American Psychological Association (APA) style is commonly used for citing references in student papers in science, medical, public health, health sciences and nursing as well as the social science.
The purpose of documentation is to:
- Identify (cite) other people’s ideas and information used within your essay or term paper.
- Indicate the authors or sources of these in a References list at the end of your paper.
This guide is based on the APA Manual (6th ed.) that was published in 2009.
The following sections provide you with information and examples that will help you to cite the sources that you come across during your research.
General Style Guidelines
For more examples and information, consult the following publications:
APA Manual (6th ed.)
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The purpose of the parenthetical citation is to lead the reader to an exact item in the bibliography, so the first entry in the bibliography (usually author’s last name, sometimes title if no author is listed) is what is included in the parenthetical citation. Additionally, the exact point (page number) is listed.
Plagiarism is using the words, thoughts, or ideas of someone else without giving credit. Plagiarism can take many forms, and it can be intentional or accidental.
"Along with using someone’s direct words without quotation marks and attribution, plagiarism includes using someone’s thoughts or ideas and representing them as one’s own. For example, if you were to change the wording of a passage, but not credit the source, you are plagiarizing as much as if you used the original words. This presents something of a conundrum: students are required to use the research and writing of others, but such use is limited. In most research assignments, students are encouraged – or even required – to use the research of others, but proper credit must be given.
To ensure that you will give credit appropriately, begin by keeping your research materials organized. There are many note-taking systems available to assist you, but it is essential that you keep track of which ideas came from which sources. After finding good information from a reputable source, you must then integrate that information into your paper. There are several methods of doing this: quotation, paraphrase, and summary." (Talman)