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The APA Format (in parts taken from: Purdue University Online Writing Lab, and the “Evergreen State College“, Columbia, Washington and their „Avoiding Plagiarism“ handout)). How to quote correctly. Plagiarism Defined.

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How to quote correctly

The APA Format

(in parts taken from: Purdue University Online Writing Lab,

and the “Evergreen State College“, Columbia, Washington and their „Avoiding Plagiarism“ handout))

How to quote correctly

Plagiarism defined
Plagiarism Defined

In academic writing you are often asked to draw on the work of other writers, composers, artists, speakers, or filmmakers when explaining or supporting your judgments. Academic ethics and fairness require you to properly cite these sources. If you represent a source's language, ideas, or images as your own - even inadvertently - you practice a form of academic dishonesty called plagiarism.

Plagiarism is using a source's words, ideas, or images without acknowledging the original writer, composer, or artist. It can be as blatant as copying long passages from a source without quotation marks and proper citation. One of the most common forms is "mosaic plagiarism," the act of sprinkling borrowed phrases, partial sentences, or sentences within the paper without using quotation marks.

Plagiarism can be avoided with strategies such as:

using quotation marks and a proper citation when using the source's own language

citing the source of ideas when you summarize or paraphrase a passage in your own words

citing the source of tables, charts, diagrams, or other visuals

citing the source of data you use to construct a table

citing the source of specific examples and facts

Plagiarism is a serious academic offence and is a violation of the Social Contract.

If you plagiarise, you will fail !!!!

Two ways of referencing someone else s idea
Two ways of referencing someone else‘s idea

You provide the author's name (or the title of the work) and the page (or paragraph) number of the work in a parenthetical citation

You provide full citation information for the work in your reference list

Parenthetical citations the general idea
Parenthetical Citations:The general idea

The author's name or title of the study may appear in the sentence itself or in parenthesis following the quotation or paraphrase, but year and page number(s) should always appear in the parenthesis, not in the text of your sentence.

With author

Jones (1998) compared student performance ...

In a recent study on student performance

(Jones, 1998), ....

In 1998, Jones compared student performance…

No author

A similar study was done of students learning to format research (“Using APA”, 2001).

Parenthetical citations are in brackets ( ), they may also be called ‘in-text reference’.

Parenthetical citations the direct quote
Parenthetical Citations:The direct quote

With author

She stated, “students often had difficulty using APA style,” (Jones, 1998, p.199) but did not offer an explanation for this fact.

According to Jones (1998), “students....” (p.199).

Jones (1998) found “students often ...” (p.199).

No author

In another study it was discovered that “students succeeded with tutoring” (“Using APA”, 2001, p. 27).

Or: Another study shows that “students succeeded with tutoring” (“Using APA”, n.d.).


Parenthetical citations the indirect quote
Parenthetical Citations:The indirect quote

With author

She stated that students frequently had considerable problems with APA style (Jones, 1998, p.199) but did not offer an explanation for this fact.


No author

In another study it was discovered that students’ problems diminished after some tutoring (“Using APA”, 2001, p. 27). Or: (“Using APA”, n.d.)


If there is no author

…use an abbreviated version of the work's title.

If there is more than one author

List the authors in alphabethical order

If two or more authors have the same last name, provide both authors' first initials (or even her or his full name if different authors share initials) in your citation.

If you cite more than one work by a particular author, use the year to differentiate between them. If there are two works from the same year, use e.g. 2001a, 2001b

Short quotations fewer than four typed lines of prose or 40 words
Short Quotations(fewer than four typed lines of prose or 40 words)

Enclose the quotation within double quotation marks and integrate it with your text.

Provide the author and specific page citation in the text.

Include a complete reference in the reference list.

Punctuation marks such as full stops, commas, and semicolons should appear AFTER the parenthetical citation.

The direct quote needs to be EXACTLY the same. This includes any exclamation or question marks, and even typing mistakes. Anything you leave out needs to be indicated by ‘…’ or ‘(…)’, anything you add by ‘[ ].

Make sure that the direct quote is smoothly integrated with the sentence it is used in

Never use the quote to MAKE the point. You should make the point in your own words and use a direct (or indirect) quote to support it.

Long quotations
Long Quotations

Use long quotations sparingly.

Place quotations longer than four typed lines in a free-standing block of typewritten lines, and omit quotation marks.

Start the quotation on a new line, indented one inch from the left margin. Your parenthetical citation should come after the closing punctuation mark.

For example:

Jones’s 1993 study found the following:

Students often had difficulty using APA style, especially when it was their first time citing sources. This difficulty could be attributed to the fact that many students failed to purchase a style manual or to ask their teacher for help. (p.199)

DON’T use quotation marks, a different font, italics etc. You might want to use more narrow spacing, but it is also not necessary.

Adding or omitting words in quotations
Adding or Omitting Words In Quotations

If you add a word or words in a quotation, you should put square brackets around the words to indicate that they are not part of the original text.

For example:

Jan Harold Brunvand, in an essay on urban legends, states: "some individuals [who retell urban legends] make a point of learning every rumor or tale" (2003, p.78).

If you omit a word or words from a quotation, you should indicate the deleted word or word by using dots surrounded by brackets (square or round).

For example:

In his 2003 essay on urban legends, Jan Harold Brunvand notes that "some individuals make a point of learning every recent rumor or tale [...] and in a short time a lively exchange of details occurs" (p. 78).

Your reference list
Your Reference List

The reference list should appear at the end of your essay.

It provides the information necessary for a reader to locate and be able to read any sources you cite in the essay. Each source you cite in the essay must appear in your reference list; likewise, each entry in the reference list must be cited in your text.

