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How to Cite the BSA Handbook in APA


The sixth edition of the American Psychological Association Publication Manual offers style and format guidelines for the behavioral and social sciences. It includes information about citing a wide variety of sources, including books with an organization identified as the author. Use this format to cite material from the Boy Scouts of America Handbook.

Multiple Editions

The Boy Scout Handbook has been published several times over the years. Each edition contains different information. Therefore, it is essential to include the correct publication year for the in-text citation, and both the year and edition number when completing the reference page citation. If this information is not precise, the reader may be confused. In addition, the publishing location and publisher varies depending upon the edition.

In-Text Citation

When using information from the BSA handbook, there must be an in-text citation. This can be done one of two ways. As the material is included, mention the organization handbook in the text, then put the publication year in parentheses. For instance, a citation might be: "According to the Boy Scouts of America Handbook (2009), ...". Another method is to place the organization title, a comma and publication year in parentheses at the end of the sentence, such as (Boy Scouts of America, 2009).

Specific Information

When summarizing information from a specific page in the Boy Scout Handbook, include the page number within the in-text citation. Place the page number inside the parentheses after the year. Separate the two with a comma. Use "p." (without quotation marks) for "page" followed by the numeral. For example, a citation could read: (Boy Scouts of America, 2009, p. 57).

Multiple In-text Citations

If the handbook is cited more than once, the formal abbreviation for Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is used after the first citation. For the first citation, put the abbreviation inside brackets after the organization's full name, such as: (Boy Scouts of American [BSA], 2009). Use the abbreviation for all subsequent citations. An example citation utilizing the abbreviation is: (BSA, 2009).

Reference Page

When an in-text citation is used, include the material on the reference page at the end. Since there is no specific author, begin the citation with the full name of the organization followed by a period. Put the publication year in parentheses with a period on the outside. Next, write the italicized title of the book in sentence case. Since the Boy Scout Handbook has had several editions, put the version's ordinal number and ed. for "edition" inside parentheses. Follow with a period. Then list the publication location, a colon, the publisher and a period. In some editions, the BSA is identified as the publisher. In that case, cite the organization as "Author" in the publisher's section. For example, the twelfth edition of the book could be included as: Boy Scouts of America. (2009). Boy scout handbook (12th ed.). New York: Author.

About the Author

Living in upstate New York, Susan Sherwood is a researcher who has been writing within educational settings for more than 10 years. She has co-authored papers for Horizons Research, Inc. and the Capital Region Science Education Partnership. Sherwood has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from the University at Albany.

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