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APA Guide (Based on the 6th Edition): Citations

Video Instruction

Instructions

All content on this guide comes from the 6th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.

  • Content that is to be typed in your paper is highlighted on the guide to differentiate it from other text. Do not highlight text in your paper.
  • All instructions are provided through the use of Microsoft Word 2010. Please note, steps may vary depending on the word processor you are using.

How to Cite

Basics

APA Style requires that you cite an author within the body of your paper in addition to having a full citation on the references page. You can directly quote an author or paraphrase an author.

Paraphrasing versus Quoting

It is highly preferred that you use your own words to describe someone else's work, findings, etc. Although paraphrasing is preferred, you can directly quote from an author as long as you include the author's name, the date of publication, and the page number of the quotation. (Look to the right for more information about quoting.)

 

See pages 174-179 of the manual for more information.

See page 176 Table 6.1 for Basic Citation Styles.

One Author: 

  • Paraphrasing: Cite author's last name and publication year.
  • Quoting: Cite author's last name, publication year, and the page number(s)*.
    *On a website? Then cite the paragraph number after para.

                   

Examples:

Paraphrasing: Flight is an ability many birds have (Smith, 2011).

Author’s Name is Part of a Sentence: According to Smith (2011), many birds have the ability to fly.

Quoting: "Many birds can fly" (Smith, 2011, p. 265).

Institutional Author: "For an institutional author, spell out its entire name" (Center for Institutional Authors, 2016, para. 2).

Two Authors:

Use the word and between the authors' last names when citing within the text, and use the ampersand (i.e., &) when citing within the parentheses.

  • Paraphrasing: Cite authors' last names and publication year.
  • Quoting: Cite authors' last names, publication year, and the page number(s).

Examples:

Paraphrasing: The research indicated that weather temperature is positively correlated with crime incidence (Davis & Brown, 1995).

Authors’ Names are Part of a Sentence: David and Brown (1995) suggest that weather temperature is positively correlated with crime incidence.

Quoting: Davis and Brown (1995) stated, "higher temperatures are correlated with an increase in criminal activity" (p. 180).

 

See pages 174-175 of the manual for more information.

.

Three to Five Authors: 

Name all the authors' last names the first time you cite them. Use the word and between the second to last and last authors' last names when citing within the text, and use the ampersand (i.e., &) when citing within the parentheses.

Use et al. for any subsequent citations.

  • Paraphrasing: Cite authors' last names and publication year.
  • Quoting: Cite authors' last names, publication year, and the page number(s).

                 

Examples:

Authors’ Names are Part of Sentence:

First Time: Research from Lee, Lewis, Taylor, Smith, and Johnson (2015) shows that librarians often have difficulty coming up examples of fake quotes to use in libguides.

All Other Times: Lee et al. (2015) suggest that librarians often have difficulty creating examples of fake quotes to use in libguides.

                       

Citation at End of Sentence:

First Time: (Lee, Lewis, Taylor, Smith, & Johnson, 2015).

All Other Times: (Lee et al., 2015).

***Include the page number after the year if you are using a direct quote.

See page 175 of the manual for more information.

Six or More Authors: 

Only give the first author's last name followed by et al. rather than listing each author's name.

  • Paraphrasing: Cite first author's last name, et al., and publication year.
  • Quoting: Cite first author's last name, et al., publication year, and the page number(s).

     

Examples:

Part of Sentence: Torres et al. (2010) argued...

Citation at End of Sentence: (Torres et al., 2010).

***Include the page number after the year if you are using a direct quote.

 

See page 175 of the manual for more information.

How do I cite it when...?

 

1. A work Has No Author

If there is no author (be sure it's not an institutional author, like Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), cite the first few words of the reference list entry (usually the title) and the year. Use double quotation marks around the title or abbreviated title. For example: ("All 33 Chile Miners," 2010). Note: Use the full title if it is short.

