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Health Research Guide: APA Citations

What Is APA Style?

  • Each academic discipline has its own rules for citing ideas and words borrowed from other writers and researchers.
  • The Social Sciences use the  American Psychological Association style rules.
  • The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association contains comprehensive rules and examples for citing.


Use the library's copy!

Cover of the APA Manual

Library's Reference Collection 
(1st Floor) 
LB2369 .P83 2020

Citing Your Sources


  • First and foremost, we need to give credit to other authors when we borrow their words or ideas. Acknowledge!
  • Citing also allows your readers to find the resources cited in your papers. Share!
  • Finally, we avoid plagiarism and maintain good standing with our instructors. Succeed!



1. In-Text Citations 

  • Use an in-text citation to acknowledge that you are quoting or praphrasing another author's words or ideas in the text of your research paper. 
  • Here's an example

    Critser (2003) noted that despite growing numbers of overweight Americans, many health care providers still “remain either in ignorance or outright denial about the health danger to the poor and the young” (p. 5).

    If the author is not named in the signal phrase, place the author’s name, the year, and the page number in parentheses after the quotation: (Critser, 2003, p. 5). 

  • Your reader will use the author information provided in the in-text citation to find the full citation for the source in your references list.


2. Reference List

  • Include a reference list at the end of your paper. The list shoud contain a full citation for each in-text citation referenced within your paper.
  • Each full citation should include the specific publication information required by the APA rules. This allows your reader to find the sources, if desired.
  • Arrange the citations alphabetically by the author's last name. Use the title if the source has no author.
  • Find more detailed rules for creating APA references at Excelsior OWL's APA References guide.

APA Resources

Microsoft Word Templates

Quick tip! When creating a new Microsoft Word document, search for "APA" to see an APA-style research paper template. 

search APA in Word templates