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  • 2. Cite Your Research

    This will help you find books at the Long Beach City College Libraries.

    Citation Formats for Common Sources

    Learn more and peruse specific examples at the APA Blog.

    When citing a generative-AI chatbot, like ChatGPT, adhere to the criteria and format outlined by the APA

    • Author. (Date). Title (Version Number) [additional descriptions] (Source URL)

    Consider AI as Wikipedia v.2 -  we should never copy/paste Wikipedia information straight into our paper and claim it as our own. Similarly, we can use generative AI to learn more about a topic, brainstorm, and refine our ideas, but we should never copy/paste AI content into our assignments and say they are our own words.

    According to the American Psychological Association (APA), "Quoting ChatGPT’s text from a chat session is therefore more like sharing an algorithm’s output; thus, credit the author of the algorithm with a reference list entry and the corresponding in-text citation." (McAdoo, 2024). As good practice, we should cite a generative-AI chatbot when we...

    • paraphrase, quote, or incorporate into your own work any content (whether text, image, data, or other) that was created by it 
    • acknowledge all functional uses of the tool (like editing your prose or translating words) in a note, your text, or another suitable location 

    ChatGPT in particular will invent (or hallucinate) plausible-looking sources. This is why you should always double-check and vet the secondary sources the chatbot cites.

    Basic Form for Books

    Author, A.A. (Year of publication). Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle (ed). Publisher. DOI or URL


    Jackson, L. M. (2019). The psychology of prejudice: From attitudes to social action (2nd ed.). American Psychological Association.


    Article or Chapter in a Book

    Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Year of publication). Title of chapter. In A. A. Editor & B. B. Editor (Eds.), Title of book (pages of chapter). Publisher. DOI or URL


    Aron, L., Botella, M., & Lubart, T. (2019). Culinary arts: Talent and their development. In R. F. Subotnik, P. Olszewski-Kubilius, & F. C. Worrell (Eds.), The psychology of high performance: Developing human potential into domain-specific talent (pp. 345–359). American Psychological Association.


    Encyclopedia Entry

    Author, A.A. (Year of publication). Title of encyclopedia entry. In Title of Encyclopedia. Retrieved Date, from URL


    Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Semantics. In dictionary. Retrieved January 4, 2020, from


    *Examples taken from APA Style Guide and Purdue Online Writing Lab 

    Basic Form for Articles

    Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume number(issue number), pages. DOI or URL.


    Grady, J. S., Her, M., Moreno, G., Perez, C., & Yelinek, J. (2019). Emotions in storybooks: A comparison of storybooks that represent ethnic and racial groups in the United States. Psychology of Popular Media Culture8(3), 207–217.


    Article in a Newspaper

    Author, A.A. (Year, Month). Title of article. Title of Newspaper, pp. page numbers.


    Schultz, S. (2005, December). Calls made to strengthen state energy policies. The Country Today, pp. 1A, 2A.


    *Examples taken from APA Style Guide and Purdue Online Writing Lab 


    Author, A. A. & Author B. B. (Date of publication). Title of page [Format description when necessary]. URL


    World Health Organization. (2018, May 24). The top 10 causes of death

    Horovitz, B. (2021, October 19). Are you ready to move your aging parent into your home? AARP.


    Webpage with No Author, No Date

    Title of webpage (n.d.). URL


    All 33 Chile miners freed in flawless rescue. (n.d.).


    *Examples taken from APA Style Guide and Purdue Online Writing Lab 



    Producer, P. P. (Producer), & Director, D. D. (Director). (Date of publication). Title of motion picture [Motion picture]. Country of origin: Studio or distributor.



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


    Musical Recording

    Songwriter, W. W. (Date of copyright). Title of song [Recorded by artist if different from song writer]. On Title of album [Medium of recording]. Location: Label. (Recording date if different from copyright date).


    Conference Presentation

    Contributor, A.A., Contributor, B.B., Contibutor, C.C., & Contributor, D.D. (Year, Month). Title of contribution. In E.E. Chairperson (Chari), Title of symposium/conference. Symposium/talk/address conducted at the meeting of Organization Name, Location.

    Unpublished Interviews

    Note: If the interview is unpublished, but there is a transcript or recording available, you should include information as to where said transcript/recording can be found. This can be as simple as a URL, or as complex as a location in an institutional archive; the latter is shown in the example below.

    • Alex Smith (retired plumber) in discussion with the author, January 2017.

    Main Parts of an APA Paper

    The title page should contain the title of the paper, the author's name, and the institutional affiliation. Include the page header (described above) flush left with the page number flush right at the top of the page. Please note that on the title page, your page header/running head should look like this:

    Running head: TITLE OF YOUR PAPER

    Pages after the title page should have a running head that looks like this:


    After consulting with publication specialists at the APA, OWL staff learned that the APA 6th edition, first printing sample papers have incorrect examples of running heads on pages after the title page. This link will take you to the APA site where you can find a complete list of all the errors in the APA's 6th edition style guide.

    Type your title in upper and lowercase letters centered in the upper half of the page. APA recommends that your title be no more than 12 words in length and that it should not contain abbreviations or words that serve no purpose. Your title may take up one or two lines. All text on the title page, and throughout your paper, should be double-spaced.

