Students and practitioners alike should be familiar with the Publication Stylebook of the American Psychological Association. This is the standard for academic writing in the social sciences, which includes communication disciplines such as public relations and marketing communication.
Following are some examples, developed by Ron Smith of the Buffalo State
Communication faculty, that illustrate how the APA style is used both within
text and in the list of works cited.
Click here for more info from APA style guide
For Reference Within the Text
For Listing in 'Works Cited'
Updated January 2009
Citations should include the surname of the author(s) and the year of publication. For two authors, the citation should include the last names of both author in each reference within the text. For three or more authors, the citation should include the last names of each author on first reference and the name of the first author followed by "et al" for subsequent references within the text.
Include this information either within the text narrative or as parenthetical information. Do not include a page reference for summaries or paraphrases. Following are several examples of how a work may be cited within the text.
Smith (2008) notes that all public relations writing is meant to be persuasive.
In a professional textbook (Smith, 2008), the concept is presented that all public relations writing is meant to be persuasive.
All public relations writing is meant to be persuasive (Smith, 2008).
In 2008, Smith presented his concept that all public relations writing is meant to be persuasive.
To cite direct quotations of 40 words of less, use page references. Include the bibliographic information (author, publication date, and/or page numbers) in parentheses before the closing punctuation mark, as in the following examples:
Smith (2008) believes that "all public relations writing is an attempt to influence a group of people in some way" (p. 7).
"All public relations writing is an attempt to influence a group of people in some way" (Smith, 2008, p. 7).
To cite quotations of more than 40 words, use a free-standing block of text indented five spaces. Include the bibliographic information (author, publication date, and/or page numbers) in parentheses following the final punctuation mark, as in the following example:
Smith (2008) notes cultural considerations with Web sites:
In evaluating a Web site dealing with American Indian issues, here are some additional questions to ask about the site: Is it authentic? Is a specific tribal affiliation noted, and is the tribal name accurate. If the site claims to present a tribal view, is it authorized by the tribal government. Does the site feature images that are contemporary and respectful? (p.256)
Alphabetically list the following: Surname and initials of all authors, reversed for alphabetizing; year of publication (in parentheses); title (underlined, lower case); publishing data.
Book with single author
In text: (Smith,2008, p. 7)
As citation: Smith, R.D. (2008), Becoming a public relations writer (3rd ed). New York: Routledge/Taylor & Francis.
Book with multiple authors
In text: (Wilcox, Ault, & Agee, 2004, p. 145)
In test, subsequent reference (Wilcox et al, p. 145)
As citation: Wilcox, D. W., Ault, P. H., & Agee, W. K. (2004).Public relations: Strategies and tactics (6th ed.). New York: HarperCollins.
In text: (Laczniak & Murphy, 2002, p. 560)
As citation: Laczniak, G. R., & Murphy, P. E. (Eds.). (2002). Marketing ethics: Guidelines for managers. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.
Chapter in book
In text: (Fischer, 2003)
As citation: Fischer, R. (2003). A theoretical basis for public relations. In Public relations: The profession and the practice (6th ed.). Dubuque IA: Brown & Benchmark.
Work not available in original version
In text: Kilpatrick's advice (as cited in Smith, 2008)
As citation: Kilpatrick, J.J. Mangles and bangles and dangles [Writer's Art newspaper column]. In R.D. Smith (2008). Becoming a pubic relations writer (3rd ed.) (p.18). New York: Routledge/Taylor & FrancisCarden's study (n
In Text: (Smith, 2008)
As citation: Smith, R.D. (2008, August). Japanese Popular Media [review of the book A public betrayed: An inside look at Japanese media atrocities and their warnings to the West]. Public Relations Monthly, 23, 15-17.
In text: (Klein, 2002, pp. 66-67)
As citation: Klein, A. R. (2002). Organizational barriers to creativity... and how to knock them down. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 7, 66-72.
In text: (Fry, 2001, p. 12)
As citation: Fry, S. L. (2001, Spring). Reaching Hispanic publics with special events. Public Relations Strategist, pp. 12-14.
Newspaper article with author byline
In text: (Kalish, 2003, p. 1)
As citation: Kalish, D. E. (2003, November 8). Sincerity meets flackery at the public-relations convention. The Buffalo News, p. B1.
Newspaper article with no author byline
In text: ("Sincerity meets flackery", 2002)
As citation: Sincerity meets flackery at the public-relations convention. (2002, November 8). The Buffalo News, p. B1.
