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How to Cite a Magazine Article in APA Style

Magazine articles are valuable sources for current information and analysis in academic research. Citing magazine articles in APA style requires specific elements: author’s name, article title, magazine name, publication date, page numbers, and URL for online articles. These details apply to both in-text citations and reference list entries.

Identifying the Authors

Single Author vs. Multiple Authors

When citing a magazine article with a single author, the author’s last name is followed by their first initial. For example, “Smith, J.” If there are multiple authors, list them in the order they appear in the byline, separating names with commas and using an ampersand before the final author’s name: “Smith, J., & Doe, A.”

Handling Unknown Authors

If the article does not have an identifiable author, begin the citation with the article title. This ensures that the reference is still retrievable. For instance:

Understanding Climate Change. (2020, March). Scientific American, 322(5), 34-45.

Publication Date

Including the Full Date

The publication date should be as specific as possible. This typically includes the year, month, and day. For instance: “2020, March 15.”

Dealing with Missing Dates

When a specific publication date is not available, use the most specific date you can find. If only the year is available, format it as: “(2020).”

Magazine Title

Proper Formatting of Magazine Titles

Magazine titles in APA citations are italicized and follow title case capitalization, where major words are capitalized: “National Geographic.”

Special Cases and Exceptions

For magazines with special formatting, such as those with unusual capitalization or punctuation in their titles, maintain the original style to preserve the integrity of the source: “i-D Magazine.

Article Title

Sentence Case vs. Title Case

In APA style, article titles are formatted in sentence case, meaning only the first word of the title and any proper nouns are capitalized: “Exploring the depths of the ocean.”

Handling Subtitles

When an article has a subtitle, separate it from the main title with a colon and maintain the sentence case format: “Exploring the depths of the ocean: New discoveries and challenges.”

Volume and Issue Numbers

Distinguishing Between Volume and Issue

Volume and issue numbers are crucial for locating specific articles within a magazine. The volume number is italicized, while the issue number is in parentheses and not italicized: “22(4).”

Formatting Consistency

Ensure that the formatting remains consistent throughout your reference list. An example citation with volume and issue numbers looks like this:

“Smith, J. (2020, March 15). Innovations in technology. Wired, 28(3), 45-50.”

Page Numbers

Citing a Range of Pages

Include the full range of pages for the article, separated by a hyphen: “45-50.”

What to Do When Page Numbers Are Missing

If an article spans multiple non-consecutive pages, list all page numbers separated by commas: “45, 50, 54-55.”

Digital Object Identifier (DOI) and URLs

Understanding DOI

A DOI provides a permanent internet link to the content. Include it at the end of the citation: “doi:10.1000/182.”

Using URLs in Absence of a DOI

If no DOI is available, include the URL where the article can be accessed:

“Retrieved from”

Practical Examples

Example of a Print Magazine Article Citation

Smith, J. (2020, March 15). Innovations in technology. Wired, 28(3), 45-50.

Example of an Online Magazine Article Citation

Doe, A. (2021, April 10). Advances in renewable energy. National Geographic. Retrieved from

Helpful Tools for APA Citation

Use WriterBuddy’s APA Citation Tool to streamline the citation process.


How do I cite a magazine article with no identifiable author in APA style?

When an article lacks an identifiable author, start the citation with the article title in sentence case, followed by the publication date, magazine title, volume and issue numbers, and page range. Example: “Understanding Climate Change. (2020, March). Scientific American, 322(5), 34-45″

What is the difference between sentence case and title case in APA citations?

In APA style, article titles are written in sentence case, where only the first word and proper nouns are capitalized. Magazine titles use title case, where all major words are capitalized. Example: Article title – “Exploring the depths of the ocean”; Magazine title – “National Geographic.”

When should I include a DOI or URL in my magazine article citation?

Include a DOI if available, as it provides a permanent link to the content. If no DOI is available, include the URL where the article can be accessed. Example: “Doe, A. (2021, April 10). Advances in renewable energy. National Geographic. Retrieved from”

What should I do if the page numbers of the magazine article are not consecutive?

List all page numbers the article appears on, separated by commas, if the article spans multiple non-consecutive pages. Example: “45, 50, 54-55.”


Accurate citation of magazine articles in APA format is crucial for academic credibility. The process involves including author information, article details, publication information, and location specifics. Following these guidelines helps properly attribute ideas and provides readers with necessary information to locate the original source.



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