What is APA?
APA Citation Style, created by the American Psychological Association, is a style for formatting your paper and recording the sources you used during your research.
Why do I need it?
APA citations and formatting are required in many departments across NWP, including Nursing and Psychology. Citations allow you to properly give credit to the sources and information on which you built your own writing. Using formatting and citations properly also makes your writing seem trustworthy and professional.
How do I use it?
Browse this website for examples of how to format your paper, record in-text citations, and create a reference list. Follow the links where available, or make an appointment with our Writing Support Specialist for more detailed instruction.
Note: It is important to give credit to the authors and sources from where you get your ideas. To not give credit is considered plagiarism. Check out NWP's Student Misconduct Policy for more information on what plagiarism is and how to avoid it. Talk to your instructor if you are still unsure.
Important terms to remember
Paraphrased vs. direct quote: To paraphrase means to take someone's idea or words and put them into your own words. A direct quote is when you take someone's idea word for word. Put direct quotes in quotation marks. Do not put paraphrased information in quotation marks. Place an in-text citation after all direct quotes and paraphrased sections.
In-text citations: the brief source information that you place immediately after a direct quote or a paraphrased idea.
Reference List: The list of all the full bibliographic citations for the sources you have used in your paper. Every in-text citation must have a corresponding reference entry at the end of the paper. Hint: create a full bibliographic entry at the same time as your in-text citation. This will save you a lot of time at the end of your paper.
7th Edition vs. 6th Edition APA Style
The 7th Edition of the APA citation style came out in October 2019. Listed below are some of the major changes between the 6th and 7th edition:
Publisher location is no longer included in reference list entries.
For works with three or more authors, only include the first author's name followed by "et al." for all in-text citations.
Surnames and initials of up to 20 authors are included in reference list entries.
DOIs and URLs are formatted similarly, as links; the label "DOI:" is no longer necessary.
For Ebooks, the format, platform, or device (e.g. Ebook; Kindle) is no longer included in the reference.
Unless otherwise specified by your instructor, assume that you are supposed to use the most recent version (7th Edition) of this citation guide. If you are still unsure which edition to use, reach out to your instructor.