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EDUC 2120 - Stephens - Fall 2023

Use this guide to help you learn how to write your references.

What is APA 7?

Citation styles provide a consistent method to communicate scholarly information. APA was established in 1929 is often used in the field of social sciences and nursing (American Psychology Association, 2023).

Why should I care?
  • It is expected that you acknowledge information from other sources and to back up claims in your assignments and papers. Citation styles like APA exist to help you do this. If you don't do this, it's plagiarism and you may fail your assignment or class.
  • Practically speaking, an APA reference is a map. If you have a reference, you are often one search way from the paper.
  • Skimming a reference page can help you quickly evaluate an article. Are there references from journals or new sources? How current are the sources?
How do I do it?
  1.  Identify your source-type (e.g. book, website, journal article.)
  2.  Find an example, and follow it.
  3.  Proof-read.
  4.  You cite twice: within your paper, and at the bottom in a reference page.

American Psychology Association. (2023, March). About APA style.


Source Types

Newspapers (News sources)

  • Provides very current information about events, people, or places at the time they are published
  • Useful for information on current events or to track the development of a story as it unfolds
  • Examples: The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal,


  • Include articles on diverse topics of popular interest and current events
  • Articles typically written by journalists or professional writers
  • Geared toward the general public
  • Examples: TimeNewsweekNational Geographic

Academic Journals (Peer-reviewed or scholarly journals)

  • Include articles written by and for specialists/experts in a particular field
  • Articles must go through a peer review process before they're accepted for publication
  • Articles tend to have a narrower focus and more analysis of the topic than those in other types of publications
  • Include cited references or footnotes at the end of research articles
  • Examples: Journal of CommunicationThe HistorianJournal of the American Medical Association

Trade Publications

  • Written for a specific industry or trade, contains information specifically for that trade
  • Often looks more like a magazine
  • Contains ads for products related to the industry
  • Examples: Advertising Age, Mathematics Teacher


  • Cover virtually any topic, fact or fiction 
  • Useful for the complete background on an issue or an in-depth analysis of a theory or person
  • Can take years to publish, so may not always include the most current information
  • Examples: The Politics of Gun ControlTo Kill a MockingbirdHemingway and Faulkner in their Time

Reference Books

  • Include facts, figures, addresses, statistics, definitions, dates, etc.
  • Useful for finding factual or statistical information or for a brief overview of a particular topic.
  • Examples: dictionaries, encyclopedias, directories
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