February 24, 2024
Learn how to cite a journal article in APA style with this step-by-step guide. Understand the importance of correctly citing journal articles and avoid common mistakes. Examples provided.

Introduction

Citing journal articles may seem like a tedious task, but it’s an essential skill for any researcher, writer, or student. APA citation style is commonly used, and knowing how to cite journal articles properly in APA style can help you avoid plagiarism and provide credibility to your work. In this article, we’ll provide a step-by-step guide and practical tips to help you master APA citation rules for journal articles.

Understanding APA Citation Style for Journal Articles

APA citation style is a set of guidelines developed by the American Psychological Association. It is commonly used in the social sciences, including psychology, education, sociology, and communication. The key features of APA citation style include in-text citations and a reference list.

Journal article citation is crucial because it allows readers to locate and retrieve the sources used in a research project. It also gives credit to the original authors whose ideas and work you are drawing upon.

In-text citations are brief references that appear within the text of your paper. They acknowledge the sources of your ideas and help readers locate the full citation in the reference list. The reference list appears at the end of your paper and lists all the sources cited in your paper.

Mastering APA Citation for Journal Articles: A Step-by-Step Guide

Now that we understand the purpose and components of APA citation style and why journal article citation is essential let’s dive into the step-by-step guide on how to cite a journal article in APA style.

Step 1: Start with the Author’s Last Name and Initial

The first element in an APA citation for a journal article is the author’s last name and initial(s). List all authors by their last name and the first initial of their first name. Separate multiple authors with a comma. If a work has no author, use the first few words of the title in the in-text citation or reference list citation.

Example: Smith, A.

Step 2: Include the Year of Publication in Parentheses

The second element in an APA citation for a journal article is the year of publication in parentheses. Place the year in parentheses, directly after the author’s name.

Example: Smith, A. (2009).

Step 3: Add the Article Title and Journal Name in Italics

The third element in an APA citation for a journal article is the article title and journal name in italics. Capitalize only the first word of the article title and subtitle, if any, and any proper nouns. Use sentence case for the journal title and italicize the title.

Example: Smith, A. (2009). The impact of social media on adolescent mental health. Journal of Adolescent Psychology.

Step 4: Indicate Volume and Issue Numbers, Followed by Page Numbers

The fourth element in an APA citation for a journal article is the volume and issue numbers, followed by the page numbers. Italicize the volume number and include the issue number in parentheses, and separate them with a comma. Then list the pages the article appears on after a comma.

Example: Smith, A. (2009). The impact of social media on adolescent mental health. Journal of Adolescent Psychology, 24(2), 61-73.

Step 5: Follow special guidelines for online journal articles, DOIs, and URLs

If you’re citing an online journal article, you may need to include a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) or a URL. A DOI is a unique identifier assigned to some journal articles; it’s a combination of letters and numbers that allows you to locate an article. A URL is the address you see in the browser’s address bar when you’re looking at a webpage.

To include DOIs or URLs in your APA citation, add them at the end of the citation after the page numbers. For DOIs, type “doi:” followed by the DOI number. For URLs, type “Retrieved from” followed by the URL.

Example with DOI: Smith, A. (2009). The impact of social media on adolescent mental health. Journal of Adolescent Psychology, 24(2), 61-73. doi:10.1111/jadp.12345

Example with URL: Smith, A. (2009). The impact of social media on adolescent mental health. Journal of Adolescent Psychology, 24(2), 61-73. Retrieved from https://www.jadp.org/article/12345

Step 6: Double-check Your Citations for Accuracy and Completeness

Once you’ve completed the citation, proofread it, and double-check for accuracy and completeness. Ensure that you have included all the required elements and have followed the guidelines for formatting and structure.

Common Pitfalls and Mistakes to Avoid When Citing Journal Articles in APA Style

Inaccurate or incomplete citations can result in plagiarism, which can have serious consequences. Other common errors include incorrect capitalization, missing information, and incorrect formatting. To avoid mistakes when citing journal articles in APA style, consider the following tips:

– Use a citation generator or reference manager tool to ensure accuracy and save time.

– Consult the APA Publication Manual for specific guidelines and examples.

– Proofread your citations carefully and ask someone else to review them.

Examples of APA Citation for Journal Articles

Here are some examples of how you can correctly cite journal articles in APA style, depending on the number of authors:

Sample Journal Article Citation with One Author

Milton, J. (2005). The impact of climate change on agricultural production. Nature, 432(7017), 28-30. doi:10.1038/nature03090

Sample Journal Article Citation with Two Authors

Johnson, C. E., & Smith, E. K. (2019). The influence of parental involvement on academic achievement. Educational Research Review, 255, 68-81. doi:10.1016/j.edurev.2019.01.010

Sample Journal Article Citation with Three to Seven Authors

Jones, R., Smith, F., Garcia, Y., Clark, A., Lee, J., & Lee, H. (2017). The effect of physical activity on cognitive function in older adults. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 25(3), 337-345. doi:10.1123/japa.2016-0122

Sample Journal Article Citation with Eight or More Authors

Johnson, E. W., Smith, F. A., Garcia, Y., Clark, A., Lee, J., Lee, H., … Taylor, R. (2018). The impact of nutrition on brain development. Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging, 22(9), 105-114. doi:10.1007/s12603-018-1039-4

Sample Online Journal Article Citation

Mitchell, C. G., & Morrison, M. (2016). The impact of video streaming on traditional television viewing. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 60(1), 91-103. Retrieved from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/08838151.2015.1127243

Conclusion

Citing journal articles in APA style may seem challenging, but with practice and adherence to the guidelines, it can become second nature. In this article, we provided a step-by-step guide and practical tips to help you master APA citation rules for journal articles. Remember to always check, proofread, and verify your citations for accuracy and completeness. By doing so, you can ensure that your work is credible, professional, and trustworthy.

If you want to learn more about APA citation, check out the APA Publication Manual or other resources available online.

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