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Human Development and Family Studies: Cite Your Sources APA Style

Guide to resources for the study of human development and family studies.

APA Citation Style

APA (American Psychological Association) citation style requires you to note in the text of your paper every time you borrow information from a source, whether you quote, paraphrase, or summarize. In-text citations are brief and are used in conjunction with a References list with more complete information about your sources.

For more information consult: Cite Your Sources: APA Style.

APA Publication Manual

The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition, is the ultimate source for using this citation style. Briggs has four copies of the Manual available--two check out and two are kept at the Library Services desk.

Crediting/Citing Sources

When you cite you indicate that information is borrowed from a source. You need to do this every time your borrow information.

Why do you cite?

  • to give credit to the person or persons responsible for the work you are using.
  • to allow your readers to check on how you have interpreted the source.
  • to allow your readers to access the source themselves.
  • to demonstrate the research you have done on your topic.
  • to lend credence to the positions you take in your paper.
  • to use information ethically and avoid committing plagiarism.

Citation Engines & Database-Generated Citations

There are several online "engines" where you can enter information about your source and generate a citation. In addition, some databases offer help in generating formatted citations. Caution! While these tools may save time, they usually do not generate error-free citations. You need to check the citations carefully using the The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition, or another reputable source based on the Publication Manual.

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