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APA Citation Guide (7th edition): Getting Started

This guide assists with writing your papers in APA Citation Style (7th edition).

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.

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.

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.

Guide Attribution & License

 This guide is used and has been adapted with the permission of Santa Fe College Tyree Library. For information about reusing the guide, please contact reference@sfcollege.edu.

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

Animated gif of Appa the flying bison from Avatar: The Last Airbender chewing a bale of hay. Overlaid text reads "Appa Official Citation Bison"

Introduction to APA Style

The APA citation style is primarily used by disciplines in the business, social sciences, health, and education fields. The official guide is published by the American Psychological Association:

The main navigation links at the top of this guide will show you how to set up your paper in APA format, and how to properly cite a variety of resources, both in your references list and within your paper using in-text citations.

There are also several official resources online to help you with APA:

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is a violation of the Pfeiffer University Honor Code and is defined as intentionally or unintentionally using someone else's words, works, thoughts, or expression of ideas without giving proper credit. Plagiarism also includes reusing one's own content from another paper or using one paper for more than one course without authorization to do so.

When in doubt, cite it!


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