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MCOM 3327 (Osei-Hwere): Media Communication Law

Mass Media Law

Citation Basics

Cornette Library Citation Help

  1. Go to the Cornette Library homepage
  2. Click on blue button:  Cite
  3. Click on APA 7th
  4. Will go to online "Style and Grammar Guidelines" from the APA
  5. Can look for tips under "References" or "In-Text Citations."

If you are not sure how to cite sources, contact the WTAMU writing center or email a librarian.

Sample APA Paper 7th Edition

The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) has an excellent example of an "APA 7 Student Paper" written in APA 7th edition style, with references.  Unfortunately, now it is important on OWL to ignore any citation generator powered by Citation Machine.  It is not an OWL product and is not endorsed or recommended by the Cornette Library.

Examples of APA Citation - APA Style Manual

To see examples of citations of journal articles in the APA style manual, read pages 316 through 319 of the 7th edition.

The basic citation information for an online journal article is:

Author, A. A., Author, B. B., Author, C. C., & Author, D. D. (year).  Title of article.  Title of Periodical, xx(xx), pp-pp.

How to Cite a "Print" Journal Article

General Rules

As always, your instructor may choose to modify some APA requirements.  The instructor has the final word on APA style used for their class.  That said, notice some general rules about a journal citation in APA format:

  • A comma is written before the ampersand ("&"), even if there are only two authors.
  • The title of the article is capitalized with sentence-style capitalization (most words are lowercase, the first word of the title is uppercase, proper names are uppercase, the first word after a colon is uppercase).
  • All major words in journal titles are capitalized.
  • The title of the journal is italicized.
  • The volume number of the journal is italicized.
  • The issue number of a volume is not italicized!
  • The DOI (digital object identifier) is written as a hyperlink (so it begins with either "http://" or "https://").  


Legg, C., & Penn, C. (2013).  A stroke of misfortune: Cultural interpretations of aphasia in South Africa.  Aphasiology, 27(2), 126-144.

Missing Issue Number

Note: The article in the example above includes the issue number of the volume of the journal.  The APA 7th edition of the Publication Manual states:  "Include the issue number for all periodicals that have issue numbers" (Rule 9.25 on page 294).  It also states:  "When periodical information (e.g., volume number, issue number, page range) is missing, omit it from the reference" (Rule 10.1 on page 316).  Therefore, if the issue number was missing from the journal's information, the citation would be written as in the example below.

Alternate example (when issue number is missing):

Legg, C., & Penn, C. (2013).  A stroke of misfortune: Cultural interpretations of aphasia in South Africa.  Aphasiology, 27, 126-144.

"Print" Journal Article - When to Not Add a DOI

Note:  APA 7th edition of the Publication Manual states:  "Include a DOI for all works that have a DOI, regardless of whether you used the online version or the print version.  If a print work does not have a DOI, do not include any DOI or URL in the reference" (Rule 9.34 on page 299).  Therefore if you find and use an article in print, search the library databases to see if the article is available online and, if so, what its DOI is.  If the article is not available online or does not have a DOI, follow the example below.

Alternate example (when article does not have a DOI):

Legg, C., & Penn, C. (2013).  A stroke of misfortune: Cultural interpretations of aphasia in South Africa.  Aphasiology, 27(2), 126-144.

How to Cite an Online Journal Article

For MCOM 3327, your professor allows you an alternate method to cite an online journal article that does not have a DOI.  You may add the sentence:  Retrieved from XYZ database..

In Text Citations - APA

Chapter 8 of the 7th edition of the APA style manual (pages 253 - 278) has general information and specific examples for in-text parenthetical citations.  A few examples of this type of citation are below.  For information on including page numbers of direct quotations, see Rules 8.25 through 8.27 on pages 270 - 273.

A work written by one author

  • In parentheses, give the author's last name, a comma, and the year of publication.
  • Example: (Nguyen, 2001) See Rule 8.17 on page 266.
  • For multiple sources with authors sharing the same last name, see Rule 8.19 and Rule 8.20 on pages 267 - 268.

