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APA 7th Edition - Citation Guide - CBS Library


The third component is the title. Depending on what you are citing, your title will be formatted differently.

Author. (Date). Title OR Title. Source.

APA requires you to only capitalize certain words in a title. You should capitalize the following:

  • The first word of the title
  • The first word of the subtitle, usually directly after a colon :
  • Any proper nouns (places, people, organizations, etc.)
  • All significant words in a journal/website title

Examples of Correct Capitalization:

  • Aces high: The heroic saga of the two top-scoring American aces of World War II
  • Can’t remember what I forgot: The good news from the front lines of memory research
  • The elements of library research: What every student needs to know
  • The FBI: A history
  • Introduction to research in the health sciences
  • Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs [journal title]
  • The Oxford guide to library research
  • Preparing research articles
  • Publication manual of the American Psychological Association

APA requires you to italicize the titles of stand-alone works:

  • books
  • journals
  • films
  • reports
  • webpages

If you are citing something that is part of a bigger work, you do not italicize the titles:

  • chapters in books
  • title of entry in a reference book
  • articles from journals, magazines, or newspapers

If a title ends with a non-period punctuation mark (such as a question mark or an exclamation mark), use that as the ending punctuation without adding a period.

Jacobs, J. B. (2002). Can gun control work? Oxford University Press.

(Jacobs, 2002)

If the title uses an em dash instead of colons for a subtitle distinction, preserve those.

Jain, S. K., Singh, B. P., & Singh, R. P. (2004). Indian homemade firearmA technical review. Forensic Science International, 144(1), 11–18.

(Jain et al., 2004)

Format Clarification

If the information you are citing is not a routine format, use square brackets after the title to clarify. Common examples include:

  • [Video]
  • [Tweet]
  • [App]
  • [Painting]

CrashCourse. (2019, September 27). Natural language processing: Crash course AI #7 [Video]. YouTube.

(Crash Course, 2017)

Edition/Volume Clarification

For some books, you will need to add the edition or the volume used after the title, in parentheses.

American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.).

(American Psychological Association, 2020)

In very rare cases, you may be using a source without a specific title. This may be something like a social media post, untitled artwork, or a Google map. In the title component, include a description in brackets; try to include the medium in the description if possible.

Google. (n.d.). [Google Maps directions for driving from Gainesville, FL, to Miami, FL]. Retrieved October 8, 2019, from

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