APA Article Citation: How to Cite a Journal or Article in APA

If you are engaging in academic writing, you need to be aware of proper APA citation format because it supports your writing and gives credit to the original author. The purpose of this article is to teach you the correct APA citation article format. 

General APA Citation Article/Journal Format 

When you are using information that is not common knowledge, you will need to include proper citations in order to give credit where credit is due – to the original author.

APA citations are one of many common citation formats. The following information is included in the APA journal citation:

  • Author’s name
  • Year of publication
  • Title of the article
  • Title of the journal
  • Volume and issue number
  • Page range
  • DOI – if available

You may be wondering “what is a DOI?” DOI or digital object identifier is a unique number specific to an article. You can easily locate it usually at the top or bottom of the journal or article. However, not all articles will have a DOI.

If you cannot locate one on the article you are citing, just leave it off of the citation. If you are citing a source from an electronic journal, you can use the URL instead. 

The general APA citation journal article format is:

Author’s last name, Initial. (Year of publication). Title of the article. Title of the Journal, volume number(issue number), page range. doi or URL

Important Elements to Note for APA Citation Article Format

  • If there is more than one author, you will use this format:
  • Author’s last name, Initial., Author’s last name, Initial, & Author’s last name, Initial.
  • List the authors in the same order they are listed on the article
  • Be sure to pay attention to the capitalization guidelines provided. For example, only the first word of the article is capitalized, along with any proper nouns or the first word after a semicolon. However, for the title of the journal, each of the main words are capitalized. 
  • The volume number is italicized, but the issue number is not. 
  • There is no space between the volume number and the opening parenthesis of the issue number.
  • Your reference list entry should contain the entire page range of the article.

APA Citation From a Print Journal 

Your research may lead you to finding information in scholarly print journals. If you need to cite a source from a print journal, follow the basic format listed above. 

Hall, A. A. (2020). 21st century customer service: Investigating how companies use social media for customer service. Journal of Research in Business Information Systems, 12(12), 72-82.

APA Citation From an Electronic Journal 

Many recent articles are published in electronic journals. This means the information is accessed online, instead of in print form. If there is a DOI provided, be sure to include it. If there is not one, use a URL. Numerous academic journals assign stable URLs that are similar to DOIs in that anyone can use them to access the article. Such stable URLs are better than copying what is in the browser’s address bar, as the address bar link may change over time. 

Blount, J., Wright, C. S., Hall, A. A., & Biss, J. L. (2016). Social media: Creating student awareness of its use in the hiring process. Southern Journal of Business and Ethics, 8(2016), 202-218. http://www.salsb.org/sjbe/v8_SJBE_2016.pdf

Citing From a Magazine Article

If you need to cite an article that is located in a magazine, you will include the month with the year in the (year, month) format. 

Beale, L. (2021, September). Experience outrageous underwater living off of Dubai’s world islands for $3 million. Forbes, 115(3), 18-19.

Citing a Newspaper Article

To properly cite an article from the newspaper, you will need to include the date as well as all the pages where the article is printed.

Miller, Z. (2021, September). Biden easing foreign travel restrictions, requiring vaccines. The Houston Chronicle, 2B, 3B. 


It is important to properly cite your sources to support your research and give credit to the original author(s). APA citation article format follows a structured format that is nuanced but easy to follow once you understand the pattern. This guide will help serve as a reference to ensure proper citation format is used. 

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