Whenever you write a paper, you draw from existing sources of information. It is important to acknowledge those sources when you write your own paper. But how exactly do you write an acknowledgement of a source you incorporated into your paper? What does a source citation look like?
The following guide can help you write citations in the American Psyschological Association (APA) style. (And yes, the APA style is used by many different disciplines, not just psychology).
Citations consist of two elements:
- A quick note in the text of your paper anytime you use an existing source of information. The "in-text citations" tab above shows you how to include a note in the text of your paper when you use a source.
- A complete list of the sources you used at the end of your paper. The tabs above will show you how to present a webpage, article, book, encyclopedia, or DVD in the list of references at the end of your paper. General guidelines on how you present a your list of references include:
- Reference list starts on a new page. Type the word "References" centered at the top of the page.
- Double-space all reference list entries
- The first line of each reference is set at the left margin and subsequent lines are indented ½ inch
- Arrange alphabetically, not by format (book, journal, etc)
Please see the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association for further info. The library has one copy of the Manual in the Ready Reference section on the second floor of the library, and one held on 24 hour reserve.
How do I Format My Reference List?
Drawing on a range of relevant sources in your work proves that you have read widely around your chosen topic, so it’s a surefire way to impress your reader.
To ensure your reader’s ease of comprehension you must adhere to the style’s formatting guidelines. In APA format, a list of all the sources that have directly contributed to your work should be placed on a new page at the end of the narrative and titled ‘References’ (center align the title). The references should all have a hanging indentation - the second and subsequent lines of each reference should start ½ inch from the margin.
You may also be required to provide a full bibliography. This is a comprehensive list of all the source material you used to complete the assignment, even if it was not cited in the text. It should include any book, journal, article etc. that you may have consulted throughout your research and writing process in order to get a deeper understanding of the subject at hand.
Fernández-Manzanal, R., Rodríguez-Barreiro, L., & Carrasquer, J. (2007). Evaluation of environmental attitudes: Analysis and results of a scale applied to university students. Science Education, 91(6), 988–1009. doi:10.1002/sce.20218
Sound like a lot of work? Although the style guidelines are strict in regard to how references should be formatted, Cite This For Me’s APA citation machine takes the weight off your shoulders by accurately compiling your reference list and bibliography in a matter of seconds.