How to Cite a Case Study in APA Format

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Researchers in the behavioral and social sciences often use case studies to analyze new phenomena. The sixth edition of the "Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association" offers style and format guidelines for these writers. However, a case study does not have its own citation style. Instead, reference the book or journal that published the study.

In-Text Citation

After discussing a case study in text, include a reference citation within parentheses. Insert the author's last name, a comma and the date, such as (Doe, 1998). If you mention the author in text, omit the name.

Book Reference

Include in-text citations of case studies on the References page. For a book, begin with the author's last name, a comma, initials and a period. Put the publication date inside parentheses. Add a period. Insert the italicized title of the book in sentence case and a period. Conclude with the publication location, a colon, the publisher and a period; for example: Doe, J. (1998). Psychological case studies. New York: Psych Books.

Journal Reference

Put an in-text citation to a case study from an article on the References page. Start with the author's last name, a comma, initials and a period. Insert the year inside parentheses. Add a period. List the title of the article in sentence case followed by a period. Include the italicized title of the journal, a comma and volume number. Add a comma, the hyphenated page numbers and a period; for instance: Smith, T. (2009). An economic case study. Economics Today, 27, 156-167.


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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