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APA Style

The American Psychological Association (APA)

The APA (American Psychological Association) Style Manual is most commonly used by writers of social science papers. It offers examples for the general format of APA research papers, in-text citations, tables, and reference pages.

7th ed.

What's New in the 7th edition for 2020?

A new 7th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association is now available.

Make sure to check with your instructor for what edition to use on your papers. After the new release, many instructors may continue to use the 6th edition.

6th Edition

Citation Managers

Citation Managers can help you create, gather, store, and organize citations.
Create an account and get started today!


A subscription service for Cal State LA students, faculty, and staff.


A free and open source program that anyone can use, therefore, you will retain access after graduation.

  • The standalone program that works with Windows, Mac, or Linux systems

  • Install the browser plug-in for Firefox, Chorme, and Safari.

  • When you download, a Microsoft Word plug-in will automatically install allowing you to easily add in-text citations and reference lists.

Quotes and Parapharasing

Researching, arguing a position, laying the foundation for scientific experiments, and all other academic pursuits begin with studying the work of others and using this work to inform our own. It is absolutely crucial to give credit to those who's work you use, and this is done using direct quotations and paraphrasing, and always citing your sources. Not to do so would be considered plagiarism. Plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty are treated as extremely serious violations of ethical conduct and may result in suspension or expulsion from the University.

A Quote is the exact wording used by the original author. Example:

  • "The primary reason we sentence individuals to jail or prison is to punish them for the criminal offense(s) they have committed against society." (Bayley 2009)

Paraphrasing, is rewriting another's words or ideas in your own words, often summarizing or synthesizing a larger text, while still giving the original author credit for their ideas. Example:

  • Bayley argues that prison should be thought of as a punishment, and not a deterrent for others not to commit a crime. (2009) 

Bruce Bayley, "Custody vs. Treatment Debate: Deterrence—The Two Great Lies," CorrectionsOne, July 1, 2009.

For more information view these guides on quoting and avoiding plagiarism: 

Quoting, Paraphrasing and Summarizing at Purdue OWL

Quoting and Paraphrasing at The University of Wisconsin

Quoting Materials at

Annotated Bibliographies

An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, and documents. Each citation is followed by a brief (usually about 150 words) descriptive / evaluative paragraph, called the annotation. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited.

  • Citation or Reference
    • In the style (APA, Chicago, MLA, etc.) your professor assigns
    • Styles follow the conventions of the discipline and provide information about a source such as the creator, date, and location to lead the reader directly to the source. 
  • Annotation
    • A brief summary of the source (1-2 sentences), may include
      • Author's background
      • Argument or conclusions
      • Methods used or types of sources consulted
      • Limitations of the research
      • Evaluation or criticism of the work
    • Discussion of how the source is relevant to your research (2-3 sentences) may include how the source gives your paper:
      • Background and context
      • Evidence or examples
      • The scholar's argument supports or contradicts your argument

More examples:

John F. Kennedy Memorial Library
California State University, Los Angeles
5151 State University Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90032-8300