Apa Citation

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Citing Sources Using APA Manual (6th ed.)
APA Manual and Recent Updates

Section 4

This section of the Library Handbook addresses how to cite recourses used in the body and the reference list of your document using the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Common examples for parenthetical text citations, citing direct quotes, and reference citations in the reference list are provided, but for a more comprehensive list, see the APA manual (6th ed.).

Plagiarism and Self-Plagiarism

Plagiarism is the use of another person’s ideas or words without giving them the proper credit. Plagiarism can occur when you use someone else’s exact words without giving them credit, taking credit for someone else’s ideas, or even presenting your own past work as a new idea. Academic institutions take both intentional and unintentional plagiarism seriously, and it can be grounds for dismissal. According to the APA manual (6th ed.), the best method of avoiding plagiarism is to cite the ideas, theories, and research that directly influenced your work, cite key background information, information that may support or dispute your theory or hypothesis, or offer critical definitions or data (p. 169). Document all facts and figures that are not common knowledge. For journal articles and class assignments, APA recommends using one or two of the most representative sources for each key point, but for the literature review for a dissertation, you should include a more exhaustive list of citations. See APA (6th ed.), pp. 15-16 for more information.

In-Text Citations

Citations used in the body of your publication identify the source of information. In-text parenthetical citations are used to give credit to the authors whose ideas or thoughts are used within the document. These internal citations allow the reader to identify the source and locate the information being addressed. APA uses a system that includes the author’s last name and the year of publication. For example: (Small, 2009). If there is a direct quote or a specific part of the work is being referred to, the page numbers are also included. For example, (Small, 2009, p. 23). Sources may include books and book chapters, journal or magazine articles, dissertations and theses, conference papers, government reports, films, websites, blogs and wikis, discussion boards, personal communications, and more.

Paraphrasing is used when you take someone else’s direct quote and state their idea in your own words. Changing a few words here and there is still considered plagiarism even if you do cite the author. Paraphrasing means that you expressed the author’s information or ideas in your own words and have given that person credit for that information or idea. You can prevent plagiarism by closing the document and restating the idea in your own words. See APA manual, 6th ed., pp. 170-171 for more information. 1

Paraphrasing

Notice in this example how the paraphrased version made changes to more than 50% of the original wording: 1. Original Passage: “Signed into law in January 2002 by President George W. Bush, the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act signaled the nation’s most sweeping education reform of federal education policy in decades” (Smith, 2008. p. 212). 2. Unacceptable Paraphrasing: Enacted into law in 2002 by President Bush, the No Child Left Behind Act signaled the most sweeping education reform of U.S. educational policy in decades. 3. Paraphrased: According to Smith (2008), the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) Act provided the most all-encompassing reform in U.S. education in almost half a century. or The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) Act provided the most all-encompassing reform in U.S. education in almost half a century (Smith, 2008) Paraphrases must include the name of the author and the year of publication of the original source. Including the page number in the text citation is optional.

Quoting Directly

When you directly quote...
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