Assignment Helper: APA Style and Citation Management Tips

APA (short for “American Psychological Association) style is the standard citation convention used for most social science research including information science, and the convention you will be using for the majority of your assignments throughout your iSchool experience. Like any writing convention, it can take awhile to get used to the detailed formatting rules. While it is good to avoid citation fixation, it is still important to learn and properly use the APA style employed by LIS researchers.

Please note, APA recently published a new 7th Edition manual, which is recommended for this course.

Luckily, there’s several resources to help you learn and use the 7th Edition APA style:

  • Purdue’s OWL (Online Writing Lab) is a comprehensive resource for APA formatting rules and writing tips. APA 7 examples and materials are now included.
  • Purdue’s OWL also provides a general overview of Changes in the APA 7th Edition, as compated to the APA 6th edition.
  • Watch this Introduction to Citation Styles for APA 7th Edition to help familiarize yourself with formatting for in-text and reference list citations.
  • The Citation Machine helps you generate and format citations in APA (or other common citation formats). While this can be a huge time saver, be sure to also double-check your citations against the APA manual. Currently, the tool only creates APA 6 citations.
  • SJSU Writing Center provides a convenient APA General Citation Guide for the 7th Edition.
  • APAStyle has a variety of quick reference tools, like the following Reference Guide for Journal Articles and Books.
  • WI+RE is a learner-led community at UCLA focused on helping everyone succeed in their writing and research projects. Check out their Research Handouts for student academic writing. While some of the resources are specifically for students at UCLA, others are helpful for student research approaches in general.

Staying organized and by keeping good track of your citations can be a big time saver especially when paper deadlines loom near. Besides using a citation manager such as BibMe or EasyBib, a couple of other time-saving tips you might find helpful:

  • Create an APA-formatted template Word document that includes correct title page, page numbers, margins, font, and bibliographic indentation. Whenever you begin a new paper, simply use the template and “Save as”. This will save you formatting time for each paper you write.
  • Make sure each reference you use in your paper is listed in your bibliography and each source listed in your references is referenced in the body of your paper. As you research your topic, keep a running reference list. When it comes time to write your paper, you can add or check off each reference as you use it.