Skip to Main Content
site header image

APA Style (7th ed.)

How to cite in APA Style (7th edition)

(Looking for the old 6th edition guide?)

Why Cite?

Most academic writing cites others' ideas and research, for several reasons:

  • Sources that support your ideas give your paper authority and credibility
  • Shows you have researched your topic thoroughly
  • Crediting sources protects you from plagiarism
  • A list of sources can be a useful record for further research

Different academic disciplines prefer different citation styles, most commonly APA and MLA styles. 

Besides these styles, there are ChicagoTurabianAAAAP, and more. Only use the most current edition of the citation style.

Ask your instructors which citation style they want you to use for assignments.

Prefer an interactive, video-based tutorial? Click the image below:

link to APA tutorial:


More questions? Check out the authoritative source: APA style blog


When to Cite?

To avoid plagiarism, provide a citation for ideas that are not your own:

  • Direct quotation
  • Paraphrasing of a quotation, passage, or idea
  • Summary of another's idea or research
  • Specific reference to a fact, figure, or phrase

You do not need to cite common knowledge (ex. George Washington was the first President of the United States) or proverbs unless you are using a direct quotation. When in doubt, cite your source.