5.4 Reference Examples

Most of the information you need to include in your reference list is located within the first couple of pages of a book, or on the first page of an article.

As detailed below, APA citations each follow the same general pattern: Author, Date, Title, Location. The exact format, however, can differ slightly depending on the form of authorship (e.g., authors or editors), the type of source (e.g., book, article, website), and how the source was obtained (e.g., online or as a physical copy).


The 7th edition of the APA publication manual (American Psychological Association, 2020) no longer requires including a place of publication. Simply include the name of the publisher at the end of a citation following the title:

Lunny, A. M. (2017). Debating hate crime: Language, legislatures, and the law in Canada. UBC Press.

In-text: “. . .” (Lunny, 2017, p. 71)

Editions of Books

If the book has been reprinted as a new edition, the title should be followed by parentheses containing the relevant edition number:

Powell, R. A., Honey, P. L., & Symbaluk, D. G. (2017). Introduction to learning and behaviour (5th ed.). Wadsworth/Cengage.

In-text: “. . .” (Powell et al., 2017, p. 43)

Edited Books

List the editor(s) in place of an author, followed with “(Ed.)” or “(Eds.)”:

Daniels, J., Gregory, K., & Cottom, T. M. (Eds.). (2017). Digital sociologies. Policy Press.

In-text: “. . .” (Daniels et al., 2017, p. 32)

Book Chapters

First list the chapter author(s), year of publication, and the chapter title. Continue with book editor(s), the book’s title–in italics, edition (if applicable), and pages that the chapter spans preceded by “pp.” indicating the page range; a single page would have just “p.”. Note that the editor(s)’ given name(s)’ initials come before the last name, preceded by the word “In” and followed by “(Ed.)” or “(Eds.)”:

Tveit, A. D. (2017). Parental involvement in school: Applying Habermas’ theoretical framework. In M. Murphy (Ed.), Habermas and social research: Between theory and method (pp. 109-121). Routledge.

In-text: “. . .” (Tveit, 2017, p. 111)


If a book read online has a DOI (Digital Object Identifier), include it presented as a link following the title and publisher:

Ross, L. R. (2016). Interrogating motherhood. Athabasca University Press. https://doi.org/10.15215/aupress/9781771991438.01

In-text: “. . .” (Ross, 2016, p. 45)

eBooks found in electronic libraries or databases that do not have a DOI should follow the same format as a print book:

Chi-ang, L. B., & Zheng, S. (2017). Environmental economics and sustainability. Wiley Blackwell.

In-text: “. . .” (Chi-ang, & Zheng, 2017, p. 9)

If an eBook is free online and does not have a DOI, include a link to the book:

Little, W. (2016). Introduction to sociology (2nd Canadian ed.). https://opentextbc.ca/introductiontosociology2ndedition

In-text: “. . .” (Little, 2016, p. 23)

Journal Articles

Following the article title, list the journal title and volume number in italics, then include the issue number in parentheses, followed by the page numbers associated with the article. If the work was found online, including through a database, include a DOI for the work if provided–this can typically be found on the article’s first page:

Sunga, S. (2017). Dealing with oppression: Indigenous relations with the state in Canada. Ethics & Social Welfare, 11(2), 135-148. http://doi.org/10.1080/17496535.2017.1293118

In-text: “. . .” (Sunga, 2017, p. 140)

If the article does not have a DOI, including physical copies and articles from library databases, no further information should be included following the page number range:

Myers, R. (2017). “I accept that I have nobody”: Young women, youth justice, and expectations of responsibility during reentry. Social Justice, 44(1), 62-82.

In-text: “. . .” (Myers, 2017, p. 67)

Conference Papers

Include the date the work was presented, including the month and day, if available (you may need to search Google for this), as well as the name of the conference and its location:

Valdez, L. (2014, March 1). The use of coca leaves in the Peruvian central highlands before the Inka [Paper presentation]. 42nd Annual Midwest Conference on Andean and Amazonian Archaeology and Ethnohistory, Milwaukee, WI, United States.

In-text: “. . .” (Valdez, 2014, p. 6)

If the conference paper was formally published, be sure to include either the DOI, if provided, or a link to the paper, at the end of the citation:

Sambamurthy, N., Sanchez-Pena, M., Main, J.B., Cox, M., & McGee, E. (2016, October 14). Asian-American women engineering faculty: A literature review using an intersectional framework of race, class, and gender [Paper presentation]. Frontiers in Education Conference, Erie, PA, United States. https://doi.org/10.1109/FIE.2016.7757518

In-text: “. . .” (Sambamurthy et al., 2016, p. 3)

Magazine Articles

These references follow the same format as journal articles. Include a year, month(s) and day, if provided by the original source:

Buchner, J. (2018, January/February). Better together. Today’s Parent, 35(1), 16.

