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ENGI 110: Brahma (Spring 2023): Citing Using APA

APA Citation Style for the Sciences

Engineering Banner with bridge in background



In the sciences, authors typically follow a specific format in preparing reports and articles.  That style is from the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, commonly just called APA style.  The path that you will take in writing a paper for a class parallels that of submitting a manuscript to a journal.  Most of the time, if a writer submits to a journal editor a manuscript that deviates greatly from APA style, the editor may reject the manuscript as unsuitable for publication.  When writing a research paper for a college course, be sure to follow APA style closely. 

One of the best sources for citing is a Library Guide (LibGuide) developed by Valencia College. This site provides specific examples, a template if you will, of how to cite both print and electronic sources in APA style.  We highly recommend you check out it out!


                                          Typical Sections in an APA-Style Research Report

Section of the report                                                    What the section contains

  Title page                          The title of the paper, the names of authors, and the affiliations of the authors.

Abstract                             A brief overview of the entire project of about 150 to 250 words,  
Introduction                       The background and logic of the study, including previous research that led to this project.  
Method                              Minute details of how the study proceeded, including descriptions of participants,          
                                          apparatus and materials, and what researchers and participants actually did during the   

 Results                            A detailed statement of the statistics and other results of the study.


Discussion                      What the results tell us about thought and behavior

References                     Where to find the work cited in the paper that relates to the present study.  


The following sample papers may be of help:




For more in-depth APA in the various branches of engineering, the following citation guides may be useful:

Chemical Engineering Citation Style

From the CEP Reference Style Guide of the AIChE

General Style:

Information appears in the following general order: author, title, publisher, page numbers, date. Individual elements of the citation are separated by commas, and a period is used at the end. If there are more than two authors, list only the first author followed by et al. The specific information that should be included depends on the type of reference:

Periodical: Author's last name and initials in bold, title of article in quotation marks, title of periodical in italics (underline if italics are not available), volume number in bold, issue number in parentheses, page numbers (inclusive), date in parentheses.


Pedron, S., et. al., “Synthesis and characterization of degradable bioconjugated hydrogels with hyperbranched multifunctional cross-linkers,” Acta Biomaterialia, 6 (11), pp. 4189-4198 (Nov. 2010).

Book: Author's last name and initials in bold, title of book in quotation marks, edition number if appropriate, publisher's name, city and state of publisher, page numbers (inclusive, unless entire book is being referenced), date in parentheses.


Garner, G. O., “Careers in Engineering,” 2nd ed., VGM Career Books, Chicago, IL (2003).

Other Sample Citations:

Homoki, G. G., and K. N. Vernekar, "Materials Selections for Sludge Incinerator Heat Exchangers," in "Materials Performance in Waste Incineration Systems," G. Y. Lai and G. Sorell, Eds., NACE International, Houston, TX, pp. 20-1 to 20-8 (1992).

Perry, R. H., and D. W. Green, Eds., "Mass Transfer and Gas Absorption," Chapter 14, in "Perry's Chemical Engineers' Handbook," 6th ed., McGraw-Hill, New York (1984).

McLarnon, C. R., and J. L. Duncan, “Testing of Ammonia-Based CO2 Capture with Multi-Pollutant Control Technology,” Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies, Washington, DC (Nov. 16–20, 2008).

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, "Compiling Air Toxics Emissions Inventories," U.S. EPA, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, Research Triangle Park, NC, EPA/450/4-86-010, NTIS No. PB86-238086 (July 1986).

"The Abnormal Situation Management Joint Research and Development Consortium," available via on the WWW.

Civil and Environmental Engineering Citation Style

From the Writing Center at  Missouri State University (Adopted from the American Society of Civil Engineers).

References. In the text, cite publications by listing the last names of the authors and the year, which is called the author-date method of citation; e.g., (Duan et al. 1990; Frater and Packer 1992a). Prepare an appendix listing all references alphabetically by last name of the first author. For anonymous reports and standards, alphabetize by the issuing institution. Double-space the reference section.

