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A Guide to Education: APA Citations

This Research Guide contains resources supporting students, faculty, and staff in the Departments of Curriculum & Foundations and Teacher Education.

Writing Help

If you need help with the writing process (including properly citing sources), then make an appointment with CSU's Writing Center, which is located on the 1st floor of the Michael Schwartz Library.

APA Manual (Paper Version)

The Michael Schwartz Library has copies of the APA Manual available for review.

Citing Your Sources

Why are citations important? Why is it necessary to cite?

To avoid plagiarism, you must give proper credit to all sources you use! Whenever you paraphrase or directly quote information, you must cite the source of the information using a specific citation style.

In the Social Sciences, the most commonly used citation style is APA -- the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA). The current version of the APA Manual is the 7th edition, 2020.

When using APA to cite your sources, you must have a list of References at the end of your paper/project and corresponding in-text citations throughout.

There are many RULES to follow when citing sources in APA style, such as order of the elements, capitalization, italics, and punctuation.


  • The Purdue OWL is an excellent website for help with using APA citation style.
  • The APA citing help inside a research database is a good starting point, but ALWAYS check the references because the formatting is NOT 100% correct. Spot the errors and make the appropriate corrections.
  • You can use free citation generators like Citation Machine or BibGuru to format citations, but they are not perfect, either! Double check your citations before submitting your work!
  • Use the References tab in Microsoft Word to insert citations and manage your sources. You can generate a reference list and insert in-text citations in your paper from this References tab. Make sure to check your citations for accuracy!
  • Use Mendeley or Zotero, which are free, web-based tools "to help you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources." Mendeley and Zotero are powerful reference management tools, but errors still can occur. Remember that you are responsible for the accuracy of your citations. Make sure to proofread before submitting your work.