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Reference List: Common Reference List Examples

Article (with DOI)

Laplante, J. P., & Nolin, C. (2014). Consultas and socially responsible investing in Guatemala: A case study examining Maya perspectives on the Indigenous right to free, prior, and informed consent. Society & Natural Resources, 27, 231–248. doi:10.1080/08941920.2013.861554 

Toren, Z., & Iliyan, S. (2008). The problems of the beginning teacher in the Arab schools in Israel. Teaching and Teacher Education, 24, 1041–1056. doi:10.1016/j.tate.2007.11.009

According to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.; APA) guidelines for citing sources, cite the DOI number whenever one is available. The DOI stands for digital object identifier, a number specific to this article that can help others locate the source. Include an issue number for the article only if the journal is paginated by issue rather than by volume. Although most journals are paginated by volume, you may find it helptul to consult the APA Style Blog's post, "How to Determine Whether a Periodical is Paginated by Issue."

Note also that Walden University allows students to use the new DOI format detailed in the APA Style Guide to Electronic Resources, but Walden will not require this new format until it is integrated into a future 7th edition manual. For more on citing electronic resources, see Electronic Sources References.

Article (with URL)

Eaton, T. V., & Akers, M. D. (2007). Whistleblowing and good governance. CPA Journal, 77(6), 66–71. Retrieved from

If an article does not have a DOI, then write “Retrieved from” followed by the periodical’s homepage URL.

HINT: You might have to conduct an Internet search for the periodical’s homepage.


Weinstein, J. A. (2010). Social change (3rd ed.). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

American Nurses Association. (2010). Nursing: Scope and standards of practice (2nd ed.). Silver Spring, MD: Author.

Put the edition number in parentheses after the title. The edition number is not italicized.

According to the APA guidelines, you must include a state abbreviation for all locations (even well-known cities).

Lencioni, P. (2012). The advantage: Why organizational health trumps everything else in business [Kindle version]. Retrieved from

For e-books, include information on the version (Kindle, Adobe Digital Editions, etc.) and electronic access information (doi number if available or website information).

Chapter in an edited book

Christensen, L. (2001). For my people: Celebrating community through poetry. In B. Bigelow, B. Harvey, S. Karp, & L. Miller (Eds.), Rethinking our classrooms: Teaching for equity and justice (Vol. 2; pp. 16–17). Milwaukee, WI: Rethinking Schools.

Include the page numbers of the chapter.

Course materials

If you need to cite content found in your online classroom, use the author (if there is one listed), the year of publication (if available), the title of the document, and the full URL of the course page. For example, you are citing study notes titled "Health Effects of Exposure to Forest Fires," but you do not know the author's name, your reference entry will look like this:

Health effects of exposure to forest fires [Lecture notes]. (2005). Retrieved from

If you do know the author of the document, your reference will look like this:

Smith, A. (2005). Health effects of exposure to forest fires [Lecture notes]. Retrieved from

A few notes on citing course materials:

  1. The title will not be in italics; it is treated like an article title, per APA.
  2. The type of course material appears within the brackets and may vary. Some examples:
    1. [Lecture notes]
    2. [Course handout]
    3. [Study notes]
  3. It can be difficult to determine authorship of classroom documents. If an author is listed on the document, use that. If the resource is clearly a product of Laureate (such as the course DVDs or tutorials), use Laureate Education as the author. If you are unsure or if no author is indicated, place the title in the author spot, as above.
  4. If you cannot determine a date of publication, you can use n.d. (for "no date") in place of the year.

Note: The web location for Laureate course materials is not directly retrievable without a password, and therefore, following APA guidelines, you should use the main URL for the class sites:

Dictionary entry

Leadership. (2011). In Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary. Retrieved from

In a paper, you might want to define a word using an online dictionary where there is no set author or editor. An example of this would be Merriam-Webster’s:

Because there is no author, start your reference with the entry title (or, in the case of a dictionary, the word). Then provide year, the title of the online work, and the URL.

Discussion board posting

Osborne, C. S. (2010, June 29). Re: Environmental responsibility [Online discussion post]. Retrieved from

Dissertations and theses

Retrieved from a database (per APA, p. 208, #40):

Kirwan, J. G. (2005). An experimental study of the effects of small-group, face-to-face facilitated dialogues on the development of self-actualization levels: A movement towards fully functional persons (Doctoral dissertation). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Full Text database. (UMI No. 3159996)

If you retrieved the dissertation from an institutional or personal website (per APA, p. 208, #41):

Kirwan, J. G. (2005). An experimental study of the effects of small-group, face-to-face facilitated dialogues on the development of self-actualization levels: A movement towards fully functional persons (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from

Follow this format for an unpublished dissertation or thesis (per APA, p. 207):

Kirwan, J. G. (2005). An experimental study of the effects of small-group, face-to-face facilitated dialogues on the development of self-actualization levels: A movement towards fully functional persons (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center, San Francisco, CA.


Laureate Education (Producer). (2009). Title of program here [DVD]. In Title of video here. Baltimore, MD: Author.

