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Literature Reviews: APA

Learn how to organize and compose a literature review

APA Overview

As a general rule, use APA style in Psychology, Education, Health Sciences, Business, and other social sciences.

The APA style rules were created by the American Psychological Association to provide standards for scientific communication and are widely used by many disciplines.

The latest edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association is the 7th Edition (2020). You can find the print copy in the Reference Area of the Library on the Writing Guide Shelf.


More APA Information

These links provide additional information on APA Documentation Guidelines.

Sample Citations for Online Resources

In Text Citations - Websites

Citing Web Pages In Text

Cite web pages in text as you would any other source, using the author and date if known. If the author is not known, use the title and the date as the in-text citation (for long titles just use the first few words). Your in-text citation should lead your reader to the corresponding entry in the reference list. For sources with no date use n.d. (for no date) in place of the year: (Smith, n.d.). Below are examples of using in-text citation with web pages.

Web page with author:

In-text citation

Role-play can help children learn techniques for coping with bullying (Kraiser, 2011).

Reference entry

Kraizer, S. (2011). Preventing bullying. Retrieved from

Web page with no author:

In-text citation

The term Nittany Lion was coined by Penn State football player Joe Mason in 1904 ("All things Nittany," 2006).

Reference entry

All things Nittany. (2006). Retrieved from

Web page with no date:

In-text citation

Establishing regular routines, such as exercise, can help survivors of disasters recover from trauma (American Psychological Association [APA], n.d.).

Reference entry

American Psychological Association. (n.d.). Recovering emotionally from disaster. Retrieved from

When to use APA?

In Psychology, Business, Education, Health Sciences and many science courses, you will be required to use APA format. Always ask your Professor what style to use before starting your paper.

Remember that most Library Databases will format your citations for you! Look for a tool or icon to CITE.

Citation Builders

Citation Builders can be a helpful tool. Be sure that you enter all the information carefully including spelling and capitalization.

You must check your citations for accuracy after they have been formatted!

Publication Manual of the APA