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APA Style 6th edition- Citing Sources: Getting Started

Need help with APA?

The Regis Library can help you!

We can teach you how to set up your paper, cite the sources within your paper, and format your reference list.  Drop by, call, or email!  Let us know if you need help! 

Please note: this guide covers the 6th edition of APA. For the most recent 7th edition, see our new guide: APA Style 7th edition.

New to APA? Start here...

These links provide more in-depth information on learning and using APA style. 

APA Style Blog

Since the APA Manual was last published in 2010 the APA has provided more information about how to cite particular sources, especially  online sources.  The APA maintains a searchable blog that addresses questions that are not in the 2010 book.  It is located at


Keep in mind that this is a searchable blog! 

Purdue OWL

Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) provides a comprehensive online guide to using APA.

APA Manual

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.).

APA Manual. Book (print copy).  Available for less than $25 on Amazon.

Image result for apa manual image


This book is an essential purchase.  Your Smarthinking writing tutor or the Regis librarian will refer to various pages within this book when answering questions.  

  • Chapters 2, 6 and 7 are the most heavily used chapters. 
  • Table 6.1 Basic Citation Styles on page 177 is extremely useful for creating in-text citations. 
  • Table 3.1 Format for Five Levels of Heading in APA Journals on page 62 is useful for understanding heading styles.

American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

What is APA format?

APA Style® originated in 1929, when a group of psychologists, anthropologists, and business managers convened and sought to establish a simple set of procedures, or style rules, that would codify the many components of scientific writing to increase the ease of reading comprehension.

As with other editorial styles, APA Style consists of rules or guidelines that a publisher observes to ensure clear and consistent presentation of written material. It concerns uniform use of such elements as

  • selection of headings, tone, and length;
  • punctuation and abbreviations;
  • presentation of numbers and statistics;
  • construction of tables and figures,
  • citation of references; and
  • many other elements that are a part of a manuscript.

APA Style rules and guidelines are found in the sixth edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.



Why cite?

Learning how to cite properly is important.  Good citations help the reader locate the sources you used.  Giving proper credit for your sources is necessary in order to prevent plagiarism. 

This guide provides basic APA information and points you to more in-depth information on other websites.  APA format is complex and takes time to learn.  You can figure it out with the assistance of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.) and various online guides.  Librarians are also available to help.  Keep in mind that your professor has the final say on format, so always check with your professor as well.


Research Librarian

For more help on this topic, please contact our Research Help Desk: or 781-768-7303. Stay up-to-date on our current hours. Note: all hours are EST.

This Guide was created by Carolyn Swidrak (retired).