How to Format Page Extents in APA

Formatting page extents in APA is essential for academic and professional writing. Proper citation ensures that sources are accurately credited and readers can locate the referenced information. Whether you’re quoting directly from a journal article, a religious work, or a magazine article, adhering to APA guidelines for page extents is crucial. This article provides a detailed yet concise overview of how to format page extents in APA for various source types.


This section explores the intricacies of formatting page extents in APA style across various types works in academic and professional writing:

  • Quoting Directly: When quoting directly from a source in APA style, it is imperative to include the author, year, and page number of the quotation in both parenthetical and narrative in-text citations. Properly formatted page numbers enhance the credibility and readability of your writing.
  • Single Page: For referencing a single page, APA style mandates the use of the abbreviation “p.” followed by the page number. For instance, “p. 18,” “p. F45,” or “p. a171” are appropriate formats.
  • Multiple Pages: When referencing multiple consecutive pages, utilize the abbreviation “pp.” and separate the page range with an en dash. For example, “pp. 29–41” indicates pages 29 through 41.
  • Discontinuous Pages: In cases where pages are discontinuous, insert a comma between the page numbers. For instance, “pp. 55, 86” signifies pages 55 and 86.
  • Works Without Page Numbers: If the source does not include page numbers, it is crucial to provide an alternative method for readers to locate the quotation. This could involve referencing section numbers, paragraph numbers, or timestamps in multimedia sources.


APA formatting principles are applicable to a diverse range of source types, ensuring consistency and clarity in citation practices. Below are guidelines for formatting page extents in various source types commonly encountered in academic and professional writing:

  • Journal Article: When citing journal articles, include the volume and issue number if available, followed by the page range.
  • Dictionary Entry: Referencing dictionary entry requires specifying the entry title, followed by the publication year and page number if applicable.
  • Religious Works: Citing religious texts involves including the book, chapter, and verse numbers instead of page numbers. Ensure accuracy in referencing specific passages.
  • Chapter in Edited Book: When citing chapters from edited books, include the chapter author, title, editor(s), book title, edition (if applicable), publication year, and page range.
  • Magazine Article: For magazine articles, provide the author, publication year, article title, magazine name, volume and issue number (if available), and page range.
  • Newspaper Article: When citing newspaper articles, include the author, publication date, article title, newspaper name, and page number if available.

Use Section or Paragraph Numbers for Online Sources: If you’re citing something online without regular page numbers, like a webpage or PDF, try to use section or paragraph numbers instead. They help readers find the exact spot you’re referring to. If those numbers aren’t available, describe where to look instead.

Clarify Page Range for E-books: When citing e-books, specify the page range or location numbers instead of traditional page numbers. E-books often don’t have fixed page numbers due to differences in device settings or formats. Providing the page range or location numbers helps readers navigate the e-book to find the referenced content accurately.

Mention Page Numbers in Secondary Citations: If you’re citing a source that someone else has cited, tell your readers where the original info came from by mentioning its page numbers. This helps readers track down the original source, keeping your work clear and honest.


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Hannah Berry (Ph.D.)

Hannah Berry has lectured at several colleges and teaches at the WEA. Besides publishing extensively, she has taught citation skills and written multiple style guides.

Learn how to cite in APA