Skip to Main Content

APA Citation Guide: APA

This guide will provide an overview of APA Citation Style.

APA Guide Tour

Citation Overview

APA Citation Style, 6th Edition

Image of APA ManualAPA Citation Style offers a consistent way of citing sources in research papers. It was created for use in the social sciences (as a consistent way to track references in scholarly journal articles), but is used in all courses at the Broadview Education Consortium. The updated sixth edition defines the formatting of an APA research paper along with the style of in-text and reference list citations. The rules of APA have all been written in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.

Why Cite?

Citing information used in your research projects gives credit to those who developed the information or ideas you cite. This serves several purposes: It adds credibility to your project because it shows you didn't make up the information yourself. It allows other people to build off of the work of others. It also helps you avoid plagiarism - taking the words or ideas of someone else and saying that the words and ideas are yours. It's a form stealing and comes with some pretty harsh consequences, like failing assignments or entire courses.  When in doubt, CITE IT!

This Guide

This guide, created by the librarians at LibraryConnect, is one resource of many that hopes to assist in your understanding of the intricacies of the APA Citation Style. It is essentially an alternative to reading the entire 270+ pages of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, but with most of the same information. Not all information in the Publication Manual was able to be replicated here, however.

This guide was built chronologically, so you can begin your research project with page 1. Formatting & Templates and continue to pages 2, then 3, until you get to 4. Final Product. The final page, Still Stuck?, will lead you to additional help if you still have questions.