APA Citation

APA citation format is one of the most used formats in the world. The fact that the APA format utilizes the author-date citation system makes it easy and comfortable in utilization. However, the APA citation format has a lot of rules that apply in various cases to make the overall presentation of the referencing information more reader-friendly. In particular, this article is one of the series of articles that will be posted in my blog, and you can always check them for the information that you did not find in this article. Links for further reading will be available on the bottom of the page.

General APA Citation Rules

Certainly, not every sentence has to be cited in the APA 6th edition format. Consequently, we cannot leave any sentences someone’s ideas without proper acknowledgment of the author by considering the APA guidelines. As a fact, if the one fails to do so, they will be accused of plagiarism. Therefore, one has to understand what has to be cited first. Also, the APA citation format provides the exact guidelines on how the APA citation has to acknowledge the author. In contrast, it is important to understand that the cited information is different and in-text citations will be different for different types of information cited in the text, using different strategies.

Summary

When you summarize someone’s ideas, you must always put the parenthesis at the end of the sentences with full acknowledgment of the author. People usually mistakenly think that when they read something and then write a summary of what they read, it must not be cited. However, the summary assumes that you provide zero personal analysis and just state a summary of ideas you had not to deal with. Therefore, you must cite such ideas.

The sentence with such citation will look as follows:
Summary of an author’s idea (Authors’ last names, publication year).

Summary Example

There is an academic rule that every information that was taken from somewhere else has to be cited (Turner, 2019).

apa citation

Paraphrasing

Hence, in the case of paraphrasing, it is all much easier. When it comes to stating operating with what someone else highlighted in their works, paraphrasing means that you did not change the meaning of some’s idea and just used synonyms and possibly mixed the structure of the idea to make sure it is not repeated word-by-word. Additionally, in the majority of cases, such a strategy of mentioning something from another source means that you also do not provide any new insight. Therefore, you also must cite such ideas in your text.

The sentence with such citation will look as follows:
Paraphrasing of an author’s idea (Authors’ last names, publication year).

Paraphrasing Example

Hence, when the one uses ideas from another work, they have to cite their sources (Turner, 2019).

Quotation

As a fact, some writers quote whole sentences or even passages from some’s work. Others use quotations that are called short quotes within the sentence. So, to avoid problems with plagiarism, one must understand that using a term that someone else mentioned in their text is reasonable, but everything else beyond general knowledge has to be cited. In this case, you should use the APA citation format for that purpose. Keep in mind that copying 3 and more words from another work is already plagiarism. Therefore, never use more than 2 words in a row copied from another work to avoid plagiarism.

The sentence with such citation will look as follows:
Paraphrasing of an author’s idea (Authors’ last names, publication year, chapter/page/paragraph/line of where the information was taken from).

For the case where one must provide a page number or paragraph number, they should use a short variation of these words. For example, one should write “p.” before the page number or “para.” before the paragraph number.

Quotation Example

“Consequently, we cannot leave any sentences someone’s ideas without proper acknowledgment of the author” (Turner, 2019, par. 2).

Hence, the last sentence, as well as an example of paraphrasing and summary, are for the same sentence that can be found in this article, in paragraph 2.

Advanced Rules on APA Citation Use

Hence, if you quote directly, you must always mention page, paragraphs, or even line where the information was taken from. Furthermore, if you paraphrase or summarize, the page where the information was taken from is required for books, time – for films, lectures, or other clips. It is optional for other sources in APA formatting if you paraphrase or summarize. However, I still recommend mentioning the exact place where the information was taken from.

Avoid Generalization

Also, only specific citations (something unique provided by the other author that is important for your APA paper) are allowed while to cite such information you should always know where the paraphrased sentence is situated in the source. Additionally, plagiarism is a failure to do the latter because it is either a false citation (fake source, inability to retain information, and so on) or lack of evidence (not academic). Therefore, considering that we must follow academic standards, the second explanation is a taboo for us anyway, as it will result in an automatic F grade, same as any case of plagiarism.

Know Your Sources

At any moment, your professor can ask you to screenshot or even point out specific pages where the information was taken from. Failure to do so will result in a huge penalty up to the dismissal from the educational facility. Make sure that even if you do not provide a specific page/paragraph for a website in APA citation format (which I still suggest providing, even if it is optional), you are still able to point out even a line where the information situates in case of need.

Rules on Where to Put APA Citation in the Sentence

In the majority of cases, in-text APA citation is at the end of the sentence that uses the information from somewhere else. The end of someone’s idea is always a place to put your citation, and you do not have to put it at the end of the paragraph or somewhere else. In a specific case when you have many sentences that utilize the information from an outside source in one paragraph, you must still put a different in-text citation at the end of each sentence, even if the author of all of those ideas was the same. Keep in mind that the period, which ends the sentence, is after APA citation.

APA Citation in the Sentence Example

It is important to put the in-text citation at the end of each sentence that uses ideas from the outside source (Turner, 2019).

APA Citation in the Sentence Exception

If the writer chooses to mention the name of the author inside the sentence, it is important to mention the date of publication right after the author, using the parenthesis. Additionally, in the case when you need the page or paragraph numbe, such number appears at the end of the sentence in parenthesis too.

Exception’s Example

According to Turner (2019), “we cannot leave any sentences someone’s ideas without proper acknowledgment of the author” (par. 2).

APA Citation for Long Quotations

As a fact, there are instances where the writer has to cite long quotes as all the information presented in such passages is critical for the paper. For such issues, there is a unique rule in APA citation format that describes how to cite such long passages. So, for direct quotes that go beyond the 40 words, which is a huge quote, the writer has to put such information in free-standing lines that form a block. The interesting thing here is that there will be no quotation marks for such quotes. Also, you will intend the block and start at a place where the new paragraph in such paper starts. Hence, each following line has to be intended in the same manner. Additionally, the block has to start from a new line and double-spaced. Finally, the parenthetical citation should come after the punctuation mark that closes the quotation.

Long Quotation Example

Turner’s (2019) article stated the following: Obviously, not every sentence has to be cited. Consequently, we cannot leave any sentences someone’s ideas without proper acknowledgment of the author. As a fact, if the one fails to do so, they will be accused of plagiarism. (par. 2)

Further Reading on APA Citation Use

Hence, there are more examples of APA citation available on the website. The list of further readings includes:

Do not forget to check the blog frequently for more content on APA citation rules. Some of the articles on APA are:

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