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University of Portland Clark Library

APA Style (7th Edition) Citation Guide: Introduction

Who Should Use APA Style?

APA style is used by social science disciplines such as communication studies, economics, education, psychology, and sociology; it is also used by business and nursing.

What is APA Style?

APA style was created by the American Psychological Association. It is a set of rules for publications, including research papers.

In APA, you must cite sources that you have paraphrased, quoted or otherwise used to write your research paper. Cite your sources in two places:

  1. In the body of your paper where you add a brief in-text citation.
  2. In the References list at the end of your paper where you give more complete information for the source.

APA Style Guide (7th Edition)

Four Elements of a Reference

A reference generally has these four elements: author, date, title, and source. Each element answers a question and is listed in your citation in the following order:

  • author: Who is responsible for this work?
  • date: When was this work published?
  • title: What is the work called?
  • source: Where can I retrieve this work?

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