A work written by multiple authors

  • For works by two authors list each one's last name, separated by an "&" symbol, a comma, and the year of publication.
  • Example: (Marx & Lennon, 1966)
  • "For works by three or more authors, include the name of only the first author plus 'et al.' in every citation, including the first citation, unless doing so would create ambiguity..."
  • Examples: (Bradley, et al., 1994)
  • See Rule 8.17 on page 266.
  • For multiple works with three or more authors with the same in-text citation form, see Rule 8.18 on page 267.

A work with no author listed

  • If no author is given, use the title, a comma, and the year of publication.  Use quotation marks around the title of an article and italicize the title of a book.  Use title case capitalization for both--even the article title.
  • Example: (Manual on the Use of Thermocouples in Temperature Measurement, 1974.)
  • Example:  ("Title of an Article," 1999.)
  • See Rule 8.14 on pages 264 - 265.

More Tips for Citing - APA Style 7th Edition

The sites below will be helpful when you do not have the APA style manual in hand.

How to Cite a Court Case

The APA style manual 7th edition includes Chapter 11:  Legal References, pages 355-368.  While it contains some examples of legal citations, it points researchers to the most recent edition of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation for more information.  NOTE:  Use traditional APA style rules when citing legal books or articles from legal periodicals such as law reviews and law journals.

Westfield State University has an excellent online guide to Citing Legal Materials, specifically:

Sample Basic Citations - Court Cases

Page 358 of the APA 7th edition explains that "[u]nlike other reference types, the title or name of a case is written in standard type in the reference list entry and in italic type in the in-text citation."

Reference List Citation Contains:

  • Name of the case
  • Published source (name of case reporter)
  • Parenthetical indicating the court and year of decision

U.S. Supreme Court:

AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, 563 U.S. 333 (2011).

Federal Court Of Appeals:

Fowler v. Benson, 924 F.3d 247 (6th Cir. 2019).

Whitaker v. MacFadden Publications, Inc., 105 F.2d 44 (D.C. Cir. 1939).

Federal District Courts:

Dickey v. Alabama State Board of Education, 273 F. Supp. 613 (M.D. Ala. 1967).

Marty v. Anheuser-Bush Companies LLC, 43 F. Supp. 3d 1333 (S.D. Fla. 2014).

State High Courts:

Channel 4, KGBT v. Briggs, 759 S.W.2d 939 (Tex. 1988).

Steele v. Spokesman-Review, 61 P.3d 606 (Idaho 2002).

Other State Courts:

Polydorous v. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp., 79 Cal. Rptr. 2d 207 (Cal. Ct. App. 1997).

WPTA-TV v. State, 86 N.E.3d 442 (Ind. Ct. App. 2017).

More Legal Citations

In addition to Chapter 11 on Legal References, the APA style manual recommends using The Bluebook for more in-depth information on writing citations for legal resources.  The current edition of The Bluebook is the 21st edition, published in 2020.  That said, the Texas Rules of Form can be useful for resources specific to the state of Texas that are not illustrated in The Bluebook.

For the 21st edition of The Bluebook, Table T2 - Foreign Jurisdictions is now only available online, but it is free to all. More information on changes that were implemented in the new edition can be found in this Hein release.

The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation
KF 245 .B58 Ref.
Texas Rules of Form:  The Greenbook
KFT 1275 .T4 2018 Ref.
Texas Rules of Form:  The Greenbook
Govt. Docs. Dept. – Texas Document Shelves
Z UA345.5 T312RUF 2018

More Guidance on The Bluebook

The Bluebook Uncovered: A Practical Guide to Mastering Legal Citation by Dionne E. Anthon

This free 309-page online PDF is a required text at George Washington University School of Law.  It is "designed to help first-year law students master the fundamental Bluebook citation rules that will be needed in legal research and writing courses and in legal practice. It can also act as a Bluebook refresher for other law students, clerks, attorneys, judges, and paralegals."  The information is current as of the 21st (2020) edition of The Bluebook.