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Musicians Insitute Library

Guide to Citations

A guide for everyone explaining basics of different types of Citation: What their purposes are, how to do them, and why they are important.

When should I use APA Citation?

APA Style Citations are recommended for Education, Psychology, and Science Classes. To be more specific, classes such as Psychology, Linguistics, Sociology, Economics, and Criminology, Business, and Nursing might ask you to use this type of citation. It's generally not a style chosen unless you're in one of these fields as it's not an easy style of citation.

There are two types of papers that generally use APA style citation:

  • Experimental Reports
  • Literature Reviews

What do citations look like

There are two types of citations:

  • In-Text Citations
    • Your put these citations in the paper itself so authors can identify what information came from which of your references.
    • They include the author's last name, the year of their article, and the pages referenced.
  • Reference Citations
    • These citations go on a separate list at the end of the paper.

"This might be an example of an in-text citation" (Burgess, 2019, p.123).

"According to Burgess (2019), this might be another example of an in-text citation" (p.123).

If I was to paraphrase from Burgess (2019), an in-text citation might look like this. 

Formatting Tips and Hints

Formatting is somewhat similar to MLA style citation in terms of format requirements.

  • Papers must be typed and printed on 8.5"x11" sheets of paper with 1" margins on all sides.
  • There must be a page header with:
    • Page numbers to the right, flush with the margin
    • Title of your paper must be in all capital letters on the left, flush with the margin
    • If your title is long, the title in your header should be a shortened version (no more than 50 characters are recommended)
  • Your paper must have four sections
    • 1. Title Page
      • Must include:
        • Title of Paper
        • Author's Name
        • Affiliated Institution
      • The Header on the top of the page (ONLY) should have your title centered with the words "Running Head:" in front of it
      • The Title page should be centered on the page and have no other information on it
    • 2. Abstract
      • Should be on a new page
      • Should include the header mentioned at the top
      • Should include a paragraph or so summarizing the paper and its findings. 
      • Do not indent the paragraph
      • If you desire, you may include keywords
        • This should be indented after the summary of the paper
        • Keywords should be prefaced by "Keywords: "
    • 3. Main Body
      • This will be your actual paper. The format is determined by your instructor.
    • 4. References
      • See sub-pages for more information

Quotations and other types of content also have their own format requirements.

  • All proper nouns must be capitalized.
  • All Titles must capitalize words with four or more letters.
    • However, you must also capitalize verbs, adjectives, adverbs, nouns, and pronouns.
    • Also, regardless of these rules, hyphenated words are both capitalized.
    • The first word after a colon (:) must be capitalized.
    • Titles of longer works (e.g. books, movies, t.v. shows, collections, etc.) must be italicized.
    • Titles of shorter works (e.g. journal articles, websites, etc.) must be in quotation marks ("")
  • In the reference list, things are different. Titles only have the first word capitalized.
  • Long direct quotations (40 words or more) must be in block quote form. 
    • The entire quote must be indented 1/2 inch or one tab in from where the rest of the paragraph is.
    • There are no quotation marks.
    • The punctuation mark comes BEFORE the in-text citation at the end.

References and Citations