citations” (6:01)
o “Personal communication” (3:08)
o “Secondary source citations” (1:47)
• “APA Style Citations Checklist”
• Search WriteAnswers by keyword or see the APA In-Text Citations topic within
WriteAnswers. WriteAnswers has more examples of citations than what is provided in
this guide, so please try the tool if you haven’t found the example you need in this
resource.
References: General Information

When formatting a document according to the APA Style rules, provide a list of
references rather than a bibliography or a list of works cited. All recoverable resources cited in
the text must be included in the reference list. Likewise, all resources listed in the reference page
must be cited within the text.
Unless your program or instructor directs you to do otherwise, your references should be
double-spaced (American Psychological Association, 2010, p. 180) and since “References” is a
page title, not a section heading, the title should not be formatted as a section heading.
Accordingly, centre the title, but don’t bold, italicize, or underline the text (as shown on page 9
in the “Sample One-Experiment Paper”). If only one reference appears on the page, the title
should be “Reference”.
Format each reference with a hanging indent, which means that the first line of each
reference entry is aligned flush with the left margin and each subsequent line is indented 1.27 cm
or 0.5 inches (American Psychological Association, 2010, p. 180). The text must be able to wrap
naturally; do not hit “enter” at the end of each line of information. To format a hanging indent,
use the appropriate path for your version of Microsoft Word to access the Paragraph format
options, and choose the “hanging indent” option.

© 2016 Royal Roads University


APA HELP GUIDE 20

Choose “Hanging” under


“Special” in “Indentation”.

Figure 1. The hanging indent option used to format a paragraph.


Alphabetize References
Alphabetize your references by the last name of the author (American Psychological
Association, 2010, p. 181). You may encounter situations where you are unsure of how to order
your references; please refer to pages 181-183 in the APA Style manual for more information
and examples.
Author and Editor Information
Please refer to page 184 in the APA Style manual for detailed instructions on presenting
authorial information.
Publication Date
In general, “give in parentheses the year the work was published” (American
Psychological Association, 2010, p. 185). Please refer to page 185 in the APA Style manual for
more information regarding presenting the publication date of resources, including magazines,
newsletters, and newspapers, as well as in-press publications and papers and posters presented at
meetings. If it’s appropriate to provide the full date of publication, the order of information in the
is (year, Month day) without any abbreviations or suffixes: (2013, October 31). For resources
where no date is available, use (n.d.), which stands for “no date” (p. 185).
Title Information
In an article or chapter title, “capitalize only the first word of the title and of the subtitle,
if any, and any proper nouns; do not italicize the title or place quotations marks around it. Finish
the element with a period” (American Psychological Association, 2010, p. 185). In a periodical
title (e.g., journals), “give the periodical title in full, in uppercase and lowercase letters. Italicize
APA HELP GUIDE 21

the name of the periodical” (p. 185). In a non-periodical title (e.g., books and reports), “capitalize
only the first word of the title and of the subtitle, if any, and any proper nouns; italicize the title”
(p. 185). For materials found on a web page, use the formatting outlined above. For example, the
title of an article would use sentence case but wouldn’t be italicized; the title of a report would be
presented using sentence case but would be italicized. For more information about formatting
more complicated titles (e.g., edition or volume number) and other non-routine information,
please refer to pages 185-186 in the APA Style manual. For additional information, see “How to
Capitalize and Format Reference Titles in APA Style” from the APA Style Blog.
Publication Information
Provide the italicized volume number after the periodical title (American Psychological
Association, 2010, p. 186), and present the issue number in brackets immediately following the
issue number. Provide an issue number only “if the journal is paginated separately by issue” (p.
186); see “How to Determine Whether a Periodical Is Paginated by Issue” from the APA Style
Blog for more information. Do not italicize the issue number.
When citing a book chapter or journal article, give inclusive page numbers on which the
cited material appears (p. 186).
When referencing print books and reports (non-periodicals), “give the location (city and
state or, if outside the United States, city and country) where the publisher is located as noted on
the title page” (American Psychological Association, 2010, p. 186). If two or more locations are
provided, note the first location in your reference list (p. 187), and “use a colon after the
location” (p. 187). When providing the publisher name, be as brief as possible: “Write out the
names of associations, corporations, and university presses, but omit superfluous terms, such as
Publishers, Co., and Inc…. Retain the words Books and Press” (American Psychological
Association, 2010, p. 187). It isn’t necessary to note the publisher’s name and location in
electronic resources; instead, provide the electronic retrieval details for the resource, such as a
DOI or URL.
Please see pages 186-187 in the APA manual for more detailed information about
presenting publication information.
More Information
• “References” (11:33 section of the Introduction to APA Style video)
• “APA Style References Checklist”
APA HELP GUIDE 22

