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Citing Sources of Information

Suggested resources for citing sources correctly

Suggested resources

Printed guides or manuals


Examples of in-text citations - APA 6th Edition

APA format follows the author-date method of in-text citation. The author's last name and the year of publication of the source must appear in the text. Include page number(s) if you need to be specific (e.g. direct quotes)

One author

... (Ritter, 2013).

OR Ritter (2013) found that ...

Two authors

... (Conway & Chang, 2001).

OR Conway and Chang (2001) found that ...

Three to five authors

Cite all authors the first time the reference occurs

... (Fischer, Perry, & Hout, 2006).

OR Fischer, Perry, and Hout (2006) found that ...

In subsequent citations, include only the surname of the first author followed by et al.

... (Fischer et al., 2006).

OR Fischer et al. (2006) found that ...

Six or more authors

... (Rogers et al., 2013).

OR Roger et al. (2013) found that ...

Citing specific parts of a source 

(e.g. direct quote)

Page number(s) must be given for a direct quote. If possible, when citing specific parts, indicate page, chapter, figure, etc.

As pointed out by Tufte (2001), "a graphical element  may also perform a design function" (p. 139).

OR It was pointed out that "a graphical element may also perform a design function" (Tufte, 2001, p. 139).

The study was built upon a framework developed by Reed (2002, Chapter 5).

Examples of reference list entries - APA 6th Edition

Reference lists in APA are arranged alphabetically by author.

When citing sources in the reference list, invert all authors’ names. Give surnames and initials for up to seven authors. When author number exceeds seven, include the first six authors’ name. Then insert three ellipsis points and add the last author’s name.

The following examples are based on information provided in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Six Edition. Or, access the downloadable PDF file.


Entire book

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Year). Title of work: Subtitle (edition.)<if not the first>. Location: Publisher.

Editor, A. A. (Ed.). (Year). Title of work: Subtitle. Location: Publisher.

Chan, T. C., & Sin, H. (2009). Construction project management: From theory to practice. Singapore: Prentice Hall.

Gibert, D. G., McClernon, J. F., Rabinovich, N. E., Sugai, C., Plath, L. C., Asgaard, G., ... Botros, N. (2004). Television: The critical view (5th ed.). Singapore: Prentice Hall.

Note: Capitalize only the first word of the title and of the subtitle, and any proper nouns.


Book chapter - in an edited book which contains a collection of chapters written by different authors and collated by editor(s)

Author of Part, A. A., & Author of Part, B. B. (Year). Title of chapter. In A. A. Editor & B. B. Editor (Eds.), Title of book: Subtitle of book (pp. xxx-xxx). Location: Publisher.

Amtenbrink, F. (2011). Securing financial independence in the legal basis of a central bank. In S. Milton & P. J. N. Sinclair (Eds.), The capital needs of central banks (pp. 83-95). New York, NY: Routledge.

Note: Italicize the book title, but not the chapter/part title.


Journal article

Article Author, A. A., & Article Author, B. B. (Year). Title of article: Subtitle of article. Title of Journal, volume number (issue number if necessary), pp-pp. doi:xx.xxxxxxxxxx

Sperry, R. W. (1986). Science, values, and survival. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 26(2), 8-24. doi:10.1177/0022167886262002

Stanev, E. V. & Kandilarov, R. (2012). Sediment dynamics in the Black Sea: Numerical modelling and remote sensing observations. Ocean Dynamics, 62, 533-53.

Note: Capitalize all the major words in the journal title. Italicize the journal title and volume number. Issue number is not given if page numbers are continuous throughout an annual volume (i.e. issue number is given only when each new issue starts on page 1). For example, the second article above is in vol. 62, issue 4,  but issue 4 does not start on page 1. The issue number is therefore not given in the citation.


