Q. How do I cite a PDF?


A PDF or "portable document format" is a file format that captures an image of a page of a source as it would appear in print. 

Formatting an APA References list citation requires an accurate identification of the TYPE of resources being cited (book, journal article, website, sound recording, etc.).  It is the resource type that determines how it is cited.  Because a PDF can be created for any type of resource, it has no bearing on the way a citation is constructed for the source.

When working with a PDF, first determine what it is that you are viewing.  Is it an article? a book chapter? and entry in an encyclopedia?; then consult the APA Guide for examples of Reference list citations for that resource type.



  • Last Updated Jun 30, 2020
  • Views 536
  • Answered By Suzanne Schriefer, Education & General Education Librarian

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