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APA Format: Citing Your Sources   Tags: apa, citation, reference  

A brief guide to the APA style rules.
Last Updated: Dec 19, 2012 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Sample Paper with Examples

Here's a sample paper provided by APA. For every style rule, there is a comment highlighted in the paper that tells you where to find the discussion of the rule in the APA Style Manual.


NEW! Printable (pdf) Cheat Sheet

APA Tutorials

APA Style

  • The Basics of APA Style
    This tutorial is designed for those who have no previous knowledge of APA Style. It shows users how to structure and format their work, recommends ways to reduce bias in language, identifies how to avoid charges of plagiarism, shows how to cite references in text, and provides selected reference examples.
  • What's New in the Sixth Edition
    This tutorial provides an overview of key changes in the sixth edition of the Publication Manual, beginning with three overarching goals that guided the revision and ending with a detailed chapter-by-chapter list of new and expanded content.

What is APA style?

When editors or teachers ask you to write in "APA style," they do not mean writing style. They are referring to the editorial style that many of the social and behavioral sciences have adopted to present written material in the field.

Editorial style consists of rules or guidelines that a publisher observes to ensure clear and consistent presentation of written material. Editorial style concerns uniform use of such elements as

  • punctuation and abbreviations
  • construction of tables
  • selection of headings
  • citation of references
  • presentation of statistics
  • as well as many other elements that are a part of every manuscript

The American Psychological Association has established a style that it uses in all of the books and journals that it publishes. Many others working in the social and behavioral sciences have adopted this style as their standard as well.

APA's style rules and guidelines are set out in a reference book called The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.

© 2008 American Psychological Association


USC Resources

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An Easyguide to APA Style
Call Number: Leavey BF76.7.S39 2012

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Concise rules of APA style
Call Number: Leavey BF76.7.C66 2010

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Mastering APA style: Instructor's resource guide
Call Number: Leavey BF76.8.G452 2010

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Presenting Your Findings
Call Number: VKC HA31.N53 2010

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Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association
Call Number: BF76.7.P83
Reference Desk in Doheny Library and in Leavey (Lower Commons).

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The APA Style of Documentation
Call Number: Leavey BF76.8.P75 2010

* Asterisk in guide title indicates core subject guide

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