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APA 7th Edition - Citation Guide - CBS Library

The Generic Reference

If you are trying to cite a source that is not listed here, and you cannot find guidelines from APA elsewhere, you can create a generic reference. The Publication Manual lists certain elements that should be included in a generic reference:

  • Who / Author - Who is responsible for this work? This can be a person (author or editor) or an organization. If there is no author or editor, follow the guidelines discussed in No Author.
  • When / Date - When was this work published? A year (Year) is usually acceptable, although you may need to include a month and day (Year, Month Day). If there is no date, use n.d.: (n.d.).
  • What / Title - What is this work called? This is the title of the actual work you are using, not necessarily a larger 'container' like a website. If there is no title, you must create one, and enclose it in square brackets [ ]. You may also wish to clarify the format of the item in square brackets, after the title. Examples could be [Painting], [App], or [Video].
  • Where / Source - Where can I retrieve this work? This can be a book, website (with URL), journal, publication information, or something else.

Make sure to be familiar with what other APA citations look like consult the Reference Components.


Author. (Date). Title [Format]. Source.

Source: Publication Manual, 9.4

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