You will actually use the word “Author” here, as this indicates that the publisher is identical to the author listed in the reference.

ERIC Document

The sixth edition of the APA manual gives writers two options for a document retrieved from the ERIC database.

The first option can be found on p. 204, No. 22. Use this option when citing a limited-circulation book or monograph.

Rivers, H. (Ed.). (2007). Title of document here. Retrieved from

The second can be found on p. 212, No. 62.

Kubista, A. (2007). Title of document in italics. Retrieved from ERIC database. (ED345022)

Essential Guide to APA Style for Walden Students

Laureate International Universities. (2014). Essential guide to APA style for Walden students. Retrieved from

For in-text and parenthetical citations, use Laureate International Universities as the author.

Legal material

The 6th edition APA manual devotes Appendix 7.1 to information on citing legal materials such as statutes and court decisions. For these types of references, APA follows the recommendations of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, so if you have any questions beyond the examples provided in APA, seek out that resource as well.

Court Decisions

Reference format: Name v. Name, Volume Source Page (Court Date).

Sample reference entry: Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954).

Sample in-text citation: In Brown v. Board of Education (1954), the Supreme Court ruled racial segregation in schools unconstitutional.

Note: Italicize the case name when it appears in the text of your paper.



Reference format: Name of Act, Volume Source § section number (year).

Sample reference entry for a federal statute: Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1400 (2004).

Sample reference entry for a state statute: Minnesota Nurse Practice Act, Minn. Stat. §§ 148-171-285 (2010).

Sample in-text citation: Minnesota nurses must maintain current registration in order to practice (Minnesota Nurse Practice Act, 2010).

Note: The § symbol stands for "section." To find this symbol in MS Word, go to "Insert" and click on Symbol." Look in the "Latin 1-Supplement" subset.

Note: U.S.C. stands for "United States Code."

Note: Use the § symbol twice to indicate a range of sections.

Note: List the chapter first followed by the section or range of sections.


Unenacted Bills and Resolutions

(Those that did not pass and become law)

Reference format: Title [if there is one], bill or resolution number, xxx Cong. (year).

Sample reference entry for Senate bill: Anti-Phishing Act, S. 472, 109th Cong. (2005).

Sample reference entry for House of Representatives resolution: Anti-Phishing Act, H.R. 1099, 109th Cong. (2005).

Sample in-text citation: The Anti-Phishing Act (2005) proposed up to 5 years prison time for people running Internet scams.

These are the three legal areas you are most apt to cite in your scholarly work. For information on citing the Constitution, see the APA Style blog.

Magazine article (retrieved online)

Clay, R. (2008, June). Science vs. ideology: Psychologists fight back about the misuse of research. Monitor on Psychology, 39(6). Retrieved from

Example from p. 200 of the APA style manual. Note that for in-text citations, include only the year: Clay (2008).

Newspaper article (retrieved online)

Baker, A. (2014, May 7). Connecticut students show gains in national tests. New York Times. Retrieved from

Include the full date where you would otherwise use just the year. Do not include a retrieval date for periodical sources found on websites. When the actual website of the article requires membership, give the homepage or landing page URL. Note that for in-text citations, you should include only the year: Baker (2014).

Online video/webcast

Laureate Education (Producer). (2013). An overview of learning [Video file]. Retrieved from

Use this format for online videos such as Laureate videos in classrooms. Most of our classroom videos are produced by Laureate Education, which will be listed as the author in your reference and citation.

Note that the speaker in the video does not appear in the reference list entry, but you may want to mention that person in your text. For instance, if you’re viewing a video where Tobias Ball is the speaker, you might write the following: Tobias Ball (Laureate Education, 2013) stated that APA guidelines ensure a consistent presentation of information in student papers. For more information on citing the speaker in a video, see our page on Common Citation Errors.

PowerPoint presentation

Barron, J. F. (2008). Self-efficacy in today’s high school classrooms [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from

Technical and research reports

Edwards, C. (2015). Lighting levels for isolated intersections: Leading to safety improvements (Report No. MnDOT 2015-05). Retrieved from the Center for Transportation Studies website:

Technical and research reports by governmental agencies and other research institutions usually follow a different publication process than scholarly, peer-reviewed journals. However, they present original research and are often useful for research papers. Sometimes, researchers refer to these types of reports as gray literature, and white papers are a type of this literature. See APA 7.03 for more information.

Walden University course catalog

To include the Walden course catalog in your reference list, use this format:

Walden University. (2012). 2012-2013 Walden University catalog. Retrieved from

If you cite from a specific portion of the catalog in your paper, indicate the appropriate section and paragraph number in your text:

...which reflects the commitment to social change expressed in Walden University's mission statement (Walden University, 2012, Vision, Mission, and goals section, para. 2).

And in the reference list:

Walden University. (2012). Vision, mission, and goals. In 2012-2013 Walden University catalog. Retrieved from

Website content

American Federation of Teachers. (n.d.). Community schools. Retrieved from

If there is no specified author then use the organization’s name as the author. Include a retrieval date only if the content could change over time (i.e., is not archived or does not have a permanent link).