by Chelsea Lee
When you cannot find the example reference you need in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, choose the example that is most like your source and follow that format. Sometimes you will need to combine elements of more than one reference format.
In general, a reference should contain four elements, which you can remember as the four W’s: author name (“who”), date of publication (“when”), title of the work (“what”), and publication data (“where”). This is the basic principle behind all APA Style references.
The following series of posts culled from the APA Style archives will take you through the process, and you will be solving your own reference conundrums in no time.
The four basic elements of a reference:
- Determining the author (who)
- Determining the date of publication (when)
- Determining the title (what)
- Determining publication or source information (where)
- Citing online/website references
- Using square brackets to add nonstandard information
- Combining reference formats (the “Frankenreference”)
Finally, for an ongoing look at all reference-related posts on the Blog, check out our References category.