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How to Cite a Research Paper in APA

Research Paper

An APA referencing style is where you use the author and date-based citation method and insert the author’s last name and the publishing year in the actual text. This particular referencing style is put forward by the American Psychological Association and can be incorporated into social science assignments. People offering research paper help online find this specific referencing style relatively easy to set and organize.

APA refers to a style where you utilize the creator and date-based strategy for reference and addition of the creator’s last name alongside the distributing year in the simple text. This specific referring style is advanced by the American Psychological Association and can be integrated into sociology tasks. However, as a learner, you might be confused with the actual citation style to follow for the APA concept, so here we are covering the basics:

Incorporating citations in-text

Author’s name and publishing date before a quote:

You must place the author’s last name within the text and introduce the content. Now it’s time to place the publishing date in parentheses.

Example: “Reynolds (2018) notes, ‘There are multiple situations to take care of about lobsters’ (p. 109).”

Author’s name within citation, when not part of the text:

Here, you can write the author’s last name in parentheses at the end of the content or any other place where you want to cite it. When there is more than one author in the list, separate the names using commas.


  • To 2 authors:” ‘There are various factors to take care of about lobsters’ (Reynolds, 2018, p. 109).” Or, “The article claims, ‘Vampires are real and have been living in Mystic Falls for centuries’ (Gilbert & Salvatore, 2005, p.14-15).”
  • With 3-5 authors: Insert the name of all the authors consecutively at the very start of the sentence (Hammel, Hooster, Ray, & Cobble, 1978). For later citations, you will have to write down the first author’s name, followed by et al.: (Hammel et al., 1978).

Name of an organization

When quoting from an article without the author’s name, you will have to look out for the name of the publisher or organization that initiated the content.

Example: “‘Modern women are prone to cervical cancer’ (London Cancer Society, 1999, p. 3).”

When there is no organization or author

When you cannot find any names (organization or author), consider incorporating the first 1-4 words from the title within your paper.

Example: “‘Shakespeare was the greatest of all” (“Phenomenal English Literature,” 1998, p. 54).”

 Insert the publication year.

Insert a comma between the article’s title, the author’s name, and the publishing date.

Example:” ‘There are multiple features to keep in mind about lobsters’ (Reynolds, 2018, p. 189).”

Curate a reference list for citations comprising published sources

  1.  Make sure that the source is published:

You can look at the header, footer, or source title to find out the year of publication.


  • For a chapter from a book, check the front page for the name of the publishing company and the date.
  1.  Take note of the author, based on the last names and the first two initials: 

You will have to place a comma between the last name of the author and their first two initials. For cases where multiple authors exist, please make a list of their last names and initials separated by a comma.


  • “Warner, R. N.” Or, “Peek, G. H., Fedrick, S. M., & Mill, O. N.”
  1.  Insert the year of publication along with a period

Insert a period between the name of the author/organization followed by the year of publication.


  • “Warner, R. G. (2018).” Or, “London Cancer Society. (2020).” 
  1.  Create a list for the title of the paper.

Incorporate the entire topic of the research paper within the citation.


  • “Warner, R. N. (2008). Brighton: Data and Research.” Or, “London Cancer Society. (2015). Women and Cervical cancer rates 10-25.”
  1.  Insert the name of the website from which you have taken the article from

For web-based articles, insert the URL and citation as “Retrieved From.”


  • “Bernard, N. G., Pawan, R. J., Adam, B. G., & Bedewi, V. M. (2009). Effect of vitamin C on depression among patients with multiple sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis and Relevant Disorders, 19, 121-137. Retrieved from GitMed,

When dealing with unpublished sources

  1.  Find out that the source is unpublished.

Ensure that the source you are using has not been published to date and that you can use such content in your writing.

Examples of unpublished sources:

  • Theses or dissertations (print only)
  • Articles submitted recently.
  • Papers that were rejected by publishing houses. 
  1.  For papers that are in line to get published

You will have to insert the author’s name, the article’s name, and a note regarding the publishing status.


  • Papers prepared for publication: Cobel, T. S. (1942). Fashion during world war II. Content under preparation.
  • Papers submitted for publication: Coble, T. S. (1942). Fashion during World War II. Content submitted for publication.
  • Papers accepted for publication: Coble, T. S. (1942). Fashion during World War II. Coble Tess 
  1.  Status of articles that were never going to get published

There will be situations when you will have to cite a paper that was never intended to be published. Under such a circumstance, insert the author’s name, writing date, topic name (in italics), and purpose of the content.

Example: Mike, N. R. (2009, September). The effect of World War II on human psychology. They were presented at the 25th Annual Psychology Meet in London, UK.

  1.  The status of theses and dissertations, unpublished

Include the author’s name, completion date, and the topic name in Italics.

Example: “Bottom, P. N. (2001). Shakespeare and his work (Unpublished dissertation). The University of London, London, UK.”

Final Thoughts

So, this was all you need to know regarding APA referencing style under different circumstances. Use an APA referencing generator or take help from a professional service provider to get the citations done accordingly.

Author Bio: 

Brian Woods is a professor in Sociology living in Coventry, the UK. He is a core part of and provides research essay help online to students seeking professional services. Every time you look for essay assignment help in Australia, we will start working on your order immediately. As a student, you might face several academic issues.

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