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HSERV 268 - Research Methods : Prof. Spencer: APA Citing and Plagiarism

This guide will help students in Prof. Spencers Research Methods class with the Literature Review assignment

Citing Your Sources

You will be using APA format for your paper. See the APA Sample Student Paper on the APA website for formatting instructions.

When you are ready to cite the sources you have used for your research, see the examples below and links in the right column to find sources that will help you cite in APA format. It will offer example citations for the most common source types.  

Even if you use a citation maker (EasyBib, NoodleTools etc) you must still check your citations again the APA guide to make sure they are 100% correct.

If you need help, ask a librarian or submit your question to Ask us anything!

Citation Examples

You need to cite where your information came from in the body of your paper (in-text/parenthetical citations) AND on a References page at the end.


APA In-text:

A survey of high school football coaches showed that 70 to 90% would send a player showing signs of a concussion to a healthcare professional before permitting them to return to play (Guilmette, et al., p. 1043).

For 3 or more authors cite first author only and et al.: (Wasserstein et al., 2007, p. 87).

For 2 authors: (Bassert & Thomas, 2013, p. 72). *note use of ampersand


A study by Guilmette, et al., (2007) shows that most high school football coaches (70 to 90%) would require a player showing signs of a concussion to be seen by a healthcare professional before returning to play (p. 1043).

Bassert and Thomas (2013) have demonstrated that....

*note use of & in parenthetical citation, but and in signal phrase. 


APA References Page:

*List all authors up to first 19 and final author.

Guilmette, T. J., Malia, L. A., and McQuiggan, M. D. (2007) Concussion understanding and management among New England high school football coaches. Brain Injury, 21(10), 1039-1047. doi:10.3109/02699051003648227

APA states that database names and DOI numbers are optional (handbook p. 192), but adding them are good practice and will make it easier to track down your sources again. 


APA examples:

Chapter in an electronic book (*do not add period after URL or DOI)

Bilotta, E., & Evans, G. W. (2012). Environmental stress. In L. Steg, A. van den Berg, J. de Groot (Eds.), Environmental psychology: An introduction (pp. 28-35). Retrieved from


Print Book

Bradshaw, J. (2013). The behaviour of the domestic cat. Boston: CABI International.


Print journal, (with issue, no volume)

Iyoob, I., Rossetti, M. D., & Chen, Y. (2013). Cloud computing clarity: What every IE needs to know about the newest software paradigm. Industrial Engineer, (4), 32-7.


Online article with DOI

Jackson, J. J., & Samuel, T. S. (2001). The impact of climate change on sea levels. Journal of Environmental Science55(4), 233-277. doi:10.1070/8567-6582.33.5.888 


Online article with no DOI

Office for Civil Rights. (2017, June 16). Enforcement of the Confidentiality Provisions of the Patient Safety Act. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

*add Retrieved Month Day, Year, from before URL if you believe the content is likely to change.


Online video*

Institute for Research on Poverty. (2020, July 14). How is poverty measured? [Video]. YouTube.

*Use channel/uploader for YouTube or Vimeo, but speaker/director name for videos on other sites.



Martin, N. & Montagne, R. (Hosts). (2017, December 7). Black Mothers Keep Dying After Giving Birth. Shalon Irving's Story Explains Why. [Audio Podcast Episode]. In All Things Considered. NPR WNYC.


APA Tips:

Authors: Last Name, First initial : Bradshaw, J.

Multiple Authors: Separate with commas, use comma & before last author: Iyoob, I., Rossetti, M. D., & Chen, Y.

Put year of publication in parentheses (2016) use (n.d.) if no date found. Use (year, month day) if information available.

Titles: Put titles (books, articles websites) in ‘sentence case’ – only capitalize first word (and first word after any punctuation) and proper nouns: Environmental psychology: An introduction

BUT capitalize journal titles: Journal of Environmental Science

Italicize book and journal titles: Journal of Environmental Science

Journals: Volume (in italics) followed by issue (in parentheses) no space between: 55(4)

Online sources*: Use DOI (if available) or URL Do not add a period at the end of the DOI or the URL: doi:10.1070/8567-6582.33.5.888 or

*add Retrieved Month Day, Year, from before URL if you believe the content is likely to change.


Don't forget to cite images on your presentation!

APA format: Lastname, FirstInitial. (Year, Month Day of publication). Title. Retrieved from URL

If no author/creator: Title. (Year, Month Day of publication). Retrieved from URL

Avoid Plagiarism

Plagiarism occurs when you use another person's verbal or written words or text in your own work without appropriately documenting the source of the borrowed words or text. The borrowed text could come from a variety of places, such as a book, a newspaper, a magazine, a website, or even another student's paper.

The WCC Student Code of Conduct: states:

A. Academic Dishonesty

Engaging in academic dishonesty in any form with respect to examinations, course assignments, research projects, grades, and/or academic records is prohibited, including, but not limited to the following:

  1. Cheating - using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information or study aids in any academic assignment. Examples of cheating are: looking on someone else’s paper; using any kind of “cheat” sheet or other enhancement during a test; allowing someone else to take an exam in your place; submitting the same work more than once for credit; using someone else’s homework or lab assignments; collaborating with another student on any assignment or take-home test if told that collaboration was not allowed; assisting another student in committing an act of academic dishonesty by allowing another student to copy homework or an exam; taking an exam for someone else; or giving test information to students in other sections of the same class.
  2. Falsification - intentional and unauthorized falsification or invention of any information or citation in an academic assignment. Examples of falsification are: making up data on an assignment; making up a source to cite in a paper; altering then resubmitting returned academic work; giving false information to a faculty or staff member to increase one’s grade; or attempting to change, actually changing, altering grades or any other unauthorized tampering with grades.
  3. Plagiarism - deliberate and knowing use of someone else’s work or ideas as one’s own. Examples of plagiarism are: quoting a source verbatim, or paraphrasing text from a given source, without properly citing the source; turning in a research paper that was written by someone else; or in any other way passing off someone else’s work as one’s own; or failing to give credit for ideas or materials taken from someone else.


Note:  The guidelines that define plagiarism also apply to information secured on internet websites.  Internet references must specify precisely where the information was obtained and where it can be found.

You may think that citing another author’s work will lower your grade.  In some unusual cases this may be true, if your instructor has indicated that you must write your paper without reading additional material.  But in fact, as you progress in your studies, you will be expected to show that you are familiar with important work in your field and can use this work to further your thinking.  Your professors write this kind of paper all the time.  The key to avoiding plagiarism is that you show clearly where your own thinking ends and someone else’s begins.


No matter where the text comes from, it must be documented accurately. Accurate documentation means that you must follow the MLA (Modern Language Association) or APA (American Psychological Association) rules for documentation.

APA 7th ed. Citation Workshop (WCC Library YouTube)

APA Basics Part 2 In-Text Citations

The tutorials above will help answer the most common questions about APA 7th ed format. 

*Click SHOW MORE below the video to skip to the citation format type you need to cite.

Additional Citation Help

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