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FAQ: How do I cite this in APA format?

Citing sources is important and necessary. It can also be confusing and frustrating, even for those of us with years of experience! Complicating matters is the variety of citation formats available. Expository Writing classes here at Bentley typically teach and use the MLA (Modern Language Association) format, but business faculty rightly require students to use the APA (American Psychological Association) style, which is the citation format used in the social sciences. The APA style of formatting is better suited to citing business resources and databases. This post will focus on a few online sources that the library's reference librarians use when answering APA citation questions. It's important to note that there isn't always an exact answer to a "how do I cite this?" question, but in all cases the APA's basic guidelines can be used to construct a citation that will serve to accurately credit and lead back to an original source. Here are a few of our favorite sources for APA style help and citation examples:

Our very own reference librarians have created a comprehensive set of APA reference list examples for the library's business databases (e.g. Mintel, IBISWorld, ProQuest). This guide also covers the basics of in-text citation and provides in-text examples for paraphrasing and quotations.

This trusted source provides numerous examples for the general format of APA research papers, in-text citations and reference list pages.

  • The APA Style Blog®

The official APA Style Blog® not only answers common APA questions, but also tackles those trickier questions that arise, such as How Do I Cite a TED Talk?. There are a few blog posts that I repeatedly refer to when helping students:

    • The Generic Reference - provides a quick overview of the building blocks of an APA style citation
    • I can't find the example reference I need in the Publication Manual. What should I do? - takes a deeper look at how to determine author (including corporate authors), date, title and source information. This post also links to useful tips for citing website information and combining elements to create a "Frankenreference".
    • Missing Pieces: How to Write an APA Style Reference Even Without All the Information - presents a table that displays how to write an APA Style reference when information is missing.
    • How to Cite an Annual Report in APA Style

Also useful is the APA's free online tutorial: The Basics of APA Style

APA Style online tutorial: The Basics of APA Style®

For More Help...

Ask a Librarian

Visit the reference desk or contact a reference librarian via email, phone, text or IM/chat. You can also find answers to more library FAQs in AskUs, the library’s FAQ database.


RefWorks is a citation management tool that the Bentley Library subscribes to. It's a little like EasyBib, but more robust, and every Bentley student gets their own personal account. RefWorks helps you create bibliographies and format research papers in the citation style of your choice. RefWorks also allows you to easily organize and keep track of your references in folders in your RefWorks account. The library's RefWorks & EndNote Research Guide has more information on RefWorks.

We hope you find these resources helpful. Please let us know if you have any questions!