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CSU Global Writing Center: APA7: Intro to APA

Introduction to APA

What is APA?

In academic settings, there are rules for formatting written work and documenting citations. APA stands for the American Psychological Association, and it is the formatting and citation style typically used by students when writing research reports. There are other citation styles, but you should always use APA style for written assignments at CSU Global. Citation styles, like APA, also regularly go through updates and changes. Currently, APA 7 is what should be used.

APA Formatting

APA format refers to how a written text should be designed and organized. Typical APA organization for a research paper includes the following sections:

  • Title page
  • Abstract*
  • Body of the essay
  • References
  • Appendices*

*Only include these if required by your instructor or the assignment.

APA formatting also includes certain rules about font, margins, and spacing. For more details see our APA formatting page!

APA Citations

When you write essays, you will be expected to use information from outside sources. An outside source is anything that provides you with information outside of your own mind. Examples of outside sources are websites, articles, books, videos, images, etc. To learn more about source types, visit our Source Types page.

Whoever created the information in the outside source is the owner. If you use this information without stating where it came from, this is considered plagiarism. CSU Global also submits all student work to Turnitin, which is a software that detects plagiarism. You can avoid plagiarism by using citations to give credit to the creator of the content you are referencing.

There are two types of citations — in-text citations and a references page (also sometimes called a bibliography or works cited page). You will need to include both of these in your APA-style papers.

In-text Citations

In-text citations go inside of your essay. Whenever you reference a source in your writing, you should include an in-text citation within that same sentence. APA style in-text citations usually contain the author’s last name and the year that the information was published. Each of your in-text citations should correspond to a citation on the references page of your paper. You can learn more about in-text citations by visiting our In-Text Citations page.

References Page

The references page goes at the end of your paper and includes longer citations for each of the sources that you included in your writing. Citations should be listed in alphabetical order and usually include information such as the name of the author(s), the title of the work, the publisher, the date the work was published, etc. Each entry on the References Page should correspond to an in-text citation. This way, readers can find more information about the sources you mention within your essay when they are finished reading. For more details about citations and the references page, see our APA References page.

APA Video Tutorials

For more help with APA, check out our video tutorials!

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