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Distance Education/Online Learners: APA Citations

What is APA Format

APA (which stands for American Psychological Association) format is a standardized method for giving credit to those whose work you use. It is important to let your readers know where you got your information. It is generally used in the Social Science disciplines, such as Sociology, Psychology, Criminal Justice, etc.

Every research paper or project that uses outside sources must include a list of those sources at the end of the paper. This is called the APA Reference List and should include all sources in proper APA format alphabetically by the authors' last names.

APA format has specific forms for each type of resource you use: books, magazine articles, journal articles etc. It even differentiates between online and print materials.

With correct APA citations, you will never risk committing plagiarism. Plagiarism is considered stealing and could result in failure or worse!

This page has many helpful suggestions for proper APA format.

Have questions? Speak with a Librarian at the Information Commons Help Desk, Chat With Us or contact the Writing Center!

Citation Generators

There are several websites that will create citations for you. Some charge for APA citations, so be careful! You must enter the necessary information in the boxes provided. Be sure to spell all words correctly. Below is an excellent citation maker from Calvin College Library.  The link is below the image.




                        Click on the link below!

What is a Digital Object Identifier?

"The Digital Object Identifier (DOI®) System is for identifying content objects in the digital environment. DOI® names are assigned to any entity for use on digital networks. They are used to provide current information, including where they (or information about them) can be found on the Internet. Information about a digital object may change over time, including where to find it, but its DOI name will not change.
The system is managed by the International DOI Foundation, an open membership consortium including both commercial and non-commercial partners. Over 50 million DOI names have been assigned by DOI System Registration Agencies in the US, Australasia, and Europe.
Using DOI names as identifiers makes managing intellectual property in a networked environment much easier and more convenient, and allows the construction of automated services and transactions."
From the International DOI Foundation homepage:

Citations from Databases

Most of the databases now provide citations for articles. You must locate the tools box and look for the link to cite or citation tools.

This is the tool box for all EBSCO databases such as Academic Search Complete and Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection. Once you click on the Cite link, you will be given all possible citation formats for the article. Copy and paste the citation into your works cited page. Be sure to check that titles are capitalized and formats are correct.


 If you are using a database such as Newsday or Historical New York Times, click on the cite link in the tool menu above the article.

undefinedSelect the latest APA edition (or the version required for the assignment) version of the citations you are using!

CQ Researcher and CQ Weekly also generate citations for you.  Click on the Cite Now! link and then select APA from the choices.




APA Citation Help

Are you using another person's ideas or quoting from the original work itself?

  • Both are great ways to make your points.
  • Both require giving credit to the author. 

Use in-text notation after a quote or paraphrase.

List the author and work on your Reference List page.

Check the APA handout and the links below. 

NCC APA Style Sheet

Purdue University Online Writing Lab: APA Formatting

KnightCite Citation Generator from Calvin College Library

NCC Writing Center