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Citing Your Sources

Why cite your sources?

  • To give credit to authors/researchers/writers and ideas that are not your own
  • Using high quality sources helps support your argument
  • To allow readers/researchers to locate the sources you used
  • To maintain academic integrity and avoid academic dishonesty and plagiarism

When in doubt, cite!

  • If you read it and use the idea or a quote, cite it
  • If it is in a research paper, cite it
  • If it is in a reflection paper, cite it
  • If you are using past research, cite it

When in doubt, cite!

Citing properly requires:

1. An in-text citation

When you use the work of another person, you must make note of this in the text. Do this by including an in-text citation which gives a brief reference and helps the reader locate the full citation that you'll include as part of your References list.

2. A list of works referenced

The last page of your paper is typically a list of resources you used/utilized/consulted.

What is APA?

APA Style, currently in its seventh edition, was developed by the American Psychological Association (APA). The style is commonly used in the fields of behavioral and social sciences. In addition to being one of the most popular style guides in academia, APA Style's most enduring legacy is its continually updated guidelines for reducing bias in language.

APA Examples

Template: AuthorLastName, F. I. (Year). Title. Publisher.

One author: Davis, A. Y. (2003). Are prisons obsolete? Seven Stories Press.

Multiple authors: Lewis, J., Aydin, A., & Powell, N. (2013). March: Book one. Top Shelf Productions.

Chapter in an edited book: Wright, R. (2011). High tide in Harlem: Joe Louis as a symbol of freedom. In J. Schulian & G. Kimball (Ed.), At the fights: American writers on boxing (pp. 68-74). Library of America.

Template: AuthorLastName, F. I. (Year). Title of article. Title of Journal, volume(issue), pages. DOI or URL.

Journal article (with DOI): McDonald, J. E., Faytol, A. L., Grau, P. P., Olson, J. R., Goddard, H. W., & Marshall, J. P. (2020). Compassion and values influence marital quality amongst couples in three U.S. states. Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice, 9(2), 59–72.

Journal article (no DOI): Ployd, A. (2020). What makes a martyr? The Movement for Black Lives and the power of rhetoric old and new. Journal of Ecumenical Studies, 55(1), 33-45.

Template: AuthorLastName, F. I. (Date). Article title (if applicable). Title of Website. URL

Template for videos: Author, A. A. (year, month day). Title of video [Video file]. Source. Retrieved from URL

Article on a website: Adeline, S., Hanzhang Jin, C., Hurt, A., Wilburn, T., Wood, D., & Talbot, R. (August 5, 2020). Tracking the pandemic: Are coronavirus cases rising or falling in your state? NPR.

Entire web site: News Literacy Project. (2020). News Literacy Project.

Video: University of Oxford. (2018, December 6). How do geckos walk on water? [Video]. YouTube.


  • If no author is listed, begin the entry with the web page title.
  • If the content is likely to change over time, include retrieval date.
  • If an organization is listed as the author/creator, list the organization name in place of an individual's name.

Citation Management Software

You can use a citation manager like Zotero to organize your citations, take notes while you research, and create a rough draft of a bibliography. Find out more by looking at our Zotero Research Guide.

If you have more questions about Zotero and how it can help you with your research, please reach out to the library. We're happy to help!

Need More Information?

See our Citation Styles guide to learn more about citing your sources.