Gerontology *: Citing (APA) and Avoiding Plagiarism

This is the primary research guide for Gerontology students and faculty

What's in this guide?

This page has information on:

A tutorial to help you understand WHY to cite, HOW to cite, and how to AVOID PLAGIARISM
A Writing Support tutorial on setting up Word for APA-formatted papers
The format of an APA citation (for comprehensive details, visit: APA Style: Purdue Online Writing Lab)
Additional resources including links to citation management programs.

Why cite?

What is the point of a citation?

You need to understand why and how to use citations to help you avoid plagiarism! Use the interactive tutorial to begin to understand the importance and mechanics of avoiding plagiarism through proper citing:

USC Library Tutorials: Avoiding Plagiarism

In addition to avoiding plagiarism, citations help the reader locate your sources. You need to ask yourself, could someone find this information in the future? A client's personal file would not need a citation because your reader cannot go find that information again.  Census statistics would require a citation because your reader could go locate that information again.

Creating APA Citations

APA requires FOUR ELEMENTS of every citation:

  • Author of content
  • Date content was published
  • Title of content
  • Publication information. This can be the website you got it from or the journal or book's publication information.

Follow this guide if any of those elements aren't available:

Use this site to find DOI numbers

USC Resources

Avoiding Plagiarism

The Academic Integrity Collection at the University of Southern California is a series of tutorials presented by the USC Libraries in collaboration with USC’s Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards. Use these interactive tutorials, to review the basics of citations, quoting, and paraphrasing to help you avoid plagiarizing. Tutorials include:

  • Avoiding Plagiarism
  • Organizing Your Sources to Avoid Plagiarism
  • Academic Dishonesty
  • Evaluating Sources

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.


I can't find the example reference I need. What should I do?

  • Choose the APA example that is most like your source and follow that format. Sometimes you will need to combine elements of more than one reference format. 
  • This entry from the APA Style blog has more information about what to do.

I need a tutorial.

Are there other helpful resources?

Citation Management Programs

Managing all the materials you find and review is a key to success. Citation management programs allow you to import references from various databases and organize them to meet your needs. For more information, visit the USC Libraries Citation Guide and Library Tips: Choosing a Citation Manager and Citation Managers.
Find additional Resource guides under More.