This guide is designed to help you cite your sources according to the style of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition. For APA Style, 7th Edition guidelines, click here.
APA style is a set of guidelines developed to help writers express their ideas and research findings clearly and consistently. APA Style was developed by the American Psychological Association and is used in the social sciences, including psychology.
This online guide is designed to help students with several basic areas of APA Style including:
helps readers of your paper to identify the sources of the information you used
helps you find the information you used, later on
helps you avoid plagiarism because it shows which ideas are yours and which ideas belong to another person
is expected for college-level and professional-level academic work
"Plagiarism" means submitting work that is someone else's as one's own. For example, copying material from a book or other source without acknowledging that the words or ideas are someone else's, and not one's own, is plagiarism. If a student copies an author's words exactly, he or she should treat the passage as a direct quotation and supply the appropriate citation. If someone else's ideas are used, even if it is paraphrased, appropriate credit should be given. Lastly, a student commits plagiarism when a term paper is purchased and/or submitted which he or she did not write.
(Note: the above definition is adapted from Tools for Teaching, by Barbara Gross Davis, Jossey-Bass, Inc., 1993, pp. 300).
For further information see College of San Mateo's plagiarism policy.