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Researching Issues in Child Development (Osburn)

A guide for students in MJC's Child Development program, specifically Randi Osburn's courses, as well as any student researching issues pertaining to early childhood education.

Tips for Citing Sources

It's important to make sure you collect all the information you need to cite a source as you gather your information so that you won't need to look it up again, so:

  • Take clear, accurate notes about where you found specific ideas
  • Write down the complete citation information for each book, article, etc. you use as you go along
  • Use quotation marks when directly stating another person's words
  • Always credit original authors for their information and ideas

Reference List the Basics

What Do You Cite:

Cite all outside sources whose ideas, theories, or research influenced your research paper. Specifically you site those sources that you:

  • Quote word-for-word
  • Paraphrase  - rewrite using your own words
  • Summarize ideas  - restate the main idea of the source in your own words

What Don't You Cite:

  • Your original ideas and conclusions
  • Information and ideas that are well-known by your readers and widely accepted to be true, such as basic biographical information about Abraham Lincoln or the dates of World War II.
  • Sayings and proverbs such as "the grass is always greener" or "the way to a man's heart is through his stomach."

Where to Cite:

You need to cite your sources in two places:

  • Within your work at the place where you are incorporating the information, and 
  • In a comprehensive list of all sources you’ve cited throughout the paper. This list is called References.

What to Include:

Include all citations in your References list except for:

  • Personal communications (letters, memoranda, personal interviews, and informal electronic communications), and
  • Classical works (ancient Greek and Roman works or classical religious works).

You will include references to these only within the text of your paper. See APA sections 6.18 and 6.20

Citation Examples

Use the links below to see examples of source citations.

Don't forget to -- when in doubt -- verify the accuracy of any citation example by using the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.

Reference List Format

Placement: The reference list  appears at the end of the paper, on its own page(s). If your research paper ends on page 8, your References begin on page 9. 

Arrangement: Alphabetize entries by author's last name. If source has no named author, alphabetize by the title, ignoring A, An, or The.

Spacing: Like the rest of the APA paper, the reference list is double-spaced throughout. Be sure NOT to add extra spaces between citations.

Indentation: To make citations easier to scan, add a hanging indent to any citation that runs more than one line.



A digital object identifier (DOI) is a unique alphanumeric string assigned by a registration agency (the International DOI Foundation) to identify content and provide a persistent link to its location on the Internet. The publisher assigns a DOI when your article is published and made available electronically.

All DOI numbers begin with a 10 and contain a prefix and a suffix separated by a slash. The prefix is a unique number of four or more digits assigned to organizations; the suffix is assigned by the publisher and was designed to be flexible with publisher identification standards. Here are examples from the APA Style Blog:

APA recommends that when DOIs are available, you include them for both print and electronic sources. The DOI is typically located on the first page of the electronic journal article, near the copyright notice. The DOI can also be found on the database landing page for the article.






Retrieved from

Not all publications have DOI numbers assigned to them yet. The resources below show you how to find a DOI number and what to do if there is no DOI:



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Use NoodleTools to help you create your citations. It's easy; it's a form you fill out with the information about your source; it helps you catch mistakes.

NoodleTools Help: