APA refers to the writing style guidelines developed by the American Psychological Association and is used mostly by writers in the sciences (including the social sciences).
APA provide writers with a credible system for formatting their works and referencing any outside sources of information.
In APA style, when you use information or ideas from an outside source, either by paraphrasing or directly quoting them, you need to reference them in two ways:
- In-text References: provide the name of the source (the author’s name or the title if no name is available), the year of publication for the source, and the number of the page where the information is found in a parenthetical citation directly following the paraphrase or quote. Note: the name contained in the parenthetical citation will be the first item in the References page entry, giving the reader a direct path of reference.
- References page: provide the full reference information for the source on your References page.
This way, the reader can follow the information in the parenthetical citation to the References page, which contains the full source information without disrupting the flow of your paper.
For the comprehensive APA guidelines, refer to The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association or the official APA website. For more information on the APA handbooks, other official writing style manuals (like The Chicago Manual of Style) , or other writing handbooks, visit our Writing Resources page.