Citing is an academic way to thank the person whose information you used to support your research. Citing alerts the reader that an idea used in your paper was someone else’s. Referencing is a process of wayfinding, you provide the address, so that the reader is able to find the original source. Citing also prevents accusations of plagiarism or academic dishonesty
Think of a reference as a detailed address which the reader can use to find the source you used to support a point in your paper.
A complete reference many require the following information:
You will find the most common examples of APA References below. This is not a exhaustive list, so refer to your college library guide for a comprehensive overview.
Author's Last Name, First Initial. Second Initial if any. (Year of Publication). Title of book: Subtitle if any. City of Publication, Province/State: Publisher.
Note: List any other authors as they are listed on the book.
Martin, S. (2010). Take a look: Observation and portfolio assessment in early childhood. Toronto, ON: Pearson.
Author's Last Name, First Initial. Second Initial if any. (Year of Publication). Title of eBook. Retrieved from eBook provider's URL
Connelly, J., & Forsyth, P. (2012). Essay writing skills: Essential techniques to gain top marks. Retrieved from http://login.library.sheridanc.on.ca/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com.library.sheridanc.on.ca/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=430348&site=ehost-live&scope=site&ebv=EB&ppid=pp_Cove
Editor's Last Name, First Initial. Second Initial if any. (Eds.). (Year of Publication). Title of book. City of Publication, Province or State Code: Publisher.
Fetherling, G. (Ed.). (2001). The vintage book of Canadian memoirs. Toronto, ON: Vintage Canada.
Author's Last Name, First Initial. Second Initial if any. (Year). Title of article. Title of Journal, volume number(issue number), page numbers. DOI or Retrieved from URL
Note: if there is no DOI for the article, put Retrieved from and then add the permanent link to the article.
Harwood, N., & Petric, B. (2011). Performance in the citing behavior of two student writers. Written Communication, 29(1), 55-103. doi:10.1177/0741088311424133
First Author's Last Name, First Initial., Second Author's Last Name, First Initial., Third Author's Last Name, First Initial., Fourth Author's Last Name, First Initial., Fifth Author's Last Name, First Initial., Sixth Author's Last Name, First Initial., . . . Last Author's Last Name, First Initial. (Year). Title of article: Subtitle if given. Title of Journal, volume number(issue number), page numbers. DOI or Retrieved from URL
Hobday, A. J., Young, J. W., Abe, O., Costa, D. P., Cowen, R. K., Evans, K., ... Weng, K. C. (2013). Climate impacts and oceanic top predators: Moving from impacts to adaptation in oceanic systems. Reviews in Fish Biology & Fisheries, 23(4), 537-546. doi:10.1007/s11160-013-9311-0
Note: List the first six author's listed in the article followed by an ellipsis to show information is missing, and then the last author's name.
Author's Last Name, First Initial. (Year). Title of document [Format if something other than a regular web page]. Retrieved from URL
Geist, M. (2019). The foundation of Canada’s digital charter: Privacy law reform focused on a data-driven economy [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://www.michaelgeist.ca/2019/05/the-foundation-of-canadas-digital-charter-privacy-law-reform-focused-on-a-data-driven-economy/
Group or Corporate Name. (Year). Title of document [Format of document]. Retrieved from URL
Canadian Cancer Society. (2015). Advanced cancer [Brochure]. Retrieved from http://www.cancer.ca/~/media/cancer.ca/CW/publications/Advanced%20cancer/32043-1-NO.pdf
Title of document. (n.d.). Retrieved from URL
What is physics? (n.d). Retrieved from http://www.physics.org/article-questions.asp?id=18
Note: If there is no identifiable date, put (n.d.) in place of the year to show you couldn't find a date.
Instructor's Last Name, First Initial. (Year). Title of presentation. [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from name of content management software.
Smith, J. (2017). Cite your sources using APA Style. [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from SLATE.
Author of Article or Chapter's Last Name, First Initial. Second Initial if given. (Year of course pack's publication). Title of chapter or article in course pack. In First Initial. Last Name of Course Instructor who created course pack if given (Comp.), Title of course pack (page numbers). City of Publication, Province Code: Name of College.
Bigelow, B., & Peterson, B. (2016). Rethinking globalization: Teaching our justice in an unjust world. In J. Fraser (Comp.), Exploring our global village: Readings CULT 14857G (pp.33-37). Brampton, ON: Sheridan College.
Note: The best way to cite course packs is to treat them as a chapter in an edited book.
