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SOC 101: Intro to Sociology

APA Citation Overview

American Psychological Association (APA) Style is an editorial style, or rules that a publisher uses to ensure consistent presentation of written material. Citing your sources in APA style gives credit to the works of others and helps your readers go back and find the information you present. 

  • Basic APA components:  Author. (Year of publication). Title. Publisher.
  • APA is typically used for social or behavioral sciences writing. 
  • The key attribute of APA is the date of publication is closer to the beginning of the citation, since researchers often publish their work year after year, and there are often several articles attributed to the same author over period of time.

For more in-depth information about APA Style, you can check out the following resources:

See below for an interactive tutorial on APA citation and a sample paper formatted in APA style.

Citation Generators

Some databases and websites will auto-generate citations for you. This is a great starting place for a citation, but they are not always accurate. Check an auto-generated citation with a stylebook or guide before submitting a paper. 

Some databases, like Academic Search Complete, include a "cite" feature that will auto-generate APA, MLA, Chicago and other citations.

If there isn't an auto-generated citation within a database, try one of these free citation generator cites. You can also ask a librarian or the writing center!

Generating a Citation (1:10)