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APSA Citation Guide For References & Citations

APSA style citation format, which stands for American Political Science Association, generally follows format of author-date, as it is done in Chicago citing style. As becomes clear from APSA style’s name, it is used in Political Science writing assignments and when a student has a task to work with legal citations and government reports. With the countless case studies, reports, and reviews to do, APSA Citation Generator will help you to keep every source under control.

In order to help you achieve the best results and 100% accuracy, our expert writers also provide APSA citation guide. Use provided citation examples, learn page layout rules, and remember that no style is too difficult when you have 24/7 expert help available online.

APSA In-Text Citing Key Rules

We shall start with in-text citation examples for APSA style:

  • One author book citation

“Involvement in political parties and even volunteering projects, as a rule, make legal cases involving politicians biased” (Banks 2005).

According to Banks (2005), “Political parties involvement and even participation in volunteering projects, as a rule, makes legal cases with involvement of politicians highly biased”.

  • Two or more book authors

“No solutions have been provided as of yet” (King, Collins, and Lake 1996)

  • Four or more authors

“…within fair judgement” (Andrews et al. 2006)

  • Organization as author

Organization’s full name or abbreviation is used as in example:

“… as juvenile offenders become less stressed” (Australian Juvenile Justice Advocates 2015)

  • Unknown author

If no author is known, one should use organization or a source’s name as an author. For example, citing Australia Weekly, in-text citing becomes:

(Australia Weekly 2017, 12-14)

  • Authors with the same last name

In such case, add a first initial of an author to distinguish between two authors. An example:

(R. Gunner 2005; E. Gunner 2011)

  • Two or more works by the same author, same year

A semicolon is used to distinguish available sources with a letter addition. An example:

(Miller 1994a; 1994b)

If the year differs:

(Miller 1994; 2002)

  • Multiple sources in one citation

Put in-text citations in the same parenthesis in alphabetical order, separated with a semicolon:

The studies have shown that a true democracy can only be achieved in transparency of the laws (Edwards 2009; King 1997; Lange 2001)

  • Source without page number

In such case, place “np” in a citation:

“No absolute minimum could be achieved as a result of biased attitude of political parties involved” (Summers 2013, np).

Likewise, if a source does not have a date, place “nd” in citing:

“Majority of written manuscripts have not been published as of yet” (Smith nd, 154-155).

  • Electronic resources

Electronic publications in APSA citation follow the same “author – date – page” or “journal title, page, DOI” format as with any print materials. See References part of APSA guide for more information. Parenthetical system is used as in print sources.

  • Source found within another source

Such cases should be noted in every in-text citation:

“… Obviously, secretly stored information could not be immediately obtained due to several legal obligations of an original company” (Tomlin 1926, 22 as cited in Gareth 2004, 17).

Note: Original resource should be also included in References page.

  • Legal in-text citations

“However, the case has not yielded any particular results due to a lack of legal evidence that could be provided” (Bricks v. Carnings 1977).

“Under no circumstances should the legal parties be allowed to participate in disputes before confidential information is made public” (XYZ Act 1995).

APSA References List – Bibliography Formatting in APSA

The Reference list starts right after the Conclusion part. The sources are arranged alphabetically and not by format of publication, meaning that no print or journals should come first or in particular order. Use our APSA citation generator for help.

Here are the most common APSA style reference examples:

  • One book author

Carpenter, John R. 2004. The Goldsmith Coal Mining: Legal Complaints and Ethics. North Carolina: Sanders Books.

  • Two authors

Sands, Andrew N., and Paul John Hicks. 1994. Republican Rule in the United States. 4th ed. Los Angeles, CA: Friedman Publishing.

  • Books with editors

Binky, Lauren, James King, and Randy N. Rhodes, eds. 1988. Political Distribution of Natural Resources in Victoria State. Sydney University Press.

  • Book chapter citing

Wing, Graham S. 2006. “Public Administration and Political Bias.” In Authoritarian Rule and Ethnic Conflicts, ed. Colin Vandenberg and Ben A. Higgins. Jacksonville, FL: Anderssen Political Press.

  • Journal articles APSA citing

Several authors (in print or PDF):

Hanks, Richard K, and Anthony R. Karr. 2004. “Ethics in Corporate Business Failures.” Journal of Australian Politics 45 (May): 222-234.

One author (from database or a library):

Stevens, Ralf. 2003. “U.S. Sanctions: Behind The Scenes.” International Governance Analysis Journal 7 (October – November): 412-434. Academic Political Archives (November 13, 2005).

Note: Bibliographic entries for journal articles should always specify both volume and issue numbers.

  • Newspaper or Journal with no author:

Sydney Morning Herald. 2005. “Your Title.” 1 May.

  • Newspaper online

Flint, Christian. 2001. “Your Title.” Delaware Post, January 4. (October, 2018).

  • Private reports online

Hughes, Gary. 2008. “Title.” The Albert Wand Foundation. (April 1, 2009).

  • Government documents online

Australian Department of Education. Education Statistics Archive. 2007. Safety Rules in Australia’s Public Schools. (June 1, 2018).

  • Legal case citations in APSA

Mahony v. Jones. 1904. 2 U.S. (2 Hearing) 137; 3 L. Ed. 20.

  • Citing chapter in multi-author collection

Hicks, Maria G. 2004. “Foreign Politics: A Study of Cultural Legal Disputes.” In Foreign Policy Debates, eds. Darren A. Gerahty and Steve Chandler. New York: Syracuse Press, 133–144.

