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APA Citation Guide (6th ed.): Welcome

What is APA?

APA style was created by the American Psychological Association. It is a set of rules for publications, including research papers.

In APA, you must cite sources that you have paraphrased, quoted or otherwise refer to in your research paper.

Cite your sources in two places:

  1. In the body of your paper with an in-text citation.
  2. In the References list at the end of your paper
This research guide is based on the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). The contents are accurate to the best of our knowledge. Some examples illustrate Seneca Libraries' recommendations and are marked as modifications of the official APA guidelines. 

Looking for information on the new APA 7th edition? Seneca Libraries will transition to the 7th edition APA Style for the Fall 2020 semester.

Commonly Used Terms

Citing The process of acknowledging the sources of your information and ideas.
DOI Some electronic content, such as online journal articles, is assigned a unique number called a Digital Object Identifier (D O I or doi). Items can be tracked down online using their doi.
In-Text Citation A brief note at the point where information is used from a source to indicate where the information came from. An in-text citation should always match more detailed information that is available in the Reference List.
Paraphrasing Taking information that you have read and putting it into your own words.
Plagiarism Taking, using, and passing off as your own, the ideas or words of another.
Quoting The copying of words of text originally published elsewhere. Direct quotations generally appear in quotation marks and end with a citation.
Reference Details about one cited source.
Reference List Contains details on ALL the sources cited in a text or essay, and supports your research and/or premise.
Retrieval Date Used for websites where content is likely to change over time (e.g. Wikis), the retrieval date refers to the date you last visited the website.

Seneca College Libraries

This guide is used/adapted with the permission of Seneca College Libraries. For information please contact

Note: When copying this guide, please retain this box.

Do you need citation help?

Online Citation Workshops

Attend an online citation presentation for an overview of how and why to follow citation rules in order to avoid plagiarism. Check out the calendar for the citation workshop schedule.  
Presentation Slides: APA | MLA | APA & MLA