Tagged: apa

Citation tips

End of term papers are due, and that means lots of citation questions at library!

Here are a few places you can find help if you don’t have time to come in to ask a question.

The Library’s APA style page has a PDF with examples of in-text and reference list citations for different resources you may be using, as well as tutorials.

If you are in BUAD 123, check out the citation tab of the guide to find examples of specific sources you might be using in your report.

Check out OWL for help formatting a paper in APA style. They also have an example of a paper in APA style, and more information about in-text and reference list citations.

Ask a question by chat: use AskAway to chat live with a librarian, wherever you are!

If you are formatting your reference list and don’t know how to create a hanging indent (without using the Tab key), check out this post to find out how to automatically create a hanging indent in Word.

Is it your first time writing a research report? If it is, you might still need help understanding how and when to cite, and why it’s so important. The Library has a new guide on avoiding plagiarism— check it out if you have questions.

Good luck with your papers!

APA tips for end of term

It’s that time of year again– everyone is in full end-of-term mode, getting final papers and presentations ready. It’s also that time of year when citation questions start ramping up at the library.

We have lots of resources available online to help you with citations– the library’s APA page has a 4 page PDF with examples, as well as tutorials and Cite it Right! slides.

One of the most important things to help you with citations is a basic understanding of what it is you are looking at, so that you can find the right example to work from. Is it a journal, newspaper, or magazine article? A book? A report? Did you find it online, or read it in print? If it is a website, are you citing the whole thing, or just one page, or a report found on a website that stands alone? Once you have figured it out, you can try to find the most similar example and use that to generate your citation.

If that sounds confusing, think about your citations in this basic formula: who. (when). what. where. Those Ws are the four basic elements that are required in every citation to point your reader to your source, and give full credit to the author(s). The ‘where’ element is usually a URL if you have found your sources online.

Other helpful sites for aid in formatting citations: Purdue OWL APA guide and Research and Documentation Online both have example references, as well as sample papers if you want to see what a properly prepared paper in APA format looks like.

Some specific questions that have come up this week:

Q: How do I reference a person or company’s Facebook page or Twitter feed?

A: It depends on how you are using the information– if all you are doing is pointing out that Obama uses Facebook or Twitter, for example, you just need to include the URL in the text, not in the reference list.

If you are referencing a specific post or page because you have used information from it, then you should include the information in the reference list, as you want to point your reader to the right page or post.

However, if the post is private and not every reader has access to it, you would cite it as a personal communication.

There are examples of citing each way in the APA Style Blog, here.

Q: How do I reference a test I took online?

A: The APA Style Blog also has examples of psychological tests administered online. The important thing to note here is the use of square brackets to indicate that you are pointing the reader to a measurement instrument, as opposed to an article or webpage.

For more help you can always contact us or use AskAway!

Good luck and happy citing!


Assignment help!

It is almost Halloween, which means it is almost November, which means that the end of term is looming scarily around the corner…. *screams!*

You might (should!) be starting to think about end of term assignments; the big ones! Fear not, many resources are available at the library and out in the world to help you through what might become a nightmare if you are not prepared… use these tools to battle the problems you come across…

Start with an assignment calculator… many versions exist, and will help you determine how to time the various things you need to do to finish on time– research, planning, writing and citing. Check one of the below to start a timeline:

UBC’s Assignment Calculator

SFU’s Assignment Calculator

Next step: use the library research guides to help you find resources. We have a guide on research, writing and citing if you need help formulating a topic, evaluating sources, understanding plagiarism, and writing (for example how to paraphrase effectively).

Check out the Business library guides (check to see if there’s a guide for your class!); Company Research; Industry Research; Consumer Research; and if you are looking for statistics, the Data & Statistics guide.

Finally, if you need help with citing, check out the library’s APA style guide.

BIG TIP: start tracking your citations early! There is little worse (in the academic world, anyway…) than thinking you have finished an assignment, only to realize you still have to add in all of your citations. Or worse, track them all down again. Keep some sort of record of all the sources you have read and used so that you do not need to go on a hunt for them later.

And remember you can always get help at the library!

Good luck!

APA and database tips for end of term

At the reference desk we always get a lot of questions about citations… this time of year those questions definitely ramp up, as everyone’s getting their final papers and reports finished.

Below, a few specific questions that come up about APA style, as well as some links to guides or websites that are useful resources for APA citations.

How do you reference a web page that has no author? (answered at the APA Style website)

How do you cite an interview? (answered at the APA Style website)

Missing pieces: how to cite something without all the information? (handy table at the APA Style Blog)

APA Style FAQs from their website– good source for questions about style, references, punctuation, and formatting.

