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How to Cite a Report in APA Style

Reports are valuable sources in academic and professional writing. Citing reports in APA style requires specific elements: author (individual or organization), publication year, report title, report number (if available), and publisher. For online reports, include the URL. These details apply to both in-text citations and reference list entries.

Basic Elements of an APA Citation for a Report

Author(s) 

In APA style, the author’s name is a crucial element of a citation. List the last name followed by the first initial. For multiple authors, use an ampersand (&) before the last author’s name. For example: Smith, J. A., & Brown, L. B. 

Publication Year

The publication year is placed in parentheses immediately after the author’s name. This indicates the recency of the information, which is particularly important in fields where knowledge rapidly evolves. For example: (2021). 

Title of the Report 

The title of the report should be in italics and only the first word of the title and subtitle, as well as proper nouns, should be capitalized. This helps differentiate the title from other elements in the citation. For example: The impact of climate change on coastal erosion. 

Publisher

The publisher’s name follows the title. This is the organization responsible for disseminating the report. For example: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 

DOI or URL

A Digital Object Identifier (DOI) provides a permanent link to digital content. If a DOI is unavailable, include the URL of the report. This ensures readers can access the source directly. For example: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2780-9. 

Types of Reports and How to Cite Them 

Government Reports

Government reports often provide authoritative information on a wide range of topics. When citing these reports, include the name of the issuing agency as the author. For example:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (2020). Climate change indicators in the United States. Washington, DC: Author.

Corporate Reports 

Corporate reports, such as annual financial statements, are vital for business research. Cite these by naming the corporation as the author. For example:

Apple Inc. (2021). Annual report. Cupertino, CA: Apple Inc.

Research Reports 

Research reports from academic institutions or think tanks often present pioneering studies. These should be cited by including the authors and the institution. For example:

Smith, J. A., & Brown, L. B. (2019). Innovations in renewable energy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University.

Technical Reports 

Technical reports may contain detailed methods and data. They should be cited similarly to other reports, but ensure to include report numbers if available. For example:

National Renewable Energy Laboratory. (2020). Solar energy data for the United States: 2019 report (NREL/TP-6A20-75972). Golden, CO: Author.

In-Text Citations for Reports 

Direct Quotes

When quoting directly from a report, include the author, year, and page number. For instance:

(Smith & Brown, 2019, p. 15). 

Paraphrasing

For paraphrasing, provide the author and year. Page numbers are optional but recommended. For example:

(Smith & Brown, 2019). 

Multiple Authors

For three or more authors, list the first author followed by et al. in the first and subsequent citations. For example:

(Smith et al., 2019). 

Citing Secondary Sources

If citing a source within another source, use ‘as cited in’. For example:

(Smith, as cited in Brown, 2020). 

Formatting the Reference List Entry 

Structuring the Reference List: Order and Format 

Start the reference list on a new page with the title ‘References’ centered at the top. Entries should be double-spaced and use a hanging indent. 

Alphabetizing Authors: Last Name, First Initial 

Organize the reference list alphabetically by the last names of the authors. This helps readers quickly find sources. 

Handling Multiple Reports from the Same Author 

When citing multiple works by the same author, order them by publication year, starting with the earliest. If published in the same year, differentiate them with letters (e.g., 2020a, 2020b). 

Ensuring Consistency and Accuracy 

Consistency in citation format is crucial. Double-check all elements, such as author names, publication years, titles, and punctuation. 

Tips for Double-Checking Your Citations 

Review each citation for accuracy. Cross-reference with the source material to confirm all details. WriterBuddy Citation Generator can assist in ensuring precision. 

FAQs

Why is proper citation important in academic writing?

Proper citation in academic writing is crucial because it acknowledges the original authors of the works you reference, preventing plagiarism and lending credibility to your work. It allows readers to trace the origins of your information and demonstrates your adherence to academic standards.

How do I cite a government report in APA style?

To cite a government report in APA style, include the name of the issuing agency as the author, followed by the year of publication, the title of the report in italics, and the publisher. For example: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (2020). Climate change indicators in the United States. Washington, DC: Author.

What should I do if I cannot find a DOI for a report?

If a DOI is unavailable, include the URL of the report in your citation. This ensures that readers can access the source directly. For example: National Renewable Energy Laboratory. (2020). Solar energy data for the United States: 2019 report. Retrieved from https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy20osti/75972.pdf.

How do I handle multiple authors in an in-text citation in APA style?

For in-text citations with multiple authors, list the first author’s last name followed by “et al.” for three or more authors. For example, for a report by Smith, Brown, and Johnson, you would cite as (Smith et al., 2019).

Conclusion 

APA citations for reports include the author, publication year, italicized report title, report number (if available), and publisher. For online reports, add the URL. Use the author’s name and year for in-text citations. Create a full entry in your reference list. Always consult the current APA manual for the most up-to-date rules. Accurate report citations support your arguments and maintain academic integrity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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