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Citations & Plagiarism

Use this guide to find help and information on citation styles and avoiding plagiarism.

The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association is the style manual of choice for writers, editors, students, educators, and professionals in psychology, sociology, business, economics, nursing, social work, and justice administration, and other disciplines. In addition to providing clear guidance on grammar, the mechanics of writing, and APA style, the Publication Manual offers an authoritative and easy-to-use reference and citation system and comprehensive coverage of the treatment of numbers, metrication, statistical and mathematical data, tables, and figures for use in writing, reports, or presentations.

apa by format

APA (American Psychological Association) style is generally used in the social sciences.  As the publishing standard, APA style also provides guidelines for paper formatting.

Books and monographs, including reference books, dictionaries and other items, are generally cited using the following format:


Author, A. A. (year).  Title of work.  Location: Publisher.

Author, A. A. (year). Title of work. Retrieved from http://www.websiteadress

Author, A. A. (year). Title of work. doi: xx.xxxxxxxx

Editor, A. A. (Ed.). (year). Title of work.  Location: Publisher.


Please note that APA uses sentence capitalization rules for the title of the item, meaning that generally only the first word, proper nouns, and the first word following a colon are capitalized.  For more specific examples, please refer to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.

Journals are items that are published on a regular basis and are also referred to as 'periodicals'.  There is a general basic format for citing journal articles in APA style.  Please remember that the reference list must be double-spaced with a hanging indent.  Examples are taken from Publication manual of the American Psychological Association unless otherwise noted.



U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. (2015, May). An environmental management system review of the National Park Service: Based on the code of environmental management principles. Retrieved from


In-text citation

(U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2000)

For items retrieved online, please include the website.  The examples below are general in nature.  Please always double-check your citations using the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.

The FIU Libraries currently has Kindles available for check, with a variety of other e-readers to be available in the future.  In order to cite e-books on the devices, follow the examples below, taken from the APA Style Blog.  

In both cases, the edition of the e-book is related.  The DOI should be included, if available.  For citing particular passages, either paraphrase with correct in-text citations or refer to Section 6.05 of the APA Manual and follow the rules for quotations from online sources.

One of the author’s main points is that “people don’t rise from nothing”  (Gladwell, 2008, Chapter 1, Section 2, para. 5).


APA In-Text Citations

Here are a few notes on in-text citations from the Purdue OWL:



All quotes will have reference to:

  • Author(s) OR organization as author
  • Year of publication OR (n.d.) if there is no date indicated
  • Page (p.) OR paragraph (para.) number
  • For quotes, all three must be present in the in-text citation
  • A complete reference should appear in the reference list at the end of the paper



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

Jones (1998) found "students often had difficulty using APA style" (p. 199); what implications does this have for teachers?

She stated, "Students often had difficulty using APA style" (Jones, 1998, p. 199), but she did not offer an explanation as to why.

According to Smith (1997), ... (Mind over Matter section, para. 6).


Purdue OWL: APA Formatting and Style Guide. (n.d.). Retrieved 5 October 2015,


Block Quotes (over 40 words)

  • Place direct quotations that are 40 words, or longer, in a free-standing block of typewritten lines, and omit quotation marks.
  • Start the quotation on a new line, indented 1/2 inch from the left margin, i.e., in the same place you would begin a new paragraph.
  • Type the entire quotation on the new margin, and indent the first line of any subsequent paragraph within the quotation 1/2 inch from the new margin.
  • Maintain double-spacing throughout.
  • The parenthetical citation should come after the closing punctuation mark.



Jones's (1998) study found the following, students often had difficulty using APA style, especially when it was their first time citing sources. This difficulty could be attributed to the fact that many students failed to purchase a style manual or to ask their teacher for help. (p. 199)

Summary, Paraphrase, & In Your Own Words

If you are referring to an idea from another work but NOT directly quoting the material, or making reference to an entire book, article, or other work,

  • You only have to make reference to the author and year of publication
  • You do not have to include the page number in your in-text reference
  • All sources that are cited in the text must appear in the reference list at the end of the paper.



According to Jones (1998), APA style is a difficult citation format for first-time learners.

APA style is a difficult citation format for first-time learners (Jones, 1998, p. 199).

Another study of students and research decisions discovered that students succeeded with tutoring ("Tutoring and APA," n.d.).