Make sure reference information in the APPENDIX. REFERENCES is complete and accurate ... including as necessary and in the following order:

  • last names and initials of all authors;
  • year of publication;
  • title of paper, report, or book chapter (in quotes);
  • title of book or name of periodical; volume number; issue number (or month);
  • name of publisher (for books and proceedings);
  • city and state of publication (for books, proceedings, and non-U.S. journals);
  • and inclusive page numbers.


    Aanen, P. (1991). Nature engineering and civil engineering works, H. W. Knottnerus, translator, Pudoc, Wageningen, Netherlands.

    ABAQUS/Explicit update manual, version 5.6. (1996). Hibbitt, Karlsson and Sorenson Inc., Pawtucket, R.I.

    "Acoustic strain gauge's ease bridge monitoring ." (1997). CivilEngrg. ASCE, 67(9), 83.

    Al-Mutairi, N. M.. (1995) "Kuwait oil-based pollution: effect on building material." J. of Matls. in Civil Engrg., ASCE, 7(3), 154-160.

    ASTM. (1981). "Standard method of testing piles under static axial compressive load."  D1143-81, Philadelphia, Pa.

    Barragy, E., Walters, R., and Carey, G. F.  (1995). "Tital simulation using conjugate gradient methods." Finite Element Modeling of Environmental Problems: Surface and Subsurface Flow and Transport, G. F. Carey, ed., Wiley, West Sussex, Eng., 115-135.

    Chern, C.  (1969). "Ultimate strength of transversely and longitudinally stiffened plate girders." PhD thesis, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pa.

    Chiu, H.-S., Chern, J.-C., and Chang, K.-C. (1996a) "Long-term deflection control in cantilever prestressed concrete bridges. I: Control method and algorithm." J. Engrg. Mech., ASCE, 122(6), 489-494.

    Chiu, H.-S., Chern, J.-C., and Chang, K.-C. (1996b) "Long-term deflection control in cantilever prestressed concrete bridges. II: Experimental verification." J. Engrg. Mech., ASCE, 122(6), 495-501.

    Daoud, O. E. K. (1997) "Discussion of 'Kuwait oil-based pollution: effect on building material by Naji M. Al-Mutairi." J. of Matls. in Civil Engrg., ASCE, 9(1), 50.

    Der, J. J. (1974) "Oil contaminated beach cleanup." Tech. Note, Naval Civil Engrg. Lab. TN-1337, Port Huneme, Calif.

    Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). (1990). "Highway safety design practices and criteria." Safety Design Division, HSR-20, McLean, Va.

    Federal Register. (1997). 62(No. 248; December 29), 67572-67585.

    Harik, I. E. , Street, R., Wang, Z., and Allen, D. L. (1996). "Accelerations and time histories for earthquakes affecting Kentucky's bridges." Analysis and Computation, Proc. 12th Conference held in conjunction with Structures Congress XIV, Chicago, Illinois, 464-471.

    International Conference of Building Officials. (1997). Uniform building code. Whittier, Calif.

    Klaue, H.  (1995).  " Entwicklungstendenzen in der internationalen Klimaschutz- und Luftreinhaltepolitik [Development trends in international climate protection and air pollution control politics]." Glueckauf, Essen, Germany, 131(3), 113-121 (in German)..

    Ricken, H. (1994) Der Bauingenieur : Geschichte eines Berufes.  Verlag für Bauwesen, Berlin (in German).

    Standard & Poor's industry surveys. (1997). Standard & Poor, New York, N.Y.

Computer Science & Engineering Citation Style

From the Author Guidelines of the Communications of the ACM

References ... to previous work should be included at the end of the article. References must be ordered alphabetically by first author and numbered. All listed references must be referred to in text by their corresponding number.

Communications Reference Style


Parker, R. Lotus copyright protection is turning into a feeding frenzy. Infoworld 12,28 (Jul. 1990), 42-49.