List Format

Begin your reference list on a separate page from the text of the essay under the label Reference List (with no quotation marks, underlining, etc.), which should be centered at the top of the page.

Double space all entries, with no skipped lines between entries.

Keep in mind that underlining and italics are equivalent; you should select one or the other to use throughout your essay.

Alphabetize the reference list by the first word in each entry (usually the author's last name)

Basic rules for citations
Basic Rules for Citations

With Authors:

Names are inverted (last name first); if a work has more than one author, follow first author's name with a comma, then continue listing the rest of the authors. Use ‘&’ before you add the last author.

If you have used more than one work by a particular author, order them alphabetically by title.

When an author appears both as the sole author of a text and as the first author of a group, list solo-author entries first.

Make sure your approach to using capital letters is consistent.

Use italics for titles of books, journals, magazines, newspapers, and films. Don’t use them for titles of articles.

If you refer to a journal article that appeared on pages 225 through 250, list the page numbers in your Reference List as 225-250.

With books, list the place of publishing and the publishers

Basic forms for sources in print i
Basic Forms for Sources in Print I


Author, A.A., & Author, B.B. (Year). Title of Book. Place of Publication: Publisher.

If there are more than three authors, you may list only the first author followed by the phrase et al. (the abbreviation for the Latin phrase "and others") in place of the other authors' names, or you may list all the authors in the order in which their names appear on the title page.

Book with a corporate author

American Allergy Association. Allergies in Children. New York: Random, 1998.

Anthology or collection

Peterson, Nancy J., ed. (1997). Toni Morrison: Critical and Theoretical Approaches. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP.

Basic forms for sources in print ii
Basic Forms for Sources in Print II

Book or article with no author named

Encyclopedia of Indiana.(1993). New York: Somerset.

Cigarette Sales Fall 30% as California Tax Rises. New York Times 14 Sept. 1999: A17.

For parenthetical citations of these sources, use the abbre-viated title. Use quotation marks and italics as appropriate. For example, parenthetical citations of the two sources above would appear as follows: (Encyclopedia, 1993, p. 235) and ("Cigarette...”, 1999, A17).

A part of a book (such as an essay in a collection)

Author(s). (Year). Title of Article. In Editor's Name(s). (Eds). Title of Collection. (Pages). Place of Publication: Publisher.


Article from a reference book

Jamaica. Encyclopedia Britannica. 1999 ed.

An article in a periodical (such as a newspaper or magazine)

Author(s). (Year). Title of Article. Title of Source, date of publication, page(s).

E.g. Poniewozik, James. (2000). TV Makes a Too-Close Call. Time 20 Nov., p. 70.

An article in a scholarly journal

Author(s). (Year). Title of Article. Title of Journal, volume number, pages.

E.g. Berndt, T.J. (1998). Effects of friendship on social behaviour. Child Development, 52, 636-643.

Basic forms for electronic sources
Basic Forms for Electronic Sources

Electronic sources are referenced like print sources, but the web address and the date of retrieval have to be added. An article from an electronic journal, for example, is quoted exactly like an article from a print journal, plus the retrieval date (Retrieved and the date in an explicit format) and the web address.

It is necessary to list your date of access because web postings are often updated, and information available at one date may no longer be available later. Be sure to include the complete address for the site.

Individual pages on web sites (which you should not use too often anyway) often don’t have an author, but every page has a heading/title. Use this to reference accordingly.

Web site examples

Purdue Online Writing Lab. 2003. Purdue University. 10 Feb. 2003

Basic forms for electronic sources peculiarities
Basic Forms for Electronic Sources - peculiarities

E-mail (or other personal communications)

Author. "Title of the message (if any)" E-mail to person's name. Date of the message.

Kunka, Andrew. "Re: Modernist Literature." E-mail to the author/Joe Barbato. 15 Nov. 2000.

This same format may be used for personal interviews or personal letters. These do not have titles, and the description should be appropriate. Instead of "Email to John Smith," you would have "Personal interview."

A listserv posting

Author. "Title of Posting." Online posting. Date when material was posted (for example: 18 Mar. 1998). Name of listserv. Date of access <electronic address for retrieval>.

Online Posting

Karper, Erin. "Welcome!" Online posting. 23 Oct. 2000. Professional Writing Bulletin Board. 12 Nov. 2000 <>.

Other types of sources
Other Types of Sources

Government publication

United States Dept. of Health and Human Services. (2000). Healthy People 2010: Understanding and Improving Health. Washington: GPO.


Office of the Dean of Students. (2000). Resources for Success: Learning Disabilitiesand Attention Deficit Disorders. West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University.

Interview that you conducted

Purdue, Pete. (2000). Personal Interview. 1 Dec. 2000.

A lecture or a speech

To cite a lecture or a speech, you need the speaker's name, the title of the lecture or speech (if known), the sponsoring organization (if there is any), the location [including place and city, if available], and the date. If there is no title, use an appropriate descriptive label (e.g., Lecture, Address, Keynote speech).


Lufthansa. Advertisement. Time 20 Nov. 2000: 151.

Television or radio program

"The Blessing Way." The X-Files. Fox. WXIA, Atlanta. 19 Jul. 1998.

Sound recording

U2. All That You Can't Leave Behind. Interscope, 2000.


The Usual Suspects. Dir. Bryan Singer. Perf. Kevin Spacey, Gabriel Byrne, Chazz Palminteri, Stephen Baldwin, and Benecio del Toro. Polygram, 1995.

TV Advertisement

Staples. Advertisement. CBS. 3 Dec. 2000.