In-text: “. . .” (Buchner, 2018, p. 16)

News Articles

Online news articles follow a similar format to other types of periodicals. Again, include a year, month(s) and day, if provided:

Hughes, G. (2017, December 20). Montreal suspends pit bull ban, plans consultations. The Globe and Mail. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/montreal-suspends-pit-bull-ban-plans-consulations/article37393139/

In-text: “. . .” (Hughes, 2017, para. 4)

If the author of an article is unknown, start with the title followed by the date:

Homeless veterans in focus. (2017, May 9). Thunder Bay Chronicle Journal.

In-text: “. . .” (“Homeless Veterans in Focus,” 2017, para. 3).


When using a news article from a physical copy of a newspaper, include the section and page number as indicated:

French, J. (2017, December 20). 27% of elementary students reading below grade level. Edmonton Journal, A3.

In-text: “. . .” (French, 2017, p. A3)


When citing information from a web page, you generally only need to include the author, date last updated or modified, title of the page, and retrieval link. If no author is given, include the association, company, or organization as the author:

Department of Justice Canada. (2017, August 8). The youth criminal justice act summary and background. http://justice.gc.ca/eng/cj-jp/yj-jj/tools-outils/back-hist.html

In-text: “. . .” (Department of Justice Canada, 2017, p. 3)

For government reports, include a catalogue or report number in parentheses, if given:

O’Donnell, V., Wendt, M, & the National Association of Friendship Centres. (2017, March 21). Aboriginal seniors in population centres in Canada (Catalogue No 89-653-X). www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/89-653-x/89-653-x2017013-eng.pdf

In-text: “. . .” (O’Donnell et al., 2017, p. 6)

Social Media

If citing from social media, include the name of the account owner and exact date. In square brackets, include the account’s username, and form description as shown:

Notley, R. [@RachelNotley]. (2017, September 30). Raising Alberta’s minimum wage to $13.60 will boost the spending power of low-income people, which supports Alberta’s economic recovery [Tweet]. Twitter. https://twitter.com/RachelNotley/status/914134389264498688

In-text: “. . .” (Notley, 2017)

Videos and Television

Like most website content, audiovisual materials are usually not considered scholarly, but may be used in your paper as illustrative examples or data, and still need to be cited if referenced.

YouTube videos follow a similar format to other forms of social media noted above. If no person’s name is given, only include the account or screen name without brackets. The title should be in italics:

CBC News. (2017, October 25). How much do refugees and immigrants get in social assistance? [Video]. YouTube. https://youtube.com/watch?v=13aml32ujw0

In-text: “. . .” (CBC News, 2017, 2:04)

If citing a film, list the director as author as shown. Citing online copies of videos requires that you include a retrieval link:

Polley, S. (Director). (2012). Stories we tell [DVD].  Mongrel Media.

In-text: “. . .” (Polley, 2012, 3:56)

Polley, S. (Director). (2012). Stories we tell [Film]. Mongrel Media. https://www.nfb.ca/film/stories_we_tell/?films_list_en=feature_1

In-text: “. . .” (Polley, 2012, 3:56)

If citing a specific episode from a TV or documentary series, include the writers and director as authors, and executive producers following the title of the episode, and then the series title as shown. If the episode is on a website that requires users to login, include only a link to the homepage:

Benjamin, E., Yorkey, B., & Asher, J.. (Writers), & Yu, J. (Director). (2016). Tape 6, side b (season 1, episode 12) [TV series episode]. In B. Yorkey, D. Son, T. McCarthy, J. Gorman Wettels, S. Golin, M. Sugar, S. Gomez, M. Teefey, & K. Laiblin (Executive Producers), 13 reasons why. Netflix.

In-text: “. . .” (Benjamin et al., 2016, 13:31)


When citing from song lyrics, the recording artist(s) should be listed as the author(s):

Beyoncé. (2016). Formation [Song]. On Lemonade. Parkwood; Columbia.

In text: “…” (Beyonce, 2016, 2:12)


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Navigating an Undergraduate Degree in the Social Sciences by Diane Symbaluk, Robyn Hall, and Geneve Champoux is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.