Skip to Main Content
Purdue University Purdue Logo Purdue Libraries

Veterinary Nursing Resources: APA Quick Reference

A guide for veterinary nursing students at Purdue University

Quick APA guide

Here are APA formatting tips for the most commonly types of references used in VM445 papers (based on Jane's experience):

journal articles (including online journal articles)

Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume number(issue number), pages.

  • The most common mistake made by previous students has been citing online journal articles as web resources.
  • tip: treat all Veterinary Clinics of North America sections like journal articles.
  • Correct: Trepanier, L. A. (2007) Pharmacologic management of feline hyperthyroidism. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice, 37(4), 775-788.
  • Incorrect: Trepanier, L. A.(July 2007). Pharmacologic Management of Feline Hyperthyroidism. Science Direct.
    • Why incorrect? If you look carefully at this resource, you will see it is actually an article in a periodical. Clues include volume, issue, and page numbers on the PDF. Also, while web sites have URLs,  journal articles and some online books have DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers). If you see it is probably a journal article or e-book.

book chapters

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Year of publication). Title of chapter. In E. E. Editor & F. F. Editor (Eds.), Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle (pp. pages of chapter). Publisher. DOI (if available)

  • The second most common mistake made by vet nurses has been citing an entire book instead of the specific chapter. Citing an entire book is done rarely, if ever.
  • Bonus: each book chapter of a book you use creates a separate citation for your references list!
  • Correct: Newkirk, K. M., Brannick, E. M., & Kusewitt, D. F. (2016). Neoplasia and tumor biology. In J. F. Zachary & M. D. McGavin (Eds.), Pathologic Basis of Veterinary Disease Expert Consult. Elsevier.
  • Incorrect: Zachary, J. F. & McGavin, M. D. (2016). Pathologic Basis of Veterinary Disease Expert Consult. Elsevier.
    • Why incorrect? You did not use the information from the ENTIRE 750-page book to write a few paragraphs of a 20-page paper.

web sites

Lastname, F. M. (Year, Month Date). Title of page. Site name. URL

  • If you do not know all of the information in this example, please see OWL for many examples of how to cite web sites based on how much information you have about the web site. There are many options.
  • Think very carefully about why you trust the information from a web site. Be prepared to justify your choice of web sites if asked by your instructors.

other non-print resources

  • check OWL for examples of how to cite additional information sources, such as interviews, emails, presentations
  • If you learned about something from a professor's lecture or PowerPoint presentation, it is preferable to find a journal article or book chapter that backs up what they said, rather than using their lecture notes or PowerPoint as your citation. Ideally their PowerPoint should include references to articles or chapters they cited. If not, you can ask them for more information.