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Criminal Justice

Elements of a Citation

To cite your sources, you will need to keep track of the following information for each of your resources:

  • Author(s)
  • Year
  • Article title
  • Journal title
  • Volume and Issue
  • Page(s)


APA Style Blog = the companion site to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th edition.

APA Guide at Purdue's Online Writing Lab (OWL) = a great guide that includes just about any source you might need to cite.

The American Psychological Association developed this writing and citing style for use in the social and behavioral sciences.

In-text citations (direct quotes & paraphrasing)

When you quote or paraphrase information from a source you must create an in-text citation which includes relevant source information in parentheses after the quote or summarization. The descriptive word(s) that you include in an in-text citation must be the first word(s) that appear(s) in the corresponding item on your References page.

APA style follows an author-date method of in-text citing, meaning that the author's last name and the year of publication must appear within the text [page numbers are included for direct quotations]. The author's name may appear either in the sentence itself or in parentheses following the quotation or paraphrase, but the publication date should always appear in the parentheses, not in the text of your work.

References page

When using APA style a reference list will appear on a separate page at the end of your work providing the information necessary to identify and retrieve each work cited in the text. Each work cited in the text must appear in the reference list, and each work in the reference list must be cited in the text. List all items alphabetically, and double-space entries just like the rest of your paper, unless otherwise instructed. All lines after the first line of each reference should be indented one-half inch from the left margin (= hanging indent).

Printable guides