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APA Citation Style 6th Edition

A guide to using APA Style (6th ed.) for assignments

APA Citation Style 6th Edition

American Psychological Association (APA) style is commonly used for citing references in science and social science courses, such as Nursing, Psychology, Education, and Social Work.

This guide is based on the APA Manual (6th ed.), published in 2009.

General Guidelines for APA Citation Style

Numbers in parentheses refer to specific pages in the APA 6th Edition manual.

Parenthetical References (p. 170)

  • All sources of information and data, whether quoted directly or paraphrased, are cited with parenthetical references in the text of your paper.

Double-Spaced (pp. 171, 180)

  • Double-space your entire paper, including the References list and any block quotes.

Recommended Typeface (p. 228)

  • The preferred APA typeface, or font, is 12-point Times New Roman.

Page Numbers and Running Head (p. 230)

  • Once your paper is complete, number the pages consecutively, beginning with the title page.
  • Include a "running head" on each page (p. 229). On the title page, use the format "Running head: EXAMPLE OF TITLE" (without the quotation marks). On all subsequent pages, use the format "EXAMPLE OF TITLE" (without quotation marks). See the sample paper on p. 41 of the Manual.

Tip: Use the "header" function on your word processor to set up the page numbers and running head. Since the running head format is different on the title page than the subsequent pages, you will need to choose "different first page" within your word processor header function.

Why Cite Your Sources?

Why bother with citation? Check out our Academic Integrity Guide for a quick introduction!

In all types of research and scholarly writing, it is important to cite your sources in order to:

  • Help readers identify and locate the source you used.

Readers may want to locate the source you have cited, to verify the information or to learn more about the topic. A proper citation includes all of the information for readers to locate the source.

  • Provide evidence that your position is well-researched.

Scholarly writing is grounded in research. Citations strengthen your argument by demonstrating that your position is thoroughly researched.

  • Give credit to the author of ideas which are not your own, and thereby avoid plagiarism.

Giving proper credit to those whose ideas, words, and thoughts you use is not only respectful to those authors, but also helps you avoid plagiarism. Plagiarism is a serious academic offense, usually consisting of "the submission by a student of the writings, ideas or data of another individual as the student’s own in any essay or assignment. Avoid the consequences of plagiarism by giving proper references to your sources” (from the RDC Academic Terminology Glossary).

Citation Tools

Citation tools can help quickly generate and manage your citations. Remember to double-check citations for accuracy. Some tools to try:

Helpful Links and Print-Friendly Guide