How to Cite Shakespeare in APA Format

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How to Cite Shakespeare in APA Format
(writing image by Alison Bowden from

The APA style of citation is most commonly used by those whose writing leans more towards the scientific side, but it is also used in the humanities. The best reference for APA style is the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, but there are also many guides on education websites. Here are some basic steps for citing Shakespeare in APA style.

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  1. 1

    Write down the information you will need from the volume of work you will be citing, such as the author's name, publication date, title of the work, and publication data. For example: William Shakespeare, 1992, The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, edited by B.A. Mowat & P. Werstine, published in New York at Washington Square-Pocket.

  2. 2

    Write the reference page citation. Ensure references are in alphabetical order and contain the author's full last name and first initial (e.g., Shakespeare, W.). Double-space your references, with the second line of each one indented:

    Shakespeare, W. (1992). The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark (B.A. Mowat & P. Werstine, Eds.). New York: Washington Square-Pocket.

  3. 3

    Place the author's name, year of publication or translation and the numbers for the act, scene and lines inside parentheses before the period at the end of a sentence for in-text citations. This will help the reader find the exact location of your reference.

  4. 4

    Use the electronic book format for referencing only if you are unable to obtain a paper copy of the book. Include the author's name, date of publication, title and the web address you used to access the book. If the work is not available for free online, replace "retrieved from" with "available from" and tell readers where they can locate it.

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