Hoffman, W.M. and Moore, J.M., Eds. Ethics and the Management of Computer Technology. Oelgeschlager, Gunn and Hain, Cambridge, Mass., 1982.


Rumbaugh, J.E. Controlling propagation of operations using attributes on Relations. In Proceedings of OOPSLA '86 (Sept. 29-Oct. 2, Portland,Oreg.). ACM/SIGPLAN, New York, 1986, pp. 406-416.

Electrical Engineering Citation Style

From the "Information for Authors" of the IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication

References should be numbered sequentially by order of mention in the text, with the number placed in brackets and printed on the same line (not as a superscript) like [1].  The list of all references cited in the text should appear in numeric order at the end of the paper.  Don't use footnotes.

Samples of IEEE Reference Style


[1] E. R. Tufte, Visual Explanations: Images and Quantities, Evidence and Narrative. Cheshire, CT: Graphics Press, 1996.

[2] J. H. Watt and S. A. van den Berg, Research Methods for Communication Science. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon, 1995.

Articles/Chapters in a Book

[3] J. W. DuBois, S. Schuetze-Coburn, S. Cumming, and D. Paolino, "Outline of discourse transcription," in Talking Data: Transcription and Coding in Discourse Research (J. A. Edwards and M. D. Lampert, Eds.). Hillsdale, NJ:   Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1993, pp. 45-89.


[4] R. C. Carter, "Search time with a color display: Analysis of distribution functions," Human Factors, vol. 24, no. 3, pp. 302-304, 1982.

Papers Presented in Proceedings

[5] P. Leone, D. L. Gillihan, and T. L. Rauch, "Web-based prototyping for user sessions: Medium-fidelity prototyping," in Proc. 44th Int. Technical Communications Conf. (Toronto, Canada, May 11-14, 1997), pp. 231-234.

Unpublished Papers

[6] K. Riley, "Language theory: Application versus practice," presented at the Conf. of the Modern Language Association, Boston, MA, December 27-30, 1990.

Technical Reports

[7] K. Kraiger and M.S. Teachout, "Application of generalizability theory to the Air Force job performance measurement project: A summary of research results," Human Resources Laboratory, Air Force Systems Command, Brooks Air Force Base, Texas, Tech. Rep. AFHRL-TR-90-92, July 1991.

Electronic Publications

The IEEE Magazines Department's Information for Magazine Authors (1999, p. 4) includes suggestions for citing electronic publications.  This includes the electronic versions of printed as well as internet publications.

* The IEEE uses LaTeX for electronic versions of papers.   Their Web page includes LaTeX style and sample files that may be downloaded and used to comp

Materials Science & Engineering Citation Style

From the "Instructions for Contributors" for Microscopy and Microanalysis

References: References must be inserted in the text at the place they are used, by the author's surname and year of publication. ... For references with more than two authors use the first author's surname followed by "et al" and, if there is more than one reference in the same year by a single author(s), use a, b. For example: (Roberts, 1981); (Roberts & Johnson, 1983); (Jones et al., 1986); (Johnson, 1998a, 1998b). ... All authors must be included in the reference list; "et al." is unacceptable here. ...Abbreviate journal names according to the Chemical Abstracts Service Source Index (CASSI).
[Editor's Note: located in Fairchild/Martindale Library Ready Reference section at 540.61 A512cab R-Ref. An abbreviated version may be found on the web at CAS DDS Title Search

Journal Articles
Tang, P.-C., Ritchie, W.A., Wilmut, I. & West, J.D. (2000). The effects of cell size and ploidy of cell allocation in mouse chimaeric blastocyts. Zygote 8, 33-43.

Entire Book
Rappaport, R. (1996). Cytokinesis in Animal Cells. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Chapter in an Edited Book
Gardner, R.L. & Papaioannou, V.E. (1975). Differentiation in trophectoderm and inner cell mass. In The Early Development of Mammals, Balls, M. & Wild, A.E. (Eds.), pp. 107-132. Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press.

