An Example Of A Full APA Citation: Citing Sources In Academic Writing

Full APA Citation Example: A Comprehensive Guide

What Do You Mean by a Full APA Citation?

A full APA citation refers to a complete and accurate reference entry that follows the guidelines set by the American Psychological Association (APA). It is a standardized format used in academic and research writing to acknowledge and give credit to the original sources of information used in a paper or article. The APA citation style includes specific elements such as the author’s name, publication date, title, and source details, which are organized in a specific order to provide readers with the necessary information to locate the cited source.

How to Create a Full APA Citation?

Creating a full APA citation involves a structured process that ensures consistency and accuracy in acknowledging the sources you have used. Follow the steps below to construct a full APA citation:

Putting APA References in Alphabetical Order  Bibliography
Putting APA References in Alphabetical Order Bibliography

Author’s Name: Start with the last name followed by a comma and initials for the first and middle names (if available). For multiple authors, include an ampersand (&) before the last author’s name.
Publication Date: Provide the year of publication within parentheses. If no publication date is available, use n.d. instead.
Title of Work: Italicize the title of the work or article, capitalizing the first letter of the first word and any subtitles. Only capitalize proper nouns and the first letter of the first word after a colon or dash.
Title of Source: Include the title of the source (e.g., book, journal, website) in italics. Capitalize the first letter of each important word.
Source Details: Provide additional publication details such as the publisher, volume/issue number, page range, and DOI or URL.

APA Reference Page Examples and Format Guide  Bibliography
APA Reference Page Examples and Format Guide Bibliography

Remember to use proper punctuation and formatting throughout your citation. Consult the official APA style guide for specific examples and additional rules based on the type of source you are citing.

What is Known About Full APA Citations?

Full APA citations are widely used in the academic and scientific communities to ensure proper attribution of sources and to facilitate the retrieval of cited materials. By providing complete and accurate citations, researchers and students allow readers to verify and build upon their work, fostering a culture of integrity and transparency in scholarly communications. APA citations also help avoid plagiarism, as they clearly indicate when ideas, quotes, or data are borrowed from other authors.

Moreover, proper APA citations enable readers to locate the cited sources easily, as they contain all the necessary information to retrieve the materials. This promotes further exploration and verification of the information presented in a paper, enhancing the overall credibility and reliability of the research.

Solution: Creating a Full APA Citation

To create a full APA citation, you need to follow the guidelines and structure provided by the APA style guide. Familiarize yourself with the specific requirements for different source types (e.g., books, articles, websites) and ensure consistency in formatting and punctuation. Utilize online citation generators and reference management software to simplify the process and reduce the chances of errors. However, it is crucial to review the generated citations for accuracy, as automated tools may occasionally make mistakes.

Remember, accurate and complete citations are essential not only for academic compliance but also for promoting ethical and transparent research practices.

Additional Information on Full APA Citations

Here are some additional points to keep in mind when creating full APA citations:

In-text Citations: Alongside the full reference in your reference list, it is important to include brief in-text citations within your paper whenever you directly quote, paraphrase, or summarize information from a source. These in-text citations provide a brief indication of the source and enable readers to locate the full reference in your reference list.
Citing Electronic Sources: When citing online sources, include the DOI (Digital Object Identifier) if available. If a DOI is not provided, use the URL of the webpage or the home page of the database.
Double-checking: Before submitting your work, thoroughly review your citations for accuracy, formatting, and completeness. Mistakes or missing information in your citations can lead to misunderstandings or even allegations of plagiarism.
Keeping Up with Updates: The APA style guide is periodically updated, so stay up-to-date with the latest edition to ensure your citations adhere to the most recent guidelines.
Practice Makes Perfect: As with any skill, mastering APA citation requires practice. Take the time to understand the rules, consult reputable resources, and seek guidance from your instructors or librarians if needed.


Creating full APA citations is an integral part of academic and research writing. By accurately acknowledging the sources you have used, you demonstrate intellectual honesty, promote integrity in scholarly communication, and provide readers with the means to access and verify the cited materials. Following the guidelines and structure outlined by the APA style guide, along with thorough proofreading, will help you construct reliable and comprehensive full APA citations. Remember, proper citations are not only essential for academic purposes but also contribute to the credibility and impact of your work.


1. What if I cannot find the publication date for a source?

If the publication date is not available, use n.d. (no date) in your citation.

2. Can I use citation management software to generate APA citations?

Yes, citation management software such as EndNote or Zotero can be helpful in generating APA citations. However, always review the generated citations for accuracy.

3. Are there any exceptions to the APA citation rules?

While the APA style guide provides guidelines for most source types, some unique sources may require adaptations or additional information. Consult the APA manual or reputable online resources for specific examples and exceptions.

4. Do I need to include page numbers in my citation for an online article?

If the online article has page numbers, include them in your citation. If not, omit the page number part from your citation.

5. Can I use APA citations in other fields of study apart from psychology?

Absolutely! While the APA style was developed by the American Psychological Association, it is widely used in various disciplines, including social sciences, education, business, and more. Always check the specific citation requirements of your field or consult with your instructors for any variations.