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APA Style Guide, 7th ed.

This guide provides tips and examples for APA style formatting of papers and citations.

General Citation Guidelines

Why is citation important? Citing your sources in college assignments gives you credibility.

  • Document all sources used to write your research paper. Documentation is essential to demonstrate to your reader the quality of your research, to allow the reader to access the original source, and to avoid plagiarism by giving proper credit for the words, works, and ideas of others.
  • For each source used in your project, include a detailed entry in a list of references on a new page at the end of the paper and a brief in-text citation which signals to the reader that the information provided is from a source other than yourself.
    • ​Exceptions: There are two situations where a source needs to be cited in-text only (in the body of your paper).
      • If you are describing an entire website, but not referring to a specific fact or idea from the site, it is OK to simply list the URL in an in-text citation. You do not need to include it in your list of references.
      • Any personal communication or experience like an email, interview you conducted, or referencing a live performance is cited in-text only since these types of sources would not be accessible for the reader after the fact.
  • References should follow the rules outlined in the APA Manual (examples in Reference List tab).
  • References may not be necessary for information and ideas which are common knowledge or widely known by the average reader. If you are unsure whether information or ideas are common knowledge, consult with your instructor prior to finalizing your paper.

Consult these sources for proper APA formatting:

Why Citation is Important (Videos)

Video produced by Joshua Vossler for Coastal Carolina University. Used under a Creative Commons license.

Video Script

"Citation: A Very Brief Introduction" from NCSU Libraries - published under a Creative Commons 3.0 BY-NC-SA US license.