PDF Citation – How to cite a pdf in APA Reference format

PDF Citation – How to cite a pdf in APA Reference format

The APA writing style since inception has undergone a series of modifications and adjustments, from the 1st editions with its distinct style of in-text citation and referencing to the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th respectively, each encompassing diverse changes, a better replacement to their preceding editions.

In this post, we will explain how to cite PDFs in APA. But for more conversance with the abbreviations, we will give a brief explanation of what APA and PDF are. PDF is a commonly used file type, and its primary purpose is to allow users to view documents.

A major reason for its popularity is that PDFs can preserve document formatting, making them more shareable and allowing them to look the same on any platform. PDF is an acronym that stands for Portable Document Format.

APA is an abbreviation for the American Psychology Association and is a formal format often used in citing sources in the academic and social fields. APA originated in 1929 and has since been adopted by researchers, educators and students, it has transitioned through editions, each presenting new formats for citing sources in research works.

The 7th edition of APA was released in October 2019 and is the official source for APA, this edition tackles a lot of changes as relates to citing and referencing and provides better and more extensive guidelines.

To cite a PDF (Portable Document Format) in APA is quite tricky but simple, you will have to follow up closely to avoid mistakes because the APA referencing format is quite rigid. A PDF is a file type and a method of displaying a source, but not the source itself. So, if you want to reference a PDF of a newspaper article, cite it as you would a newspaper.

Recommended:  Selecting case study -How to choose a Case Study for your school Project work

There is no specific format for citing PDF in APA, so, when citing a PDF, you must find the source the PDF is in, it could be a newspaper, an eBook, or a journal, and if you encounter difficulty determining the source, check within the PDF, to uncover clues as to which type of source it is. Let’s get to the examples.

A newspaper article that is in a PDF format will be cited with the writer’s last name, initials, the year, month, and day of the publication, the article title, the name of the newspaper, and the pages you are referencing. Example: Samuel, T (2021, May 12) Integrity group criticizes southern Governors’ call for national dialogue. The daily suns, p3, p4. When citing it within the text, you write it this way, (Samuel, 2021)

Citing a book in PDF format is quite different from the newspaper, and really simple too. A book in PDF form will normally contain the author’s name and the publication details. The format is the author’s last name, initials, year, book title, publisher, and URL. For example, Julie, A, H (2017) The Assertive Guide for communication. New Harbinger publications, Inc.

https://www.ihe.kit.edu/pdf/read/2017/12/The-assertive-guide-for-communication.pdf. The in-text citation will look just the same for newspapers, (Julie, 2017).

One common problem a lot of people face when referencing a book in PDF format is when the name of the author is not provided, this way you can begin the reference with the title or name of the book, and then continue with other citation details.

For citing journal articles in PDF format, the article normally contains the volume and the journal they are published in. The e-locator (the letter “e” followed by a series of numbers, e.g., e123456) is sometimes used instead of a page range to identify the location of journal articles published as PDFs. Use the e-locator instead of a page range if the cited article doesn’t have one.

Recommended:  4 Components of an abstract in academic research- Research Paper, proposal, scientific paper, thesis

The format would look like this: the writer’s last name, initials, the year, the article title, the name of the journal it was published in, the page range or e-locator, and the URL. For example, Michael E, V (2012) Mass media and pandemic panic: Journal of applied communication and mass research 107(1), 215- 225, https://www.tandtonfline/journals/micheal.pdf. The in-text citation will be (Michael, 2012).

For a dissertation or thesis, the most common format for an online dissertation or thesis is PDF. In most cases, the title page will make it apparent whether the document is a dissertation or a thesis.

Indicate who wrote it and when it was completed. Then, in square brackets, indicate what it is and where it was completed at. Finally, the name of the website, and the internet address. It follows this format, the author’s last name, Initials. the year, the Dissertation or thesis title, the type of dissertation, the University Name, the Archive Name, and the URL.

For example, Behrens, B. (2020). Linguistic markers of maternal focus within emotional conversations: The role of depressive symptoms and maltreatment [Master’s thesis, University of Notre Dame]. Curate ND. https://curate.nd.edu/show/9k41zc80w8w. The in-text citations will follow the same format as others (Behrens, 2020).

Useful information or sources do not only come in books, or journals, some sources can come from reports too, PDF versions of reports are routinely downloaded from the internet. In most cases, they’ll be able to identify the publisher and the report number.

The word “report” may be in the title as well and are easy to determine. When citing a report in PDF format you begin with the author’s surname and initials same beginning with other sources, what comes after is the year, report title, the report number, the publisher’s name, and finally the URL. For example, Bernard, A. D. (2017).

Recommended:  How to write Research statement of problem

Enterprise information system: An overview (Report No. WA-RD 926.4). Department of communication. https://www.wsdot.wa.edu/research/reports/fullreports/926-4.pdf. When citing reports within the text, it follows this format (Bernard, 2017)

For brochures, the citation format for PDF brochures is the same as for reports. When the organization identified as the author is the same as the publisher, you should only list it once. Brochures take this format, the organization name, the year, and the title, “Brochure” in bracket comes after the title, the publisher, and the URL.

For Example, AAA RESEARCH GROUP. (2007). Projects 45: Adams Paul [Brochure]. https://www.moma.org/d/pdfs/W1siZiIsIjIwMTYvMDcvMjkvM3h6ajlsbWNtaF9wcm9qZWN0czgxX2Jyb2NodXJlLnBkZiJdXQ/projects81_brochure.pdf?sha=f2f2e81f2cbf0514. For in-text citation, (AAA research group, 2007).

Several more sources come in PDF format, but this is an extensive guideline and some common ones you may encounter when citing PDF in APA writing format.


Drop your comment, question or suggestion for the post improvement

Open chat
WhatsApp Now
We can get that stress off your shoulder.

You can call now on +2348060755653 or click below to chat.