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APA Citation Guide: Introduction

What is APA?

APA style was created by the American Psychological Association. It is a set of rules for publications, including research papers.

In APA, you must "cite" sources that you have paraphrased, quoted or otherwise used to write your research paper. Cite your sources in two places:

  1. In the body of your paper where you add a brief in-text citation.
  2. In the Reference list at the end of your paper where you give more complete information for the source.

STLCC Writing Center Handout

Note

This research guide is based on the Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). The contents are accurate to the best of our knowledge. Some examples illustrate recommendations and are marked as modifications of the official APA guidelines.

Commonly Used Terms

Citing: The process of acknowledging the sources of your information and ideas.

D O I (doi): Some electronic content, such as online journal articles, is assigned a unique number called a Digital Object Identifier (D O I or doi). Items can be tracked down online using their doi.

In-Text Citation: A brief note at the point where information is used from a source to indicate where the information came from. An in-text citation should always match more detailed information that is available in the Reference List.

Paraphrasing: Taking information that you have read and putting it into your own words.

Plagiarism: Taking, using, and passing off as your own, the ideas or words of another.

Quoting: The copying of words of text originally published elsewhere. Direct quotations generally appear in quotation marks and end with a citation.

Reference: Details about one cited source.

Reference List: Contains details on ALL the sources cited in a text or essay, and supports your research and/or premise.

Retrieval Date: Used for websites where content is likely to change over time (e.g. Wikis), the retrieval date refers to the date you last visited the website.

APA Style® Resources from the American Psychological Association

This guide is used and has been adapted with the permission of Seneca College Libraries. For information please contact lcc@senecacollege.ca.

Note: When copying this guide, please retain this box.

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

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