Learning to Reference Correctly in APA Style
Please note all references on this page and its links are fictional except for the reference to the APA style manual.
** This section is still being developed -- please take it as a work in progress **
It has been my experience in teaching that there is great confusion over the proper usage of APA style in regards to citing references and the Reference Section of papers. This section is intended to provide some clarity on this confusion. However, it should be stressed that this page is not intended to replace owning and properly utilizing the APA style manual! It seems the most common source of confusion about citing and referencing sources is the resistance that many students have to using and getting to know the style manual.
For most people it takes years to learn to the manual. About the time many people feel they have mastered the manual, a new addition comes out with changes. Many instructors and professors are resistant to re-learning the new APA style every few years and can sympathize with students frustrations. However, if you are going to be a professional in the field of psychology, it is well worth your time to learn APA style well.
While there are many resources available on APA style which are very helpful, I have not always been satisfied with the thoroughness on this topic. Students are also encouraged to view the other APA Style helps listed on this website. On this page you will find information on 1) The basic terms, 2) how to use a reference citation, 3) the reference section, and 4) how to determine if a reference is a scholarly reference.
The Basic Terms
The main confusion over terminology is in regards to the difference between a citation and a reference. The term reference citation is referring to where you site your source in the text. For example, if I were to cite this page in the text I would do so as indicated at the end of this sentence (Hoffman, 2004).
When talking about a reference, you are referring to the source which you obtained the information from. All of your references must be listed in the Reference Section of your paper.
(See APA Style Manual pp. 207-214)
Click here to go to the Reference Citation Page
When to Use a Reference Citation
et al what?!
"&" and "and"
Groups as Authors
Ordering Your Citations
Page Numbers and Quotes
The Reference Page
(See APA Style Manual pp. 239-280)
Click here to go to The Reference Page
What to Include (and NOT include)
More Than One Reference to the Same Author in the Same Year
Getting Familiar with the Manual
Determining if Resources are Scholarly
Click here to go to Scholarly Resources Page
Can I Use Non-Scholarly Sources?
Where to Find Scholarly Resources
Journals versus Magazines
Self Help Books
What Makes a Person a Scholar?
The Peer Review Question
American Psychological Association (2001). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (5th. ed.). Washington, DC: author.