As a student, it's not always easy to correctly cite the sources used in your academic work. To organise these sources, there are citation styles that allow you to have harmoniously referenced citations.

APA standards are one of the most widely used citation styles in the world. They are used to reference citations both in the body of the text and in the bibliography. Let's find out the specifics of APA format and how to apply them properly in an academic assignment 👇

 

Contents : 

 

What are APA standards?

 

Definition of APA standards

APA standards 7th edition (2019 - most recent version) are a set of rules and guidelines widely used in the academic field for: 

  • the presentation of sources and citations in texts
  • correct referencing of sources in the bibliography

APA = abbreviation for "American Psychological Association". 

APA format is designed to ensure the clarity, coherence and integrity of written work, by indicating how documents should be formatted and how sources should be cited when researching and/or writing

 

Specific features of APA standards

APA style is a citation format that allows readers to easily trace information back to source documents.

The APA Standard Manual, produced by the American Psychological Association, remains one of the most comprehensive citation guidelines available!

apa standards 7th edition

APA standards: for whom?

APA standards (7th edition) are generally used in the academic field: by students, teachers, doctoral students and researchers

Remember: universities generally define a citation format that must be respected in university reports and papers.
Find out about the citation style used at your institution to avoid being penalised!

what is the apa format?

APA standards: when to use them?

APA standards are used in various types of academic work: dissertations, internship reports, theses, academic reports, essays, scientific articles, journals, etc. The sources used in the research and writing must be referenced in the body of the text and in the bibliography at the end of your deliverable.

How to use in-text citations when using apa format?


The APA citation in the text is an indication placed directly after the sentence or quotation to be referenced. The APA citation is placed between brackets or in the form of a narrative source

The name of the author and the date of publication of the reference must be indicated. Each reference in the text must refer to the complete source in the bibliography.

 

Rule for APA citations in the text: (Author's name, year of publication)

  • Example of an APA source in brackets: The world of technology is changing so fast that each change accelerates the next... (Tullman, 2017)
  • Example of narrative APA source: Tullman (2017) argues that the world of technology is evolving so fast that each change accelerates the next...
how to cite apa?

APA In-Text Citations: rules for quoting in parentheses

  • An author: (Author's name, Date).
    Example: (Tullman, 2017) 
  • Two authors: (Author name 1, Author name 2, Date).
    Example: (Tullman & Kotler, 2017)
  • Three or more authors: (Name of author 1 et al., Date).
    Example: (Molinier et al., 2010)
  • Organisation with abbreviation: indicate the full name of the organisation at the first mention in the text, followed by the abbreviation. Use the abbreviation alone thereafter.
    Example: As indicated by the Commission nationale de l'information et des libertés (CNIL, 2023), public data...
  • Organisation without abbreviation: Cite the full name of the organisation as the author each time.
    Example: (Compilatio, 2023).
  • Reference to multiple sources: (Author's name, date; Author's name, date).
    References are made in alphabetical order of the first author of each reference.
    Example: (Molinier et al, 2010; Tullman & Kotler, 2017)
apa bibliography

The APA citation with page number, or other locator, is used in the case of an exact quotation identical to that of an author.

  • An author with the page number: (Author's name, year, page number).
    Example: (Tullman, 2017, p.181).
  • An author without a page number: (Author's name, year, other locator).
    Example: (Tullman, 2017, chapter 12).

Prefer APA citation referencing in brackets for documents without authors and documents without dates.

  • Undated documents: note "s. d" for "undated".
    Example: (Fayol, n.d.).
  • Unauthored document: indicate the title of the document and the date in inverted commas, for example a dictionary definition.
    Example: ("definition of neuropathy", 2023)
find apa format

APA In-Text Citations: rules for narrative form

  • An author: Author's name (date) + text.
    Example: Tullman (2017) states that... 
  • Two authors: "Author name 1" and "Author name 2" (date) + text.
    Example: Tullman and Kotler (2017) indicate that...
  • Three or more authors: Name of author 1 et al. (date) + text.
    Example: Tullman et al (2017) indicate that... 
  • One author with page number: According to "Author" (date) + text or citation + ( page number).
    Example: According to Tullman (2017), "the world of technology is evolving so rapidly that each change accelerates the next" (p.181).
  • An author without a page number: According to "Author" (date) + text + (locator).
    Example: According to Tullman (2017) the world of technology is evolving so rapidly that each change accelerates the next (chapter 12).
style apa
  • Organisation with abbreviation: indicate the full name of the organisation at the first mention in the text, followed by the abbreviation. Use the abbreviation alone thereafter.
    Example first reference: As indicated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO, 2022)...
    Example second mention: as indicated by the UNESCO (2023)...
  • Organisation, institution or company without abbreviation: Name of the organisation (date) + text.
    Example: Compilatio (2023) indicates that...
  • Reference to multiple sources: "Name of author 1" (date) and "Name of author 2" (date).
    References are made in alphabetical order of the first author of each reference.
    Example: Molinier et al (2010) and Tullman & Kotler (2017) confirm the theory of...

