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APA Style for Writing: Encyclopedias & Dictionaries (Reference Works)

This guide will cover APA format for papers.

Formatting

Note: All citations should be double spaced and have a hanging indent in a Reference List.

A "hanging indent" means that each subsequent line after the first line of your citation should be indented by 0.5 inches.

Tips

Authors/Editors

If an encyclopedia or dictionary entry has no author or editor, begin the citation with the title of the specific entry, followed by the year of publication in round brackets.

Titles

Capitalize the first letter of the first word of the title of the entry and the title of the encyclopedia or dictionary.

Capitalize the first letter of proper names in titles, such as names of places or people. Example: Canada

Place of Publication

For cities in the US and Canada list the city name and the province or state code. For other countries, list the city name and the country. Examples: Toronto, ON ; Tokyo, Japan

Publication Information for Online Encyclopedias and Dictonaries

Don't include the place of publication or a publisher for an online encyclopedia or dictionary.

Some electronic content is assigned a unique number called a Digital Object Identifier (D O I). If a D O I is provided for an encyclopedia or dictionary, include it after the name of the encyclopedia or dictionary of the entry and edition as "doi:doi number".

You do not need to put a period after a D O I number.

If you have a doi number and would like to look up an item with it, go to crossref.org and enter the doi number where indicated.

If you accessed the encyclopedia or dictionary through a website, provide the url instead.

In-Text Citation - No Author

If a dictionary or encyclopedia entry has no author, the in-text citation should include the title of the entry. The title of the entry should be in quotation marks, with each word starting with a capital letter. The title of the entry will be followed by a comma and the year of publication. If you are quoting directly from the entry, you will also add the number of the page where the quote appears.

Example:

Paraphrasing:

("Cat Care," 2011)

Quoting:

("Cat Care," 2011, p. 38)

In-Text Citation - Page Numbers

Page numbers may not be available for an online dictionary or encyclopedia entry. Here are some options if you have no page numbers and you are quoting directly:

If paragraph numbers are given, use that number where you'd normally put the page number with the word "para." in front of it. Example: (Smith, 2012, para. 3). This example refers to the third paragraph in the entry

If you have no paragraph numbers, but the entry has section headings, you can use those. Encyclopedia entries often have section headings. Enter the section heading name, followed by the word "section" and then the number of the paragraph within that section. Example: (Smith, 2012, Climate section, para. 2). This example refers to the second paragraph under the Climate section of the entry.

If you have no paragraph numbers and no headings, as may be the case for many dictionary entries, skip the page/paragraph/section information and give the author's last name and date only. Example: (Smith, 2012)

Encyclopedia or Dictionary In Print

Author's Last Name, First Initial. Second Initial if Given. (Year of Publication). Title of entry. In Editor's First Initial. Second Initial if given. Last Name (Ed.), Name of encyclopedia or dictionary (Volume number, pp. first page of entry-last page of entry). Publication City, Province, State or Country: Publisher Name often shortened.

Reference List Example

King, P.N., & Wester L. (1998). Hawaii. In The world book encyclopedia (Vol. 9, pp. 88-110). Chicago, IL: World Book.

In-Text Paraphrase

(Author's Last Name, Year)

Example: (King & Wester, 1998)

In-Text Quote

(Author's Last Name, Year, p. page number or section name and paragraph number)

(King & Wester, 1998, p. 90)

Title of entry. (Year of Publication). In Editor's First Initial. Second Initial if given. Last Name (Ed.), Name of encyclopedia or dictionary (Volume number if any, pp. first page of entry-last page of entry or p. page number for one page entry). Publication City, Province, State or Country: Publisher Name often shortened.

Reference List Example

Crop circles. (2007). In Chambers dictionary of the unexplained (p. 27). Edinburgh, Scotland: Chambers.

In-Text Paraphrase

("Title of Entry", Year)

Example: ("Crop Circles," 2007)

In-Text Quote

("Title of Entry", Year, p. Page Number)

Example: ("Crop Circles," 2007, p. 27)

Note: If a dictionary or encyclopedia entry has no author, the in-text citation should include the title of the entry. The title of the entry should be in quotation marks, with each word starting with a capital letter.

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Online Encyclopedia or Dictionary from Library Database

Author's Last Name, First Initial. Second Initial if Given. (Year of Publication). Title of entry. In Editor's First Initial. Second Initial if given. Last Name (Ed.), Name of encyclopedia or dictionary (edition if given and is not first edition). Retrieved from Database Name database.

Reference List Example

Carruthers, E.P. (2002). Nursing. In Funk & Wagnalls new world encyclopedia. Retrieved from Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia database.

