This guide is intended as a general introduction to citing sources using the bibliographic style established by the American Psychological Association (APA). For more complete details, see the most recent edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (REF KNIGHT BF 76.7 .P83). Note that the manual includes essential information on manuscript preparation (e.g., margins, use of the passive voice), creating figures and tables, and ethics.
The custom of citing references – that is, providing a record of the sources you have used for your research – is a form of professional honesty and courtesy that is based on a regard for the responsibilities that writers have to readers and to other writers to indicate when they have used someone else's ideas or words.
Citing sources also strengthens the authority of your work, by demonstrating that you have considered others' opinions and ideas in forming your own. In addition, it gives the the reader valuable information, indicating where he or she may go to get further information on that subject; for many researchers, the list of cited references at the end of a relevant article or book is the single most valuable item they can come across in their research.
Accuracy in citing references is highly regarded, and essential in helping others locate the materials you used in your research.
When citing a reference in text, it is recommended that you follow the author-date citation system. Each in-text citation should correspond to a source in the reference list. When paraphrasing an author or citing an entire work, you must include the name of the author and the year of publication. You may do this either as a citation in text by placing the publication date in parentheses when the author’s name is mentioned in the narrative, or parenthetically at the end of a sentence.
For example: Smith (2008) found that… OR: The study showed that… (Smith, 2008).
For example: According to Smith (2008), “Quotation from source” (p. 144)... OR: “Quotation from source” (Smith, 2008, p. 144)