Step-By-Step Guide: How to Create a Proper APA PDF Citation

Most research documents are shared in PDF but many students haven’t learned yet how to cite in this document format. It might be tough as you learn but once you understand the trick, it becomes easy. 

 One trick you should always remember is that PDF is a file type but not a source type and therefore, you should first check the type of source before you cite in a file type. If your source is a journal in PDF, you should cite the same way you would cite a journal. Follow this step-by-step guide and you will discover it’s very simple. 

APA PDF Citation
Always understand the source of the file

 Before you cite in PDF, first understand the source. There are different sources of information. You may get information from newspapers, magazines, books, journals, videos, blogs, and so on. Each type of source has specific citation guidelines provided by APA. If you understand the guidelines and how to cite each source, you will find citing the source in PDF very simple. 

 For example, if you were researching information on what details you should include in a military speech, first understand if your source was a military journal or newspaper and then find out how to cite such a source using online citation tools. In your PDF, cite it in the exact format and set your PDF margins well.  

 Citing from different sources: Journals/articles

 If you want to cite from journals, blogs or articles, note the name of the journal, its volume, issue number, and date when it was published. The PDF citation should have an e-locator. Most journals will have a page number but many blogs and articles don’t have. 

 Start with the last name followed by publisher’s initials, then the name of the journal/article, issue number, page number/range (if no page number, include the e-locator), and end with. DOI or URL. 

 Example: Pauline, S.R., & Joyce, A.D (2020). Emotional Health. The relationship between exercise and brain health. Cognition, 89(2), 105-107.

 Learning from research and thorough practice helps a college student easily understand the secrets of how to cite a PDF in APA correctly. However, if the student finds studying the guidelines hard to understand, they can use the APA 7th edition pdf citation generator for college papers from EduBirdie because it’s the easiest way to do PDF citation. There are many tools that help to make the education experience better and this tool is one of them. Nevertheless, it is important for a student to put more effort and learn how to cite a PDF APA. 

 Citing a book

 A researcher might encounter some sources from books in PDF. Always remember books are copyrighted and have publication dates and page numbers. Include the name of the author followed by publication date, then book title, the publisher then the URL. 

 Example: Ronald S. S. (2016), Effect of Meditation: emotions, psychology, California University Press.

PDF Citation

Sources from a dissertation

 Nearly all academic research reports published online will be in PDF and feature titles that specify them as a dissertation. It will have the author’s name, title, study level, school, website name, and URL. 

 Always start with the author’s name followed by initials, then the year in brackets, title of dissertation, study level (masters, Ph.D.,) school, website name.URL

 Example: Spencer, C. (2021), roles played by teachers in pupil development: the best applicable strategies [Ph.D. thesis, University of Florida], CurateND.

 Sources from magazines and newspapers

 You might find an online newspaper or magazine published in PDF. For such sources, note the page number, the year the paper was written, month, day, and date. 

 Use only the last name of the author followed by initials. Follow by brackets and write the year, then the month and day. Close the brackets and write the title of the article, then the name of the newspaper or magazine, and end with page or pages. 

 Example: Brighton, Z. (2012, October 25). Economies of scale, social status. The Sunday Post, A2, A1. 

 Format correctly

 For your citations to align correctly with your PDF, you must format your page and do your page set up correctly. Remember to use the correct fonts, setting the right margins, line spacing, and align your paragraphs correctly. 


 Citing sources in APA PDF citation is very simple if you correctly understand how to cite different sources according to APA guidelines. You should set up your PDF page correctly and use the right margins, fonts, line spacing, and paragraph alignment. Online citation tools are very important to help you cite faster and accurately. The best way to understand the format and the right steps to follow is to study online guides and commit yourself to thorough practice. 

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