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APA Citations

APA Overview

"What is APA?"

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APA (American Psychological Association) style is a set of guidelines for citing sources of information used in a project or paper.

  • It is typically used for nursing, social, and behavioral sciences.
  • Check with your teacher to learn what APA formatting is required for your specific assignment.

What is a Citation?

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A citation points to the work of other people or organizations used within your assignment.


Each source is cited:

  • within your paper (in-text citation) and
  • in your reference list at the end of the paper.

Every source must be cited in both places.

APA paper = Title page + Text of paper  + References

The purpose of any citation style is to make all the citations appear in the same format for readability and consistency.

Within papers and presentations, citations:

  • show that sources are reliable and up to date
  • help the reader find more information
  • give credit to the creator
  • help the writer avoid plagiarism

How to avoid plagiarism.

"Whether paraphrasing, quoting an author directly, or describing an idea that influenced your work, you must credit the source.  To avoid charges of plagiarism, take careful notes as you research to keep track of your sources and cite these sources according to the guidelines . . ." (APA, 2010, p. 170)

Use the resources below to help identify and avoid plagiarism.

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Created by: Brittany Richardson & Sandra Williford with the assistance of the KLIC Reference and Instruction Team
Kolwyck Library and Information Commons / Chattanooga State Community College