Citing Sources

Q1.  How many sources should I cite?

There is no upper limit.  Be sure to follow the directions for each section of the assignment.  If a section requires a "unique" resource, that means that resource cannot be cited in another section of the assignment (it must be unique to that section). 

Q2.  How do I cite in APA?

You will usually be citing either a research database or a website. Use the following examples as a template for your citations. 


Citing a Library subscription database:


Author. (Date). Article Title. Journal Title, Volume(Issue), pages. Retrieved from database.

Colvin, G. (2008). Information worth billions. Fortune, 158(2), 73-79. Retrieved from Business Source Complete.

The standard In-text citation for this article is (Colvin, 2008).  


Citing a web publication:

Author. (Date). Article Title. Publisher Title. Retrieved from url.


Bruell, A. (2017, Dec. 5) Ad holding companies to rapidly increase spending with Amazon. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from


Please note, there is typically a hanging indent in a 2 line citation, meaning that all except for the first line will be indented.  Also note, if you cannot find an author by name, look for a corporate author.  If you do not see a corporate author, you can put the title of the website/article before the date.  The date should always be the second component in a citation.

It is very common for students to forget to include the Newspaper/Publication Title when they use Google to find articles. Not everyone is going to know that wsj stands for Wall Street Journal, or ft stands for Financial Times.  It's important to include the source title so that the reader doesn't have to actually visit the URL to know what the publication title is.


Citing a Company Website:

For a company website, the company will usually be the corporate author.  

When there's no clear title, the citation for the main webpage will be quite simple.  For example, Disney's website will look like this:


The Walt Disney Company. (2017). Retrieved from


An example for Adobe would look like this:


Adobe Systems Inc. (2017). Adobe [Web site]. Retrieved from


When there is a clear title for the webpage, that can go in place of  There's no official indication of how to cite a generic website in the APA manual, so close variants of this will be acceptable.

Note: You don't need to include a separate citation for each web page you use.  A single citation for the website will suffice.  It's not a bad idea to include a separate citation for reports or PDF documents that are linked to by the company website as these aren't technically part of the website.

Citing the 10-K:

You should all be using your company's 10-K and citing a source for your finances as well.  There are not many examples of how to do this, so the below examples can serve as your templates: 

Microsoft Corporation. (2016). Microsoft Corporation Annual Report [Form 10-K].  Retrieved from CapitalIQ.

The in-text citation for this is (Microsoft Corporation, 2016)

Citing your finances:

Yes, it is important to cite your finances.  Most sources "standardize" financial statements to make it easier to compare two companies to each other.  In standardizing a financial statement a source will make some interpretations that may cause minor changes from the original.  As a result, it's best to get all of your finances from one source, and it's important to indicate what that source is.  There is no official example on how to do this in the style guide, so we will be very lenient with formatting.  This can serve as a template.

Capital IQ (2016).  Microsoft Corporation Company Profile.  Retrieved from Capital IQ.

In-text you can either cite this by using (Capital IQ, 2016) or by saying "All ratios were calculated by using values as presented in Capital IQ."

For more Examples and other types of sources:

For more information about how to use bibliographic and in-text citations, visit Purdue's OWL website for APA.  You can also visit Cornell's library electronic guide to citing sources available here: APA style guide.


General Requirements

All assignments should have both a Works cited list, and In-text citations.  Both are important, but serve a different purpose.  The works cited list is a comprehensive list of the resources used in the assignment.  In-text citations tell the reader which resource(s) are responsible for specific data or information that you are using.  Here are a few highlights of what we're looking for and why.  


Works Cited List:

  • All resources used to complete the assignment should be listed here. - This gives the reader a comprehensive resource list, should they want to do additional research on your topic.
  • The list should be alphabetical by author - this is so the reader can quickly search through the works cited page for a citation used in the text
  • Be sure to use a hanging indent.  This means that the first line of the citation will be left justified, and all other lines will be indented.
  • All citations that come from online sources should indicate the URL or database the source came from.  Either is acceptable, just remain consistant.  (e.g. Retrieved from Business Source Complete;   Retrieved from - This is so the reader can track down the resources you used for their own research.
  • If you use URLs, they should not be extremely long.  If they are, simply use the base part of the URL.  For Example: use ,
    do NOT use 
    This is because URLs can change over time and also because it is usually easier to find a source from the base URL than it is to type out a long URL.  In addition, full database URLs will often be blocked anyway due to access restrictions.


In-Text Citations:

  • In-text citations should be (Author, Year).  When an author is not available, they should be (Title, Year).  The first thing mentioned in the In-text citation should match the first thing mentioned in the Works Cited List.  This is so the reader can scan the first line of the alphabetical Works Cited List to find the full citation.
  • Every sentence, chart, image or graph that was not completely your own data, thoughts or analysis should have a citation attached to it.  This is because copyright requires writers to give credit to original authors for any information that is not their own.
  • If two subsequent sentences come from the same source, both should have a citation.  This is because the reader cannot assume that any sentence without a citation should be attributed to one source over another.
  • When in doubt, always include a citation! 



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Tom Ottaviano