University Library at St. Cloud State University

Citing Sources in APA

Module Checklist
checklist graphic
  1. Complete the SCSU APA Citations Tutorial and take the quiz at the end.
  2. Watch the videos for APA In-Text Citations and References.
  3. Practice your skills by working through the APA Referencing Quiz.
  4. Look over the other guides and examples on this page.
Tools for Formatting Your Citations
When searching library databases for your sources, use the Cite tool and select APA to copy and paste the citation for that source.

NOTE: You must always double-check the formatting that the database provides. It is not always accurate. Look over the format of the authors' names and capitalization in particular.
APA Tutorial and Quiz
​Note: Some information in this tutorial still refers to the 6th edition of the APA Publication Manual.
A Note About APA 7th Edition
In late 2019, the American Psychological Association (APA) published the new 7th edition of their publication manual. For specific information, consult Scribbr's list of The most notable changes and/or Charles Darwin University's chart of Key changes between APA 6th and APA 7th. Most of the resources on this guide are updated to reflect the 7th edition.

A word of caution: Citation tools in library databases and other online citation generator tools may not be up to date. Please check which edition these tools are using and talk to your professors about their expectations for your research assignments.
Detailed APA Guides and Instructions
Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA)
READY REF BF76.7 .P83 2019
Official manual for APA documentation. Available in print only, in the Ready Reference section of the library, 1st floor. Latest edition is 7th edition, 2019.  

APA Style and Grammar Guidelines
Browse topics from the official APA website, including:

APA Style -- Excelsior Online Writing Lab (OWL)
Examples of formatting papers, in-text citations, footnotes and endnotes, and reference lists in APA style. Updated according to the 7th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.
APA In-Text Citations

An in-text citation allows your reader to track down a specific source you use in your paper. The in-text citation should provide enough information to point your reader to the full citation in your reference list. An in-text citation must be included when you quote or paraphrase information from one of your sources.

In APA Style, an in-text citation typically includes the author's last name and the date of publication, in parenthesis. If you use a direct quote, include the page number for the reference. For three or more authors, include the first author followed by et al. (Smith et al., 2009, p. 16).

Examples from OWL at Purdue and APA Style Blog:

After the intervention, children increased in the number of books read per week (Smith & Wexwood, 2010). 

Smith and Wexwood (2010) reported that after the intervention, children increased in the number of books read per week. 

According to Jones (1998), "Students often had difficulty using APA style, especially when it was their first time" (p. 199).

Johnson (1984) argued that "the universe..." (as cited in Smith, 2003, p. 102).
APA References List
For a full list of examples, see APA References: Documenting Sources at the End of Your Paper
(from Excelsior Online Writing Lab)

Sample Papers

Tips for your reference list:
  • Start the reference list on a new page with the word References at the top.
  • Double-space all reference entries.
  • Use a hanging indent (instructions for Word or Google Docs) where the first line of the reference is left-justified and all subsequent lines are indented.

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