2. Authors Have The Same Last Name

If two or more of your sources are written by authors with the same surname, include the first author's initials with the surname in every in-text reference.

Example:  Among studies, we review M. A. Light and Light (2008) and I. Light (2006) ... 

 

3. No Page Numbers Are Available for a Quotation

If a resource contains no page numbers, as can be the case with electronic sources, then you cannot include a page number in the parentheses. However, if the source indicates paragraph numbers, use the abbreviation “para.” and the relevant number in the parentheses. If the paragraph number is not visible, cite the closest heading and the paragraph number following it.

Example:

As Myers (2000, para. 5) aptly phrased it…
(Beutler, 2000, Conclusion, para. 1)

 

4 Citing When Quoting a Quote

APA strongly recommends that you cite the direct and original source. So, if you read something that cites an interesting piece of information, it's best to find that original source, read it, and cite it. This will also prevent you from incorrectly interpreting it. Now, if you need to quote and cite something that is quoted in the source you are reading, there is a method.

Example:

Jackson's study (as cited in Smith, 2009) suggests....

You would only need to cite "Smith" in your references page, since this is the author you have read.

 

5. Citing Multiple Sources At Once

When citing several sources at once, combine them all within one set of parentheses. List them in alphabetical order (by authors' last names) and date order (if necessary), using semicolons between them.

Example:  Many studies have found a significant correlation between writing papers early and getting a higher grade (Day & Dream, 2010; Light, 2008; Night, Walker, & Sleep, 2015).

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How to Quote

Basics
A quote is generally more than three words borrowed from another source. The basic rules for quoting vary depending on the size of the quote. See accompanying tabs for more info.
 
Please note:
  1. When you need to leave out part of a quotation to make it fit grammatically or because it contains irrelevant/unnecessary information, insert ellipses like this . . . to indicate the truncation.
  2. If you must add or slightly change words within a quotation for reasons of grammar or clarity, indicate the change with square brackets. Exception: It is acceptable to change double quotation marks to single ones when you have a quotation within a quotation; it is also fine to change the first word of a quotation to upper case when needed.
 

See pages 170-171 of the manual for more information.

Fewer than 40 Words
Fit quotations within your sentences, enclosed in quotation marks, making sure the sentences are grammatically correct. When citing, the parentheses begin after the quotation marks but before the punctuation.
 
 
Example:

Because they are an avenue to communicating a specific point, "quotations are effective in research papers when used selectively" (Gibaldi, 2003, p.109).

 

See pages 170-171 of the manual for more information.

40 Words or More

For these longer quotes, be sure to use the following steps:
  1. Omit the quotation marks.
  2. Start a block quotation on a new line.
  3. Indent the entire quotation a half inch from the left margin (but not from the right margin).
  4. Double space the quotation.
  5. Place punctuation mark immediately after the quotation.

 

Example:

The American Psychological Association (2009) is clear on its expectations for large quotes:

If the quotation comprises 40 or more words, display it in a freestanding block of text and omit the quotation marks. Start such a block quotation on a new line and indent the block about a half inch from the left margin (in the same position as a new paragraph). If there are additional paragraphs within the quotation, indent first line of each an additional half inch. Double space the entire quotation. At the end of a block quotation, cite the quoted source and the page or paragraph number in parentheses after the final punctuation mark. (p. 171)

 

See pages 170-171 of the manual for more information.

Quoting - Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I quote when there are no page numbers?
    If the page numbers are not provided, use paragraph numbers in your citation with abbreviation para.
    Example:
    Research has clearly shown that "dogs drool often" (Jones, 2009, para. 2).

     
  2. How do I indicate I have omitted part of the text?
  • Use three spaced ellipsis points like this . . . within a sentence when you omit material from the original work.
  • Use four points like this . . . . when you have omitted material between two sentences.

 

See page 173 of the manual for more information.

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Reference

American Psychological Association. (2009). Crediting sources. In Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (pp. 169-192). Washington, DC: Author.