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AMA Style Guide

This guide is intended to introduce you to the basics of citation formatting as outlined in the 11th edition of the AMA Manual of Style

AMA Style In-Text Citations

Whenever you quote or paraphrase source materials in your paper, you will need to cite where the original information came from.  The AMA style uses numbers as superscripts that refer to full citations in the reference list.  These numbers are given in chronological order from where they are referenced in the paper. Use the same number when you refer to that source again, include page numbers if necessary.

Use numbers as a superscript outside periods and commas.

  • A good deal of research on online communication also suggests that these media affect how people communicate.5
  • The concept of psychopathy was first officially documented by Hervey Cleckley,6 who documented a subsection of his patients that displayed a dire lack of morality.

Multiple sources can be cited together.  If the sources are consecutive, separate them with a hyphen.  If they are not, use commas without a space to separate the numbers.

  • Language produced during communication can be indicative of personality traits, as well as emotional states, identity and cognitive style. 1-3
  • We expect to find similar evidence of narcissistic tendencies and psychological distancing in online communication as found in previous studies.4,13

Direct quotes should include page numbers.

  • Davies noted "the Self-Report Psychopathy Scale III (SRP-III) conceptualizes the psychopathy with a four-factor structure,"17(p.2) consistent with the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised.18

Advice for Numerical Citations

Using numerical citations instead of a name-year system can be frustrating as you edit your paper.  You may need to add, move, or remove a citation, which will change the order of your reference list and the numbers for each new citation after the change.  Manually changing each of these numbers with every revision is stressful and time consuming, and it has very little effect on the content of the paper.  The following is advice from someone with experience using numerical citations and is not part of any official citation style.

  • Add your reference numbers once - at the very end: As you work on your paper, use parenthetical citations with just enough information that you know the source to which you are referring.  This may be the first author's last name, the first few words of the title, or even a DOI.  There are no rules, this will only be seen by you or another editor.  Once the content is finished, add your superscripts in place of the parenthetical citations and put your reference list in order.
  • Create your reference list in a separate document: The order of the references may change, but the accuracy of your citation will not. Go ahead and create the citation as you find your sources so that once your paper is edited, all you need to do is copy and paste the reference list in order.  This also helps you re-find sources you liked but couldn't download, like informational websites.
  • Don't give up: If you've already started your editing process with numerical citations, it's okay!  Keep the numbers consistent from this point forward, and if you need to change any citations make a note of the change and leave it to do at the end.  If you need to submit drafts that have proper numerical citations, make that the last step of your process before submitting the drafts.  Remember that your working copy is just for you and your editors.