The Center for Writing Studies

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Navigation: Quick Links

Professor writing on a chalkboard

Writers Workshop: Writer Resources

American Psychological Association (APA): Typical Periodicals

Once you are familiar with the basic pattern to APA journal references, it is relatively easy to format a variety of journal references, no matter how strange the journal may seem.

Points to Note:


Authors are listed with the last name first, followed by a comma and the initial of the first name. Include the last name and the first initial for all authors. For an article with multiple authors, separate the names with commas after the initials. Include an ampersand before the last author. For example: Parham, K., Fischer, C., & Austin, K. If there is no author given, treat the article title as the author, and move it into the author slot before the publication date. If the author is a corporate group, spell out the full name of the corporate author. Signal the end of the author element with a period.

Date of publication

Enclose in parentheses the year the text was copyrighted. Type a period outside the parentheses to finish the element. For non-journal periodicals, such as magazines or newspapers, give the year first, then the month and day, if specified in the publication. (See examples under "Articles in Monthly Periodicals" and "Articles in Weekly Periodicals").

Article title

Do not underline the title or place quotations around it. Capitalize only the first word of the title. If there is a subtitle, capitalize it as well. Place a period at the end of the title. If there is important information about the form of the article, this should be enclosed in brackets and placed after the title. The terminal period is placed after the bracketed information. Example: The future of writing centers [President's address].

Journal title

Include the full journal title, using upper and lowercase letters. The journal title is italicized. Follow the journal title with a comma.

Publication information

After the journal title, include the volume number in italics. Do not use the abbreviation "Vol." Do not include the issue number, unless the journal begins on page one with each issue (see the example under "Articles in Journals with Non-Continuous Pagination"). Give inclusive page numbers, i.e., the page numbers for the whole article rather than the first page. Separate the page numbers from the volume number with a comma. Include a period after the last page number. Only use the abbreviation "pp." before page numbers from newspapers. For journal articles, just include the page numbers with no abbreviation or label.

For more specific information, consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (Fifth Edition) or see the APA style website.