Reference Machine for Journal Articles - APA style

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On this page: How to do a bibliographic reference for a journal article..
Related pages: Referencing,  Reference Machines for in-text citation, a book, an edited book, a newspaper or magazine article, an Internet reference, an online image, or music.

Example. Move your mouse over the example for details:

Thumb, J. (1996). Language choice: English, Cantonese or mix? Hong Kong Polytechnic University Working Papers in ELT and Applied Linguistics, 2 (2), 37-56 .

Bibliography entry for a Journal Article
(Using the APA style, used by the English Language Centre)

Fill in the boxes, and then press the 'Create Reference' button:

1. Main author's family name: (Help) -> e.g. Wong
2. Main author's initials: (Help) e.g. W.M.

If there is a second author, fill in points 3. and 4. If there is only one author, go on to number 7.

3. Second author's family name: (Help) e.g. Chan
4. Second author's initials: (Help) e.g. W.M.

If there is a third author, fill in points 5. and 6. If there are only two authors, go on to number 7.

5. Third author's family name: (Help) e.g. Fu
6. Third author's initials: (Help) e.g. W.M.

If there are more authors, write up to 20 here, family name first, then initials;e .g. Chan, K.K., Wong L.M. If there are more than 20, include the first 19 authors’ names, then insert “…” and add the last author’s name.

7. Date of publication: e.g.
8. Title of the ARTICLE, not the Journal (Capital letter for the first letter of the first word. If there is a sub-title, use a capital letter for the first letter of the first word.): e.g. Modern linguistics: Surveying the literature
9. Name of the Journal: e.g. Journal of Linguistics
10. Volume number: e.g. 20
11. Number:
(if there is a number, if not miss it out)
e.g. 123
12. Page numbers: e.g. 2
e.g. 2-4
e.g. 21,25

 Click this button for your reference:

Click this button to empty all the boxes and start again:

For frequently-asked questions about the APA style, click here.


Author's Family Name Help:

If you can't find an author's name, for example in a newspaper or magazine, use the title of the newspaper or magazine.

Do not use 'et al.' in bibliographies: quote the names of all the authors and/or editors.

If you don't know which name is the family name and which are the other names:

  1. Look at the pages in the front of the book for the Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data. If you see the author's name with a comma after the first word, then that first word is the author's family name.
  2. Use the library catalogue to search for the title of the book, then look for the author's name.
  3. Search for the book at or Barnes and Noble, find the book by its title, then look for the author's family name.
  4. Check the list of other names.
  5. If you can't find the information in the sources above, use all of the name.

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Author's Initials Help

The author's initials are the first letters of each of the author's other names. For example, if the author is Chan Wai Man, then the initials are W. M.

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Last updated on: Tuesday, February 08, 2022