Monday, March 20, 2017

APA Citation


One of the most common issues I deal with as a teacher is students needing help with APA citation. APA is the citation style used by the American Psychological Association. APA citation is commonly required in many undergraduate and graduate social science programs. I was lucky and had professors that taught me APA early, and they regularly reinforced the importance of properly citing sources. Truly, APA citation is not as difficult as it appears. All it really takes, is practice and repetition. Occasionally, there will be some harder to cite sources that you come across (citing court cases immediately comes to mind), but those are rare and there are resources to help give you quick answers. I will review those resources shortly.

First, I want to warn against using websites or applications that cite material for you. I will not provide links to these sites because they are unreliable and consistently have errors. Plus, any little change in APA style might not be quickly reflected in these applications. In fact, there are some applications that have easy to spot problems that "out" the students using them when I am reading their papers. Plus, you go to college to learn, so you might as well learn APA citation.

So, where can you go for help?

  • The best overall source for help with APA citation is without a doubt, the APA Purdue OWL (Purdue Online Writing Lab). I consider the Purdue OWL to be the best source of help for APA citation questions. They provide a user-friendly menu to find solutions for your problems, and also provide a "sample APA paper" that is very useful for comparing to your own research paper.
  • Another decent source for help is the APA Style Help page. They also have their own blog.
  • A third resource I have found is provided at Baker College's website. They have a useful APA Guide that includes links to APA tutorials and other resources. Again, I warn against using the links they provide for automatic citation applications.

 To conclude, APA may seem difficult to learn, but it is not ac scary as it may initially seem. While you may not ever truly master the citation style, you can easily learn the basics. As always, practice makes perfect. Thank you for reading.

For more information on my education, research interests, and publications, please check out Daniel Kavish on the web. you can also check out a short biography page for Daniel Kavish here.