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APA Citation: Welcome

Why do we cite?

  • to distinguish previous from new thought
  • to give credit to the person whose ideas you used
  • to respect intellectual property
  • to help a reader locate the source(s) you used
  • to show that you have investigated your topic well
  • to avoid plagiarism
  • to uphold the values of academic integrity


When writing a research paper, you must cite the ideas, information, arguments, phrases or any other intellectual or creative output by another person that you borrow. Not to do so is referred to as plagiarism. Plagiarism is a serious offense that has severe academic consequences (see KPU's Policy ST2, Student Academic Integrity Policy) and the related Procedures for Dealing with Academic Integrity Violations.

Common examples of plagiarism:

  • Copying sentences, paragraphs, data or visuals without citing their source
  • Quoting material without proper use of quotation marks (even if otherwise cited appropriately)
  • Paraphrasing or summarizing information from a source without acknowledgement;
  • Paying someone for writing the assignment
  • Listing a source in the bibliography/reference list that was not cited in the assignment

Find out more about Plagiarism

Citing in APA (7th edition)

Quick Guide from APA (book, article, book chapter only)

APA citation style is often used for papers in the Social Sciences (e.g. sociology, psychology and criminology). It uses parenthetical citations for in-text references and a reference list at the end of the paper. 

7th Edition of the Publication Manual book cover

Most sources that you quote, paraphrase or summarize are cited: 

  • in the body of your paper with brief In-text Citations
  • and in a Reference List Citation at the end with the full information of the source


For more information refer to the print copy of the manual, available in the Reference Collection at all campuses, call number BF 76.7 P83 2020.

If you have a specific APA citing question, you may also try APA Style Help

For a list of major changes from the 6th to the 7th edition of the APA Publication Manual click here and watch this short video from Scribbr:

An annotated bibliography is a list of sources that you researched. It consists of two things: 

  • citation of each source (book, article, etc.)
  • the annotation, which is a brief descriptive and/or critical, analytical, and evaluative paragraph of the source

Follow these APA guidelines (section 9.51), unless your instructor has told you differently:

  • format and order references in alphabetical order as you would in a normal reference list
  • the entire annotation is indented by 0.5 inches and begins in a new paragraph below its reference
  • if the annotation consists of multiple paragraphs, indent the first line of any subsequent paragraph another 0.5 inches

Generally, you don't need to cite the work in your annotation, because it is clear which work is being talked about (as in the second example below). However, you do need to include in-text citations if you refer to more than one work in your annotation (for example, if you compare two works) to distinguish between them (as in the first example below). 


(Examples on the template adapted with thanks from Vancouver Island University Library)

The APA Style Site contains helpful information on the following:


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Ulrike Kestler

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