• Search WriteAnswers by keyword or see the APA References topic within


WriteAnswers
Reference Examples

For detailed information on how to reference authors, publication dates, titles, and
publication information, and electronic sources and locator information, please refer to pages
184-192 of the APA Style manual. See the examples below for some common resource types,
but if you do not see your resource type, please look at the comprehensive index on pages 193-
198 in the APA Style manual and/or refer to pages 198-224 for specific examples. You may also
find it helpful to search in WriteAnswers as we have FAQs on how to reference a wide range of
resource types. Finally, the APA Style Blog also has extensive information and examples.
Periodicals
A periodical is anything that is published on a regular, predictable schedule, such as a
journal, a report from an annual conference, or a corporate annual report. For examples of many
types of periodical references, please see pages 198-202 of the APA manual and/or search by
keyword in WriteAnswers. The primary method used by the APA Style manual to identify the
retrieval location of electronic periodical articles is the Digital Object Identifier (DOI) system. A
DOI “is a unique alphanumeric string assigned by a registration agency (the International DOI
Foundation) to identify content and provide a persistent link to its location on the Internet”
(American Psychological Association, 2010, p. 189). The DOI may “be hidden under a button
labeled Article, Crossref, PubMed, or another full-text vendor name” (p. 189) when you retrieve
the article from one of RRU’s electronic databases. Click on the button to see the DOI. If a DOI
is available for an article, no other retrieval information is required; however, if the article hasn’t
been assigned a DOI but was retrieved from a password-protected database, you can either
provide the home page URL for the database or provide the name of the database. For more
information on DOIs, please see “How to Find DOIs in APA PsycINFO”. To check if your
resource has a DOI, use this search tool: http://www.crossref.org/guestquery/. To check your
entire reference list for available DOIs, give this tool a try:
http://www.crossref.org/SimpleTextQuery/. You’ll need to sign up for that function, but it’s free.
If you’re unsure whether you should be providing a DOI or URL, please see the “DOI and URL
Flowchart” for help. Finally, “do not include retrieval dates unless the source material may
change over time (e.g., Wikis)” (p. 192).
APA HELP GUIDE 23

Periodicals – General Reference Format


Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (year). Title of article. Title of Periodical,
vol#(issue#), pp-pp. doi: xxxxxxxxx OR http://dx.doi.org/ xxxxxxxxx
Please refer to pages 198-202 in the APA Style manual or search WriteAnswers by keyword for
more information and examples regarding referencing periodicals. See below for example
references to some of the more commonly-used resource types:
Journal Article with DOI
Godfrey, D. (2005). Adapting historical citations to APA style. Journal of Broadcasting &
Electronic Media, 49(4), 544-547. doi: 10.1207/s15506878jobem4904_15
OR
Godfrey, D. (2005). Adapting historical citations to APA style. Journal of Broadcasting &
Electronic Media, 49(4), 544-547. http://dx.doi.org/10.1207/s15506878jobem4904_15
• See example #1 on page 198 of the APA Style manual.
• In this example, “49” is the volume number, and “(4)” is the issue number of the journal. As
per APA rules, “if each issue of a journal begins on page 1, give the issue number in
parentheses immediately after the volume number” (American Psychological Association,
2010, p. 198).
• In-text citation: (Godfrey, 2005, p. X)
• CrossRef, which is one of the organizations that assigns DOIs to resources, switched the
format for DOIs to include http://dx.doi.org/ before the identifier (Hume-Pratuch, 2014, para.
4) to "insure that [the DOI] resolves into a working link" (para. 5). To reflect this shift while
also allowing for a period of adjustment to the new approach, the APA is allowing either
DOI format in a reference. See "What is a DOI and how is it used in APA style?"
in WriteAnswers for more information.
Journal Article without DOI
Cuddy, C. (2002). Demystifying APA Style. Orthopaedic Nursing, 21(5), 35-42. Retrieved from
https://www.ebscohost.com/academic/academic-search-premier
OR
Cuddy, C. (2002). Demystifying APA style. Orthopaedic Nursing, 21(5), 35-42. Retrieved from
the Academic Search Premier database.
• See example #9 on page 200 of the APA Style manual.
APA HELP GUIDE 24