Online journal article

Article Author, A. A., & Article Author, B. B. (Year). Title of article: Subtitle of article. Title of Journal, volume number (issue number if necessary), pp-pp. doi:xx.xxxxxxxxxx <or Retrieved from Internet address>

Sperry, R. W. (1986). Science, values, and survival. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 26(2), 8-24. doi:10.1177/0022167886262002

Ogletree, S. M. (2012). Pats on the back or pointing the finger: Judgments of praise and blame. E-Journal of Applied Psychology, 8(1), 18-24. Retrieved from


Newspaper article

Article Author, A. A. (Year, Month date). Title of article. Title of Newspaper, pp-pp.

Schwartz, J. (1993, September 30). Obesity affects economics, social status. The Washington Post, pp. A1, A4.

Harrabin, R. (2003, July 2). Dyslexics turn to coloured specs. BBC News. Retrieved from


Doctoral dissertation or master's thesis available from a database service

Author, A. A. (Year). Title of dissertation or thesis (Doctoral dissertation or master's thesis). Retrieved from Name of database. (Accession or Order No.)

Francis, J. (2001). Essays on globalization, unemployment, and economic geography (Doctoral dissertation). Available from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses A&I. (UMI No. 3009107)


Unpublished dissertation or thesis

Author, A. A. (Year). Title of dissertation or thesis (Unpublished doctoral dissertation or master's thesis). Name of Institution, Location.

Chow, E. P. (2010). Decade of challenge: Youth elite sports development in Hong Kong (Unpublished master’s thesis). City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.


Internet document or website

Author, A. A. (Year). Title: Subtitle. Retrieved from Source or supplier information: http://www.xxxx

Antipolis, S. (2008). Essential step achieved in the creation of the European Air Traffic Management Network. Retrieved from European Telecommunications Standards Institute website:

City University of Hong Kong. (2012). Rules on academic honesty: Effective from semester A 2012/13. Retrieved from

Healthy eating for a healthy weight. (n.d.). Retrieved from U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website:

Note: If there is no author, title moves to the first position. When no date is available, "n.d." replaces the date.


Online video file

Author, A. A. (Year, Month Day). Title of video [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.xxxx

BirdTricks. (2008, April 27). Tips for training a parrot to talk [Video file]. Retrieved from



Online forum, blog, newsgroup

Author, A. A. (Year, Month Day). Title of post [Description of form]. Retrieved from http://www.xxxx

Rampersad, T. (2005, June 8). Re: Traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions [Online forum comment]. Retrieved from


*** Please note that the guidelines for citing articles retrieved from databases can often call for the author to use his or her own judgement on whether or not to provide a URL or database name.  Most often, a DOI will be provided.  For more detailed information about citing databases in your List of References, consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, p. 198-199.

Citing Chinese sources in Chinese papers - Chinese citation styles

Chinese citation styles are generally different from English ones and there are no standardized styles. Check with your instructor for the acceptable style for your assignments. Below are some guides for reference:

中文出版物編寫格式及注意事項 (香港城市大學出版社)

學術論文寫作:中文論文格式 MLA / APA (香港中文大學自學中心) 

Citing non-English sources in English papers

A common practice is to give the original title in the reference and give the English translation in brackets.

If the source was written in a non-Latin script, such as Chinese, Japanese or Korean, transliterate the title into English alphabet. Below are two examples cited in APA style:

A book in French:

Webb, D. & Andre, C. (2008). Statistiques economiques a court terme [Short-term economic statistics]. Paris, France: Presses Universitaires de France.

A journal article in Chinese:

Liu, W. (2012). Guanyu LibQual+ tushuguan fuwu zhiliang pingjia yu shizheng yanjiu [An empirical analysis of library service quality evaluation based on the LibQual+]. Gaoxiao Tushuguan Gongzuo, 20(5), 32-36.

Citing electronic sources with no page numbers

If you are citing an electronic source which does not have any page numbers, according to the APA Publication Manual, "if paragraph numbers are visible, use them in place of page numbers.  Use the abbreviation para... if neither paragraph nor page numbers are visible. cite the heading and the number of the paragraph following it to direct the reader to the location of the quoted material" (p. 172).  For more details, consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th ed. (BF76.7 .P83), pgs. 171-172.  You may also see the following: