Remember the feeling you had yesterday, or last week, when you were struggling to figure out what to do with all the citations in your paper? You were frustrated and running out of time and you had no idea how much time it would take to format you paper & all those citations in the text & on the References page. And you were maybe more worried about your citations than you were about what you actually wrote in your paper??? It’s a lot of work & stress, right?
…well, it doesn’t really have to be. Here’s some help–keep it handy for next time.
The only APA tools that you’ll ever need:
- Perhaps the most important of them all: The APA Style Guide for Electronic References, 6th edition. (It’s available online!!!)
- Whether on or off campus, you’ll have to enter your Blazer ID & Password in order to open it.
- This book has most of everything that you need in order to format a citation. It’s easy to navigate with a hyperlinked table of contents–no flipping through the pages!
- A nice guide with great examples from the University of Northern Michigan: APA Reference Style Guide
- Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.
- Printed Copies available on the 1st floor of Lister Hill: WZ 345 AM350p 2010
- Purdue OWL, aka OWL
- This might be the most widely used and respected online resource for APA guidance.
- The LHL Citing Sources Guide.
- This guide covers APA, AMA, ASA, MLA, NLM, & Vancouver.
- It defines what a reference is AND covers how to read a citation–understanding how to read a citation from the start could help you understand how to format the ones for you paper. —Wouldn’t you like to be able to look at a citation and know if it’s a book or an article? Just think how cool your friends will think you are! …They’re going to think you’re cool.
- The LHL APA: Formatting Your Paper Guide.
- Includes this step-by-step guide for physically formatting your document.
- Plenty of examples on how to cite articles, book, websites, and when there is no author or when there is a corporate author.
- The Official APA Style Blog.
- This is a great tool for the newest forms of media. And for info that might not necessarily be evident in the APA Style book. For example, this post on how to use first person: “Me, Me, Me”: How to Talk About Yourself in an APA Style Paper.
- The blog discussions of these rules speak to the fluidity of citation styling–things change–how we create information, how we retrieve information, how we use information–and we must adapt.
- Need to find a DOI? Use Crossref.org.
- Not every article ever published has a DOI. If there is one, CrossRef.org will let you know what it is.
- Have a DOI but nothing else? Use DOI.org.
- Learn how to use it. Streamline your citation & PDF collection and use Cite While You Write. It makes your life a whole lot easier.
5 tips for understanding citation rules:
- Read the stuff around the examples! That stuff explains how to understand the examples, and explains what to do when there are exceptions.
- Sometimes it’s not the citation that needs correcting, but your research or writing. If you are citing the same source over and over you either need to:
- Gather more source material (get back to the databases)
- Paraphrase. Go to Purdue OWL for tips.
- There may not be a hard-and-fast rule for the resource you’re citing. You may need to combine 2 or 3 rules together.
- Be able to explain why you cited a source the way you did–make educated arguments for the sources that don’t fit into standard citation rules.
- If you’re still unsure, send your best educated guess to your professor for review.
- Give yourself enough time to format everything properly. If you do this, you’ll cut your panic time in half!
- When you need to make sure you’re on the right track: Ask-A-Librarian. We won’t provide you with a definitive answer, but we will guide you to examples & try to help you figure out what to do when you run in to those strange sources…those online summaries of books with no author and no date ….yeah, those.