#s-lib-banner-imgSkip to Main Content
APA style was created by the American Psychological Association. It is a set of rules for publications, including research papers.
In APA, you must "cite" sources that you have paraphrased, quoted, or otherwise used to write your research paper. Cite your sources in two places:
Commonly Used Terms
Citing: The process of acknowledging the sources of your information and ideas.
D O I (doi): Some electronic content, such as online journal articles, is assigned a unique number called a Digital Object Identifier (D O I or doi). Items can be tracked down online using their doi.
In-Text Citation: A brief note at the point where information is used from a source to indicate where the information came from. An in-text citation should always match more detailed information that is available in the Reference List.
Paraphrasing: Taking information that you have read and putting it into your own words.
Quoting: The copying of words of text originally published elsewhere. Direct quotations generally appear in quotation marks and end with a citation.
Reference: Details about one cited source.
Reference List: Contains details on ALL the sources cited in a text or essay, and supports your research and/or premise.
Retrieval Date: Used for websites where content is likely to change over time (e.g. Wikis), the retrieval date refers to the date you last visited the website.
Examples in this guide are based on:
American Psychological Association. (2019). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th Edition. Washington D.C.: APA.
Many citation sites that help students create bibliographies have not updated their information to include the recent changes to APA style.
For further APA guidance, see the Publication manual of the American Psychological Association. 6th ed, shelved next to the circulation desk.