Citing the sources in APA style research papers

One of the vital parts of research paper writing is that of crediting the sources used for the research of that paper. This is to be done as per the specifications of the documentation style you are using. The APA style of documentation is one of the most commonly used documentation styles for academic research paper documentation. Even though it is mainly used for documenting research papers in sociology and psychology, research papers in other subjects also are sometimes prepared using the APA format. Citing your sources in an APA style research paper would be easy enough if you learn certain basic specifications of the APA style.

The in-text citations in APA style

APA Style Research Paper Most research paper documentation styles employ the use of two types of referencing – in-text citations and a separate bibliography section. The in-text citations contain only limited information on the sources. But they are supposed to direct the readers to the complete details of the sources listed in the bibliography section. As each style has a different format for their in-text citations, it is necessary to have an idea of which one would apply to you.

In an APA style research paper:

• The in-text citations are in the (author, date) format. Here, the ‘author’ would mean the surname of the author and the ‘date’ sands for the date of publishing. The information is to be enclosed in brackets and types right after the cited information or portion.

• You must never use footnotes for reference purposes. APA style strictly forbids the use of footnotes for citing the sources. But students often make the mistake of using footnotes for referencing as they fail to understand the restrictions on the usage of footnotes which the APA manual has defined. You are permitted to use footnotes to give your reader additional information, on any part of the text, which is too irrelevant to be included in the paper.

• The date and the surname given in the in-text citations must tally with those in the bibliographical section to make it possible for the reader to link between the two. For example, if you have given the in-text citation of ‘(Gladwell, 2008)’ in the in-text citation and make a mistake with the date in the bibliographic entry for this citation as 2007, then your reader will not associate it with the respective in-text citation.

The bibliographic references section in APA style research papers:

• Must begin on a fresh page.
• Must be titled ‘References’. The heading must be printed on the top of the page, centrally aligned.
• Must be organized in the alphabetical order of the surnames of the authors.
• The method of presenting each type of source must be ascertained from the latest edition of the APA style manual.

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