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APA Style Guide


A citation is a quote or a reference to a book, article, passage, or other text or author. It contains the basic information that is needed to find a specific document, including the document’s author, title, and publication information.

Citations are used to give credit to authors for original ideas and arguments. That means that whenever you make a reference to another document or use an argument from another author in your paper, you need to cite that document and give credit to the author for their ideas.

The APA style requires that two types of citations be provided for each outside source that you use in your writing: a references page citation, and an in-text citation.

Reference Page Citations

Citations that appear on the references page of your work must provide the most complete information possible about a resource. These citations are designed to help readers locate the resources that you use in your research and writing.

They must include the following elements:

  • Author
  • Date of publication
  • Title of Work
  • Publication Information


Gore, A. (2006) An Inconvenient Truth: The planetary emergency of global warming and what we can do about it. New York: Rodale Press.

Carolina, D. (2014). A model-driven methodology for developing secure data-management applications. IEEE Transactions of Software Engineering, 40(4), 324-337. doi:10.1109/TSE.2013.2297116

You can find more information on how to create reference page citations on the following sub-pages:

  • Citing a Book
  • Citing an Article
  • Citing a Website

In-Text Citations

When you are cite information from an outside source in your writing, the APA style requires that an in-text citation be provided immediately after the source is referenced.

These in-text citations require an author’s last name and the date of publication for the document, for example, (Smith, 2010).


  • Profit is “directly tied to employee motivation” (Mathias, 1984, p. 64).
  • Several studies (Anderson & Yost, 2014; Benson, 2001; Zimmerman & Ross, 1999) indicate that...

You can find more information on how to use in-text citations on the In-Text Citations Page.