How to cite my sources in the bibliography using the APA format?


The bibliography or list of references brings together all the sources used to research and write a document. It is placed at the end of the work, just after the conclusion. 

The APA citation in the bibliography complements the citation in the text. All references mentioned in the body of the text must be included in the bibliography.  

 

Rule for APA citations in the bibliography: Author's surname, First name initial(s) (Date). Title. Source.

  • The title of the source must be in italics ⚠️
  • The format of the APA citation in the bibliography differs depending on the type of source: book, thesis, web page, video, journal article, etc.
how to cite book apa

How to cite a book?

Citation rule: Author's surname, first name initial(s) (Date). Title of the book. Name of publisher. URL*
* if it is an ebook/electronic book
Example: Baudrillard, J. (1996). Consumer society. Folio essais.

 

How to cite a book chapter?

Citation rule: Author's surname, first name initial(s) (Date). Title of chapter. In Title of the book (start page - end page of the chapter). Name of publisher.
Example: Goleman, D. (2014). 1. The art of getting along well with others. In Emotional Intelligence (p. 17-19). J'ai lu.

 

How to cite a thesis?

Citation rule: Author's surname, first name initial(s) (date). Title of dissertation or thesis [Dissertation or thesis and discipline]. University.
Example: Petricevic, A. & Talloir, V. (2019). Artificial intelligence: a solution to everyday decision making? [Computer science thesis]. Graduate school of computer engineering.

how to quote a website apa

How to cite a web page?

Citation rule: Author or organisation (date). Title of the web page. Title of the website. URL. 
Example: Compilatio (2023, August 1). AI as a tool to assist teaching and learning. Compilatio. https://www.compilatio.net/en/blog/ia-assistance-teaching.

 

How to cite a journal article?

Citation rules: Author's surname, first name initial(s) (Date). Title of article. Title of journal, volume (number), start page - end page.
Example: Delmotte, S. (2009). Argumentation in access to knowledge in digital publishing. Les Cahiers du numĂ©rique, 5 (2), 53-84.

 

How to cite a video, podcast or other audiovisual media?

Citation rule: Author. (Date). Title of work [Medium]. Producer if physical medium/Name of platform if online resource. URL. 
Example: Compilatio (2023, April 26). Education & Chat-GPT: feed your thoughts with academic experts [Video]. Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-ukx6Uh4bY&t.

source apa

How to mention a source with missing information?

You may not have enough information for your sources in APA format to build your bibliography. You will then find it difficult to enter all the elements normally expected. 

Here's what to do in the following cases: 

  • No date: mark "n.d." for "no date".
    Citation rule: Author's surname, First name initial(s) (n.d.). Title. Source. 
  • The work has no title: briefly describe the document in square brackets.
    Citation rule: Author's surname, first name initial(s) (Date). [Description of document]. Source.
  • No author to be mentioned: place the title at the beginning of the reference.
    Citation rule: Title. (Date). Source.

APA citation style: What format for the bibliography?


APA standards define precise rules for the format of the bibliography

The instructions for formatting the bibliography are as follows: 

  • Bibliographic references should be double-spaced.
  • Set the line spacing to 1.25cm except for the first line.
  • The font used must correspond to that requested by your institution. If there are no rules, use Times New Roman 12, Calibri 12 or Arial 11. The same font must be used throughout the document.
  • List authors in alphabetical order.
An effective bibliography: how?
apa citation generator

How can the APA format be applied more easily?


Use an APA citation generator 

To make it easier to cite sources, you can generate them using an APA citation generator. This tool automatically creates references in accordance with APA standards, to avoid errors and correctly mention the sources used. 

Once the source has been generated, all you have to do is mention the reference in the body of the text or in the bibliography, as required. 

To help you with your citations, here are an APA-standard citation generator: Zotero bib

APA source generator

Checking your document in a plagiarism detector

A plagiarism detector is used at the end of writing to compare the sources detected with the sources mentioned

Compilatio Studium, our anti-plagiarism software for students, allows you to: 

  • check that your work is authentic: through the rate of similarities detected
  • identify incorrectly referenced citations: to adjust them in the text and in the bibliography
  • prove the quality of your assignment to your marker

The documents analysed in Compilatio Studium are confidential and inaccessible to teachers, even if they use Compilatio Magister; plagiarism checker for teachers.


 

In short, APA format is among the most widely used citation styles in the world of education and teaching. It is therefore important to master them to guarantee the quality and credibility of your academic work. 

The citation styles in the APA standards guide you in: 

  • appropriate use of sources and citations
  • harmonising references in the body of the text and in the bibliography.

This is not just for students. Mastering citation styles is important for anyone who regularly researches or writes.

 

Discover other citation styles: MLA, Chicago Style and Harvard Style.

 


 

Sources used and cited according to the APA standard (bibliography) :