Most of this guide's content was copied from https://libguides.csudh.edu/citation/apa-7, a guide created by Tessa Withorn at CSUDH Library and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License. Some content and formatting has been adapted for use at Ursuline College.
This guide is a quick introduction to the American Psychological Association (APA) Style for references and citations. Be sure to consult the Publication Manual of the APA or the APA Style website for detailed standards and procedures.
When you reference another source, use an in-text citation in the body of your paper. There are two ways to reference another source as you write - summarizing/paraphrasing, and direct quotes. Both use the same basic format for in-text citation.
(Author's Last Name(s) or Organization, Year).
In scholarly works, authors reference and cite other works. The APA manual refers to a primary source as the one reporting the original content; the secondary source refers to and cites the primary source. When possible, locate the original or primary source for the information you wish to cite and reference it directly. Otherwise, cite the secondary source as follows:
(Rabbitt, 1982, as cited in Lyon et al., 2014) - Only Lyon et al.'s work appears in the reference list.
Secondary sources are covered in Section 8.6 of the APA Publication Manual, 7th ed., p. 258, and on the APA Style website.
Paraphrasing or summarizing the main findings or takeaways from a research article is the preferred method of citing sources in an APA paper. Always include the last name of the author(s) and the year of the article, so your reader can find the full citation in the reference list.
According to Shavers (2007), limitations of studying socioeconomic status in research on health disparities include difficulties in collecting data on socioeconomic status and the complications of classifying women, children, and employment status.
If you're quoting the exact words of someone else, introduce the quote with an in-text citation in parentheses. Any sentence punctuation goes after the closing parenthesis.
If you're directly quoting more than 40 words, use a block quote. Block quotes don't need quotation marks. Instead, indent the text 1/2" as a visual cue that you are citing. The in-text citation in parentheses goes after the punctuation of the quote.
Shavers (2007) study found the following:
While research studies have established that socioeconomic status influences disease incidence, severity and access to healthcare, there has been relatively less study of the specific manner in which low SES influences receipt of quality care and consequent morbidity and mortality among patients with similar disease characteristics, particularly among those who have gained access to the healthcare system. (p. 1021)
Use direct quotes sparingly! Focus on summarizing the findings from multiple research studies. In the sciences and social sciences, only use the exact phrasing or argument of an individual when necessary.
You only need the author's last name and the year.
Connect both authors' last names with & (ampersand) and include the year.
(Wegener & Petty, 1994)
If there are 3 or more authors use et al., which means "and others."
(Harris et al., 2018)
First time with an abbreviation:
(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2019)
Then all subsequent citations: (CDC, 2019)
Include the complete citation at the end of your paper in a references section. References are organized by the author's last name in alphabetic (A-Z) order. Apply hanging indent formatting (see below for instructions) to your references to separate them - do not add extra spacing between references.
Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date). Title of the work. Source where you can retrieve the work. URL or DOI if available
How to make a hanging indent in Word:
1. Highlight the citaiton with your cursor.
2. Right click.
3. Select Paragraph.
4. Under Indentation, select Special and Hanging.
Ashing‐Giwa, K. T., Padilla, G., Tejero, J., Kraemer, J., Wright, K., Coscarelli, A., Clayton, S., Williams, I., & Hills, D. (2004). Understanding the breast cancer experience of women: A qualitative study of African American, Asian American, Latina and Caucasian cancer survivors. Psycho‐Oncology, 13(6), 408-428. https://doi.org/10.1002/pon.750
Kennedy, M. (2018, October 15). To prevent wildfires, PG&E pre-emptively cuts power to thousands in California. NPR. https://www.npr.org/2018/10/15/657468903/to-prevent-wildfires-pg-e-preemptively-cuts-power-to-thousands-in-california
Schmidt, N. A., & Brown, J. M. (2017). Evidence-based practice for nurses: Appraisal and application of research (4th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning, LLC.
McCormack, B., McCance, T., & Maben, J. (2013). Outcome evaluation in the development of person-centred practice. In B. McCormack, K. Manley, & A. Titchen (Eds.), Practice development in nursing and healthcare (pp. 190-211). John Wiley & Sons.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). Preventing HPV-associated cancers. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/hpv/basic_info/prevention.htm/
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. (2017, January). Key indicators of health by service planning area. http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/ha/
Some resources that are commonly used in clinical nursing practice are confusing to cite. They do not fit into categories like "book" or "article." The APA manual provides examples of such references throughout the 7th edition. For ease of reference, see the consolidated list linked below.
What does an APA paper look like?
APA Style offers sample student and professional papers, including a free annotated student sample paper.
The APA manual provides style rules and guidelines that sometimes require interpretation. Your instructor has the final word, but tutors and librarians can help!
Need help writing your APA paper? Looking for someone to go over what you've written to make sure it's correct? Want someone to review your citations? Email email@example.com and ask to be connected with a writing tutor.
Having trouble citing a particular source? Need help finding the correct citation format? Schedule time to meet with a librarian.