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Easy to Follow APA Citation Guidelines


Knowing how to use the American Psychological Association (APA) guidelines to make citations in-text and on a reference page is important to reduce the chance of plagiarism and to add credibility to your work. With a few guidelines, you can write clear and properly formatted citations. APA guidelines will help you produce professional work supported by documentation.

Citing Information In-Text

You must cite all information that you have obtained from outside sources, which includes any information that you did not already know or is not common knowledge. This is important in reducing the chance of plagiarism and lends credibility to your work. When citing general information in-text, use the author's last name and the year of publication in parenthesis.

For example: (Smith, 2010).

Direct Quotations

You may also use direct quotations of other's work. Write the quotation exactly as it appears in the original source using quotation marks. When citing a direct quotation, use the author's last name, the year of publication and the relevant page number in parenthesis.

For example: (Smith, 2010, p. 10).

Citing Figures and Tables

Figures and tables containing information from other sources must also be cited. Include the citation directly below figures and tables. Include the author's last name and year of publication for tables that include a synopsis of another's work. For figures and exact replications of tables from another's work, include the author's last name, year of publication and relevant page numbers in parenthesis.

For example: (Johnson, 2012, p. 35).

Reference Page

All references that appear in-text must also appear on the reference page. Double-space the reference page and use hanging indentation. Include the author(s), date of publication, title of work, name of publication, volume and number of publication and relevant page numbers for each journal reference.

For example: Smith, J. (2010). Educational research. Journal of Education (italicized), 3(1), 4-32.

Include the author(s), date of publication, title of book, place of publication and publisher for each book reference.

For example: Johnson, L. (2012). Literacy learning (italicized). Washington, D.C.: Education Press.

Include the author(s), date of publication, title and web address for each online reference. Write "retrieved from" directly before the web address. Remove any hyperlinks that may automatically appear.

For example: American Psychological Association. (2013). About APA. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/about/index.aspx

References
  • Concise Rules of APA Style Sixth Edition; American Psychological Association
  • Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association Sixth Edition; American Psychological Association
  • American Psychological Association: About APA
About the Author

Based in Northern Virginia, Jillian Wendt has been in science and teacher education for eight years. She has been writing education-related articles for practitioner and research journals for several years. She holds a Doctor of Education in curriculum and instruction from Liberty University. Dr. Wendt is passionate about education and is a fervent reader, writer and researcher.

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