Skip to Main Content
SMU Libraries

How do I use APA Citation Style

A guide with examples for references and in-text citation

APA Citation Style - 7th edition

 All examples in this guide are using APA Citation Style (7th) edition 

If you need help with the 6th edition, please visit Purdue OWL.   If you have any further queries, please email

Journal Articles

Magazine Articles

Newspaper Articles

Rules, rules, rules!

For a comprehensive list of APA citation rules, refer to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, as well as the APA Style Blog (an official companion to the Publication Manual).  Here are a few common rules related to article citations:

  • Retrieval dates: Do not include retrieval dates unless the source material may change over time (e.g. Wikis).  If needed, provide the retrieval date in the format: Retrieved Month dd, YYYY, from URL
  • Retrieved from: The prefix "Retrieved from" is no longer needed before URLs. 
  • URLs and DOIs:
    • Where a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) is provided, use it in the citation in the format: 

    • Where no DOI is provided and the article is retrieved online, give the URL of the article publication or the journal home page. This can be easily found using Google Scholar. 

    • Where the article is from private or non-commercial sources or hard to locate, give the complete and specific URL.

    • If no publication URL is available, and you retrieved the item from one of the Libraries' databases, no URL is needed.  You will treat this as a print journal.

  • Volume / Issues for journals:

    • Always include volume number and issue number for all journals, magazines, newspapers, and other periodicals.

    • If the information is not available, omit it from the reference. 

  • Pagination (p. and pp.)

    • The prefix pp. only goes before page numbers reported for book chapter and encyclopaedia article references.  The prefixes, p. and pp., are no longer used for periodical references.

The use of electronic resources must comply with the Appropriate Use of Electronic Resources Policy and Singapore Management University Acceptable Use Policy