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Citing Your Sources

A general guide to citations and styles commonly used at USNA.

APA Style

Most professors in social science fields such as psychology, economics, education, and political science prefer the documentation style developed by the American Psychological Association (APA).  As always it's best to check with your professor before choosing any style.

As with most styles, there are two components for citations in APA Style. The first component is a notation in the text that refers to a source listed on a bibliography, works cited, or references page at the end of your paper. In APA Style, this notation is formatted as the author's last name, year of publication, and page number in parentheses (e.g. (Author, YYYY, PP)). The second component is is the actual citation for the source that appears at the end of you paper. Formats for common sources are below.



Author, F. M. (YYYY). Title in sentence case and italics. City, SS: Publisher.

Journal article

Coauthor, F. M., & Coauthor, F. M., (YYYY). Title of article in sentence case. Journal Title in Title Case and Italics, V(I), XX-XX. doi: xx.xxxx/xxxx.


Author, F. M., (YYYY). Document or website title in sentence case. Retrieved from


Text in black should appear as is.

Text in red needs to be replaced with information specific to the publication you're citing.

Sentence case = First letter of the title and subtitle capitalized and everything else is lowercase except the first letter of proper nouns. Title case = First letter of the title and the first letter of each principal word is capitalized. F = Initial of first name. M = Initial of middle name. City = City where published. SS = Postal abbreviation of state where published. V = Volume number. I = Issue number.

APA Style resources

Need more help with citations in AIAA style? Go right to the source at the APA website or the more robust guide provided by Purdue University's Online Writing Lab (OWL).You can also refer to The Longman Hanbook for Writers and Readers which you received as plebes and is available in the Ready Reference section of the Nimitz Library.