Instructor's Last Name, First Initial. (Year handout was created if given or n.d.). Title of handout [Class handout]. City course is located in, Province Code: College Name, Course code.
Smith, J. (2017). Effective Google searching [Class handout]. Oakville, ON: Sheridan College, LIFE 1000.
Author's Last Name, First Initial or user name. (Year, Month Day). Title of video [Video file]. Retrieved from URL
The Learning Portal/Le Portail d’Apprentissage. (2017, January 24). Types of paragraphs in an academic essay [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/TforwSE7ow0
Author's Last name, First Initial. (Year, Month Day if available). Title of video [Video file]. Retrieved from Library Database name.
O'Neil Hughes, B. (2017). Lightroom and Photoshop: Workflow strategies [Video file]. Retrieved from Lynda.com.
Producer/Writer/Director's Last Name, First Initial. (Role in Video Production, Producer/Writer/Director). (Year DVD was released). Title of DVD [DVD]. City of Publication, Province Code or State Code: DVD Distributor if known.
Huston, J. (Director). (1941). The Maltese falcon [DVD]. Burbank, CA: Warner Home Video.
Author's Last Name, First Initial. Second Initial if given. (Year, Month Day). Title of article. Title of Newspaper or Magazine. Retrieved from URL
Van Bastelaer, S. (2017, March 28). Is it time to take your snow tires off? The Toronto Star. Retrieved from https://www.thestar.com/news/starweather/2017/03/is-it-time-to-take-your-snow-tires-off-.html
Author's Last Name, First Initial. Second Initial if given. (Year, Month Day). Title of article. Title of Newspaper or Magazine, p. page number or section number if available. Retrieved from Persistent link from Library Database
Ahsan, S. (2016, June 22). All access: Toronto's tangled art gallery is bringing so-called outsiders in.The National Post. p. B.8. Retrieved from http://login.library.sheridanc.on.ca/login?url=http://search.proquest.com.library.sheridanc.on.ca/docview/1798936725?accountid=3455
Note: If the article is available outside of the database, such as on the newspaper/magazine’s website, include the URL for the homepage of that website instead of the database link.
Author's Last Name, First Initial or Username if name not given. (Year blog was published, Month Day). Title of blog post [Blog post]. Retrieved from URL
McAdoo, T. (2015, April 15). Re: Using italics for technical (or key) terms. [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2015/04/using-italics-for-technical-or-key-terms.html
Note: If the real name of the person who created the blog post isn't given, provide their user name in the author field.
Author's Last Name, First Initial. or Full Name of Group [Twitter user name]. (Year, Month Day of tweet). Text of the Tweet [Tweet]. Retrieved from URL for the tweet
APA Style [APA_Style]. (2019, May 14). Tip: Do not hyphenate a compound that includes an adverb ending in "ly." Examples: "widely used text" not "widely-used text" "randomly assigned participants" not "randomly-assigned participants" [Tweet]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/APA_Style/status/1128340233219661824
Director/Producer/Podcast Host Last Name, First Initial. Second Initial if available. (Role in podcast e.g. Host, Director, Producer). (Year, Month Day). Title of episode: Subtitle [Audio podcast]. Name of Podcast. Retrieved from URL
Gilbert, E. (Host). (2015, July 13). Do what ignites your soul [Audio podcast]. Magic Lessons. Retrieved from http://podbay.fm/show/1018969048/e/1436813857?autostart=1
The most common MLA Works Cited examples. This is not a exhaustive list, so refer to your college library guide for a comprehensive overview.
Author's Last Name, First Name. Title of Book: Subtitle if Any. Edition if given and is not first edition, Publisher, Year of Publication.
Martin, Sue. Take a Look: Observation and Portfolio Assessment in Early Childhood. Pearson, 2010.
Author's Last Name, First Name. Title of eBook. Publisher, Year of Publication. Name of Library Database, eBook URL.
Connelly, Jacqueline, and Patrick Forsyth. Essay Writing Skills: Essential Techniques to Gain Top Marks. Kogan Page, 2012. EBSCO eBook Collection, login.library.sheridanc.on.ca/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com.library.sheridanc.on.ca/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=430348&site=ehost-live&scope=site.
Editor's Last Name, First Name, editor(s). Title of Book. Publisher, Year of Publication.
Fetherling, George, editor. The Vintage Book of Canadian Memoirs. Vintage Canada, 2010.
Author's Last Name, First Name. "Title of Article." Title of Journal, Volume, Issue, Year, pp. First page number-Last page number. Name of Library Database, URL or DOI.