• In-text citation: (Cuddy, 2002, p. X)


• The standard APA Style approach to referencing resources without DOIs from a
subscription-based database is to provide the database’s home page URL after the “Retrieved
from” (American Psychological Association, 2010, p. 191). However, if you accessed a
subscription-based database by going through the RRU Library’s website, rather than directly
from that database’s home page, you had to log in to gain that access. The requirement to log
in means providing the database’s home page URL isn’t a useful step for RRU students, and
providing a direct URL to the resource via the Library's access isn’t useful to anyone outside
the RRU community. Therefore, to simplify the process of creating references, students can
provide either the home page URL for the database or name the database as shown above.
This advice is based on the American Psychological Association's (2009) DOI and URL
flowchart.
Daily Print Newspaper Article, No Author
New drug helps Alzheimer patients. (2002, October 30). The Times Colonist, p. A2.
• In text, “use a short title (or the full title if it is short) enclosed in quotation marks for the
parenthetical citation” (American Psychological Association, 2010, p. 200). For example:
(“New Drug”, 2002).
• See example #10 on page 200 of the APA Style manual.
Online Newspaper Article
Brody, J. E. (2007, December 11). Mental reserves keep brain agile. The New York Times.
Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com
• See example 11 on pages 200-201 of the APA Style manual.
• “Give the URLs of the home page when the online version of the article is available by
search to avoid nonworking URLs” (American Psychological Association, 2010, p. 201).
• In-text citation: (Brody, 2007, para. X)
Non-Periodicals/Monographs
Non-periodicals and monographs are resources that are unique, such as a book or audio-visual
media such as a movie. Please see pages 202-210 of the APA Style manual and/or search
WriteAnswers by keyword for more information. See below for example references to some of
the more commonly-used resource types:
Entire book. For more information, please see page 202 in the APA Style manual.
APA HELP GUIDE 25

Author, A. A. (year). Title of work. Location: Publisher.


Author, A. A. (year). Title of work. Retrieved from http://www.xxxxx
Author, A. A. (year). Title of work. doi:xxxx OR http://dx.doi.org/xxxxx
Editor, A. A. (Ed.). (year). Title of work. Location: Publisher.
Chapter in a book or entry in a reference book. For more information, please see
pages 202-203 in the APA manual.
Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (year). Title of chapter or entry. In A. Editor, B. Editor, & C.
Editor (Eds.), Title of book (pp. xxx-xxx). Location: Publisher.
Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (year). Title of chapter or entry. In A. Editor, B. Editor, & C.
Editor (Eds.), Title of book (pp. xxx-xxx). Retrieved from http://www.xxxxxx
Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (year). Title of chapter or entry. In A. Editor, B. Editor, & C.
Editor (Eds.), Title of book (pp. xxx-xxx). doi:xxxxxxx OR http://dx.doi.org/xxxxx
Entry in a reference book with no byline. Please see page 203 in the APA manual for
more information.
Title of entry. (year). In A. Editor (Ed.), Title of reference work (xx ed., Vol. xx, pp. xxx-xxx).
Location: Publisher.
Title of entry. (year). In Title of reference work (xx ed., Vol. xx). Retrieved from
http://www.xxxx
Entire Book, Print Version
American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological
Association. Washington, DC: Author.
• See example #18 on page 203 of the APA Style manual.
• In-text citation: (American Psychological Association, 2010, p. X)
Book Chapter, Print Version
Maasing, X. (1982). Foreign affairs in Canada. In J. D. Sampson & M.M. Millstone (Eds.),
International trade Canada (pp. 1009-1020). Boston, MA: Oxford University Press.
• See example #25 on page 204 of the APA Style manual.
• In-text citation: (Maasing, 1982, p. X)
Ebook
Gladwell, M. (2008). Outliers: The story of success [Kindle DX version]. Retrieved from
Amazon.com
APA HELP GUIDE 26

Patterson, K., Grenny, J., McMillan, R., & Switzler, A. (2012). Crucial conversations: Tools for
talking when stakes are high (2nd ed.). Retrieved from
http://www.books24x7.com/books24x7.asp
OR
Patterson, K., Grenny, J., McMillan, R., & Switzler, A. (2012). Crucial conversations: Tools for
talking when stakes are high (2nd ed.). Retrieved from the Books24x7 database.

