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Citing Sources


In October 2019, the American Psychological Association launched a new version of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.). 

Be sure to ask your instructor which version of APA style you should use. If your instructor indicates you should refer to the 7th edition, see Holy Family's Citation Guide to APA 7.

Note that Academic Writer currently cites in APA 6th edition. All manuscripts saved in Academic Writer will automatically format to APA 7 in August 2020. 

What is a citation?

A citation is just like your house address. Citations help your reader locate the sources you used in your research. Citations include:

For articles: the author(s), publishing date, article title, journal or magazine title, volume, issue number (see examples for when to use this), page numbers, the DOI (Digital Object Identifier) number (if available), and, in some cases, website's URL.

For books: the author(s), publishing date, chapter title, book title, page numbers (for a chapter), place of publication, publisher, DOI (Digital Object Identifier) number (if available), and, in some cases, the website's URL.

For websites: see the Websites page.

Can't I Just Use the Cite Helper in the Databases?

Caution: Often the information in citation helpers is not completely correct.

If you use the citation helper in Ebsco and other databases, BE SURE to double check your references using all of the APA Style resources Holy Family makes available, including the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. 

Publication Manual

Copies of the Publication Manual are found in the reference and check out collections of the Philadelphia Campus Library and the Newtown LRC.

Where to Begin

There are two questions to ask before you begin:

1. What type of source am I trying to cite?

  • Journal article? Book? Webpage?

2. Where did I retrieve that source?

  • Library database? Website? Was it a print source?

Once you've answered these questions, select the most appropriate option from the dropdown menu to the left to see examples.

When to Cite Sources

The purpose of using citations is to let the reader know where you obtained your information so sources can easily be located and consulted. You must document your sources when you provide information that you ordinarily would not have known before conducting your research.

You must cite when you:

  • Discuss or paraphrase someone else's ideas
  • Provide a direct quotation
  • Use statistical or other data

Select a source from the dropdown menu on the left (Citing Sources: APA) for examples.

Types of Citations

Reference citations appear in References at the end of your paper. This is a list of all sources that were consulted and cited in your paper. Below is the format for a book. Select your source from the drop-down menu on the left for more examples.

Author, A. A. (Date of Publication). Title of book. Place of publication: Publisher's name.

In-text citations appear in the body of your paper. The format is the same regardless of the source type. In-text citations indicate to the reader what information is being cited in your paper. The in-text citations also refer the reader to the corresponding reference citations in the References page at the end of your paper. See the In-text Citations Guide for more information.

This is a sentence of my research paper and I am paraphrasing information that I read somewhere else (Author's Last Name, Date of Publication).

Guides & Sample Papers

The OWL at Purdue provides resources that may useful for writing projects & citation help.

Click here for a full-length self-paced online tutorial from the APA's website.

Try Academic Writer

Academic Writer can help you write and cite in APA Style. Note that effective August 3, papers and citations in Academic Writer will automatically transition to the APA 7 format. Click the logo to get started. New user? Click here.

Need help with APA style? Those page numbers and headers getting you down? Don't know how to cite sources? You can use Academic Writer (formerly APA Style Central) to write and cite in APA style. Academic Writer includes tutorials to help you learn the ins and outs of APA format

  • To use this product, you must have a Holy Family Canvas username and password
  • Always use the links on the library’s web pages to access Academic Writer
  • From off-campus, you will log in twice - one time to authenticate your Holy Family affiliation and once to get into Academic Writer
  • From on-campus, you need to log into Academic Writer with your personal login. This is NOT your Canvas login. See “New Users” below for more information
  • To get started, click the logo below OR login from our Research Databases page

New Users –creating an account

  • From off-campus, click on Academic Writer. Log in with your Holy Family Canvas username and password
  • From on campus, simply click the Academic Writer link
  • Once at Academic Writer, go to "Welcome" on the top right of the page and register for an account. If you already have an APA Style Central account, just log in.

For help, email or contact a librarian at 267-341-3315

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