APA Reference Page Review

Contributor: Melissa Kowalski. Lesson ID: 11929

Nothing's new under the sun. Admit it: Your finely-crafted essay is based on other writers' ideas. To give credit where it is due as well as provide convenience for your readers, use proper citations!



English / Language Arts
learning style
personality style
Grade Level
High School (9-12)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Your essay no doubt contains a mixed bag of resources: books, articles, and web pages. APA citation rules and formats for these sources have some things in common and some differences. This review will help you "bag" the APA style!

Throughout this series, APA Reference Page Citations, you've learned how to properly format an APA-style reference page and cite books, articles, and web pages, which are three of the most commonly-used forms of research for academic papers or projects.

If you missed or wish to review any of the previous Related Lessons, found in the right-hand sidebar, now is your chance.

As you may have noticed, citations often use the same pieces of information — if the sources have them.

  • Books, articles, and webpages all include the author's name, the name of the text (print or digital), and the date of publication.
  • Articles cite the specific page numbers of the article within the periodical containing it, as well as the volume and issue number of the periodical.
  • Web pages will include the URL or web address so the reader knows where to find the page on the Internet, and the date you accessed the material in case the page is edited between the time you accessed the web page and the time the reader views the web page.

time for review

Book citations are the foundation for all other forms of citations, because they were one of the original sources that were cited when the APA style was standardized in the 1920s. To review how to cite a book, refer to the second Related Lesson in this series. Remember that a book will cite the author's name, year of publication, book title, city and state of publisher, and the publisher's name. You can review the variations to this format by checking out the Purdue OWL's Reference List: Books. The Purdue OWL is a reliable webpage because its information is continually updated whenever revisions or new editions of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association are published. Take any additional notes you need if you are still having difficulty with writing reference citations for books.

Article citations are largely similar among magazines, scholarly journals, and newspapers, but there are slight differences based on the frequency of publication. Also, newspaper citations don't include the volume and issue number for publication, even though magazines and journal articles do. To refresh your memory on how articles from periodicals are cited, you can return to the third Related Lesson in this series, or you can refer to the Purdue OWL's webpage, Reference List: Articles in Periodicals. If you need to take additional notes on the variations you may encounter when citing an article, do so now.

Web page citations are the third type of citation you learned to write. Web pages are one of most fundamental digital sources you may use while conducting research. Just remember to evaluate a web page for its credibility! Web pages are a simple format, consisting of the author's name, date of posting, web page title, date you accessed the web page, and the URL. What makes citing a web page difficult is that some of the information for a reference page citation may be missing or difficult to locate on a web page, because there are no standards for publishing information on a web page. To review how to cite a web page, refer to the previous Related Lesson, or see the Purdue OWL's web page, Reference List: Electronic Sources (Web Publications). Write down any additional notes you may need to help you cite web pages correctly.

Once you've reviewed the citation format for all three types of sources, move on to the Got It? section to quiz your knowledge on this topic.

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