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Citing in APA Style

The 6th edition of the American Psychological Associations's Publication Manual outlines their suggested approach credit your sources.

About APA Citing and Referencing

The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association offers this straightforward advice for citing and referencing your sources:

"Cite the work of those individuals whose ideas, theories, or research have directly influenced your work. They may provide key background information, support or dispute your thesis, or offer critical definitions and data. Citation of an article implies that you have personally read the cited work. In addition to crediting the ideas of others that you used to build your thesis, provide documentation for all facts and figures that are not common knowledge" (American Psychological Association, 2010, p.169).

At the end of the quotation above, you'll notice an example of an in-text citation in APA style. This parenthetical note briefly and unobtrusively identifies the author, year, and page number (if applicable), of the source. You'll need to include a similar citation for any quotations, paraphrased ideas, facts, or definitions that you've taken from your sources. When your reader sees this in-text citation, they know you've used another author's work and are directed to the full entry in the reference list at the end. The full reference, in this case, would be:

American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th edition). Washington, DC: APA.

This guide is meant to assist you in creating full APA reference entries for your sources. Use the left-hand navigation to piece together the different elements of the reference. For more detailed information, check out the manual itself, or visit the Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University.


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