Handy Tips and Tricks for APA Formatting and Citing with APA
Need help citing with APA formatting for your college term paper? These handy tips and tricks can help you learn the style faster.
APA is the formatting and citing style used by the American Psychological Association. As such, it is commonly used when writing papers involving some type of psychology topic. But APA is also utilized for writings in the social sciences field. Here’s what you need to know about formatting with this style, in addition to a few tips to remember when citing with APA.
If you are writing a paper that calls for APA formatting, your paper should:
When citing with APA, it’s helpful to know what these citations need to look like in the text, as well as how to cite resources in the references section of the paper. Let’s start with in-text citations.
In the body of the paper, citing with APA requires following the information cited with the author’s last name and the year the information was published in parenthesis. An example would be (Smith, 2020). If there are more than one authors but less than six, each author’s last name is listed in the first reference (Smith, Rodriguez, & Patel, 2020). Six or more authors are cited using ‘et al,’ which means ‘and others.’ (Smith et al, 2020). All future references in the paper can also be shortened using ‘et al’ (Smith et al, 2020).
If the information you are citing is a direct quote, the author’s last name and the year published is followed by the page number(s) where the data can be found (Smith, 2020, pp. 15-30). Additionally, if the quote being cited is lengthy, or more than a few lines, citing with APA requires indenting the entire quote a half-inch.
The other place you will be citing with APA is in the references section at the end of the paper. This is where you list all the sources used when compiling and analyzing your research. Any idea that is not your own must be cited here to avoid plagiarism.
The resources should be listed alphabetically by author’s last name or, if the author is unknown, by the source’s title (minus articles such as a, an, and the). Here are a few additional tips to remember when writing your references page if the instructions require citing with APA:
If you’re not familiar with formatting or citing with APA, it may take some time to become comfortable with this style. But once you do, you’ll likely find that it’s pretty easy, as long as you follow these tricks and tips.