  • Multivolume works

Flanders, Michael. 2006. Juvenile Justice History. 2 vols. Trans. Robert Findlay. New York: Vintage Books.

  • Websites citing

Website citations follow this template order:

Author. Year. “Resource Title.” URL (Most Recent Date Accessed).

  • Social Media citing (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)

It follows this format:

Author. Social media type. Date. Time. Url

For example:

Garreth Kieran. Twitter post. September 4, 2015. 7:50 a.m.

Documentaries and films citing

In such case, use the following format:

Director(s). Release Year. Title. Studio.

If documentary in question or any other type of a video clip are freely available online, simply add URL after studio’s name. Next, add the most recent access date. As in example:

Willems, Andy. 2015. Tribal Politics. Auckland. (accessed June 12, 2017).

  • Laws and Treaties APSA citing

Use this template format:

First, provide name of the statute. Date. Source (Law Code or Statutes). Volume, section. Page in a book or url for online materials.

Note: These are the most common APSA reference examples. In majority of cases, it follows the Chicago citing style, as noted in the Style Manual for Political Science. In case of any uncertainty or confusion, remember that you can always turn to one of our online writing experts 24/7. According to our experience, even combining APSA citation generator with citation examples and rules, it is more than necessary to get your final draft checked by an experienced writer.

General APSA Style Requirements

In this chapter of our citation guide, we shall focus on general rules for Political Science citation style that are crucial for this format.

  • As Conclusion part is finished in a paper, the Reference list should start immediately. The word “References” is typed and flushed against the left margin part.
  • APSA style uses hanging indents. First line of every reference is flushed to the left with subsequent lines always indented.
  • References should be single-spaced. Place an empty line between references.
  • The sources are always arranged alphabetically.
  • The initials are not used for the authors, unless specified.
  • The titles of both books and periodicals should be written in italics.
  • When using titles for book chapters and articles, they are places in quotation marks.
  • The second element in APSA citing is always the date.
  • The words in source titles should be capitalized, except for the articles (a, the).

As a general rule for APSA style, in-text citations should be included mostly when there are references to the reports and statistics. Since APSA style is considered a derivative of Chicago style format, it is crucial to backup each statement with a source, if available and necessary.

Most college and university professors recommend focusing on the laws and legislation reports instead of websites and electronic resources for quotations since it is student’s ideas and research that have to dominate one’s paper.

In terms of fonts and spacing, APSA citations style follows these rules:

  • 11 point font should be used for all paper parts.
  • Each manuscript should be printed on one side of a paper only.
  • 1,5 inches margins on all sides.
  • No justifying of the right margin.
  • All parts of a paper should be double-spaced.

APSA Citation Generator: Benefits of Use

According to statistics, Political Science students have to deal with heaps of complex sources, which makes every citing session a true nightmare. Knowing of this fact well, our writing experts at EduBirdie came up with a solution that allows to save time and make sure that formatting mistakes are kept to a minimum. APSA Citation Generator has several benefits that make it unique, in our opinion:

  • It is free and an easy way to get through diverse types of citing.
  • Choose APSA style format from the pulldown menu, select required source type, type the name of a resource and click “Generate”. It will give you a list of sources found, according to keyword or a title specified.
  • APSA Citation Generator allows you to enter available information manually, which also increases your confidence about the final result.
  • You can easily convert between different formats by entering the same keyword or DOI of a journal article.
  • Using APSA citation generator, you can make Reference page ready in no time. Just make sure that all the italics and indents parts in your manuscript are done, according to specified format rules. When copying obtained source results, always check your sources twice.

Remember that no matter how good the APSA citation machine is, it is always good to check one’s written assignment twice. Moreover, turning for help of the writing experts at EduBirdie, it is necessary to check for correct use of terms and definitions in a paper with the help of experienced professionals.


  • How to cite memo in APSA style?

According to APSA manual, personal communications (memos, phone conversations, letters, interviews, emails, blogs, and discussion groups) are cited only in text of a paper or in notes. In a case of law citation, follow:

Statute or Law name. Date. Source (Law Code or Statutes). Volume, section. Book Page or url for online-based resources.

  • Should I make a Reference List, Works Cited Page or Bibliography for APSA?

In the APSA format style, a correct word used is “References”. It should be flushed against the left margin part of a manuscript. If still unsure, contact our online support team and get in touch with one of EduBirdie’s assignment writing experts to receive APSA format template.

  • What to do if a book is a translated edition?

In this particular case, follow an example below:

Socrates. 1956. Philosophy of Ethics. trans. Andrew Marks. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

  • My chapter and volume editor are the same, how do I cope with it?

In such case, same name is repeated. See an example:

Chandler, Ben. 2006. “Chapter Title here.” In Book Title in Italics here, ed. Ben Chandler. Dallas, TX: Dallas University Press. Pp. 332-110.

  • How to cite indirect sources?

In a case when you already have a resource that includes quotation by another author, it is obligatory to cite both original of the quote used and a secondary source. Both citations are linked with the help of a “Quoted in” or “Cited in” phrases. Remember that a second citation does not reverse the authors. See this example:

Williams, Wendy L. 2008. “Chapter Title.” In Book Title in Italics, ed. Andy Barrell. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press. Pp. 25-19. Cited in Joan L. Osbourne, Alfred B. Higgins, and Michael Stipe. 2003. Title of Publication. Los Angeles: Monterey Bay University. P. 323.