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APSA Citation and Different Techniques to Manage the Style

May 13, 2020

Working With APSA Citation Has Never Been That Easy

Students get tons of tasks on a daily basis, and it is crucial to know how to manage different types of documents. It often happens that you can be an expert in a selected topic, but having no expertise in formatting the texts correctly can influence the results badly. Thus, it is necessary to learn how to format the texts appropriately. Academic writing tasks are not only about the content. You should be aware of the whole structure and citation styles. In some cases, the way you format the references used in work decide on your grades.

There are a lot of styles with many rules on how to deal with references, and students sometimes feel confused about it. An abundance of rules is a real challenge for the learners, and to cope with all the requirements, one needs to know the details of the process. Making mistakes while working with sources is a common issue for students, but this issue cannot be overlooked. Misuse of sources or inadequate citing can cause problems, so it is better to figure out how to work with the APSA citation style.

In fact, it is not a complicated task if you know what APSA style is and what basic rules are used by other students during their study. To figure it out, continue reading the article.

First and Foremost: Let’s Define the Format

First of all, to start working on the task, it is necessary to define it. So, what is the APSA format? If you are currently involved in studying at the university, you may have heard about different citation styles. These are needed to make the texts more structured and unified. APSA is one such style. This is an abbreviation, and you can decipher it as the American Political Science Association. This organization is responsible for introducing the style to the public. It is similar to other citation styles to some extent. The aim of the style lies in citing every piece of information listed in the text except the original ideas that the author provides himself. Probably, this explanation is vague for you, so we will try to specify it a bit. By original ideas, we mean all ideas represented in the text. It also may be a direct or indirect quotation. Some paraphrased info is also considered to be the author’s original insight.

When you work with APSA format, your task is to use a parenthetical format to cite the sources. You, as the author, should be very careful and monitor if all the necessary data is included. For this type of text formatting, you need to mention the family name of the author of the citation. The next thing is the year when the information was published or released. The final step is to include the page number that is placed in parentheses after the quotation.

Note that this is a general rule, and for different text types, it may slightly differ. So, let’s take a closer look at ways to cite APSA.

Basic Requirements for APSA Citation

APSA is one of the formats that students use to work with the references. It has some general requirements that you need to know before dealing with the texts.

  • When you have to work with APSA format, you should remember the Chicago manual. In a nutshell, APSA is mostly based on it. Thus, it requires the writer to include parenthetical references right in the text. When the paper is done, you come up to the final page. Here your task is to include an exhaustive list of the data used in the text. We will discuss basic examples of APSA formatting on different text types in the following sections of the article.
  • Another aspect of consideration that a student should know is the correct way to deal with names in the references. The thing is that the surname, name, and middle name are placed in a set order. The writer should separate them with a comma. It is crucial to remember that no initials can be used with APSA format. It is not allowed, and would better stick to this requirement. Otherwise, you can get lower grades.
  • The conclusion is the end of the paper, so your reference list should be put on the following page right after the conclusion. It will be the most logical to place the list of sources there.
  • The aim of the references is to give a comprehensive list of the information presented in the text. In other words, it helps to summarize the sources that you include in your work.
  • First and foremost, you need to mention the name of the author or editor of the quote. If it is not mentioned, you should name the title of the initial work instead.
  • The next point is the date. You need to follow this sequence if you work with APSA format.
  • It is also necessary to know what is the overall text format appropriate for APSA. Use a single space and align your text lines to the left. Make sure to keep an empty line between the references.
  • Another rule for the writer represented by the APSA guide is to format the list in alphabetical order. This is an essential requirement that every student is supposed to follow when dealing with this citation style.
  • Don’t forget to italicize titles of periodicals and books. It is a basic rule, and you should pay attention to it.
  • Another point for consideration is the case. Remember to capitalize every word, unless it is a conjunction, preposition, or an article.

Let’s Take a Closer Look at Examples

Now it is time to find out the details of APSA formatting for different text types.

In-text citation

When you need to present some information in the text, you should follow an author-date method. It implied the use of the author’s last name and the year when the writing was published. On practice, it should be done in the following way:

  • Aniston (2015) figured out the ways to promote…
  • The research has shown a considerable shift in creating new strategies (Aniston 2015)


  • The reference list should be formatted according to basic APSA rules. It means that in the text, you should put all the sources in an alphabetical way basing on the author’s last name.
  • Pay special attention to personal communications. These are letters, conversations, various telephone discussions, etc. These documents are supposed to be in the text-only, or you can also put them in notes.
  • It is necessary to cite the information taken from electronic journals or other publications found on the Internet.

The importance of using citation in the text

Is it important to use in-text citations and stick to the APSA formatting style? This is an obvious question that every student may have before they start writing. In fact, it can play a decisive role and influence the final results. You can have the most informative text with bright examples, but if you don’t follow the format, you can fail the task.

The thing is that formatting the text is crucial from different perspectives:

  • When you adhere to the rules that APSA formatting style requires, you show your commitment to the professor. The style is supposed to make the texts unifies, so it is easier for the professor to check them. It also helps to structure the material correctly. So, when you format the text in accordance with generally accepted rules, you pay attribution to the readers. It will be highly appreciated and praised.
  • The second point is no less important. If you follow the guidelines and introduce the citations or references in an appropriate way, you help the reader assess the work. There are general requirements, and they are always taken into account when evaluating the work.
  • Plagiarism issue is also dependent on the way you stick to the formatting rules. All the assignments and writing tasks should be plagiarism-free. This is an obvious requirement that every writer should follow. However, it is important to remember that using the ideas or insights of other people is plagiarism as well. For this reason, formatting styles are created. When you format the idea of another person in the text correctly, it is no longer plagiarism. That’s why you should learn the rules of the APSA formatting style and be honest with your reader.


Working with APSA citation should be easier now when you know its basic rules. To deepen the knowledge and become better at it, you can also read additional materials or ask your professor for more examples. We have given you the essentials, and your task is to use it correctly.

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