15 Creating Reference List Citations: Journal Articles

Step 1: Find the 4 Ws

The 4 Ws for the journal article (there are four slides) 



Step 2: Arrange the 4 Ws in the correct order and with the correct formatting.

The citation for the journal article (click image to see it bigger)


  • Author: is the Family name, Initials. for each author, with a comma in between, and an ampersand (the and sign &) before the last author.
    • Authors are always ordered as they appear on the work.
  • Date: is the publication date (Year) of the article.
  • Title: is in sentence-case, as are all titles of works cited in APA Style.
  • Source location: is the Scholarly Journal Title (in Title-Case and italics), Volume number (in italics) and Issue number (in parentheses), the article’s page range, and hyperlinked DOI.
    • Note: The article is part of a larger source (the scholarly journal), so the source is italicized and not the article.


Now try it yourself! 

The Library’s APA Online Guide is a great resource to have on hand for creating reference citations.

Exercise 1: Find the elements needed for a reference list citation for this journal article


Exercise 2: How do you write each citation element in APA Style for the same journal article?

Image attribution:

[Colour coded and labelled image for a journal citation]“ by University of Alberta Library’s APA Style Citation Tutorial is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 International.


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APA Style Citations Copyright © 2021 by Ulrike Kestler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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