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Cite Your Sources: APA Format

Getting Started with APA

"APA Style" refers to guidelines published by the American Psychological Association.

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Seventh Edition

The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Seventh Edition details the organization's rules on how to format a paper, how to document research sources you use, and other matters of writing style. The American Psychological Association released a new edition of the Publication Manual in 2020. You can read about the changes on the APA Style website.

The APA Publication Manual is available at the first floor library reference desk (two-hour checkout, in-library use only) and for purchase, but students can refer to help guides like this for almost any question about APA Style. The American Psychological Association also publishes the Concise Guide to APA Style, Seventh Edition specifically for students.

Why is APA Style so important?

If you don't use a citation style to document the sources you used to help write a research paper, you're in danger of plagiarism.

Even if you don't mean to plagiarize, not citing your sources correctly might make it look as though you're passing someone else's words or ideas off as your own. There are serious consequences for plagiarism at LSC-CyFair.

The best way to protect yourself from plagiarism is to get familiar with APA Style and use it consistently. 

APA Format Exercise

APA Format Exercise

Open and use this handy guide to help you prepare citations for each of your sources. There's a worksheet for each:

  • Reference source
  • Periodical source from an online database like ProQuest or Academic Search Complete
  • Web source

Citing Images

Sample APA Paper

Printable Guide

Printable Guide [PDF version]

These are succinct, well-laid out guides that cover the most common citation situations and give examples of each.

Additional APA Sources

Additional Sources -providing more in-depth information and examples

Frequently Asked Questions about APA Style American Psychological Association (2010 ed.) Includes information about citing web sites, etc.

Reference List: Electronic Sources (Web Publications) from Purdue OWL Have questions specifically about citing electronic resources? Look here!

In-text Citations for APA style (2010 ed.) Includes a table with information on how to do in-text citations for multiple authors.

Referencing Sources in APA Style: A Basic Introduction (Video -- covers how to do in-text citations)

APA Style Reference List: How to Reference Journal Articles (Video -- covers how to cite journal articles)

The Alvin Sherman Library  Includes a collection of How Do I Cite? videos

The OWL at Purdue  A great source for APA formatting and style, with examples.

Duke University Library Provides examples for all citation styles in Citing Sources Within Your Paper and Assembling a List of Works Cited.

Using a DOI vs. a URL in APA Style (2010 ed.) Shows when to use a DOI and when to use a URL in your APA citations.

Acknowledging, Paraphrasing, and Quoting Sources From the Writing Center at University of Wisconsin - Madison, this guide gives examples of successful and unsuccessful paraphrasing.

APA Tutorial

Citation Software

Foreign Citation & Decoding Worksheet

Practice decoding citations with this worksheet.