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Ready, Set, Cite (APA, 7th): APA Basics

Become an expert using the 7th edition of the APA manual

APA Is All New

APA tutorial

In October 2019, the American Psychological Association made radical changes its style, especially with regard to the format and citation rules for students writing academic papers. Use this guide to learn how to format and cite your papers using APA Style, 7th edition.

You can start by viewing the video tutorial.

If you need to work in APA 6th edition you can view the old version here until 2021.

 

 


Why Cite Your Sources?

When you write a research paper, you use information and facts from a variety of resources to support your own ideas or to help you develop new ones. Books, articles, videos, interviews, and Web sites are some examples of sources you might use. Citing these sources of information in your work is essential because:
  • It gives credit to the author of the original work who provided you with the information or idea
  • It allows your audience to identify and find the source material in order to learn more about your topic
  • It gives your paper more credibility because it shows you're supporting your arguments with high-quality sources and it also helps earn your readers' trust because you're telling your readers the source of your facts so that they can confirm them for themselves
  • It helps you avoid plagiarism

What is APA Style?

APA style was created by social and behavioral scientists to standardize scientific writing. APA style is most often used in:
  • psychology,
  • social sciences (sociology, business), and
  • nursing.

If you're taking courses in any of these areas, be prepared to use APA style.

For in-depth guidance on using this citation style, refer to Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th ed. We have several copies available at the MJC Library at the call number BF 76.7 .P83 2020.

APA Style Affects Your Paper in Three Places

Whenever you use a citation style (ANY citation style!) you will be governed by that style in three ways:

  1. The general format of the paper. This includes margins, font, page numbers, line spacing, titles, headings, etc.
     
  2. The bibliography. The bibliography is the cumulative list of all sources used in your research. In APA, this is called the References list. How do you cite a printed book vs. a book found on a database vs. a book found on the Web? 
     
  3. In-text citation. Citing sources within the body of your paper let's your reader know you are incorporating someone else's words/research/ideas.