Child Development Research Guide

Formatting citations

Whenever you write a paper, you draw from existing sources of information.  It is important to acknowledge those sources when you write your own paper.  But how exactly do you write an acknowledgement of a source you incorporated into your paper?  What does a source citation look like?

The following guide can help you write citations in the American Psyschological Association (APA) style.  (And yes, the APA style is used by many different disciplines, not just psychology). 

Citations consist of two elements:

  • A quick note in the text of your paper anytime you use an existing source of information.  The "in-text citations" tab above shows you how to include a note in the text of your paper when you use a source.
  • A complete list of the sources you used at the end of your paper.  The tabs above will show you how to present a webpage, article, book, encyclopedia, or DVD in the list of references at the end of your paper.  General guidelines on how you present a your list of references include:
    • Reference list starts on a new page. Type the word "References" centered at the top of the page.
    • Double-space all reference list entries
    • The first line of each reference is set at the left margin and subsequent lines are indented ½ inch
    • Arrange alphabetically, not by format (book, journal, etc)

Please see the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association for further info.  The library has one copy of the Manual in the Ready Reference section on the second floor of the library.

Changes in the 6th edition of the APA Manual

During the summer of 2009 the APA published the 6th edition of its Publication Manual.  This revised edition embodies changes to multiple different citation formats -- citations for Internet-based media in particular, but other formats as well.  Please see the first link below for theMeriam Library's guide to these changes.

In October of 2009 the APA released a document which details different typographical and citation errors included in the 6th edition of the Manual.  These corrections have been incorporated into a second printing of the Publication Manual.  The Meriam Library's copies of the Publication Manual are both from the second printing.  As such the corrections outlined in this document are reflected in Meriam Library's copies of the Publication Manual.

Meriam Library | CSU, Chico