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References and Citations

t's important to cite sources you used in your research:​

  • To provide credibility to your paper by showing that you've done proper research by listing the sources you used to get your information.​

  • To prevent plagiarism by giving credit to other researchers and acknowledging their thoughts, ideas, etc.​

  • To provide your reader with the information necessary to identify and access the sources you used in APA style by citing them accurately within your paper (internal citation) and via the reference list. ​

What Should Be Cited?

  • Facts, figures, ideas, or other information that is not common knowledge​

  • Ideas, words, theories, or exact language of another:​

  • Quotations/exact phrases lifted from source (indicated by "quotation marks" and followed by in-text citation)​

  • Paraphrased ideas—ideas put into your own words (indicated by being followed by in-text citation).  Paraphrased ideas can also include:​

  • Summarized ideas (ideas that you summarize and put into your own words)​

  • Synthesized ideas (ideas from multiple sources that you put into your own words)​

  • All should be followed by in-text citation.​

  • When in doubt, be safe and cite your source!​

What ARE They Exactly?

A full citation is composed of two parts:​

  • References:  at the end of the paper—this informs your reader of the information needed to locate the sources used.​

  • Internal citation:  within the body of your paper—this informs your reader that you are using the ideas, words, etc., of another and from what thinker/source the ideas came. ​

Each in-text citation should have a corresponding full reference in your References following the paper (and vice versa).​

Journal Reference

Remember, the citations that can be exported from CINAHL (or any library database) may not be correct or up to date per the current APA Citation Style.   Please note:  one of the updates in APA 7th is that up to 20 authors should be included in a citation!

General Style for a journal article:

Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of article in sentence case. Title of Periodical in Title Case, volume number(issue number), pages.
Stieger, S., Aichinger, I., & Swami, V. (2022). The impact of nature exposure on body image and happiness: an experience sampling study. International Journal of Environmental Health Research32(4), 870–884.


  • NO pp for pages as in books.
  • NO "Retrieved from ..."

The following sources may be helpful! (These will open in new windows.)

You are not required to use EndNote for this assignment.  

Internal Citation

  • Work by one author:​

    • Quotation (Lastname, YYYY, pp.) ​

    • Paraphrase: (Lastname, YYYY)  Page numbers not required.​

  • Work by two authors:​

    • (Lastname & Lastname, YYYY)​

  • Work by three or more authors:​

    • (Lastname et al., YYYY)​

  • No author: cite the source by its title using the first word or two in the parentheses. Titles of books and reports are italicized; titles of articles, chapters, and web pages are in quotation marks. ​

    • (“Articles Without Authors," 2023)​

    • (Books Without Authors, 2023)