menu

How to Write a Journal Entry in APA Format


The American Psychological Association (APA) style began as a way to simplify scientific writing. APA is also used by many college professors and students when submitting academic essays. APA style incorporates a set of rules that guide the writer in such tasks as formatting a reference list. Journal citations in particular must be entered in a certain fashion to conform to APA style. Knowing the APA guidelines for citing journal entries is important for the credibility of both your sources and your article, book or essay.

Format journals with continuous pagination using these items in this order: author last name, author first initial, author middle initial, year of publication, title of work in full, name of publication, volume number, and pages referenced. For example:

Loftus, E. F. (1993). The reality of repressed memories. American Psychologist, 48, 518-537.

Note that in an actual citation, the name of the publication and the volume number would be in italics.

Cite non-paginated journals using these items in this order: author last name, author first initial, author middle initial, year of publication, title of work in full, name of publication, volume number, issue number, and pages referenced. For example:

Hubel, D. H. & Wiesel, T. N. (1979). Brain mechanisms of vision. Scientific American, 241(3), 150-164.

Note that in an actual citation, the name of the publication and the volume number would be in italics.

List a referenced journal article accessed online using these items in this order: author last name, author first initial, author middle initial, year of publication, title of work in full, name of publication, volume number, issue number, pages referenced, and DOI number. For example:

Ku, G. (2008). Learning to de-escalate: The effects of regret in escalation of commitment. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 105(2), 221-232. doi:10.1016/j.obhdp.2007.08.002

Note that in an actual citation, the name of the publication and the volume number would be in italics.

Enter journal articles from a subscription database using these items in this order: author last name, author first initial, author middle initial, year of publication, month of publication, day of publication, title of work in full, name of publication, volume number, issue number, pages referenced, name of website, and URL. For example:

Colvin, G. (2008, July 21). Information worth billions. Fortune, 158(2), 73-79. Retrieved from Business Source Complete, EBSCO. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com

Note that in an actual citation, the name of the publication and the volume number would be in italics.

Tips
  • When there are more than seven authors, list the first six authors followed by an ellipsis and the last author. For example:
  • Burger, J., Gochfeld, M., Jeitner, C., Burke, S., Stamm, T., Snigaroff, R., . . . Weston, J. (2007). Mercury levels and potential risk from subsistence foods of the Aleutians. Science of the Total Environment, 384, 93-105. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2007.05.004
  • Note that in an actual citation, the name of the publication and the volume number would be in italics.
About the Author

Johnny Kilhefner is a writer with a focus on technology, design and marketing. Writing for more than five years, he has contributed to Writer's Weekly, PopMatters, Bridged Design and APMP, among many other outlets.

Photo Credits
  • association_b image by Andrey Kiselev from Fotolia.com