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AMA Citation Format: A Comprehensive Guide

The American Medical Association (AMA) established a format for citing academic papers. This format is generally known as the AMA citation style. Like all the other formats, it has its intricacies and variations. We’ll break down techniques on how to master this style with examples.

What is an AMA Citation? 

AMA is one of the widely popular methods of citation in academic writing. Primarily, the fields of medical and biological sciences use this style. This is because the AMA citation format assists with accuracy, readability and clarity. 

Generally, you require AMA style formatting if you’re assigned a medical paper. However, if your professor prefers concise formatting, you must use AMA. (regardless of the field) 

AMA citation includes: 

  • A numerical in-text citation that is written in superscript 
  • A reference list is numbered according to the order of in-text sourcing. 

To Illustrate: 

  • AMA in-text citation:

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  • AMA Reference: 
  1. Craig C. Online Learning: How Student and Faculty Roles Have Evolved. Education Digest. 2014;80(2):39-41.

Fun Fact: 

The western journal of nursing research (WJNR) is shifting from APA to AMA formatting. The style from the Journal of the American Medical Association is much easier to read. Todd Rupper, the chief editor of WJNR, provides a set of reasons for this shift.

  • AMA never breaks the flow of the text with parenthetical citing 
  • It’s concise and takes less space. Consequently, the writer can add more content to their paper.
  • It improves the overall readability of the paper.

AMA in-text Citation 

This might be the simplest type of formatting you’ll get across. AMA in-text citation entails only the use of a superscript number. You need to know the following characteristics of this numeric superscript. 

  • The numbered superscript appears after the information from a foreign source. 
  • You can write it after a comma, quotation marks, or period. 
  • Use an “en dash” to cite multiple consecutive sources at once. ( example. 1-4).
  • If the sources are not consecutive, use commas without space in between. (for instance. 3,6,7
  • If you’re adding page numbers, write them in parentheses. Remember to always put them after the citation number. 

You can indicate a single page with “p”. To present several pages in AMA citation format, use “pp”. (multiple pages from multiple sources. 2,4(pp23-67),5. Single page source. 6(p5))

AMA Style References 

The AMA citation format reference page appears at your paper’s end. This page packs accurate information about each of the cited sources. Here are some characteristics of AMA references you need to learn.

  • The references are listed according to their citation order within your content. 
  •  A repeatedly cited source is only listed once on the reference page. 
  • Here is a list of information that you can find within a reference;
    • The author’s name and initials 
    • Title of the sources
    • Publication information 
    • Date of publication 
  • Almost all types of sources have different referencing format

For instance: 

AMA journal citation format

Author’s last name initials. Title of the Article. Journal Name. Year; Volume(issue): page range, URL or DOI 

For instance: 

Stephanie K, Abdul H, Hina R.S. Managing social stigma around Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. The Chronicles of Human Existence. 2014;60(4): 34-58. Doi: 11.1059/00043455. 

AMA book citation format

Author’s last name initials. Book title: Subtitle. Publisher; Year. 

To illustrate: 

Jordan B.P. Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief. Routledge; 1999.

AMA website citation

Author’s last name. Page title. Name of website. Published month, day, year. Access month, day, and year. URL. 

To Illustrate: 

Elizabella W.B. Why nursing assignment writing help is necessary. The MedSchool Survivor. Published April 20, 2023. Accessed July 2, 2023. 

AMA Citation Format 

Here are general guidelines on how to arrange your paper with AMA styling. This tutorial also includes a reference page. 

The Content Pages


  • Common font: Times New Roman, Arial 
  • Common font-size: 12 

Page Numbering

  • Mention the page number on the upper right corner of each page 
  • Start page numbering with the title page


  • Use 1-inch margins for all the pages. 
  • Indent the first line of all the paragraphs by ½ inch. 


  • Use double spacing for clarity.


  • Utilize a consistent style for each level of heading in the text. 
  • When using an acronym in the text for the first time, spell it.

Reference Page

  • The reference page always comes at the end of the text 
  • This page is separate and has the heading “References” on it
  • All the references are formatted in a numerical list.
  • The order of listing depends on the order of referenced sources in the text.

AMA Citation Format Sample

Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): Its Impact and Management

Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a common neurodevelopmental condition. It poses significant challenges to the affected individuals and those around them. It is primarily diagnosed in childhood.[1] However, in many cases, the symptoms can persist into adolescence and adulthood. [2]

There are some specific symptoms that define ADHD. These include impulsive behavior, hyperactivity, and difficulty in paying attention. [1] These symptoms often interfere with an individual’s academic, emotional and social functioning.

ADHD is not merely a behavioral issue but is recognized as a chronic medical condition. Without proper management, ADHD has long-term implications. [2]. Interestingly, the exact causes of ADHD remain uncertain. Many researchers believe it to be predominantly genetic.

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However, environmental factors like prenatal exposure to tobacco and alcohol also matter. [3] A single definitive test for diagnosing ADHD does not exist. Instead, the diagnosis relies on the presence of specific behaviors and symptoms. This is noticed over a particular duration and setting. [3]

New advancements for effective treatments are taking place despite the challenges. Some medications have proven effective. These include stimulants that show significant symptom reduction. Moreover, combining pharmacologic management with behavioral therapy is also helpful. [4]

ADHD remains one of the highly discussed neuroscience research topics. It poses considerable challenges. But the combined efforts of researchers and clinicians are showing effective enhancements. The societal understanding of the condition has also changed a lot recently. This, along with continued research, will bring about betterment.


  1. American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 5th ed. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association; 2013.
  2. Biederman J, Faraone SV. Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Lancet. 2005;366(9481):237–248.
  3. Banerjee TD, Middleton F, Faraone SV. Environmental risk factors for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Acta Paediatr. 2007;96(9):1269–1274.
  4. Jensen PS, Arnold LE, Swanson JM, et al. 3-year follow-up of the NIMH MTA study. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2007;46(8):989–1002.


Here are some of the major differences between APA and AMA citing Styles.

Key Differences APA citation style AMA citation format 
Fields of Use (predominantly)  Social sciences  Biomedical studies 
In-text citation Uses author’s name and publication date in parentheses Uses numerical superscript in-text
Reference List Use alphabetical order Listed numerically according to their appearance in the text. 
In-text focus APA neglects the abbreviation of journal titlesAMA citation format focuses on abbreviations. 
In-text citation punctuation APA has specific punctuation rules.AMA has a menial focus on in-text citation punctuation

AMA formatting Don’ts

Avoid these mistakes in your next academic paper for better AMA-style formatting. 

  • Don’t use et al. for references with up to six authors. AMA citation format requires all authors to be listed.
  • Do not put the numerical superscript before commas, periods, or quotation marks. 
  • Don’t include titles or degrees when citing a source in AMA citation format.
  • Don’t capitalize all the letters for article titles or journal names in the reference list.
  • Don’t list the publication date twice in the reference list.
  • Don’t abbreviate the title of the journal with one word in the AMA citation format.

Understanding these citation methods naturally confuses many students. But don’t worry; help is here. Our cheap assignment service will help you understand the AMA citation format.


Here is our take on the AMA citation format guide. We’re sure this post will prove helpful for you. If you need an extra hand with your paper, order assignment help from professionals. Our experts are here to assist you around the clock at student-friendly prices.

Frequently Asked Questions
How can I create AMA references? Who uses the AMA citation format? How to create AMA in-text citations?
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