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APA Style, 7th Edition

The APA Style 7th Edition guide serves to provide APA support starting January 2020

The Generic Reference

Wikipedia is NOT ACCEPTABLE for academic resarch


If you are trying to cite a source that is not listed here, and you cannot find guidelines from APA elsewhere, you can create a generic reference. The Publication Manual lists certain elements that should be included in a generic reference:

  • Who / Author - Who is responsible for this work? This can be a person (author or editor) or an organization. If there is no author or editor, follow the guidelines discussed in No Author.
  • When / Date - When was this work published? A year (Year) is usually acceptable, although you may need to include a month and day (Year, Month Day). If there is no date, use n.d.: (n.d.).
  • What / Title - What is this work called? This is the title of the actual work you are using, not necessarily a larger 'container' like a website. If there is no title, you must create one, and enclose it in square brackets [ ]. You may also wish to clarify the format of the item in square brackets, after the title. Examples could be [Painting], [App], or [Video].
  • Where / Source - Where can I retrieve this work? This can be a book, website (with URL), journal, publication information, or something else.

Make sure to be familiar with what other APA citations look like and with the formatting rules.


Author. (Date). Title [Format]. Source.

Personal Communication

Personal communication can mean letters, memos, emails, interviews, telephone conversations, etc. that your readers will not be able to access. Since these items are not recoverable, it is not necessary to include in a reference list. Use parenthetical citations in the text only.


(D. J. Matthews, personal communication, July 10, 2009)


For information retrieved from a mobile app (such as an iPhone or Android app), cite as follows:


Wiley. (2015). Psychology spotlight (Version 1.8) [Mobile app]. App Store.

(Wiley, 2015)



Artist, A. A. (copyright year). Title of work [Medium: Painting, drawing, sculpture, photograph, etc.]. Museum, Location. http://xxxxx

Example 1: Physical Work of Art

Da Vinci, L. (1506). Mona Lisa [Painting]. Musée du Louvre, Paris, France.

(Da Vinci, 1506)

Example 2: Artwork Viewed Online

Flack, A. (1988). Islandia, goddess of the healing waters [Sculpture]. Harn Museum of Art, Gainesville, FL, United States.

(Flack, 1988)

Class Materials

Only include a full reference to lecture notes or class materials that are behind a login screen (such as Canvas) if you are writing for an audience that will be able to retrieve them. Otherwise, cite it as a personal communication.


Author, A. A. (Year). Title of presentation [Lecture notes or PowerPoint slides]. Website. http://xxxxx


Preskill, J. (n.d.). Chapter 4: Quantum entanglement [Lecture notes]. Caltech Particle Theory Group.

(Preskill, n.d.)

Matthews, D. (2019). [Lecture notes on evaluating Internet resources]. Canvas at Santa Fe College.

(Matthews, 2019)

Poster Sessions


Author, A. A. (Year, Month Days of Conference). Title of poster session [Poster presentation]. Conference Name, location. http://xxxxx


Rusk, F. (2019, April 10–13). Beyond the research paper: Engaging faculty in alternative information literacy activities and assignments [Poster presentation]. Academic Colleges & Research Libraries, Cleveland, OH, United States.

(Rusk, 2019)

Theses & Dissertations


Author, A. A. (Year). Title of doctoral dissertation or master's thesis [Type, Institution]. Database/Archive Name. http://xxxxx

Example 1: Doctoral Dissertation

Chang, S. (2009). Relationship between active leisure and active vacations [Doctoral dissertation, University of Florida]. University of Florida Digital Collections.

(Chang, 2009)

Example 2: Master's Thesis

Njuguna, S. W. (2002). Gender education and development: Women's quest for higher education in Kenya [Master's thesis, Morgan State University]. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global.

(Njuguna, 2002)

Example 3: Only Available in Print

Saba, D. R. (1987). Segmenting the sports market: A benefit analysis [Unpublished Master's thesis]. Florida State University.

(Saba, 1987)

Court Decision


Name v. Name, Volume Source Page (Court Date). http://xxxxx


Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973).

(Roe v. Wade, 1973)

Executive Orders

From the Code of Federal Regulations


Exec. Order No. xxxxx, 3 C.F.R. Page (Year). http://xxxxx


Exec. Order No. 13588, 3 C.F.R. 281–282 (2011).

(Exec. Order No. 13588, 2011)



Name, A. A. (Year). Name of patent (Patent Identifier No. xxx). Patent Organization. http://xxxxx


Whitehorn, S. J., & Zehr, G. E. (2006). Electronic media reader (U.S. Patent No. D591,741 S). U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

(Whitehorn & Zehr, 2006)



Name of the Statute/Act, Title Number Source § Section number(s) (Year of Code Used). http://xxxx

Example 1: Federal Statute

Mental Health Systems Act, 42 U.S.C. § 9401 (1988).

(Mental Health Systems Act, 1988)

Example 2: State Statute

Florida Patient's Bill of Rights and Responsibilities, Fla. Stat. § 381.026 (1991 & rev. 2017).

(Florida Patient's Bill of Rights and Responsibilities, 1991/2017)

This statute was originally codified in 1991 and was last updated in 2017, so both dates are included.

U.S. Constitution

If you wish to cite the U.S. Constitution as a whole, you may simply mention it in your paper without including a citation in the references list.

However, if you are citing a part of the Constitution, you should use the article, amendment, section, and/or clause numbers.

  • Article = art. [use Roman numerals: I, II, III]
  • Amendment = amend. [use Roman numerals: I, II, III]
  • Section = § [use Arabic numbers: 1, 2, 3]
      (how to create the section symbol in Word)
  • Clause = cl. [use Arabic numbers: 1, 2, 3]
  • Preamble = pmbl


The founding fathers addressed the process by which new states may join the union (U.S. Const. art. I, § 3).

U.S. Const. art. I, § 3.

During prohibition, the sale of liquor was made illegal (U.S. Const. amend. XVIII, repealed 1933).

U.S. Const. amend. XVIII (repealed 1933).

Charter of the United Nations


U.N. Charter art. xx, para. xx.


U.N. Charter art. 1, para. 3.

(U.N. Charter art. 1, para. 3)