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Citation Guides: APSA Style

Quick reference to frequently used citation formats for APA, APSA, Chicago/Turabian, and MLA styles. For more information, please reach out to you Friendly Lanier Tech Librarian.

More Information

APSA style format can be complex.  For more information on how to cite other common sources or for more in depth explanations of citation formats, please open the pdf below, refer to the official APSA Guide (found in your campus library and, or consult with your instructor or campus librarian.

General Format Requirements

Margins:  1" on all four edges of the page

Font:  Choose a single, readable, and widely available font such as Times New Roman or Arial. In general, use the equivalent of at least ten-point Arial or twelve-point Times New Roman for the body of the text. (Some fonts like Arial, take up more space on a line and appear larger than other fonts at the same point size.

Spacing and Indentation:  Double-space all text in paper except the following items, which should be single-spaced:  block quotations, table titles and figure captions, and lists in appendixes

The following items should be single-spaced but with a blank line between each item:  certain elements in the from matter, including the table of contents and any list of figures, tables, or abbreviations, footnotes or endnotes, and bibliographies or reference lists

For single spacing, a setting of up to 1.15 lines may be allowed. Put only one space, not two, between sentences. Use tabs or indents rather than spaces for paragraph indentation and to adjust other content requiring consistent alignment.*

*pp.384-385, A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations: Chicago Style for Students and Researchers, 9th. ed.

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Print Book

APSA print book citation format with example.

Electronic Book

APSA electronic book format with example.

Scholarly Article from a Library Database

APSA scholarly article from a library database citation format with example.



APSA video format with example.

From Films on Demand

Court Case

In-Text Citations

How to Insert an In-Text Citation into Your Paper

No comma separates a parenthetical citation from the sentence. The citation usually resides at the end of a sentence before the punctuation. (With quotes, the citation follows the end quotation mark and before the punctuation.)  The main exceptions to this rule are with block quotes, where the citation appears after end punctuation, and when the author is mentioned in the text in any form. If the author is mentioned in the text, even if used in a possessive form, the year must follow in parenthesis.

Brief notes on sources appear in the text as citations, providing immediate source information without interrupting the flow of argument. A citation usually requires only the last name of the author(s), year of publication (n.d. if it is forthcoming), and (sometimes) page or chapter numbers," (APSA, 17). Parenthetical or in-text citations follow author-date citation method (i.e., author's last name and publication year) although there is some variation:

  • Taylor (2000) analyzed polling data . . .
  • In a recent study of polling data (Taylor 2000) . . .
  • In 2000, Taylor evaluated polling data . . .
  • Several studies (Taylor 2000; Juarez, 2002; Peters & Lester, 2004) show that…
  • According to Taylor (2000, 24), “as society continues to undergo…”
  • For a lucid assessment, see Ripley (2008).
  • Trish (1988) sharply disagrees.
  • “Do, or do not. There is no try” (Yoda 1980).

Parenthetical citations in the notes of a manuscript follow the same guidelines as in-text citations.


Special Cases

Include a first initial (and so on) if a source’s author shares a last name, but not a first, with another source.

(B. Ripley 1988; R. Ripley 1964)

When an organization is the author, include a short form or acronym in parentheses (or in brackets in parentheses) immediately after the first reference and use the acronym thereafter.

US International Trade Commission (1978, 12; hereafter USITC) then (USITC 1978, 16).

Legal and Public Documents

Legal and public documents are not included on a reference list. Authors should make every effort to integrate the reference directly into the text.

A parenthetical citation to a statute or court case should include the name of the case (in italics except for v.) or statute and the year.

(Baker v. Carr 1962)


From:  American Political Science Association. 2018. Style Manual for Political Science, Revised 2018 Edition. Washington, DC: American Political Science Association.