Periodical Bibliography Apa Formatting

Reference List: Articles in Periodicals


APA (American Psychological Association) style is most commonly used to cite sources within the social sciences. This resource, revised according to the 6th edition, second printing of the APA manual, offers examples for the general format of APA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the reference page. For more information, please consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, (6th ed., 2nd printing).

Contributors: Joshua M. Paiz, Elizabeth Angeli, Jodi Wagner, Elena Lawrick, Kristen Moore, Michael Anderson, Lars Soderlund, Allen Brizee, Russell Keck
Last Edited: 2018-02-21 02:52:10

Basic Form

APA style dictates that authors are named last name followed by initials; publication year goes between parentheses, followed by a period. The title of the article is in sentence-case, meaning only the first word and proper nouns in the title are capitalized. The periodical title is run in title case, and is followed by the volume number which, with the title, is also italicized. If a DOI has been assigned to the article that you are using, you should include this after the page numbers for the article. If no DOI has been assigned and you are accessing the periodical online, use the URL of the website from which you are retrieving the periodical. 

Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume number(issue number), pages. 

Article in Journal Paginated by Volume

Journals that are paginated by volume begin with page one in issue one, and continue numbering issue two where issue one ended, etc.

Harlow, H. F. (1983). Fundamentals for preparing psychology journal articles. Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology, 55, 893-896.

Article in Journal Paginated by Issue

Journals paginated by issue begin with page one every issue; therefore, the issue number gets indicated in parentheses after the volume. The parentheses and issue number are not italicized or underlined.

Scruton, R. (1996). The eclipse of listening. The New Criterion, 15(3), 5-13.

Article in a Magazine

Henry, W. A., III. (1990, April 9). Making the grade in today's schools. Time, 135, 28-31.

Article in a Newspaper

Unlike other periodicals, p. or pp. precedes page numbers for a newspaper reference in APA style. Single pages take p., e.g., p. B2; multiple pages take pp., e.g., pp. B2, B4 or pp. C1, C3-C4.

Schultz, S. (2005, December 28). Calls made to strengthen state energy policies. The Country Today, pp. 1A, 2A.

Letter to the Editor

Moller, G. (2002, August). Ripples versus rumbles [Letter to the editor]. Scientific American, 287(2), 12.


Baumeister, R. F. (1993). Exposing the self-knowledge myth [Review of the book The self-knower: A hero under control, by R. A. Wicklund & M. Eckert]. Contemporary Psychology, 38, 466-467.

Citing Periodicals in APA Style

Remember that entries in the Works Cited list are listed alphabetically by author.  This page deals with printed periodicals only; there is another page for online periodical databases and articles on the Internet.  

When citing periodicals, you cite the individual articles rather than an entire issue of the periodical.  This page covers articles in magazines, (scholarly) journals, and newspapers. 

The components of a References list entry for articles from periodicals, listed in the proper order:  


Formatting Details

  • For the first (or only) author, first include the author's last name, followed by a comma, followed by the author's first initial and middle initial (if known).  [Example]

  • For two or more authors, format each author's name as above.  Follow each author's name with a comma and precede the last author with an ampersand (&).  Include up to the sixth author.  For the seventh and subsequent authors use "et al."

  • If the author is a corporate or institutional publication, give the name of the corporation or institution as the author. 

  • If the work is a translation, give the original author here.  The translator will be listed later.  
  • If there is more than one work by an author on the References page, alphabetize the works by the next element.  If there are multiple authors, alphabetize by the second author.  If not, alphabetize by the publication date.  
  • If the article is unsigned, begin the citation with the article title, then publication date.  [Example]
 Period (.) (just one, i.e. not Berman, J..)
Publication Date
  • Include the four-digit year of publication. Enclose the date within parentheses.  (The ending period will be outside the parentheses.)  [Example]
  • If the article is from a monthly magazine or a journal that does not use volume numbers, give a comma, a space, and then the month.  Do not abbreviate.  If a season is given, write the season here.  [Example]
  • If the article is from a weekly (or otherwise dated) magazine or daily newspaper, give a comma, a space, and then the month and date.  Do not abbreviate the month and use digits for the date.  [Example]
  • If no date is available, write "n. d."
 Period (.) outside the parentheses
  • Include the title of the article in plain text. [Example]
  • Click here for notes on capitalization.  
 Period (.) unless there's something in the next section
Letter or Review
  • If you are citing a letter to the editor, write  "[Letter to the editor]" after the title, but before the ending period.  [Example]
  • If the article is a review, write "[Review of the type title]" before the ending period.  Fill in the type a "book," "film," or "video program."  Fill in the title appropriately, formatting it as you would if you were citing that resource. [Example]
 Period (.) outside the bracket
Magazine, Newspaper, or Journal Title
  • Italicize or underline the title of the periodical. [Example]
  • Click here for notes on capitalization.  
 Comma (,)
Volume (and Issue) Information
  • Give the volume number using digits.  Continue underlining or italicizing from the title of the periodical, and underline or italicize the ending comma.  [Example] 
  • If the article is from a scholarly journal paged separately by issue (i.e. each issue begins with page 1), give the volume number, underlined or italicized as above.  Stop underlining or italicizing and do not give a comma yet.  Put the issue number in parentheses directly following the volume number (no spaces).  [Example]
 Comma (,)
Page Number(s)
  • Include the page numbers of the article.  [Example]
  • If the article appears on consecutive pages, separate the first and last page numbers with a hyphen (-).  [Example]
  • Do not abbreviate page numbers, i.e. "205-212" instead of "205-12."  [Example]
  • If the article appears on nonconsecutive pages (starts on one and jumps to another), give each page number or range of pages, separated by commas, as is "1, 3, 5-12."  [Example]
  • For newspapers with sections, precede the page numbers with the sections, as in "A1, A3."  [Example]
  • For newspapers only, precede the page number(s) with "p." or "pp."  [Example]
 Period (.)

Read the notes on punctuation and italicization and underlining.

Citation Examples (from The Ready Reference Handbook)

(Note that what is underlined can be italicized instead. Underlining is used here to draw emphasis to the underlining or italicization of punctuation.)Begley, S. (1993, June 28). The puzzle of genius. Newsweek, 121, 46-51.
[Article in popular magazine]
Coates, J. (1991, April 21). Crowds pose threat to U.S. park system. Chicago Tribune, 121,pp. A1, A3.
[Article in daily newspaper]
Kasmer, L. (1990). Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The yellow wall-paper": A symptomatic reading. Literature and Psychology, 46(3), 1-15.
[Article in scholarly journal]
Markowitz, M. C. (1993, May). Inpatient vs. outpatient. [Letter to the editor]. APA Monitor,p. 3.
[Article in scholarly journal]
McAuliffe, K. (1995, December). The undiscovered world of Thomas Edison. AtlanticMonthly, 276, 80-93.
[Article in popular magazine]
Rafferty, T. (1995, December 18). Fidelity and infidelity [Review of the play Sense and Sensibility]. The New Yorker, 71, 124-126.
[Article in popular magazine]
Rout, K. (1979). Dream a little dream of me: Mrs. May and the bull in Flannery O'Connor's "Greenleaf." Studies in Short Fiction, 16, 233-234.
[Article in scholarly journal]
Turning Nature On and Off. (1998, September 6). Los Angeles Times, 118 p. B6.
[Article in daily newspaper]

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