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Lloyd Sealy Library
John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Citing Sources: APA, MLA & Chicago Styles

An Overview of Common Citation Styles

Library APA Handouts

Selected Online APA Guides

The Online Writing Lab at Purdue University created an in-depth APA guide that is a trusted resources for many students and instructors.

APA Citations Examples from the Library at University of Maryland University College is another great option for looking up APA formatting for specific references you are citing.

APA Manual in Print

The American Psychological Association (APA) provides a detailed overview and extensive examples in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. A print copy of this authoritative manual can be found at the reference desk on the upper level of the library (Call Number BF76.7 .P83 2010). Students and faculty are welcome to consult it.

Sample APA-formatted papers

If you want to see examples of APA-formatted papers, take a look at the sample papers. The OWL at Purdue University posted their sample APA paper and so did the authors of the APA Style Manual. Use these samples to guide your own formatting.

Elements of an APA Citation

APA Style Blog

The APA makes an effort to keep their manual up to date. In between editions, however, new information sources emerge. This APA blog fills in the gap. Search its contents to see how you should cite Twitter, Facebook, and a host of other new media or unusual sources.

What Is the APA Style?

On their website, the APA explains why adopting and following a documentation style matters as follows:

To achieve this clarity of communication, publishers have developed rules of style. These rules are designed to ensure clear and consistent presentation of written material. Editorial style concerns uniform use of such elements as

  • punctuation and abbreviations
  • construction of tables
  • selection of headings
  • citation of references, and 
  • presentation of statistics

When editors or teachers ask you to write in APA Style®, they are referring to the editorial style that many of the social and behavioral sciences have adopted to present written material in the field.