menu

How to Cite an Assessment in APA


Medical professionals write initial and ongoing assessments of their patients, noting symptoms, diagnoses, behavioral history and other valuable information. These assessments are useful resources when writing a research paper on a specific condition or demographic. For most medical writing, follow the guidelines set forth by the American Psychological Association (APA).

Size and Spacing

The Purdue Online Writing Lab notes that APA requires specific spacing and formatting for References. Like the rest of the paper, the References appear in 12-point font (preferably Times New Roman), with double-spacing. Margins always measure one inch on each side. The title of the page, "References," appears at the top center, in plain text.

References are listed in alphabetical order by the author's last name. Make the first line of each citation flush against the left margin, with all subsequent lines indented by 1/2-inch, which is referred to as "hanging indent" paragraph style.

APA Citation Basics

Unlike the Modern Language Association (MLA), which offers highly specific guidelines for citing unique sources, the APA provides a fairly limited number of reference formats. This does not mean that the APA forbids certain references, however. Chelsea Lee, a writer at the APA Style Blog, advises scholars to "choose the example that is most like your source and follow that format. Sometimes you will need to combine elements of more than one reference format."

Minimum Citation Information

Regardless of the format used, each citation must include certain information, according to guidelines from Lake Sumter State College. Before you write your Reference section, note the following:

Author or Editor: List all authors last name and first initial. List editors of anthologies by first initials and last names.

Date of Publication: Include the year at the very least. Find the month and date of the assessment if possible.

Title: Titles include the title of the assessment itself, in plain text and quotation marks, and the periodical, in italics.

Publication: The book or anthology in which the assessment appears. Include the citation information from the original resource if the assessment was reprinted.

Final Format

Begin with the author's names, separating them by commas and an ampersand at the end, followed by a period. Next, write the year of publication in parentheses and follow with a period. Follow with the title of the assessment, in plain text with only the first word of the title capitalized, and a period. If the assessment was printed in a book or anthology, type "In," the editor's initials and last name, the title of the collection, the pages on which the assessment appears and the publisher's information. Include the bibliography of original publications in parentheses afterwards. Moorpark College provides the following example:

Freud, S. (2006). Analysis of a phobia in a five-year-old boy. In T.B. Pastor (Ed.) Classic Readings in Psychoanalysis. (pp.380-388). Houston, TX: University Press. (Reprinted from The standard edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud, 13, 1914, London, England: Hogarth Press.)

About the Author

Since 2003, Momi Awana's writing has been featured in "The Hawaii Independent," "Tradewinds" and "Eternal Portraits." She served as a communications specialist at the Hawaii State Legislature and currently teaches writing classes at her library. Awana holds a Master of Arts in English from University of Hawaii, Mānoa.

Photo Credits
  • Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images