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Lee and Jim Vann Library

Subject Guides

Nursing Resource Guide: APA Style

Guide to library resources for nursing students


APA Citation Style

APA Overview

What is APA Style?

APA style is a set of standards for writing style that was established by the American Psychological Association. These standards apply to how your paper is organized, your writing style, and how you cite your references. The APA style is most used for writing papers for Nursing, Social Sciences, and Business. See APA Style Workshop for more about APA writing style.

Why Cite

Why Cite Your Sources?

  1. Citing your sources is the best way to prevent plagiarism!
  2. Citing sources helps to establish credibility. Unless you already hold an advanced degree, you are not an expert on your topic. Citing sources lets your readers know that you did the research and the facts you share in your paper are backed by credible sources.
  3. Citations allow interested readers to track down your sources and read the original research.


APA Style Manuals - Vann Library

Crown Point APA Manuals

APA Style Manuals - Crown Point

What To Cite

What Should You Cite?

If you use facts, figures, or the words or ideas of others, you need to give credit to your source by citing where you got the information. If you did not create the information, then you need to cite it, unless it is considered common knowledge or it can be found in general reference resources. The following is list of what needs to be cited, from the Purdue Owl.

  • Words or ideas presented in a magazine, book, newspaper, song, TV program, movie, Web page, computer program, letter, advertisement, or any other medium
  • Information you gain through interviewing or conversing with another person, face to face, over the phone, or in writing
  • When you copy the exact words or a unique phrase
  • When you reprint any diagrams, illustrations, charts, pictures, or other visual materials
  • When you reuse or repost any electronically-available media, including images, audio, video, or other media

(Angeli, Wagner, Lawrick, Moore, Anderson, Soderlund, & Brizee, 2010)

Read Is It Plagiarism Yet?  for more information about what is considered common knowledge.


Angeli, E., Wagner, J., Lawrick, E., Moore, K., Anderson, M., Soderlund, L., & Brizee, A. (2010, May 5). Is It Plagiarism Yet?. Retrieved from



Complete this tutorial to gain a better understanding on citing in APA style.

APA Videos


Purdue OWL: APA Formatting - The Basics - How to format a paper using Microsoft Word according to APA style.

Purdue OWL: APA Formatting: Reference List Basics - How to format the references list.

APA Reference Lists: A More Detailed Explanation - A more detailed look at the reference list.

APA References List: Complex Authors - Working with more than one author, corporate authors, translators, and credited writings.

APA References: Periodicals - APA reference entries for periodicals, online and in print.

APA References Entries for Books - Rules for citing books in APA style.

Campus Resources

Need more help?

Tutoring and Study Help 

Visit the Student Success and Academic Advising Center, Pope John Paul II Room 210.

Monday: 10AM-4PM
Tuesday: 9:30AM-12:30PM, 1-2PM
Wednesday: 10AM-4PM
Thursday: 9:30AM-12:30PM, 1-2PM
Friday: 9AM-Noon

Hours to get help with other subjects are listed on the Student Success and Academic Advising Center web page.

In-Text Citations

How To Cite APA Style

Learn the basics of creating a reference listYour reference list should appear at the end of your paper. It provides the information necessary for a reader to locate and retrieve any source you cite in the body of the paper. Each source you cite in the paper must appear in your reference list; likewise, each entry in the reference list must be cited in your text.

Learn the basics of in-text citations. This is a very helpful guide to in-text citations from the Purdue OWL. You will find complete information on in-text citations in the full version of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. The Vann Library has a copy of the APA Publication Manual in the reference collection.

Rules for in-text citations: Author/Authors

APA style has a series of important rules on using author names as part of the author-date system. There are additional rules for citing indirect sources, electronic sources, and sources without page numbers.

Purdue Owl Citation Chart

This chart provides citation examples for a reference list and for in-text citations. Download the document or view online.

Paiz, J., Angeli, E., Wagner, J., Lawrick, E., Moore, K., Anderson, M., Soderlund, L., Brizee, A. & Keck, R. (2013, March 1). General format. Retrieved from

Citation Tools

Citation Resources

View or download examples of how to create an annotated bibliography entry in APA and MLA style.

The Purdue Online Writing Lab provides a wealth of information for using each of the major citation styles with an endless number of resources. The website covers how to cite websites, blogs, and even social media posts in great detail.

Information on writing for a variety of subjects including Nursing, Medical, Social Sciences, Literature, Professional and Technical, and others.

About Online Citation Tools

There are many tools available on the web to help you format citations, and most databases will allow you to copy a formatted citation. 

However, it's important to remember that these tools are not always guaranteed to be accurate! you should always check your citations for spelling errors, correct dates, and proper formatting like capitalization, italics, periods, and commas.



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