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APA Style Guide, 7th edition: APA

Getting Started

What is a citation?

A citation is a reference to a source used in a research project. Whenever you use another person’s ideas or words in a research paper, you must cite, or give credit, to that person. That’s called citing your source.

What is American Psychological Association (APA) style?

  • APA style is a set of rules for how you credit sources by writing citations and references. It is a standard way of citing sources. This means each source you use should be formatted in a specific way.
  • What are citations and references?

Crediting sources is the key to avoiding plagiarism. In APA style, there are two ways you must credit sources:

  1. In the text of the paper when a source is quoted, paraphrased, or summarized (in-text citations)
  2. In a more detailed alphabetical list at the end of the paper (references)

In-text citations and references provide information about a source used and they provide the reader with the information to locate the source in its original form.

APA style is commonly used for citing references in student papers in science, medical, public health, health sciences, and nursing as well as the social science.

This guide is based on the APA Manual (7th ed.) which was published in October 2019. Some instructors may still be using the 6th edition. Please consult your instructor if you are unsure which edition to use.

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