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Citation Guide

A guide to create citations for bibliographies and works cited in research papers.

Basic Rules

APA is the official style of VCSU's graduate program (Graduate Handbook, p. 9).  Some basic rules for APA References lists are:

  • All citations should be double spaced
  • Indent after the first line of each entry
  • Entries are not numbered
  • If an element is not present, omit it
  • Alphabetize by the first word of the entry
  • If no author is listed, begin with title
  • Enter author's last name followed by first and middle initials
  • List up to seven (7) authors.
  • Eight (8) or more authors, use only the first six (6) and then ellipses (...) with the last author.
  • Italics must be used for book and periodical titles
  • Capitalize ONLY the first word of a title, the first word of a subtitle, and proper nouns in titles of books and articles, no matter how they appear in a database or catalog
  • List the city and state or country (spell out name) of publication. Example: Lexington, KY (because there are cities names Lexington in many states).
  • Use the abbreviations p. or pp. only for multi-page newspaper articles, encyclopedia entries, and chapters or articles in edited books
  • Do not use the abbreviation p. or pp. (or any other abbreviation) for magazine and journal articles
  • Use p. for one page articles, pp. for multiple page articles
  • Dates are in Year, Month Day format (e.g. 1999, December 20)
  • Date is in parenthesis after the author's name (or title if no author is listed)
  • Use (n.d.) if no date is given
  • For items found in full text online, access information in APA requires one of the following (in order of preference):
    1. Use DOI if available (no period at end of citation)
    2. If no DOI, and from database, use print format. No database information is needed.
    3. If no DOI and from an authoritative web site use complete URL (no period at end of citation)
    4. If no DOI and from a personal web site or Wiki, use access date and complete URL (no period at end of citation)