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CRJU 3020: Research Methods In Criminal Justice: APA/Citing

This guide will help you find information and resources on research methods. Click on the various links to access library resources plus reliable, relevant websites.

APA Style Guides

American Psychological Association a.k.a. the APA style guide online:

Citation Software

Zotero is a free FireFox plug-in that provides an alternative for collecting, managing, and citing research sources.

Endnote is a widely used bibliographic reference software program that can help you organize your citations. It is free to Georgia State faculty, staff and students. 

APA citation basics

This is the basic in-text APA form: (Critser, 2003, p. 5).  If the author's name is mentioned in the text, it can be omitted from the citation.

Bibliographic entries are alphabetized under the heading "References."  For scholarly journal articles, the following information should be listed, in this order: authors' names; year of publication; article title; journal title; volume number; issue number; page numbers.  For articles retrieved electronically, the digital object identifier (doi) number should be given if available.

For books, the following should be listed, in this order: authors' or editors' names; date of publication; book title; edition (if other than first); place of publication; publisher's name.

For websites, the following should be listed, in this order: author; date; title; date retrieved; URL.

NOTE: APA recommends that citations be double-spaced.  Check with your professor to see if this is required for your paper.

Research Tip: Cite as you go. Even if you're not sure whether you will use a source, it's much easier to note the citation information up front than to not and realize you need it later!  Careful citing will also allow you to avoid plagiarism.

Citing Articles

Citation to print journal article:

Fazlioglu, Y., & Baran, G. (2008). A sensory integration program on sensory problems for children with autism. Perceptual & Motor Skills, 106, 116-422.

(Note: If you are citing the PDF format of an article retrieved electronically from a database, the PDF format is exactly the same as the print and can be cited as print.  Most scholarly journals are also continuously paginated throughout a volume.  The issue number is unnecessary to include unless the issues are paginated separately. You may want to confirm that this approach is acceptable for your project.)

Goldstein, G., Luther, J. F., Jacoby, A. M., Haas, G. L., & Gordon, A. J.  A preliminary classification system for homeless veterans with mental illness.  Psychological Services, 5, 36-48. doi:10.1037/1541-1559.5.1.36

APA is now recommending that the Digital Object Identifier (DOI) be included if available because this number is unique and permanent and will allow for accessing the citation through the Internet without knowing the specific database from which it was retrieved.

Citing Books

Reference list example:

Perkins, K. A., Conklin, C. A., & Levine, M. D.  (2008).  Cognitive-behavioral therapy for smoking cessation: A practical guidebookto the most effective treatments.  New York: Routledge.

In-text citation formats:

(Perkins,  Conklin & Levine, 2008)

Perkins, Conklin, and Levine (2008) found....

Subsequent citations, 3 to 5 authors: (Perkins et al.)

For citations with six or more authors, include only the first author's last name and et al. for in-text citations.  In-text citations for articles are essentially the same as for books.

Edited book:

Heilbrun, K, Goldstein, N. E. S., & Redding, R. E. (Eds.)  (2005).  Juvenile delinquency: Prevention, assessment, and intervention.   New York: Oxford University Press.

Chapter in book:

Palmer, E. J. (2008).  Criminal thinking.  In D. Carson, R. Milne, F. Pakes, K. Shalev, & A. Shawyer (Eds.), Applying psychology to criminal justice (pp. 147-165).  New York: John Wiley.

Citing Web Pages

Format for non-peer-reviewed web sources:

Insurance Information Institute. (2008, October).  Cellphones and driving.  Retrieved from

These include sources such as reports, brochures, fact sheets, press releases, and newsletter articles.  Include the date retrieved only if the date is not included in the site and the content is likely to change.

APA Annotation

Sample APA Annotation

Ehrenreich, B. (2001). Nickel and dimed: On (not) getting by in America. New York, NY: Henry Holt and Company.

In this book of nonfiction based on the journalist's experiential research, Ehrenreich attempts to ascertain whether it is currently possible for an individual to live on a minimum-wage in America. Taking jobs as a waitress, a maid in a cleaning service, and a Walmart sales employee, the author summarizes and reflects on her work, her relationships with fellow workers, and her financial struggles in each situation.
An experienced journalist, Ehrenreich is aware of the limitations of her experiment and the ethical implications of her experiential research tactics and reflects on these issues in the text. The author is forthcoming about her methods and supplements her experiences with scholarly research on her places of employment, the economy, and the rising cost of living in America. Ehrenreich’s project is timely, descriptive, and well-researched.

The annotation above both summarizes and assesses the book in the citation. The first paragraph provides a brief summary of the author's project in the book, covering the main points of the work. The second paragraph points out the project’s strengths and evaluates its methods and presentation. This particular annotation does not reflect on the source’s potential importance or usefulness for this person’s own research.

For information on formatting APA citations, see our APA Formatting and Style Guide.