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Citation Help: Reference Materials - Print & Online


This page covers some basic examples of APA citations for online and print reference (encyclopedias, dictionarys, sourcebooks, etc.) materials.  For more complete information, see the resources listed in the box to the right. 

In each box below you will see a list of the elements you need to gather to create the citation. The citation elements for reference materials can generally be found on the book title page and the book copyright page that is at the beginning of a book; along with information contained in the individual article used.  Then you will see the formatting to use to put the elements in the proper format.  Last, you will see an example of a citation in APA format.

Also note that the citation examples should be double spaced with a hanging indentation, which are not always displayed correctly online.  To view a paper formatted for APA, including the reference list at the end, see the APA Sample Paper from the OWL at Purdue.

Elements, Format, and Examples

Elements Needed (in order given) -

  • Author. Start with title if no author is listed.
  • (Date)
  • Article title.  Only first word, proper nouns and first word after a colon capitalized. Put date after title if there is no author listed.
  • In Editor of Publication title italicized. Only first word, proper nouns and first word after a colon capitalized.  Leave editor part out, if no editor.
  • Edition
  • Volume
  • Pages
  • Place:
  • Publisher
  • Retreived from URL or database name. (if retrieved online).

Format -

Author, A. A., & Author, B.B. (Date). Article title.  In A. A. Editor (Ed.), Publication title (Vol. #, pp. #-#). Place, PL: Publisher.

         Retreived from URL or database name.

Example Print with Editor and Author -

Mageli, P. D. (1999). Amerasian children. In C. L. Bankston III (Ed.), Encyclopedia of family life (Vol. 1, pp. 70-74).

         Pasadena, CA: Salem Press.

Example Print with No Author and No Editor -

Building codes. (2005). In Encyclopedia Americana (Vol. 4, p. 737). Danbury, CT: Scholastic Library Publishing.

Example Online with Editor and Author from Literature Resource Center -

Richardson, R. D., Jr. (1987). Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803-1882. In J. W. Rathburn & M. M. Grecu (Eds.), 

          Dictionary of literary biography: American literary critics and scholars, 1800-1850 (Vol. 59, 

          pp. 108-129). Detroit: Gale. Retrieved from Literature Resource Center database.

Example Online with Author, No Editor, No Volume from History Reference Center -

Katzman, D. M. (1991). Reader's companion to American history (p. 114). Boston: Houghton 

          Mifflin. Retrieved from History Reference Center database.

More In-Depth Help

This guide is meant as a general overview.  For more in-depth help, please use the following resources, review the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, or contact an LPC librarian.