• See examples #19-22 on pages 203-204 in the APA Style manual.


• Keep in mind that, "if the book was read or acquired through an online library (e.g., Google
Books, ebrary, NetLibrary) and not on an e-reader device, omit the bracketed information
from the reference” (Lee, 2011, para. 2). Therefore, if you accessed the ebook through the
RRU Library’s subscription to an online database, such as Books24x7 or ebrary, you don’t
need to note the version of the book after the title of the resource in the reference.
• See “Journal Article with DOI” for information regarding how electronic retrieval details
should be presented for resources with assigned DOIs.
• See “Journal Article without DOI” for information regarding how electronic retrieval details
should be presented for resources that don’t have DOIs.
• See “How do you cite an e-book (e.g., Kindle Book)?” for more information on formatting an
ebook in-text citation or reference
• First in-text citation: (Patterson, Grenny, McMillan, & Switzler, 2012, Chapter 2, Dialogue)
• Subsequent in-text citation: (Patterson et al., 2012, Chapter 9, How to choose)
Ebook Chapter
Rogers, K. (2009). Leadership giftedness: Is it innate or can it be developed?. In L. Shavinina
(Ed.), International handbook on giftedness (pp. 633-645). Houten, Netherlands: Springer
Netherlands. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4020-6162-2_31
• See “Ebook” and “How do you cite an e-book (e.g., Kindle Book)?” for information and
examples on formatting an ebook reference and in-text citations.
• In-text citation: (Rogers, 2009, p. X)
Entry in an Online Reference Work, No Author or Editor
Heuristic. (n.d.). In Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary (11th ed.). Retrieved from
http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/heuristic
APA HELP GUIDE 27

• See example #30 on page 205 in the APA manual.


• In-text citation: (Heuristic, n.d.)
Technical and Research Reports (Grey Literature)
Author, A. A. (date). Title of work (Report No. xxx). Location: Publisher.
Organizational author. (date). Title of work (Report No. xxx). Retrieved from URL
• See examples #31-35 on pages 205-206 in the APA Style manual and “How do I reference
grey literature, such as a report, in APA style?” in WriteAnswers for more examples.
• “For reports retrieved online, identify the publisher as part of the retrieval statement unless
the publisher has been identified as the author: Retrieved from Agency name website:
http://www.xxxx” (American Psychological Association, 2010, p. 205).
Authored Report from a Government Department (Print)
Milko, R., Dickson, L., Elliot, R., & Donaldson, G. (2003). Wings over water: Canada's
waterbird conservation plan (Catalogue no.: CW66-219/2003). Ottawa, Canada:
Canadian Wildlife Service.
• First in-text citation: (Milko, Dickson, Elliot & Donaldson, 2003, p. X)
• Subsequent citations: (Milko et al, 2003, p. X)
Authored Report from an Agency Website
BC Hydro. (2013). Environmental impact statement executive summary. Retrieved from
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency website: http://www.ceaa-
acee.gc.ca/050/documents_staticpost/63919/85328/Executive_Summary.pdf
• In-text citation: (BC Hydro, 2013, p. X)
Report from a Private Organization (Print)
Employee Reform Office. (1988). Sources of unrest in the private sector (Issue Brief No. 344).
Victoria, Canada: Author.
• See example #35 on page 206 in the APA Style manual (“Issue brief”).
• “Use this form for issue briefs, working papers, and other corporate documents” (American
Psychological Association, 2010, p. 206). Use the appropriate document number where the
“issue brief number” is listed in the example above.
• In-text citation: (Employee Reform Office, 1988, p. X)
APA HELP GUIDE 28

Report from a Private Organization (Online)


