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How to Reference Bloom's Taxonomy in the APA Format

Updated March 23, 2017

Educational psychologist Benjamin Bloom identified categories of learning that are sometimes referred to as "the goals of the learning process." He ordered them from the simplest behaviour to the most complex. In 1956, Bloom published Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, Handbook I: The Cognitive Domain, outlining that order. His order of learning behaviours is called Bloom's Taxonomy, from the title of his influential publication. Since Bloom's Taxonomy is widely referenced in the educational community, knowing how to cite it in the American Psychological Association's (APA) format is important for anyone writing a research paper for an education or psychology class.

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  1. Locate a copy of Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, Handbook I: The Cognitive Domain. Most academic libraries carry multiple copies since it is such a widely referenced book. You can find all the information you need to reference Bloom's Taxonomy on the copyright page.

  2. Complete any in-text citations necessary. Any time you make reference to Bloom's Taxonomy specifically or to something found within the book, whether paraphrasing or directly quoting, you must indicate the reference in your paper. In APA format, in-text use author-date format. When referencing the entire work or an idea from Bloom's Taxonomy, your citation does not need a specific page number. If you're quoting directly or paraphrasing you must include page numbers. In-text citations for Bloom's Taxonomy look like (Bloom, 1956) or (Bloom, 1956, p. 200). Reprinted editions of books require both publication years in the in-text citation.

  3. List the reference on your bibliography or works cited page. Create a reference listing, using the publication information on the copyright page of your copy of Bloom's book. Reference listings include the author's name, year of publication, title of work, publication location and publisher in the following format: Author, A. A. (Year). Title. Location: Publisher. (Original work published, if your copy is a reprint). For example, a reference listing for the original publication of Bloom's book looks like: Bloom, B. S. (1956). Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, Handbook I: The Cognitive Domain. New York: David McKay Co Inc.

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About the Author

Sean Butner

Sean Butner has been writing news articles, blog entries and feature pieces since 2005. His articles have appeared on the cover of "The Richland Sandstorm" and "The Palimpsest Files." He is completing graduate coursework in accounting through Texas A&M University-Commerce. He currently advises families on their insurance and financial planning needs.

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