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SWK 540: Social Welfare Policy & Issues for Generalist Practitioners

APA Citation Format

If you are more familiar with older versions of APA Citation format, these links might help you adjust to the 7th edition:

Citation Managers

Citation Managers are software programs, often available free of charge, that you can use to keep track of your research.  They can also be helpful in formatting reference lists.

Here's a guide that provides basic information on three freely available citation managers: Zotero, Mendeley, and EndNote Basic.

All three include APA formatting, but you would still need to create legal citations (Bluebook) by hand.

**Note: None of the tools create citations that are 100% perfect, so you still should be able to recognize correct format so you can fix any errors.**

American Psychological Association Citation Examples

Social Work uses the American Psychological Association (APA) citation style.  These examples follow the new 7th edition.

There are two main components to citation, the in-text citation and the reference list citation.  Below are some examples of common categories. **Note, the in-text examples are for paraphrasing. If you are quoting, the page numbers need to be added after the date i.e. p.12**

Also important to note is that URLs should only be used if they lead to freely available information.  Database links are not freely available, so should not be used.


Journal Article

Reference List -

Skinner, D. (2016). The politics of Native American health care and the Affordable Care Act. Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, 41(1), 41-71.

In-text -

(Skinner, 2016)



Reference List - 

Bush, W. & Paul, J.M. (2018). The Family and Medical Leave Act. Bloomberg BNA.

In-text -

(Bush & Paul, 2018)


Chapter from an edited book

Waters, M.C. (2019). Children of immigrants in the United States: Barriers and paths to integration and well-being. In M.M. Suarez-Orozco (Ed.), Humanitarianism and mass migration: Confronting the world crisis (pp. 308-324). University of California Press.

In-text -

(Waters, 2019)


Technical Report

Reference list -

Mulligan, C.B. & Sala-i-Martin, X. (1999). Social Security in theory and practice(I): Facts and political theories. National Bureau of Economic Research.

In-text -

(Mulligan & Sala-i-Martin, 1999) 


Newspaper article

Reference list -

Armour, S. (2019, September). Planned Parenthood to expand app-based health services to all 50 states. Wall Street Journal. 

In-text -

(Armour, 2019)


Citing Legal References

 All sources that inform your research need to be cited.  For legal citations (to actual laws, cases, etc.) APA citation style follows The Bluebook, a legal citation manual.

  • Citation Examples

Supreme Court Case:

Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, 530 U.S. 640, (2000).


United States Law:

Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act, Pub. L. No. 100-360, 102 Stat. 683 (1988).

Check in with me for help with citations for other legal materials.

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