Note: if there is not DOI on the article, then use the permanent link to the article as the URL.
Harwood, Nigel, and Bojana Petric. "Performance in the Citing Behavior of Two Student Writers." Written Communication, vol. 29, no. 1, 2012, pp. 55-103. SAGE Journals, doi:10.1177/0741088311424133.
First Author's Last Name, First Name, et al. "Title of Article: Subtitle if Given." Title of Journal, Volume, Issue, Year, pp. page numbers. Name of Database, DOI or URL.
Hobday, Alistair, et al. "Climate Impacts and Oceanic Top Predators: Moving from Impacts to Adaptation in Oceanic Systems." Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, vol. 23, no. 4, 2013, pp. 537-546. Springer, doi:10.1007/s11160-013-9311-0.
Author's Last Name, First Name. "Title of document." Title of Website, Date, URL. Accessed Day Month Year.
Mitchell, Sandra D. "The Import of Uncertainty." PhilSci Archive, 2000, philsci-archive.pitt.edu/162/. Accessed 16 Oct. 2016.
Group or Corporate Name. “Title of Document.” Title of Website, Year, URL.
Canadian Cancer Society. "How We Can Help?" Canadian Cancer Society, 2017, www.cancer.ca/en/support-and-services/support-services/how-we-can-help/?region=on.
"Title of Document." Title of Website, URL. Accessed Day Month Year.
"Does Anyone Understand Quantum Mechanics?" Physics.org, www.physics.org/featuredetail.asp?id=33. Accesed 20 Aug. 2016.
Instructor's Last Name, First Name. "Title of Lecture/PowerPoint slides." Course Name, Date of Presentation, Name of Academic Institution. Microsoft PowerPoint presentation.
Smith, John. “How to Cite in MLA.” Communications 101, 15 Jan. 2016, School of Business, Algonquin College. Microsoft PowerPoint presentation.
Author of the article or chapter’s Last Name, First Name. “Title of Article.” Title of Course Pack, edited by Instructor’s First Name Last Name, Name of Academic Institution, Year of course pack publication, pp. Page range.
Bigelow, Bill, and Bob Peterson. “Structural Adjustment Policies: Innocent Name, Deadly Consequences.” Exploring Our Global Village: Readings CULT 14857G, edited by Jacqueline Fraser, Sheridan College, 2016, pp. 33-37.
Note: The best way to cite course packs is to treat them as a chapter in an edited book.
Instructor's Last Name, First Name. "Title of Handout." Course Name, Date Received, Name of Academic Institution. Class handout.
Smith, Joan. “Effective Google Searching.” Life 1000, 17 Sept. 2018, Sheridan College. Class handout.
"Title of Video." Title of Website, uploaded by Author's First and Last Name or Username, Day Month Year published, URL.
"Avoiding Plagiarism." YouTube, uploaded by Sheridan Library, 25 Aug. 2014, www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qP0WRY_evs.
Note: If the author of the online video is different from uploader, cite the author's name before the title of the video.
Title of Video. Contributors if available, Publisher/Production Company, Date. Title of Library Database.
Secret Life of Twins. BBC, 2015. Films on Demand.
Title of Film. Directed by First Name Last Name, performances by First Names Last Names, Production Company, Year of Release.
The Maltese Falcon. Directed by John Huston, performances by Humphrey Bogart and Mary Astor, Warner Brothers Entertainment, 1941.
Author's Last Name, First Name. "Title of Article." Name of Newspaper or Magazine, Day Month Year of publication, URL.
Ahsan, Sadaf. "Tangled, Toronto's First Accessible Art Gallery for Disabled Artists, is Bringing the Outsiders In." The National Post, 21 June 2016, news.nationalpost.com/arts/tangled-torontos-first-accessible-art-gallery-for-disabled-artists-is-bringing-the-outsiders-in.
Author's Last Name, First Name. "Title of Article." Name of Newspaper, Day Month Year, pp. number if given. Name of Database, DOI or URL.
Chen, Dalson. "U of W Battles Plagiarism; 35 Cases Last Semester." The Windsor Star, 8 Feb. 2013, p. A1. Canadian Newsstand, ra.ocls.ca/ra/algologin.aspx?inst=algonquin&/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.eztest.ocls.ca/docview/1285227493?accountid=39943.
Author's Last Name, First Name or Username. "Title of Blog Post." Name of Blog, Blog Publisher if available, Day Month Year of Blog Post, URL. Accessed Day Month Year.
