5 APA Dissertation Citation Rules You Should Be Aware Of

Citation rules for APA papers are slightly different from ones you may be familiar with when citing in either the MLA or Chicago styles. The differences may seem minor to the untrained eye, but when you submit academic work for a graduate school course, your professor is going to expect you to know the correct rules and may even deduct points from your written work if you make errors. Here are five APA citation rules you should absolutely be aware of when writing your dissertation:

In-Text APA Citations

All ideas, facts, figures, and quotations you use in the dissertation require a citation that includes the author’s name followed by the year from the document (book, article, essay, etc.) you retrieved the content from. If the you use content from a resource that has multiple author’s then the first author’s name is included followed by “et al.”

Quotations and Pages

When working with quotations, in addition to the author’s name and year of publication you should also include a page number if the quotation comes from a modern text that isn’t considered a “classic.” For modern, resources that don’t have page numbers (such as a web page) you should include the paragraph you are quoting.

Short v. Long Quotes

Short quotations of three lines or less can be used within your own text. If you have a signal phrase that introduces the author you do not need to include the author’s name in parentheses at the end of the quote. If your quote is four lines or more it should be entered as a free-standing block without quotation marks, indented 1/2 inches from the left margin.

Works without an Author

Certain works may have no author. In these cases you want to use the first few words of the work’s title, capitalizing each word, within quotations and within the same parentheses you would normally refer to the author. Additionally, you should italicize the title if it refers to a journal, book, brochure or any type of report.

The Reference List

Lastly, you should make sure to create an accurate reference list using APA guidelines. Entries should be arranged in alphabetical order by the author’s last name. The full entry should go: author’s name, the work’s title, the publication information such as city, year, and volume number, completed by the page numbers if the resource is an article or essay within a larger work.

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