Imperial Oil Limited. (2006). Energy leadership: Yesterday, today and tomorrow. Retrieved
from http://www.esso.ca/Canada-English/Files/Investors/2006_AR.pdf
• In-text citation: (Imperial Oil Limited, 2006, para. X)
Doctoral Dissertation or Master’s Thesis from a Commercial Database
Author, A. A. (year). Title of doctoral dissertation or master’s thesis (Doctoral dissertation or
master’s thesis). Retrieved from Name of Database. (Accession or Order No.)
Aspirot, S. (2004). Academic coaches and leadership (Master’s thesis). Available from Proquest
Dissertations and Theses database. (Publication No. AAT MQ93716)
• See examples #40-44 on pages 207-208 in the APA Style manual
• In-text citation: (Author, year, p. X)
Unpublished Dissertation or Thesis
Author, A. A. (year). Title of doctoral dissertation or master’s thesis. (Unpublished doctoral
dissertation or master’s thesis). Name of Institution, Location.
• In-text citation: (Author, year, p. X)
Web Page
Royal Roads University. (2013). Create a preliminary document plan. Retrieved from
http://library.royalroads.ca/writing-centre/writing-essay-start-here/create-preliminary-
document-plan
• In-text citation: (Royal Roads University, 2013, para. X)
Web Page, No Identified Author, No Date
Leadership. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://management.about.com/od/leadership/Leadership.htm
• In-text citation: (“Leadership”, n.d., para. X)
Entire Website (Not a Specific Document)
Provide the URL for the website in the text. For example, “Royal Roads University has
many great pictures on the university’s website (http://www.royalroads.ca/about-rru/life-at-
rru/hatley-park/image-gallery-02.htm)”. Refer to “How do you cite an entire website (but not a
specific document on that site)? for more information regarding this type of citation.
Online Video (e.g., YouTube or Ted Talks)
Poster of video. (copyright year). Title of video. Retrieved from URL
APA HELP GUIDE 29

Fields, J. (2012). Brene Brown on the power of being vulnerable [Video file]. Retrieved
from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sd3DYvBGyFs
TED. (2007, January 6). Do schools kill creativity|Sir Ken Robinson|TED Talks [Video file].
Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iG9CE55wbtY
• See “How do I reference an online video (e.g., YouTube or TED Talk) in APA style?” in
WriteAnswers for more information and many examples, as well as relevant links to the APA
Style Blog.
• In-text citation: (Poster of video, year, time of quoted material within video e.g. 1:25)
o E.g., (TED, 2007, 1:25)
o See “Timestamps for Audiovisual Materials in APA Style” from the APA Style Blog.
Canadian Legislative Documents
Appendix 7.1 of the APA manual explains that legal materials are referenced in a
different manner than what is provided in the APA Style manual. Appendix 7.1 provides the
rules for referencing American documents, but to cite the Canadian versions (e.g. House of
Commons proceedings (Hansard), Parliamentary committees, bills, statutes), please refer to
“Citing Canadian Statutes, Cases, and Legislation” to be directed to resources and examples.
Please note that the Canadian Guide to Legal Citation uses footnotes rather than in-text citations.
More Information
• “References” (11:33 section of the “Introduction to APA Style” video)
• “APA Style References Checklist”
• Search WriteAnswers by keyword or see the APA References topic within
WriteAnswers. WriteAnswers has more examples of references than what is provided
in this guide, so please try the tool if you haven’t found the example you need in this
resource.
APA Style Resources

• APA Style (Royal Roads University)


o “Introduction to APA Style” (video available via APA Style)
o “APA Help Guide”
• APA Style Blog (American Psychological Association)
APA HELP GUIDE 30

• Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.) (American


Psychological Association)
• WriteAnswers (searchable FAQs and contact point for the RRU Writing Centre)
• Writing Tips (APA Style column)
o “APA Style Citations Checklist” (Royal Roads University)
o “APA Style Formatting Checklist” (Royal Roads University)
o “APA Style References Checklist” (Royal Roads University)
APA HELP GUIDE 31

References

American Psychological Association. (2009). DOI and URL flowchart. Retrieved from

http://blog.apastyle.org/files/doi-and-url-flowchart-8.pdf

American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological

Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Hume-Pratch, J. (2014, July 25). How to use the new DOI format in APA Style [Blog post].

Retrieved from http://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2014/07/how-to-use-the-new-doi-format-

in-apa-style.html

Krupa, T. (2013, January 3). Alphabetizing “in press” and “no date” references [Blog post].

Retrieved from http://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2013/01/alphabetizing-in-press-and-no-

date-references.html

Lee, C. (2010, November 11). Running head format for APA Style papers [Blog post]. Retrieved

from http://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2010/11/running-head-format-for-apa-style-papers-

.html

Lee, C. (2011, June 3). How do you cite an e-book (e.g., Kindle book)? [Blog post]. Retrieved

from http://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2011/06/how-do-you-cite-an-e-book.html