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How to Cite Software APA Style

by Lily Medina, Demand Media

    If you mention software in a paper or use it to conduct a study, then you should cite it--just like when you use books for research. For example, if you used an analysis software in computing the results of a research study, then you should cite that software when presenting your research in a paper. Since you can't take credit for the software's work, and since your readers may want to investigate or use the software, your paper's bibliography should provide all of its essential information. Software is cited using APA (American Psychological Association) Style, which is used in academic settings to cite sources of research.

    If a Specific Person Owns the Copyright

    Step 1

    Cite the name of the person who holds the software's rights. First cite the last name, followed by a comma. Then cite the first letter of the first name, followed by a period.

    Step 2

    Write, in parentheses, the year of the software's publication. Follow the parentheses with a period.

    Step 3

    Cite the name of the software, unitalicized. At the end of the name, add a space but no period.

    Step 4

    Add a set of parentheses. In the parentheses, cite the version number of the software--for example, "(Version 2)." After the parentheses, add a space but no period.

    Step 5

    Add a set of brackets. Write the word "software" within the brackets. After the brackets, type a period.

    Step 6

    Provide publication information, using one of the following formats: If the publishing company provides this information, cite the location of the software's publisher. Add a colon and a space, and then cite the title of the company that produces the software. If the company sells the software online, then write the phrase "Retrieved from," and after a space, paste the URL of the appropriate web page.

    If Only a Company, Not a Person, Holds the Rights

    Step 1

    Cite the name of the software, unitalicized. At the end of the name, add a space but no period.

    Step 2

    Add a set of parentheses. In the parentheses, cite the version number of the software--for example, "(Version 2)." After the parentheses, add a space but no period.

    Step 3

    Add a set of brackets. Write the word "Software" within the brackets. After the brackets, type a period.

    Step 4

    Write, in parentheses, the year of the software's publication. Follow the parentheses with a period.

    Step 5

    Provide publication information, using one of the following formats. If the publishing company provides this information, cite the location of the software's publisher. Add a colon and a space, and then cite the title of the company that produces the software. If the company sells the software online, then write the phrase "Retrieved from," and after a space, paste the URL of the appropriate web page.

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    About the Author

    As a professional copywriter since 2004, Lily Medina researches to expand her expertise in technology, parenting, education, health, fitness and writing. She has also taught high school and worked as a copy editor. Medina majored in political theory at Patrick Henry College.

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