Help with Citing Resources

Complex Author Citations

Video by the Online Writing Lab at Purdue University about how to create citations for complex author name situations. Source: YouTube

Basics of APA In-Text Citations

In order to properly say where you've gotten the information you're using in your paper, you'll need to use in-text citations. In the APA Style, they look like this.

When referring to an author, you put the date right after their name: 

As stated by Hunt (2008), libraries are essential places for studying. 

If you are paraphrasing without the author's name as an introduction, it would look like this: 

Looking at the research, it seems that libraries are essential places for studying (Hunt, 2008).

When quoting an author directly, you will also need to include the page number for the quote:

According to Hunt (2008), "libraries are the most excellent place in which to study" (p. 201)

If you're quoting an author from a website, you'll cite the paragraph, rather than the page number (unless there is a page number): 

According to Hunt (2008), "libraries are the most excellent place in which to study" (para. 6)


Basics of APA References Lists

In APA style, your bibliography is called a "Reference List." It will list all the material you cite throughout your work (or "refer" to). Here are some examples of basic material that may need to be cited. For more detailed explanations, please click on the link to the Purdue University Online Writing Lab at to the left of this page. 

Some basic things to note:

  • Author name is listed as Last name, First initial followed by the date of publication in parentheses. If there are multiple authors, you will continue the string of last name, first initial. Examples: 
    • Hunt, C. and Black, B. (2019) 
    • Hunt, C., Black, B. and Cheery, O. (2019). 
  • Capitalization of titles only occurs for the FIRST letter of the title, then the FIRST letter after a colon or other definitive punctuation (a period, a colon, semi-colon, etc.) 
  • Materials obtained from the internet will note where they were found by stating: "Retrieved from" followed by a URL, when possible. 
  • Book titles are always italicized. Article titles are not italicized. Journal titles are always italicized
  • Articles do not need to include URLs, even when found online in a database. However, if there is a doi available, that should be listed after the page numbers. 
  • The volume of a journal will be italicized after the title of the journal, with the number issue not italicized, but in parentheses, followed by a comma and the page numbers of the article. 

Examples (should be formatted with hanging indent on actual reference list): 


Wang, M. (2019). Socially engaged art in contemporary china: Voices from below. New York: Routledge. Retrieved from

Article from a Journal: 

Stewart, C. (2019). The dangerous power of art education. Art Education, 72(6), 25-29. doi: 10.1080/00043125.2019.1648144

Blog Post: 

SchoolArtsRoom (2019, March 19). Artist Amy Sherald: Blending portraiture and politics [Blog post]. Retrieved from


Same as blog post above, without the [material type] in brackets. When there is no date listed, make a note of that with "n.d." in parentheses.

The J. Paul Getty Museum (n.d.). Adult learners. Retrieved from

Single Episode of a Television Series: 

This is a bit different. You'll list the writer of the episode and the director together, treating them as co-authors. Example below is taken from the Purdue OWL: 


Writer, W. W. (Writer), & Director, D. D. (Director). (Date of publication). Title of episode [Television series episode]. In P. Producer (Producer), Series title. City, state of origin: Studio or distributor.


Wendy, S. W. (Writer), & Martian, I. R. (Director). (1986). The rising angel and the falling ape [Television series episode]. In D. Dude (Producer), Creatures and monsters. Los Angeles, CA: Belarus Studios.


Research: Cite Your Sources

Creating a Bibliography

The importance of citing sources of information cannot be overemphasized.  The citation of a source provides the reader with the background necessary to validate (or invalidate) the value and accuracy of the information.  Additionally, citation rightfully gives credit to the authors, editors, and others who contributed to the publishing or dissemination of the information.

There are a large number of styles to choose from in establishing a proper bibliography.  Submissions to journals typically must adhere to specific rules for the given journal.  Requirements in an academic coursework setting are usually established by the instructor. 

Citation management software saves your time by helping you keep track of the articles, books and other resources you use, and helps you instantly format your bibliographies in the citation style of your choosing.

APA Reference Lists: A More Detailed Explanation

Video by the Online Writing Lab at Purdue University. Source: YouTube