The APA citation style is a set of rules about source documentation, created by the American Psychological Association. Generally, this style is used by the social sciences to cite sources in papers, essays, etc.
This playbook contains templates, examples, and handouts that will help you learn this citation style. Why learn how to cite? Because
The APA Style playbook was designed specifically for the needs of PVCC students. To access the different sections of this playbook, click on the links. For help with APA style citations, contact the librarians at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Though not labeled as such, APA citations are composed of 4 core elements: who, when, what, where.
who -- author field
when -- date field (in parentheses)
what -- title of the source
where -- where the source lives
Anderson, A. K. (2005). Affective influences on the attentional dynamics supporting awareness. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 154, 258-281. https://doi.org/10.1037/0096-3418.104.22.1688
Who = Anderson, A. K.
When = (2005)
What = Affective influences on the attentional dynamics supporting awareness.
Where = Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 154, 258-281. https://doi.org/10.1037/0096-3422.214.171.1248
Student papers in APA style require the following:
Not required for student papers (unless required by instructor):
Citation generators format your citations based on the information you enter into their fields. Using these apps is counterproductive because
Microsoft Word includes a citation utility that promises to format citations in several styles, such as MLA, APA, and Chicago. This utility should not be used, as it is never correctly programmed and produces erroneously formatted citations.
Please note that the Jessup Library librarians do not support the Word citing utility and are therefore unable to help students who choose to use it. The librarians suggest learning how to cite from scratch.
Follow the steps below to format the hanging indent with Word
 Select the text you would like to format (you can select your entire list of citations, for example, to format all at once)
 From the Home tab in Word, select the arrow next to Paragraph
 Next, under Special, select Hanging
Follow the steps below to format the hanging indent with Google Docs
 Select the text you want to format in hanging indent style
 Click Format
 Click Align & Indent
 Click Indentation Options
 Under Special, select Hanging (it's usually already selected)
 Click Apply