March 12th, 2012

Citing APA Style

As you finish writing your final papers for the quarter, we in the library would like to remind you to cite your sources properly. Here are some resources that can help.

Many of our library databases allow you to get the APA-formatted citation for an article that you can copy and paste into a reference list. While the citations from these tools are rarely perfect, they are still a good place to start and may save you time. You can look at the appropriate database guide if you want to see if the database you’re using has a citing function.

In the Proquest databases – look for a “Cite” link above the article title on the Article Record page.

Screenshot of Cite icon in ProQuest

In the EBSCO databases, click on the title of the article you want from the results page. This will take you to the article information page. Look for the “Cite” link in the menu bar on the right side:

Screenshot of Cite link in Ebsco database

If you used RefWorks to store your article citations, then you probably already know that RefWorks allows you to create APA formatted bibliographies. If you need some reminders about using RefWorks, or if you want to find out more, check out the RefWorks home page. It’s linked to useful guides, and includes a recorded webinar as well as four video tutorials that show you the basics of creating and using a RefWorks account.

Again, none of the above mentioned citing tools will be correct 100% of the time. There are often punctuation or capitalization errors with any software-created citations.

Which brings me to one of your most important tools, your APA manual. Officially entitled Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, (6th Ed.), it is your best friend and final word when it comes to verifying that you are using correct APA citation style. It’s up to you to double check your APA manual to verify that the citations you (or a database) have created are properly formatted.

Finally, if you still can’t figure out how to format a reference citation after using the above tools, you can contact Smarthinking, a web-based tutorial service, for assistance. You can write in with a question any time, or get live one-on-one assistance during their hours of service. Smarthinking is free to you as a Capella learner, so register today!



Comment from Dorothy Mensah-Aggrey
Time April 18, 2012 at 10:00 pm

I often check the Capella Online Writing Center for APA formatting and other writing details. It seems the site has not been fully updated. When will the full APA 6th edition be updated on the website.

The same applies to the dissertation pages; there was an article there dated 2001 referring to the APA 4th edition.

Dorothy Mensah-Aggrey

Comment from kstaley
Time April 23, 2012 at 9:41 am

Thanks for writing, Dorothy. The Capella Writing Center is not part of the Capella Library and we have no control over its content. I will forward your comment on to the folks in the Writing Center. Thanks!

Comment from S. Dudley Dickerson
Time May 3, 2012 at 12:41 pm

Please advise for the APA 6th ed revision, it is my understanding that running head is should only be on the first page, please advise. Thank you for your assistance.

Comment from kstaley
Time May 3, 2012 at 1:05 pm

The librarians aren’t APA experts, but according to the APA manual (6th ed.), p. 239, the running head should be on every page. Here’s the direct quote: “The running head should be a maximum of 50 characters, counting letters, punctuation, and spaces between words. It should appear flush left in all uppercase letters at the top of the title page and all subsequent pages.” If you have further questions, your best bet is to contact Smarthinking, as mentioned in the blog post.


Comment from Reyia Callahan
Time February 7, 2013 at 5:52 pm

Could someone please show me the correct way to cite a reprint from within a textbook? My text printed a guide that had a footnote that state where it came from & I was told that I had not done it correctly as a “textbook”.

Comment from Belinda Fischer
Time April 23, 2013 at 4:42 pm

Can you tell me how to correctly cite a web page within the context of a paper? Thanks! Belinda

Comment from kstaley
Time April 24, 2013 at 12:05 pm

Thanks for contacting the library. The librarians aren’t APA experts, so for citing websites, I would recommend that you check out this APA Style Blog post. It will help you sort out which type of citation you should be using depending which kind of website resource you used.
If you need further APA help, Capella University’s Undergraduate Writing Center has resources to help you with your APA citations.
If you are still having trouble, contact your instructor, as he or she will have the final say about your citation.


Comment from vickie steinhoff
Time January 13, 2014 at 10:50 pm

Greetings ,

I am having trouble registering for Smart thinking?

Where do you start? the link is asking for user ID and log In?

any advice would be helpful
thank you

Vickie Steinhoff
Capella Learner

Write a comment