Editorial, column, etc. with author byline
In text: (Kinsley, 2004, p. 82)
As citation: Kinsley, M. (2004, May 13). Please don't quote me. [Column]. Time, p. 82.
or: Kinsley, M. (2004, May 13). Please don't quote me. [Letter to the Editor]. Time, p.83
Editorial, column, etc. with no author byline
In text: ("Playing Fair," 2004)
As citation: Playing fair (2004, January 25). [Editorial] Buffalo State College Record, p.4.
Newsletter with no author byline
In text ("Alumni Profile: Jennifer Adams on Capital Hill" 2005)
As Citation: Alumni Profile: Jennifer Adams on Capital Hill (2005, Fall). 1300 Elmwood, 3, 24.
Brochure, flier, pamphlet, etc. with organization as author
In text: (Smith Communication Counsel, 2004)
As citation: Smith Communication Counsel. (2004). Smith's tips on managing crisis communication. Buffalo NY: Author.
Encyclopedia article with author byline
In text: (Lovell, 2004)
As citation: Lovell, R.P. (2004) Public relations. World book encyclopedia (Vol. 16, p. 864). Chicago: World Book.
Encyclopedia article with no author byline
In text: ("Public relations," 2003, pp. 779-780)
As citation: Public relations (2003). New encyclopedia Britannica (Vol. 13. pp. 779-780).
Internet source for previously-published text (unchanged from
In text: (Roberts, 2002)
As citation: Roberts, S. (2002, March). Tragedy spurred innovation; Looking back at lessons learned in the Tylenol poisonings (Electronic version]. Public Relations Tactics, 5, 15-17.
Internet source for previously-published text (changed or possibly
changed from original publication)
In text: (Roberts, 2002)
As citation: Roberts, S. (2002, March). Tragedy spurred innovation; Looking back at lessons learned in the Tylenol poisonings. Public Relations Tactics, 5, 15-17. Retrieved June 26, 2004, from InfoTrac OneFile database
Internet source for document or Web site
In text: (Smith, 2004)
As citation: Smith, R.D. (n.d.). Positioning. In Reputation and image (para. 3). Retrieved November 28, 2008 from Buffalo State College, Communication Department faculty Web site: http://faculty.buffalostate.edu/smithrd/pr.reputation.htm.
In text: Smith, H. (2007)
As citation: Smith, H. (2007). Why religion matters: The fate of the human spirit in an age of disbelief. New York: HarperCollins. Available from http://library.netlibrary.com/BookDetail.aspx?id=213959
[Note: Available from... if purchased download; Retrieved from... if free download]
Online presentation slides or notes
In text: Smith (n.d.)
As citation: Smith, R.D. (2008). Public relations writing [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from Buffalo State College, Communication Department faculty Web site: http://faculty.buffalostate.edu/smithrd/pr.writing.htm.
In text: (Crystal, 2003)
As citation: Crystal, L. (Executive Producer). (2003, October 11). The MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour. New York and Washington, D.C.: Public Broadcasting System.
Segment in television series
In text: (Restak, 2004)
Restak, R.M. (2004). Depression and mood (D. Saye, Director). In J. Sameth (Producer). The mind [Television series]. New York: WNET.
In text: (Smith, n.d.) [Note: n.d. stands for "no date"]
As citation: Smith, R.D. (n.d.). A self-study seminar [Cassette recording]. Buffalo NY: Smith Communication Counsel.
Sumisu, J. (2008). Kyoto Air [Recorded by artist]. On Shakuhachi Suite [CD]. Nara, Japan: Sumisu Music.
Blog with author
In text: Sledzick W. (2008)
As citation: Sledzick, W. (2008), October 26). What defines the ethical organization. Article posted at Tough Sledding blog http://www.tighsledding.wordpress.com.
In text: Rabin (2008)
As citation: Rabin, R. (2008 October 2). Introduction to Human Communication. Audio podcast retrieved from http://www.buffalostate.edu/podcasts/2008/08/20080826_1340_rabin.mp3.
In text: (Smith, 2003) As citation: Smith, R.D. (2003, August). Psychological type and public relations: Theory, research, and applications. Paper presented at the meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
In text: (McCathrin & Smith, 2004)
As citation: McCathrin, E.Z., & Smith, R.D. (2004). Dinosaurs or dunces? Who should teach public relations? Conference proceedings [International Communications Association]. July 1996.
Interview, personal letter, etc.
In text: (E. Bernays, telephone interview, Sept. 15, 1991)
or: (Smith, R.D., personal e-mail, June 26, 2004).
As citation: APA cites personal communications in the text only, not within the list of works cited, because personal communications do not provide recoverable information for readers.