How to Cite APA Format

When citing a resource for an essay or research paper, the American Psychology Association (APA) uses its own style of citations. If your professor or other group calling for papers asks for APA style, you must use the APA style of citations in the paper. The process of citing the document for APA formatted papers is relatively simple.

Things You'll Need

  • APA Stylebook


    • 1

      Determine the information you will need in order to cite the source. Typically, this is the name of the article you are citing, the author and the month and year of publication.

    • 2

      Find the area of your paper that requires your citation and determine the way you want to cite the source. APA style allows for two different styles of citation. The first is parenthetical citation, such as (Vinzer, 2009) which is placed behind the sentence needing the citation. The second method is in-line citation, where you include the author in your paper. (Example: Vinzer (2009) stated that there are only two acceptable APA formats.)

    • 3

      Cite your source in your paper using the method you selected in Step 2. Remember to include the year the document was published. If you are including a quotation directly from the document, include the page number where the quotation was found.

    • 4

      Add the document you just cited to your References page. Typically, you will add the author, year of publishing, book title and publisher to the page. (Example: "Vinzer, J.T (2009) How to Cite APA Format. eHow publishing.") However, there are documents that require different methods to add as a reference. Refer to your APA stylebook for instructions on including these sources in your references.

Tips & Warnings

  • Remember to cite everything and anything that you use, or you could be accused of plagiarism. Although exceptions are present for things that the general public knows, such as the fact that the sky is blue, this is still a gray area. The general rule for citations is that if you are ever in doubt about whether you should cite a source, cite the source anyway.
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