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APSA Political Science Citation Guide: Start Here

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Why Should I Cite My Resources?

This is a guide for citing resources using the American Psychological Association (APA) style of citation. Use APA to cite resources within the social sciences, education and business subjects. Please refer to your class syllabus or consult your professor to see if this is the correct citation style for your class.

Why Cite Resources?

  • Citations allow readers to locate and further explore the sources you used to develop your thoughts and outcomes expressed in your paper. They are a measure of the depth and scope of your research.
  • Citations are the method used to give credit to authors for their ideas and research.
  • Citations provide the evidence for your arguments and establish your credibility by documenting that you have searched for and considered a number of resources during researching and writing of your paper.
  • Citing enable you to have your own original ideas and outcomes standout from the other's research.
  • Citing is standard practice in the world of academia.

What is a citation?

A citation is a way you inform the readers that certain materials in your paper came from another source. It also gives your readers the information necessary to find the source. Your citation should include the following elements in both your footnotes and bibliography.

  • Author
  • Title of work
  • Place of publication
  • Publisher
  • Date published
  • Page numbers where the material is located.

When do I need to cite?

You need to acknowledge whenever you borrow quotes or ideas. The following are when you need to cite:

  • Whenever you use direct quotes.
  • Whenever you paraphrase.
  • Whenever you use an idea that someone else has already expressed.
  • Whenever you make specific reference to the work of another.
  • Whenever someone else's work has been critical in developing your own ideas.

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