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Research Guides

APSA Citation Style

APSA (American Political Science Review) Style

This brief guide provides examples of how to cite some of the most commonly used types of information resources: periodicals, books, and electronic publications.  Detailed explanations and additional types of examples are available in the following handbook located at Policy Science & Economics Library Reference.

The APSA Style Manual for Political Science, revised August 2006, is published by the American Political Science Association as a guide for authors who wish to write and submit an article for publication in one of the APSA’s journals.  It follows the Chicago Manual of Style

Writing Guidelines

  • "Use at least 11 point font for all parts of the paper.
  • Manuscripts should be printed on one side of the paper only.
  • Margins must be 1 ½ inches on all sides, and the right margin should not be justified...
  • All parts of a manuscript should be double-spaced," (APSA, 11).

Please note that there are additional instructions on abbreviations, language, spacing, etc. in the APSA Style Manual.

Citations

"Brief notes on sources appear in the text as citations, providing immediate source information without interrupting the flow of argument. A citation usually requires only the last name of the author(s), year of publication (n.d. if it is forthcoming), and (sometimes) page or chapter numbers," (APSA, 17). Parenthetical or in-text citations follow author-date citation method (i.e., author's last name and publication year) although there is some variation:

  • Taylor (2000) analyzed polling data . . .
  • In a recent study of polling data (Taylor 2000) . . .
  • In 2000, Taylor evaluated polling data . . .
  • Several studies (Taylor 2000; Juarez, 2002; Peters & Lester, 2004) show that…
  • According to Taylor (2000, 24), “as society continues to undergo…”

Notes

"Notes present explanatory material and should be used sparingly. All notes should be double-spaced consecutively at the end of the manuscript,"(APSA, 22).

References

"Citations direct attention to the more detailed references, which provide complete source information. Include no reference that is not actually cited," (APSA, 24).

  • List all references cited in the text, alphabetically by author’s last name.
  • Note that personal communications (i.e., letters, memos, telephone conversations, interviews, E-mail, discussion groups, etc.) are cited in text or in notes only.
  • Use authors’ last names, first names (and middle initials, if available); for books, use “et al” to credit fourth through last authors.
  • Cite electronic journals, web sites and other electronic publications.
Examples
Single Author Book
Gates, Robert M. 1997. From the Shadows: the Ultimate Insider's Story of Five Presidents and How They Won the Cold War. New York: Touchstone.
Two Author Book
Mitchell, T. R., & John Larson. 1987. People in Organizations: An introduction to organizational behavior. 3rd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Edited Collection
Manley, William A. & Sigrid Roteutscher, eds. 2007. Social Capital and Associations in European Democracies: A Comparative Analysis. New York: Routledge.
Article or Chapter in an Edited Book or Collection
Levine, Charles H. 1990. “Human Resource Erosion and the Uncertain Future of the U.S. Civil Service.” In Current Issues in Public Administration, ed, Frederick S. Lane. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 329-353.
Encyclopedia Article, with author
Buenger, Walter L. and James Alex Baggett. 1996. “Constitutional Union Party.” The New Handbook of Texas. Vol. 2, p. 286-287. Austin: Texas State Historical Association.
Multivolume Work
Eisenhower, Dwight D. 1970. The Papers of Dwight David Eisenhower. 21 vols. Eds. Alfred D. Chandler, Jr. and Stephen E. Ambrose. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Dissertation
Munger, Frank J. 1955. “Two-Party Politics in the State of Indiana.” Ph.D. diss. Harvard University.
Government publication
U.S. Department of Commerce. Bureau of Census. 2006. Statistical Abstract of the United States. Washington, D.C.: Department of Commerce.
Hearing
U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on Foreign Relations. 1956. The Mutual Security Act. 84th Cong., 2d sess., S. Rept. 2273.
Legal Case
Baker v. Carr. 1962. 369 U.S. 186.
Law or Statute
Administrative Procedure Act. 1946. Statutes at Large. Vol. 60, sec. 10, p. 243.
Treaties
U.S. Department of State. 1963. Nuclear Weapons Test Ban, 5 August. TIAS no. 5433. U.S. Treaties and Other International Agreements, vol. 14, pt. 3.
Technical Reports
Gottfredson. L.S. 1980. How Valid Are Occupational Reinforcer Pattern Scores? Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University. ERIC, ED 182 465.
Journal Article, One Author
Aldrich, John H. 1980. “Dynamic Model of Presidential Nomination Campaigns.” American Political Science Review 74 (September): 651-69.
Magazine Article
Prufer, Olaf. 1964. “The Hopewell Cult.” Scientific American, December, 13-15.
Daily Newspaper Article, No Author
Sacramento Bee. 2004. “Eyes on Sudan: Victims of Racist Repression Need Help Now.” 9 July.
Newspaper Article from the Web
Balz, Dan. 2007. ”Mixed Reviews for Clinton in Iowa.” Washington Post, January 29. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/28/AR2007012801321.html (January 29, 2007).
Journal Article from a Database
Brzoska, Michael. 2003. “From Dumb to Smart? Recent Reforms of U.N. Sanctions.” Global Governance 9 (October-December): 519-535. Academic Search Premier (September 27, 2005).
Document from a Web Site
King. Gary, Michael Tomz, and Jason Wittenberg. 1998. “Making the Most of Statistical Analyses: Improving Interpretation and Presentation.” September 7. http://gking.harvard.edu/preprints.shtml (October 22, 1988).
Document from a Web Site, without an author or date
Death Penalty Information Center. 2005. “Crimes Punishable by the Death Penalty.” http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/article.php?did=144&scid=10 (January 29, 2007).
Dataset
Bayer, Re┼čat. 2006.  “Diplomatic Exchange Data set, v2006.1.” http://correlatesofwar.org (October 20, 2016).