Every academic work builds on a variety of sources. If you are writing a paper, essay or thesis as part of your university education, you too are expected to support your argument with insights and research results from the scholarly literature.
You can choose from three methods to incorporate information from sources into your writing: quoting directly from the source, by reproducing the author's exact words; paraphrasing, by rewriting a passage in your own words; and summarizing, by briefly restating the author's main ideas.
Whatever method you use, you must always cite your sources. By doing so, you give the authors the credit they deserve, and allow the reader to verify the accuracy of your claims. If you fail to cite your sources, or do so carelessly, you are guilty of plagiarism.
Different source citation systems (citation styles) are used within different disciplines. A citation style common in the social and behavioral sciences is APA Style, established by the American Psychological Association. In APA, a source must be cited in two places:
This APA manual, aimed at Tilburg University students, covers key citation guidelines from the seventh edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (2020), the APA's offical style guide. Among other things, the manual contains information about:
The APA guidelines do not only cover source citation, but also writing style, formatting, and the structure of your document. Refer to Section 5 for instructions and a sample student paper.