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CCJ 4701 Research Methods

Using APA Style

Properly citing sources is an important component of any academic writing. To avoid plagiarism, cite all outside sources you use in your writing and presentations. Include citations for text (direct quotes) and ideas (paraphrased or summarized text) for all outside sources. 

Citing is a two-part process and BOTH elements are required.

Part 1 -- Create a References page at the end of your paper and lst all of the required details about each source. A key to formatting reference entries is to identify the type of content you are citing (book, book chapter, ebook, scholarly journal article, government website).

Part 2 -- Add in-text (parenthetical) citations within the body of your paper wherever you include: a direct quote or paraphrase the text or ideas of outside sources. In- text citations refer readers to a specific entry on your References page. 

Examples of basic reference entries:

Format for print book: 

Author, A. A. (year of publication). Title of book: Capital letter also for subtitle. Location: Publisher.

Format for ebook: 

Author, A. A. (year of publication). Title of book. Retrieved from

Format for journal article from database:

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (year of publication). Title of article. Title of Journal, volume number,(issue) page range. Retrieved from

Format for webpage:

Author, A. (publication date). Title of document. Title of page. Retrieved from 

Examples of basic in-text citations:

(Author, year of publication) or (Author & Author, year of publication)

Online Resources for APA Style:

The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th Edition (2010) is the current APA manual. Print copies of the manual are available at the John C. Hitt Library (main campus) located on the 2nd floor across from the Research Desk. 


The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA style) provides requirements for formatting in-text citation and references for research papers and includes examples based on the type of source you are citing. APA style is widely using in the behavioral and social sciences (criminal justice, education, psychology, public administration, social work, sociology). Copies of the APA guide are available at the John C. Hitt Library (main campus). For specific questions about the citation style requirements for courses, always consult with your professor.

The following online resources also provide information about using APA style in your academic writing.