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Citing: APA

Other Citation Styles

For information on other citation styles, please see our citing guide.

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About APA Style

APA stands for the American Psychological Association. The APA citation style is used most often in the social sciences, including psychology, sociology, and education.

Citations allow someone reading a paper to find what sources the writer used. It's important to include them in your papers to avoid plagiarism, to give credit to others for their ideas, and to show where you found your information.

References

These citations will show you how to piece together the elements of an APA reference. Your references page should be inserted at the end of your paper and include the full citation for every source you cited in your paper, in alphabetical order and with a .5" hanging indent (see below).

For more in-depth help, see the Excelsior OWL page on APA references, or ask a librarian.

Journal article:

[Author: Nesset, V.] [Date: (2016).] [Title: A look at classification and indexing practices for elementary school children.] [Journal name, italicized: The Indexer,] [Volume number, italicized: 34] [Issue number: (2),] [Pages: 63-65.] Retrieved from [URL]

Book:

[Author: Battles, M.] [Date: (2003).] [Title, italicized: Library: An unquiet history.] [Location: New York, NY:] [Publisher: W.W. Norton and Company.]

Book chapter:

[Author: Letellier, P.] [Date: (2003).] [Chapter title: Queen Elizabeth I: Heart of a king.] In [Book editor: M. Montlack] (Ed.), [Book title, italicized: My diva: 65 gay men on the women who inspire them] [Pages: (pp. 15-18).] [Location: Madison, WI:] [Publisher: Terrace Books.]

Webpage:

[Authors: Cain, A., & Burris, M.] [Date: (1999, April).] [Title, italicized: Investigation of the use of mobile phones while driving.] Retrieved from [URL]

Online article:

[Author: Fleming, M.] [Date: (2016, Feb. 23).] [Title: Ava DuVernay set to direct Disney's "A Wrinkle in Time."] [Website, italicized: Deadline Hollywood.] Retrieved from [URL]

Newspaper article:

[Author: D'Agostino, J.] [Date: (2017, January 13).] [Article title: Beyond borders, a connection.] [Newspaper, italicized: Dunkirk Observer,] [Page: p. A3.]

Hanging Indents

To create a hanging indent in Microsoft Word, click and hold on the bottom triangle at the far left of the ruler.

For display only

Then drag it to the half-inch mark and release it.

For display only

In-Text Citations

In-text citations, or parenthetical citations, must be included in the main text of your paper. Insert a citation immediately after any information you take from another source.

APA in-text citations require the author's last name and the year of publication. The page number is also required for direct quotes.

Examples:

  • Elizabeth I was also known by the nickname Gloriana (Letellier, 2009).
  • Elizabeth "was the kind of person who translated Italian poetry into Latin – for fun" (Letellier, 2009, p. 17).
  • Letellier (2009) discusses Elizabeth I as his own rolemodel.
  • Letellier (2009) deems Elizabeth "undeniably a nerd's diva" (p. 16).

For more information, see the Excelsior OWL's section on APA in-text citations.

Citation Management

Citation managers are software that help you keep track of your citations. They allow you to organize your citations, store the full text, and insert citations in your papers.

Reed Library offers the use of EndNote.

License

CC BY-NC-SAThis page, authored by Sophie M. Forrester, is licensed under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 International License.

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