In order to use and build on outside ideas and information in your research paper, you must cite where information comes from.
There are 4 main reasons to cite information:
Following a specific formatting and citation style makes for clean and professional-looking papers, and it helps readers understand when you are citing outside information and easily locate the sources you used.
There are three components of APA Style. Click the link to learn more about each.
The in-text citation is a very brief note in the body of your paper that indicates when you are using information or ideas that are not your own.
It also connects your reader to the source's full citation in your list of references at the end of your paper.
Every time you quote, paraphrase, or summarize information from an outside source, you must provide an in-text citation directly after it.
A basic in-text citation for a work with one author includes the author's name and the publication year:
You can also use a signal phrase to introduce the outside information:
When directly quoting a source, you should also include a page number. You can also include a page number if you are paraphrasing a small portion of a long document. If your quote spans multiple pages, use "pp."
Here's how it might look in a signal phrase:
Check out the tabs above to learn how to create in-text citations for different types of sources.
If your source has two authors, include the last names of both authors.
If you use a signal phrase, use "and" between the authors' names:
If your entire citation is in parenthesis (also called a "parenthetical citation"), use "&" between the authors' names.
For a work with 3 or more authors, include the first author's last name, followed by "et al." This is Latin for "and others."
For a source that is written by an organization with a standard abbreviation, spell out the organization the first time you cite it, including the abbreviation in parenthesis.
If you cite the source again, you can just use the abbreviation.
If the organization does not have an abbreviation, spell out the organization name every time you cite it.
If you cannot identify a person or organization as the author of a work, use the title of the work in your in-text citation. Long titles can be shortened. All titles should be in title case, which means all major words are capitalized.
Titles of books should be italicized:
Put titles of articles, book chapters, web pages, or other short works in quotation marks:
If you cannot find any publication date, use "n.d."
When citing web pages, you should not use the copyright date on a website if you cannot find a publication or update date for the specific page.
Any time you use a specific part of a work, such as a direct quotation, you should include the page number or some other reference to the specific part, such as a section heading, paragraph number, or timestamp (for audio or videos). You can also include a page number/specific location if you are paraphrasing a small portion of a long document.
If your quote spans multiple pages, use "pp."
You can use the full section heading if it's short:
Or, if the section heading is long, you can shorten it. Put the shortened heading in quotation marks:
You can also use:
The list of references is an alphabetized list of all of the resources you used in your research paper or assignment.
If you cited a source in your paper, it should be in the list of references. Every work listed in your reference should be cited in your paper.
The list starts on a new page and is double-spaced with a hanging indent. This means that, for a citation that takes up more than one line, each line after the first is indented 1" from the left margin.
Each part of a reference is carefully formatted to share the most important information about a resource in a compact manner. The four basic parts of a reference are:
Each source in your list of references should correspond to one or more in-text citations in your paper. The author(s) names in your list of references should match the names in your in-text citations If there is no author, the titles of the work should match.
Check out the tabs above to see how to create accurate references for a variety of sources.
The first part of every reference should be the author(s).
If the author is a person, list their last name, followed by their first and middle (if known) initials.
List the last name, followed by their first, and, if known, middle initials.
List all authors, with "&" before the last author.
List the first 19 authors, an elipsis (...) and the last author.
Write the full name of the organization.
Begin the reference with the title of the work. Shorter works (such as articles and web pages) are written in regular print, sentence-style capitalization. Longer works (such as books) are written in in italics with sentence-style capitalization.
The second part of any reference is the publication date, which is always written inside parentheses, followed by a period.
You should follow the date formats in the examples given on each tab, but here are some general guidelines.
In general, provide the year of publication, update, or copyright:
If a more specific date can be identified, provide it. Spell out the full names of months and seasons.
If you cannot find a date for the source, use "n.d." Do not use the copyright date of a website if that is the only date you can find for a specific page on the site.
Find the majority of the information you need to cite a book on the cover and on the backside of the title page, also called the verso. You can use the title page, but the information on the verso is more specific and accurate.
Find most of the information about a journal, magazine, or newspaper article on the database record (web page with full text and/or links to download the PDF) or on the article itself.
Find the information you need to create a reference for a web page at the top or bottom of the page.
The following applies to all parts of your paper:
The page number goes in the top right corner of the page.
The title is centered and in the upper half of the page, about three or four lines from the top.
Type the following, each on a separate, double-spaced line:
The body of your paper begins on a new page after the title page and the optional abstract page.
The References begin on a new page after the end of the paper.
Hanging Indent in Word:
Hanging Indent in Google Docs (similar to Pages):