Naish, Darren. "If Bigfoot Were Real." Tetrapod Zoology, Scientific American Blogs, 27 June 2016, blogs.scientificamerican.com/tetrapod-zoology/if-bigfoot-were-real/. Accessed 31 Mar. 2017.
Twitter Username (Group Name or First Name Last Name if known). "The entire Tweet." Twitter, Day Month Year of Tweet, Time of Tweet, URL.
@CentennialEDU (Centennial College). "There’s a reason they call it a movement. Get ready to shake things up, starting April 3. #Amazing50 #Centennial50." Twitter, 31 Mar. 2017, 9:10 a.m., twitter.com/CentennialEDU/status/847798220268998657.
Host's Last Name, First Name, narrator/host. "Title of Episode." Title of Podcast, Season Number if given, Episode Number if given, publisher if available, Day Month Year, URL. Accessed Day Month Year.
Hardwick, Chris, host. "Anna Kendrick Returns." Nerdist, Episode 837, 8 Nov. 2016, nerdist.com/nerdist-podcast-anna-kendrick-returns/. Accessed 31 Mar. 2017.
If you’re struggling with your citations, don’t worry! There’s lots of help available.
Start with your own college’s citation help resources. You’ll find the links below. Many college libraries provide citation examples for different formats (e.g. journals, websites, YouTube videos, etc.), and quick reference PDF guides that you can print or download. Feel free to check out other college’s help pages if you’re not finding what you need.
There is also lots of citation instruction and assistance online. You’ll find links to a few websites and YouTube channels below.
Every single use of someone else’s work in your paper must be acknowledged. You do this by adding an in-text citation, sometimes called a parenthetical reference (which means in parenthesis), right before or after the use of someone else’s idea.
An in-text citation is a short indication of someone else’s work, embedded right in the body of your paper. Information typically included in an in-text citation is (author year page number), but this is style dependent.
Here are two examples of in-text citations:
Every single in-text citation must have a corresponding full reference/works cited entry at the end of the paper. You have to have both an in-text citation and a detailed reference in order for the citation to be complete.
For more instructions and examples for in-text citations, please see your college citation guide, or refer to Seneca's In-Text Citation pages:APA in Minutes: In-text Citations Video Transcript (PDF) Opens in a new window
The References/Works Cited page contains detailed information about a particular source. This detailed reference is on a separate page at the end of your paper. It is arranged alphabetically by author’s last name. Be sure to double check capitalization and punctuation for the citation style you are using.
Tips for creating a reference list or works cited page
Note: refer to the citation manual or style guide for correct punctuation and capitalization
Sometimes it’s hard to know where to look to find the information you need to create a citation. Different types of sources require different information to be included in the reference page.
This information is usually one of the first things you can locate pretty easily. If you are looking at a book, the author(s) can be found on the front cover. Journal articles have author(s) listed on the first page of the article or on the title page if there is one.
When looking at websites, it’s hard to know where to locate the author. Do a bit of digging. Is there an about us/me section? Is the author listed by the last modified or copyright date on the bottom of the page. Is there a logo? Sometimes the author of a website can be a corporation or an organization. We call these corporate or group authors.
Sometimes publication dates can be found on the very first page of the article you are looking at. You may have to look around on both the top and bottom of the first page.
Books include this info by the copyright symbol on the verso.
Websites can be tricky. Sometimes a last modified date is found on the bottom of the page. This can also be a copyright date. If there is no identifiable date, it’s perfectly acceptable to put (n.d.). This indicates there is no date found on the page you are looking at.
This can get confusing for many people. You want to make sure you know what you are citing. Most of the time, you will want to record the title of what you are looking at whether it’s the title of the book or the particular page you are looking at on a website. Usually that’s all you need and these are italicized in the reference. However, when you are citing journal, newspaper and magazine articles, you have to include both the title of the article and the title of journal/newspaper/magazine. These are usually italicized on the reference page instead of the title of the article.
DOI stands for digital object identifier.
A DOI is a unique number assigned to journal articles only. It acts as a URL to that particular article. Not all journal articles have a DOI. DOI information is easily identifiable. It almost always includes the words DOI followed by a combination of letters or numbers. It’s usually on the first page of the journal article but can also be found beside the title of the journal.
Don’t panic if information is missing in a citation. Some citation styles are pretty flexible when it comes to missing information.
Sometimes a journal may not include a volume or an issue number, and that’s perfectly fine. It’s okay to leave that information out.
Work with what you have available to you. If it’s not there, no need to include anything.
This is not the case for publication dates. If there is no date, simply put (n.d.) in place of a year.