The APA Style Blog is also a great resource for questions about citations; you can use the search box or use the tag cloud to find posts about topics such as citing personal communications, tables and figures, social media, and much more.

Also check out the Library’s APA citation tutorial here, and our APA Style and Citation guide, with many examples of citations, here.

As for library databases, there are a couple tricks you should know– you can use the cite function that is available in most databases, including OCtopus; just be careful to double check the citation with one of the guides above, as the databases do not always create citations properly. They can be a good starting point, however.

Another tip– use the permanent URL function in the databases. Don’t copy and paste the URL from the address bar if you’re in a database and find an article you like– this link may break. There will usually be a permanent link option (often on the right side of the page, or across the top– look for chain links icon) that will create a link that will not break. You can also email yourself the references for later use.

And of course you can always ask for help!


New! Online APA citation tutorial

Struggling with APA citation? What to learn more about why we should cite and how to cite in APA style?

Just view OC Library’s online APA citation tutorial. The tutorial, as well as OC Library’s APA Citation Guide and other APA resources, is posted on the Library website’s APA page.

Learn more about the tutorial here.

Cite it Right!

Cite it Right workshops have helped many students learn about the basics of APA citation style, as well as the overall research and publishing process.

OC Library is pleased to offer this semester’s Cite it Right session (Kelowna campus) at  12 p.m. on Wednesday, February 15th.

If you are a BUAD  instructor who would like a citation session taught for your class, please contact Leanna Jantzi.

Click here  for more details.

Cite it Right APA workshops are back!

Back by popular demand, Cite it Right! APA workshops have returned for another term at Kelowna campus. This year an additional advanced APA citation session has been added to the schedule.

For more information, including dates, times, and how to sign up, visit the OC Library News blog.

APA tip

It’s that time of year – You’re working on your final projects and assignments and double-checking your citations.

A common APA citation question is: “I have multiple sentences that occur one after the other that contain information from the same source: Do I have to repeat the in-text citation every time?”

The answer is yes….and no.

The overall rule is to “cite the work of those individuals whose ideas, theories, or research have directly influenced your work” (APA, 2009, p. 169).

However, the APA manual does allow for in-text citations to be slightly shortened in very specific circumstances:

Within a paragraph, when the name of the author appears as part of the narrative … you need not include the year in subsequent nonparenthetical references to a study as long as the study cannot be confused with other studies cited in the article . Do include the year in all parenthetical information. (APA, 2009, p. 174)

So what does this mean? It means that you do not have to repeatedly include the year in an in-text citation if:

  • the citations occur in the same paragraph
  • the first time the author’s name is mentioned in the paragraph, it is part of your sentence, and not part of a parenthetical citation. (Example: Smith (2010) stated that one in five subjects responded positively to treatment.)
  • There’s not another source written by Smith, or another Smith, or any other way the reader could confuse the citation with another source.

    So, what would it look like?

    Smith (2010) stated that three in five subjects responded positively to treatment. Smith also stated that those who responded positively found that their symptoms began to lessen after two weeks of treatment. The study also showed that the female subjects demonstrated a higher rate of  recovery (Smith, 2010).

    BUT….if both the name and the year appear in parentheses first, the above rule does NOT apply, and you would create your in-text citations as normal. Example:

    Three in five subjects responded positively to treatment (Smith, 2010). Smith (2010) also stated that those who responded positively found that their symptoms began to lessen after two weeks of treatment. The study also showed that the female subjects demonstrated a higher rate of  recovery (Smith, 2010).

    Hopefully this rule will help you streamline your APA citations. As always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact the Library. You can also visit the Library’s APA guide for more examples.


    American  Psychological Association. (2009). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association. Washington, DC: Author.

    Cite it Right is back!

    Okanagan College Library is offering four basic APA citation workshops this semester at the Kelowna campus in L203 (Library classroom):

    • Wednesday, February 2: 12 pm – 1 pm
    • Tuesday, February 15: 4 pm – 5 pm
    • Thursday, March 10:  10 am – 11 am
    • Monday, March 28:  3 pm – 4 pm

    These workshops will cover:

    • Why citation is important
    • How and what to cite
    • How to construct basic APA style citations

    Space is limited. Sign up soon at http://bit.ly/OCLibraryWorkshops

    All students and faculty members are welcome to attend.

    If you have any questions, please contact the library.

    Last chance! Cite it Right! workshops

    The last two Cite it Right! workshops of the semester at Kelowna campus are fast approaching:

    • Monday November 8th at 6 pm
    • Wednesday November 24th at 3 pm

    Learn the why citation is important and how to construct some basic APA citations. More details.

    Sign up today!