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APA 6th ed. Style Guide: APA 6th ed. Format

Guide to help with the APA Citation Style

APA Citation Style Guide LIbGuide

Introducing APA 7th Ed.

The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th Edition (2020) has now been published to make sure to know if your professor is expecting you to conform to the new citation standards.  There is now a separate 7th ed. LibGuide (see link below) for information on the new citation style.

APA 7th ed. Citation Style Guide Header

What is APA?

What is APA Style?

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.
 American Psychological Association. (n.d.). What is APA Style? Retrieved February 05, 2016, from 

VIDEO: APA Citation Style Simplified

More information


What is a DOI and when do I use it?

A DOI (digital object identifier) is a unique alphanumeric string that provides a persistent link to content online. In APA style, try to include a DOI for every reference if possible.

The current APA manual calls for the DOI number for all digital documents if present. But what if there is no DOI? Then you might need to use the URL of the journal's home page OR the URL of the subscription database in which you found the article. Confused? This flow chart from APA is a useful way to determine what you need in your citation.

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Citation Statement

USC Upstate Library - Citation Documentation Philosophy

The USC Upstate Library supports student learning and information literacy.  Therefore, the library offers tools and resources for students to create their own citations and make informed decisions about citation styles.  The experience of creating citations offers students the opportunity to learn about the parts and elements of citations.  The process of creating citations strengthens both decision making and critical thinking skills.  The familiarity of citation principles is imperative when the accuracy of a citation comes into question. The library offers many print and online citation style resources.  The library encourages students to consult these resources to create their own citations basing them on established guidelines. 


This guide was created with thanks to the Librarians at  University of South Carolina's Thomas Cooper Library.