Proceedings Paper
Wood, J.E., Williams, D.B., & Goldstein, J.I. (1981). Quantitative X-ray Microanalysis in the Analytical Electron Microscope. In Quantitative Microanalysis with High Spatial Resolution, Jacobs, M.H., Lorimer, G.W., & Doig, P. (Eds.), pp. 24-33. London: The Metals Society.

Mechanical Engineering Citation Style

From the ASME's Guidelines

Text Citation. Within the text, references should be cited in numerical order according to their order of appearance. The numbered reference citation should be enclosed in brackets.

Example: It was shown by Prusa [1] that the width of the plume decreases under these conditions.

In the case of two citations, the numbers should be separated by a comma [1,2]. In the case of more than two references, the numbers should be separated by a dash [5-7].

List of References. References to original sources for cited material should be listed together at the end of the paper; footnotes should not be used for this purpose. References should be arranged in numerical order according to the sequence of citations within the text. Each reference should include the last name of each author followed by his initials.

(1) Reference to journal articles and papers in serial publications should include:

  • last name of each author followed by their initials
  • year of publication
  • full title of the cited article in quotes, title capitalization
  • full name of the publication in which it appears
  • volume number (if any) in boldface (Do not include the abbreviation, "Vol.")
  • issue number (if any) in parentheses (Do not include the abbreviation, "No.")
  • inclusive page numbers of the cited article (include "pp.")

(2) Reference to textbooks and monographs should include:

  • last name of each author followed by their initials
  • year of publication
  • full title of the publication in italics
  • publisher
  • city of publication
  • inclusive page numbers of the work being cited (include "pp.")
  • chapter number (if any) at the end of the citation following the abbreviation, "Chap."

(3) Reference to individual conference papers, papers in compiled conference proceedings, or any other collection of works by numerous authors should include:

  • last name of each author followed by their initials
  • year of publication
  • full title of the cited paper in quotes, title capitalization
  • individual paper number (if any)
  • full title of the publication in italics
  • initials followed by last name of editors (if any), followed by the abbreviation, "eds."
  • publisher
  • city of publication
  • volume number (if any) in boldface if a single number, include, "Vol." if part of larger identifier (e.g., "PVP-Vol. 254")
  • inclusive page numbers of the work being cited (include "pp.")

(4) Reference to theses and technical reports should include:

  • last name of each author followed by their initials
  • year of publication
  • full title in quotes, title capitalization
  • report number (if any)
  • publisher or institution name, city

Sample References

[1] Ning, X., and Lovell, M. R., 2002, "On the Sliding Friction Characteristics of Unidirectional Continuous FRP Composites," ASME J. Tribol., 124(1), pp. 5-13.
[2] Barnes, M., 2001, "Stresses in Solenoids," J. Appl. Phys., 48(5), pp. 2000–2008.
[3] Jones, J., 2000, Contact Mechanics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, Chap. 6.
[4] Lee, Y., Korpela, S. A., and Horne, R. N., 1982, "Structure of Multi-Cellular Natural Convection in a Tall Vertical Annulus," Proc. 7th International Heat Transfer Conference, U. Grigul et al., eds., Hemisphere, Washington, DC, 2, pp. 221–226.
[5] Hashish, M., 2000, "600 MPa Waterjet Technology Development," High Pressure Technology, PVP-Vol. 406, pp. 135-140.
[6] Watson, D. W., 1997, "Thermodynamic Analysis," ASME Paper No. 97-GT-288.
[7] Tung, C. Y., 1982, "Evaporative Heat Transfer in the Contact Line of a Mixture," Ph.D. thesis, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY.
[8] Kwon, O. K., and Pletcher, R. H., 1981, "Prediction of the Incompressible Flow Over A Rearward-Facing Step," Technical Report No. HTL-26, CFD-4, Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA.
[9] Smith, R., 2002, "Conformal Lubricated Contact of Cylindrical Surfaces Involved in a Non-Steady Motion," Ph.D. thesis,


The information on this page was taken and updated from of the UniversityTexas, Tyler's Libguide