A Simple Guide to Citing in APA Format

Alene N. asked: Does anyone know the format for properly citing a YouTube video as a reference? I tend to use APA format.


Alene, this is a great question that I wanted to expand on because many clients prefer APA format and if you’re writing for health publications, they may even require it.


What is APA Format?

APA is  format is used by the American Psychological Association (APA) and frequently used for citing sources in the psychology, education, and social science areas. Another style you’ve probably heard of is MLA, and changing back and forth can be difficult. Many students spend years learning one style, then they’re asked to produce a paper in a different one. This happened to me in nursing school. I had always used MLA format, until my first nursing school paper, then I learned APA.

Resources and Examples

When citing something, in text or in a reference bibliography, it can be difficult at first to write in APA format. There are a lot of little rules, but here are the most common citing rules you will come across:

1. Citing more than 3 authors – When citing in text three authors or more, you first cite them in the paragraph, then et al.,year following the first. For example:

Kelbach, Kennedy, and Bush (2017) developed….

Kelbach et al. (2017) developed…


2. Citing at the end of the sentence – When citing at the end of the sentence, you always parenthese the last names and year. For example:

Thirty-minutes of exercise helps the body become healthier (American Heart Association, 2017).


3. Always alphabetize your References – When making a bibliography page for the client, always alphabetize and create a hanging indent on your page.


4. Citing in text – When citing your author in text, you want to include the date. For example:

Kelbach (2017) mentions to get yourself organized, you have to stick to a plan.

Multiple authors Kelbach and Bush (2017) strive for weekly meetings to stay on track.


5. Double Space – Another rule when writing APA content, unless your client tells you otherwise is to double-space your work. According to the APA manual, work must be double-spaces, including your references.


One of the best resources out there for APA format is Purdue Owl, which I love because it’s always up to date and makes proper formatting super easy!

I hope this helped simplify things a little for you, and good luck!


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