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COM101/111: Introduction to Research & APA Citation

citing in APA style

What is APA?

The Two Parts of Citing


1. Reference List citations

Full citations which are listed in your Reference List at the end of your assignment. The citations includes all the required information about your sources, such as the author's name, source title, and URL.


2. In-text citations

These are short citations found in your paragraphs. They often include the author's last name, publication year, and sometimes page number. For example: (Lee, 2020, p.13)


Remember: All References List citations must have a coordinating in-text citation within your paragraphs.


Example of two parts of citing: in-text citation and reference list citations

Example of two parts of citing: in-text citation and reference list citations

Reference List Citations

Your reference list will contain all the sources that you have cited in your assignment. The reference list citations contain important details about your source, such as the author's name, source title, date of publication, and URL. See the APA Citation Guide  for tips on formatting reference lists and learn how to cite different sources.

Building Your APA Reference List

In-text Citations

You can reference sources in your text by quoting directly or paraphrasing.



Quoting is copying a selection from someone else's work, phrasing it exactly as it was originally written. When quoting place quotation marks (" ") around the selected passage to show where the quote begins and where it ends. Remember to add an in-text citation after the quote.

Example: “Social cognition includes self-knowledge, your knowledge of other people, others’ knowledge of themselves, and their knowledge of you" (Bosacki, Varnish, & Akseer, 2008, p. 190).

When are quotations generally used? 

Consider quoting a source if (University College, 2022):

  • The language of the passage is particularly elegant, powerful, or memorable that it can't be expressed any other way.

  • You wish to confirm the credibility of your argument by enlisting the support of an authority on your topic.

  • The passage is worthy of further analysis. 



Paraphrasing is used to show that you understand what the author wrote. You must restate the passage, expressing the ideas in your own words, and not just change a few words here and there. It's useful when describing short passages from a source. Remember to add an in-text citation after the paraphrase.

Example: Developing self-awareness is a lifelong process that requires continual work (Mohr, 2003).


Five Common Citation Mistakes & How to Fix Them

 Test Yourself

Library Citation Help & Resources

  • APA Citation Guide  - The citation guide includes citation examples for different types of sources, in-text citation tips, and a downloadable APA essay and reference list template.
  • Online citation workshops  - Attend a live citation workshop to learn about the basics of citing and ask your citation questions
  • Online help chat  - Chat with a library staff for information and tips on citing in APA