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Nursing: APA Citations

A word of caution...

The best sources of information for your research paper are going to be books (print or electronic, doesn't matter) from the library catalog and articles from the library databases. They have already been vetted for quality by researchers and librarians, AND the library's website has premade citations for you. If you have to cite your source from scratch, as in the case of a website or non-library book, we do not recommend using citation makers like EasyBib or Citation Machine. Use the guidelines provided below to build an accurate and useful citation. It's not as hard as it looks!

In-line Citations

In-line Citations

In-line or in-text citations in the body of your paper point the reader to specific sources listed on your Works Cited page. They usually include the author’s last name or title (if no author is given) and the year of publication. For more information on in-text citations, visit Owl at Purdue's page on In-Text Citations. There are two ways to cite the source in the text: using the author's name in the text as part of the narrative, and using the author's name in a parenthetical reference. See below.

Author's name in text

Smith (2010) states that while Type 2 diabetes is often found in older adults, more recently it is also being found in children.

Author's name in parenthetical reference

While Type 2 diabetes is often found in older adults, more recently it is also being found in children (Smith, 2010).

Remember: anything you cite in the text of your paper need to have a full citation on the reference list page.

APA Resources In Our Catalog


Making an APA reference/citation (from scratch) 

The following are the basic formulas for the most commonly used types of sources for students. For more detailed instructions or for a type of source not mentioned here, refer to Owl at Purdue's APA Citation Guide or the APA Style Website .

Citing a book or eBook


Last Name, Initials. (Publication Year). Title of book (edition if exists). Publisher.

Example for book by one author:

Gleick, J. (1987). Chaos: Making a new science. Penguin.

Example for book by two:

Cook, P., & Ludwig, J. (2000). Gun violence : The real costs (Studies in crime and public policy). Oxford University Press.

Example for book up to 20 authors:

Choi, D., Gao, Z., & Jiang, W. (2020). Attention to global warming. Review of Financial Studies, 33(3), 1112 - 1145. https://doi-org/10.1093/rfs/hhz086 

Example for books with 21 or more authors:  

Pegion, K., Kirtman, B. P., Becker, E., Collins, D. C., LaJoie, E., Burgman, R., Bell, R., DelSole, R., Min, D., Zhu, Y., Li, W., Sinsky, E., Guan, H., Gottschalck, J., Metzger, E. J., Barton, N. P., Achuthavarier, D., Marshak, J., Koster, R., . . .  Kim, H. (2019). The subseasonal experiment (SubX): A multimodel subseasonal prediction experiment. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society100(10), 2043-2061.


Citing a database article

This refers to an article in a magazine or scholarly journal. All articles in the library's databases fall into this category. Follow the same rules as the book citations for articles that have more than one author. If an article has no author, just leave that part out of the citation. (Do NOT put "anonymous" or "no author".)


Author(s). (publication date). Title of article in sentence case.Title of Journal, Volume, (Issue)pages. DOI (if there is one)


Choi, D., Gao, Z., & Jiang, W. (2020). Attention to Global Warming. Review of Financial Studies, 33(3), 1112 - 1145. https://doi-org/10.1093/rfs/hhz086 


In APA 7 you may list either a DOI or URL link at the end of your reference, but not both. If there is no DOI or the URL/ "permalink" is not freely accessible to your reader, then you do not need to anything after the page number. Also, it is no longer required to include database information, expect for special cases.


Citing a website

If the content of a website has no author, just leave that part out of the citation. (Do NOT put "anonymous" or "no author".) Remember some websites have group author. If the website has no date use n.d. in parentheses 


Author(s) name. (publication date). Title of page in sentence case. Title of website. URL. 


Edgington, T. (2020, January 31).  Brexit: What is the transition period? BBC.

National Institute of Mental Health. (2018, July). Anxiety disorders. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health.

Finding a citation using the library's resources 

After you have located an article that you want to cite, click on the record for that article. Then look for the "Cite" option on the right side of the screen.

Once you have clicked on that "Cite" option, you should be on a screen with several options toward the top showing you different styles of citation (MLA, Chicago, etc.). Scroll down to find the one that says "APA."


Now copy and paste this citation into your document, or write it down in your notes, and you have a citation for that source. Be sure to double-check the formatting: make sure article names have no extra marks, the titles of books or journals are italicized, and author's last name is spelt out and that the title is in sentence case. If there is a DOI make sure it is included.

Removing text formatting from copy & paste

If you are copying and pasting a citation -- or a direct quote, or any other text, really -- you may notice that when you paste it into Microsoft Word or a Google Doc, it carries formatting with it, including background colors. There are several ways to avoid this:

  1. Before you paste, right click in the place you would like to paste the text. From the menu that comes up, click "Keep text only" in MS Word or "Paste without formatting" in Google Doc.
  2. If you have already pasted your text, highlight the text.
    • In MS Word, go to the Styles part of the Home toolbar, then click on the bottom-most arrow on that window. Once you click on that, some new options should come up. Click "Clear formatting" to get rid of all the extra formatting from the web.
    • In Google Doc, click on the Format tab, then go down the menu and click "Clear formatting" to get rid of any extra formatting.