In-Text Paraphrase

(Author's Last Name, Year)

Example: (Carruthers, 2002)

In-Text Quote

(Author's Last Name, Year, p. page number or section name and paragraph number)

Example: (Carruthers, 2002, Functions and Duties section, para. 2)

Note: When there are no visible page numbers or paragraph numbers, you may cite the section heading and the number of the paragraph in that section to identify where your quote came from.

Author's Last Name, First Initial. Second Initial if Given. (Year of Publication). Title of entry. In Editor's First Initial. Second Initial if given. Last Name (Ed.), Name of encyclopedia or dictionary (edition if given and is not first edition). doi: doi number

Reference List Example

Gannon, P. (n.d.). Brain evolution. In AccessScience Mcgraw-Hill encyclopedia of science and technology (10th ed.). doi: 10/1036/1097-8542.YB040925

In-Text Paraphrase

(Author's Last Name, Year)

Example: (Gannon, n.d.)

In-Text Quote

(Author's Last Name, Year, p. page number or section name and paragraph number)

Example: (Gannon, n.d., Comparative Anatomy section, para. 1)

Note: When there are no visible page numbers or paragraph numbers, you may cite the section heading and the number of the paragraph in that section to identify where your quote came from.

Title of entry. (Year of Publication). In Editor's First Initial. Second Initial if given. Last Name (Ed.), Name of encyclopedia or dictionary (edition if given and is not first edition). Retrieved from Database Name database.

Reference List Example

Canada. (2019). In Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved from Britannica Online database.

Note: This encyclopedia entry has no editor.

In-Text Paraphrase

("Title of Entry," Year)

Example: ("Canada," 2019)

Note: If a dictionary or encyclopedia entry has no author, the in-text citation should include the title of the entry. The title of the entry should be in quotation marks, with each word starting with a capital letter.

In-Text Quote

("Title of Entry," Year, p. page number or section name and paragraph number)

Example: ("Canada," 2019, Economy section, para. 2)

Note: If a dictionary or encyclopedia entry has no author, the in-text citation should include the title of the entry. The title of the entry should be in quotation marks, with each word starting with a capital letter.

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Online Encyclopedia or Dictionary From a Website

Author's Last Name, First Initial. Second Initial if Given. (Year of Publication).Title of entry. In Editor's First Initial. Second Initial if given. Last Name (Ed.), Name of encyclopedia or dictionary (edition if given and is not first edition). Retrieved from url

Reference List Example

Beckwith, J., & Foley, D. (2012). Music composition. In The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved from http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/articles/music-composition

In-Text Paraphrase

(First Author's Last Name & Second Author's Last Name, Year)

Example: (Beckwith & Foley, 2012)

In-Text Quote

(First Author's Last Name & Second Author's Last Name, Year)

(Beckwith & Foley, 2012)

Note: This entry has no page numbers, paragraph numbers or section headings so this is left out of the citation.

Title of entry. (Year of Publication). In Editor's First Initial. Second Initial if given. Last Name (Ed.), Name of encyclopedia or dictionary (edition if given and is not first edition). Retrieved from url

Reference List Example

Acetone. (2012). In Macmillan dictionary. Retrieved from http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/acetone

In-Text Paraphrase

("Title of entry", Year)

Example: ("Acetone," 2012)

In-Text Quote

("Title of entry", Year)

("Acetone," 2012)

Note: This entry has no page numbers, paragraph numbers or section headings so this is left out of the citation.

If a dictionary or encyclopedia entry has no author, the in-text citation should include the title of the entry. The title of the entry should be in quotation marks, with each word starting with a capital letter.

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Wikipedia

Title of entry. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved Month Day, Year that website was viewed, from URL for entry

Note: According to APA, n.d. is used instead of a date of publication as the date is difficult to determine. Include the date you viewed the website as the content is likely to change over time.

Wikipedia may not be considered an acceptable source for a college or university assignment. Be sure to evaluate the content carefully and check your assignment.

Reference List Example

Veterinary medicine. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved March 18, 2013, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veterinary_medicine

In-Text Paraphrase

("Title of entry", n.d.)

Example: ("Veterinary Medicine," n.d.)

In-Text Quote

("Title of entry", n.d., Section Name section, para. Paragraph Number)

Example: ("Veterinary Medicine," n.d., Paraveterinary Workers section, para. 1)

Note: If a dictionary or encyclopedia entry has no author, the in-text citation should include the title of the entry. The title of the entry should be in quotation marks, with each word starting with a capital letter.

When there are no visible page numbers or paragraph numbers, you may cite the section heading and the number of the paragraph in that section to identify where your quote came from.

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