Skip to Main Content

APA Citation for Business

Reference lists

A reference list is made up of all materials you used in the paper. If a work is mentioned in the text, then it has to be included in the reference list.

If you did additional reading but did not explicitly mention that work in the paper, do not add an entry for it to your reference list. If you use an in text citation for personal communication, this does not have to be included in your reference list either.

List the entries in alphabetical order, by author’s last name.

All references are presented together, even when you use different types of materials (journal articles, books, videos, social media posts, press releases, websites, etc). Do not break down your reference list to group similar materials together.

Citation guides with examples

A group of librarians has created a very useful guide about citing business sources in which you will find sample citations for industry profiles, annual reports, company profiles, case studies, and much more. It is organized by source, listed in alphabetical order.

Librarians at Bentley University Library have also compiled an extensive list of examples of citations for regularly used business sources. 

Additional notes

Tips for citing industry and company reports

  • Some of these reports are authored by individuals (analysts), others by organizations or publishers – this will determine how you cite it. Company annual reports are unlikely to have an author.

Tips for citing articles

  • When pagination details are not available, you can provide the name of the database used to retrieve the article.

Tips for citing data sets

  • If the data set is recurrent or there will likely be changes in the future (such as a government data set, for example), include the version number, retrieval date. APA suggests using the date for that particular version being used.

Tips for citing social media

  • A hashtag or an emoji are counted as a word. List the first 20 words of a post as the title.
  • Information from private groups should be cited as personal communication.