    Beneath the title, type the author's name: first name, middle initial(s), and last name. Do not use titles (Dr.) or degrees (PhD).

    Beneath the author's name, type the institutional affiliation, which should indicate the location where the author(s) conducted the research.

    Point of View and Voice

    When writing in APA Style, you can use the first person point of view when discussing your research steps ("I studied ...") and when referring to yourself and your co-authors ("We examined the literature ..."). Use first person to discuss research steps rather than anthropomorphising the work. For example, a study cannot "control" or "interpret"; you and your co-authors, however, can.

    In general, you should foreground the research and not the researchers ("The results indicate ... "). Avoid using the editorial "we"; if you use "we" in your writing, be sure that "we" refers to you and your fellow researchers.

    It is a common misconception that foregrounding the research requires using the passive voice ("Experiments have been conducted ..."). This is inaccurate. Rather, you would use pronouns in place of "experiments" ("We conducted experiments ...").

    APA Style encourages using the active voice ("We interpreted the results ..."). The active voice is particularly important in experimental reports, where the subject performing the action should be clearly identified (e.g. "We interviewed ..." vs. "The participants responded ..."). 

    Consult the OWL handout for more on the distinction between passive and active voice.


    Verb Tense

    Switching verb tenses can cause confusion for your readers, so you should be consistent in the tense you use. When discussing literature reviews and experimental procedures that have already happened, use past tense ("Our study showed") or present perfect tense ("studies have proven"). Also use past tense when discussing results ("students’ concentration increased"), but use present tense when discussing what your results mean and what conclusions you can draw from them ("Our study illustrates").

    In-Text APA Citations

    "When using APA format, follow the author-date method of in-text citation. This means that the author's last name and the year of publication for the source should appear in the text, like, for example, (Jones, 1998). One complete reference for each source should appear in the reference list at the end of the paper.

    "If you are referring to an idea from another work but NOT directly quoting the material, or making reference to an entire book, article or other work, you only have to make reference to the author and year of publication and not the page number in your in-text reference.

    "On the other hand, if you are directly quoting or borrowing from another work, you should include the page number at the end of the parenthetical citation. Use the abbreviation “p.” (for one page) or “pp.” (for multiple pages) before listing the page number(s). Use a '-' dash for page ranges. For example, you might write (Jones, 1998, p. 199) or (Jones, 1998, pp. 199–201).

    Direct Quotations

    "If you are directly quoting from a work, you will need to include the author, year of publication, and page number for the reference (preceded by "p." for a single page and “pp.” for a span of multiple pages, with the page numbers separated by an en dash).

    "You can introduce the quotation with a signal phrase that includes the author's last name followed by the date of publication in parentheses.

    According to Jones (1998), "students often had difficulty using APA style, especially when it was their first time" (p. 199).

    Jones (1998) found "students often had difficulty using APA style" (p. 199); what implications does this have for teachers?

    If you do not include the author’s name in the text of the sentence, place the author's last name, the year of publication, and the page number in parentheses after the quotation.

    She stated, "Students often had difficulty using APA style" (Jones, 1998, p. 199), but she did not offer an explanation as to why.

    Summary and Paraphrasing

    "If you are paraphrasing an idea from another work, you only have to make reference to the author and year of publication in your in-text reference and may omit the page numbers. APA guidelines, however, do encourage including a page range for a summary or paraphrase when it will help the reader find the information in a longer work."

    According to Jones (1998), APA style is a difficult citation format for first-time learners.

    APA style is a difficult citation format for first-time learners (Jones, 1998, p. 199).


    More Information

    Visit the OWL Guide for more information regarding direct and in-direct quotations including

    • Long Quotations
    • Quotations from Sources Without Pages

    Basic Rules

    "Your references should begin on a new page separate from the text of the essay; label this page "References" centered at the top of the page (do NOT bold, underline, or use quotation marks for the title). All text should be double-spaced just like the rest of your essay.

    • All lines after the first line of each entry in your reference list should be indented one-half inch from the left margin. This is called hanging indentation.
    • Authors' names are inverted (last name first); give the last name and initials for all authors of a particular work for up to and including seven authors. If the work has more than seven authors, list the first six authors and then use ellipses after the sixth author's name. After the ellipses, list the last author's name of the work.
    • Reference list entries should be alphabetized by the last name of the first author of each work.
    • For multiple articles by the same author, or authors listed in the same order, list the entries in chronological order, from earliest to most recent.
    • Present the journal title in full.
    • Maintain the punctuation and capitalization that is used by the journal in its title.
      • For example: ReCALL not RECALL or Knowledge Management Research & Practice not Knowledge Management Research and Practice.
    • Capitalize all major words in journal titles. When referring to the titles of books, chapters, articles, or webpages, capitalize only the first letter of the first word of a title and subtitle, the first word after a colon or a dash in the title, and proper nouns.
      • Note that the distinction here is based on the type of source being cited. Academic journal titles have all major words capitalized, while other sources' titles do not.
    • Italicize titles of longer works such as books and journals.
    • Do not italicize, underline, or put quotes around the titles of shorter works such as journal articles or essays in edited collections.