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Psychology: Citing Sources

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Citation Style: APA


Many of the article databases that NOVA subscribes to, such as Proquest and Ebsco's Academic Search Complete, will provide citations. These citations should be carefully checked for accuracy.

You can also ask a librarian for help, or consult the following websites:

Plagiarism Resources

Don't Plagiarize

The following websites may help you better understand and avoid plagiarism. Remember that there are serious consequences for plagiarizing.

Crediting Sources in APA

Citing References In Text

In-text citations tell your professor which source you used at a specific point in the paper.
These citations also correspond to the full citation found in the Reference List at the end of your paper.

Example of in-text/parenthetical APA citation

Reference List

The reference list includes full citations all sources used in your paper.

Example of full APA citation

Examples taken from: Brent, R., & Kain, D. (2011). Development of an Empirical Nonlinear Model for Mercury Bioaccumulation in the South and South Fork Shenandoah Rivers of Virginia. Archives Of Environmental Contamination & Toxicology, 61(4), 614-623. doi:10.1007/s00244-011-9664-0

Why and When to Cite

Why to Cite:

  • Give credit to the authors of the sources you used.
  • Provide evidence you did research -- good, credible sources give your work more authority.
  • Allows your reader to locate the sources you used.
  • Avoid plagiarism.

When to Cite:

You should cite a source if you reproducequoteparaphrase, or summarize ideas and/or media created by other individuals. When in doubt, cite!


Plagiarism Has Consequences

Comic strip image - plagiarism has consequences

Types of Plagiarism

Image about self-plagiarismClick image for source.

Plagiarism may not seem like a big deal, but there can be some severe and/or long lasting effects:

  • Failing grade (assignment and/or course)
  • Note on transcript for academic dishonesty
  • Loss of financial aid
  • Academic probation or expulsion
  • Limited career opportunities (can become a barrier to getting a job or can cause loss of employment)

There are many different ways to plagiarize, including self-plagiarism.