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Citation Help: APA

A Brief Intro to APA

What is it?

  • APA style refers to a specific formatting style created by the American psychological Association.
  • APA is most commonly used by students and scholars in the social sciences when writing papers and citing sources.

How does APA work?

  • APA Style most commonly uses a brief in-text citation and a full citation on a reference page. 

Where can I find Examples?

  • Examples of APA citations can be found by source in the box on below or from the drop down APA menu.

What you'll find in the APA Publication Manual

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association

The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association is broken down into eight parts covering all aspects of publishing.

Part I: Writing for the Behavioral and Social Sciences

This is an introduction to publication types in the social sciences, like literature reviews, case studies, empirical studies, and articles of all kinds. This section also discusses the ethical responsibilities of the researcher, including avoiding plagiarism, respecting intellectual property rights, and how to handle situations like conflicts of interest and determining authorship.

Part II: Manuscript Structure and Content

Social science research is presented using standard formatting so that all articles share a similar organization. This allows readers to quickly and more accurately absorb the information presented in the publication. Not only does this section explain the purposes and formatting for each section of a standard social sciences publication, it also provides some examples for your consideration.

Parts III-IV: Writing Clearly and Concisely - Mechanics of Style

Learning to write in a scholarly voice that is precise and engaging takes time, effort, and helpful chapters in publication manuals that teach you the tricks of the trade. Learn how to present your research using appropriate terms and in a scholarly tone or discover once and for all what your professor meant when they said that your "verbs and subjects don't agree." Also discussed are the correct uses of punctuation, otherwise known as the correct uses of the semicolon and other fascinating facts.

Part V: Displaying Results

Learn how to format figures, tables, and graphs that illustrate your data. 

Part VI: Crediting Sources

Learn when to cite, the difference between quotation and paraphrase, and how to obtain permissions from copyright holders. This section also describes the nuts and bolts of how citations are put together and why, from author's name(s) all the way to page numbers and DOIs.

Part VII: Reference Examples

This is where you will find sample citations for a wide variety of source types. For any source type not covered in this online citation guide, check Chapter 7, and find the information to structure your citation.

Part VIII: The Publication Process

The last chapter discusses how the peer-review process works and your rights and responsibilities as an author. 

 Available for purchase in print and as an e-book 

Ask a Librarian

Librarians are available to help you with your questions. Please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions you might have regarding citation styles, citation management, etc.

Ask a question below or contact your subject specialist librarian for more help!

Useful Resources for APA Citation