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APA Citation

This guide covers the basics of APA citation.

APA Publication Manual

This guide provides you with all of the basic information you need to properly cite resources in APA style. If you have additional questions, or if you are trying to cite something unique, please consult the full manual (click the title above to find a copy) or ask a Research & Instruction Librarian for help.

Why Do I Have to Cite Things?

The primary reason why you need to cite your sources is so that you can give proper credit to the original author or creator and avoid any charges of plagiarism

Other reasons for citing your resources include:

  • Enables the reader to track down the orignial source you cited
  • Demonstrates the accuracy and reliability of your information
  • Shows the amount of research you have done
  • Strengthens your work by adding outside support to your ideas

What Is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is using another person's words or ideas in your work without clearly acknowledging or crediting the original source of the information. 

You must give credit whenever you use:

  • Another person's idea, opinion, or theory
  • Direct quotes from another person's actual spoken or written words
  • Paraphrasing of another person's spoken or written words
  • Any piece of information that is not considered to be common knowledge
  • Multimedia created by another person such as a photo, drawing, film clip, music, etc.

In most cases, plagiarism is an accident that happens because someone is not aware of their responsibility to cite certain pieces of information from other people.  When in doubt, cite it!