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Citing Sources in the Performing Arts

APA Style

This citation style, created by the American Psychological Association, is designed for academic sources such as journal articles and books. It is most often used in the social and behavioral sciences, including but not limited to psychology, anthropology, and education. Footnotes are occasionally used to show the source of longer quotations used in your paper (Copyright Permission Footnotes). However, most citations are Author-Date, in-text citations that point readers to sources included in your Reference List.

The University of Illinois has multiple copies of the most recent edition (7th) of the APA Manual, as well as several APA style guides. For more information about this citation style, visit the official APA website at

Elements of APA Style

A reference list is a list of works that have been cited in your paper or that you have referenced during the writing process. It is typically an alphabetized list included at the end of the paper, and is double-spaced and formatted with a hanging indent (the first line of the citation is not indented, while all lines following it are). Each section of the citation is separated by a period.

There are four elements of a reference in APA style: authordatetitle, and source. Most sources in your reference list will include each of those four elements in that order, but some exceptions  do apply (for more information, check the APA Manual).

Below is an example of what a reference list in APA might look like:

Labeled diagram of a References list in APA style

See Also: APA Manual 9.1-9.6 - Reference List
APA Manual 10.1-10.16 - Reference Examples

In-text citations are inserted into your text to show that you are quoting or referring to information from a source in your Reference List (this is called the Author-Date citation system). In APA style, there are two formats of in-text citations: parenthetical and narrative.


Parenthetical Citations

The author name (or title of work, if author is unknown) and the publication date both appear in parentheses. This citation can be used within a sentence or at the end of it.


Narrative Citations

The same information as above (author and publication date) is used, but is incorporated into the sentence. Typically, the author is mentioned in the text, which is followed up by the publication date in parentheses. However, in some instances, both the author name and the publication date will be addressed in the text.


Below are examples of what an in-text citation might look like in a paper:

Labeled diagram of an in-text citation in APA style


See Also: APA Manual 8.10-8.22 - Works Credited in the Text

Footnotes are comments inserted into your text to provide a source for lengthy quotations used in your paper. These are marked with a number inside of the text and point to copyright information at the bottom of the page. All mainstream word processing interfaces are equipped to easily insert footnotes into your papers.

Below is an example of what footnotes may look like in a paper:

Labeled diagram of footnotes in APA

See Also: APA Manual 2.13 - Footnotes
APA Manual 12.14-12.18 - Copyright and Permission Guidelines