APA Overview

APA Overview APA In-Text Citations APA Quoting and Paraphrasing APA End Citation Models
This guide focuses on APA style, which was developed by the American Psychological Association. APA style is used in the behavioral and social sciences in disciplines such as psychology, sociology, business, and economics. The style is designed to provide guidelines for preparing and organizing writing, as well as providing enough detail about a source to allow others to locate it. The various text format changes and what content is provided in a citation also help provide clues to the reader about what type of source it is.
If you are writing a research paper, make sure that your discipline (or instructor) requires the APA style before you use it. If you use this style, there are particular guidelines that you will need to follow. Among them is knowing how to write both in-text and end citations accurately using the proper placements of the date of a work and the name of the author. In APA style, the name of the author and the date help a reader determine whether the writer is using current information. This is especially important for works in the sciences and social sciences. Each source that you use should be followed by an in-text parenthetical citation and must be cited again in a section called References at the end of the paper. Likewise, all sources listed in your references must be cited in your text.
Use the “APA In-text Citations” button above to go to more information on proper in-text citations, and the “APA End Citation Models” button for instructions/examples on full citations for your References section. The “Quoting and Paraphrasing” button will take you to information on the various ways to format direct quotations and paraphrases according to APA guidelines.
Note: All material provided in this guide reflects the latest version of the APA Publication Manual (APA 7), which released in October 2019. For an overview of the major changes in moving from APA 6 to APA 7, click here. And for those who own and use the APA Style Manual, see the handout, What’s New in the 7th edition by the APA Style blog.
If you need additional help with writing or document formatting, consider visiting the Writing Center at VCU. For help finding or assessing the quality of a resource, talk with a research librarian at one of the VCU Libraries. And of course, it’s always a good idea to speak with your professor for these and any other assignment-related questions you might have.
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