Citing sources is expected in scholarly communities and is almost always required in research papers. Scholars cite:
- to give credit where credit is due;
- so your reader (professor) can find the source that you mentioned in your assignment;
- to add credibility to your research - shows you did the work;
- and to avoid plagiarism!
Not sure where to start? Review this Flow Chart of the citation process before you continue!
APA stands for the American Psychological Association. This is the preferred citation style of many of the social and behavioral sciences. Always remember to check your assignment guidelines or ask your professor which citation style they prefer for your work.
Please note that the seventh edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association was released in October 2019. The American Psychological Association expects students and professors to transition to this new edition in the spring of 2020 or thereafter. The CSUSM library is awaiting the delivery of the new guides and the transition of other reliable sources to the 7th edition before updating its own citation guide. If you are required to use the 7th edition prior to our updating our APA page, please go directly to the APA's Style and Grammar Guidelines website or contact a librarian directly for assistance.
Official APA Style Manual Resources
- APA Style Manual (BF76.7 P83 2010) Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association: the most current APA style manual is available at the University library. Click on the above link to find a copy.
- The official APA website Off campus or need APA guidelines right now? Access the official APA website for citation help by clicking the above link. This site has useful tutorials and up-to-date facts about citing in APA.
Helpful Online Resources
- Purdue Owl: Reference list for online sources Explanations and directions for citing online sources in your reference list.
- A brief introduction to APA Style Created by Purdue University Online Writing Lab.
- Purdue University's Online Writing Lab (OWL) More examples of APA-style citations and paper formats from Purdue University's famous OWL website. Use the left-hand menu to find the category of item you are trying to cite.
- Legal Citations in APA Style (CSU Stanislaus) Examples for the most commonly cited federal and California legal documents.
- Citing Government Sources (Washington and Lee University) Guidance on how to cite many different kinds of government documents in APA style.
- Citing Business Sources (CSUSM Library) A guide to the most common APA citation formats needed for business sources, compiled by the CSUSM Business Librarian and COBA faculty.
Also Helpful: Citation Generators
- Zotero Zotero is a tool for storing citations and generating bibliographies using data collected from the library catalog or websites such as Amazon or Google. For more information on using Zotero, see our Zotero Guide. Always double check your results with citation generators, they are not always perfect!
- KnightCite Citation Service This citation generator formats your citations for you. This can be a convenient tool, especially if you have a lot of sources to cite, but it is NOT 100% accurate. ALWAYS check an additional resource like the APA Manual or Purdue OWL to make sure that the citation is formatted correctly!
Sample Papers in APA format