APA Style, 6th Edition



An article is a short piece of writing (ranging from 1-50 pages) published inside of a source.

Articles are typically published on a website or inside a journal, newspaper, magazine, or other type of periodical:




To build a reference for an article, choose a rule from the sidebar or click the links below:

Articles in Journals:


Articles in Newspapers/Magazines:


Articles in Other Sources:

Library databases contain information in multiple formats - images, streaming videos, book chapters, and so on.

  • One of the most common formats in databases are periodicals
  • Periodical refers to publications produced as an open-ended series at regular intervals, or “periods,” such as daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually.
  • Periodicals may be issued in print and/or electronic formats with a title indicating content that is focused on a particular subject area, audience, and/or geographic location.
  • There are 4 major types of periodicals: popular, news-based, trade/professional, and academic.

1) Popular - Examples: People; Cosmopolitan; National Geographic; Vogue; Sports Illustrated

  • Intended to entertain or persuade, usually with an agenda to sell products or services
  • Brief articles with short, catchy titles that have no obvious structure and do not contain original research, but sometimes contain summaries and popular representations of research, making it accessible to a non-specialized audience
  • Many photographs, illustrations, and colourful graphic layouts used for aesthetic purposes to draw in and influence readers
  • Attractive glossy format with lots of colour
  • Simple language in order to meet a very basic level of education
  • Extensive advertising designed to appeal to the general public or a specific demographic
  • Published on a weekly or monthly basis

2) News-Based - Calgary Herald; The Global and Mail; Time; MacLean's

  • Contains information on local, regional, national, or international events; editorialsand opinion columns; and entertainment reviews
  • Historical newspapers can provide unique eyewitness accounts of events
  • Useful for acquiring time-sensitive information as content is extremely current
  • Provides mainly objective information, but does not contain scholarly analysis
  • Written for a general audience with plain, simple language
  • Original source of the information is often unclear, as articles have no in-text citations or reference lists
  • Published daily, weekly, or monthly

3) Trade or Professional - Examples: Advertising Age; Harvard Business Review; Nutrition Health Review

  • Provides news and information to professionals in a particular industry
  • Articles do not contain original research, but focus on applying research to practical and real-life situations (i.e. discussing how teachers can apply the latest research on learning theories to their teaching)
  • Assumes the reader is an educated and experienced professional, so specialized vocabulary and technical jargon is often used
  • Funded through both subscriptions and advertising, with extensive advertising aimed at people in the field or industry
  • Photographs and illustrations used to support content of the article and also for aesthetic purposes to draw in readers
  • Published on an annual, biannual, or quarterly basis

4) Academic (Scholarly & Peer-Reviewed) - Examples: Nursing Philosophy; Journal of Business Communication

  • Presents original empirical research and/or theoretical analysis
  • Most articles are evaluated before publication through the peer review process
  • Articles are written by scholars or researchers in the field, discipline, or specialty and contain advanced, technical language appropriate to the discipline
  • Illustrations, graphs, charts and photographs are used only to support the content of articles
  • Articles are lengthy and have substantial in-text citations with endnotes, footnotes and/or bibliographies
  • Plain appearance with little use of colour and minimal advertising
  • Published on an annual, biannual, or quarterly basis
  • Contains one or more of these terms in the title - Journal, Studies, Applied, Analysis or Quarterly