Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Psychology 301: Using APA


Duke University Plagerism Tutorial

Avoiding Plagerism

Using an Author's Exact Words:
  • Use quotation marks around all words copied from a source.
  • Choose to quote an author's exact words when the phrasing is unique or strengthens your argument.
  • Provide a citation for the source of the exact words you used immediately after the quotation.
Paraphrasing an Author's Words:
  • Paraphrase an author's words by stating his or her ideas in your own words with your own phrasing.
  • Compare your paraphrased writing with the author's exact words to make sure you have not copied phrases or sentences from the author.
  • Always provide a citation for the paraphrased ideas.
Borrowing Information:
  • Cite the source when borrowing a figure, graph, map, data, or table from another author's work.
Stating Common Knowledge:        
  • Information that is commonly known by the public or the intended readers of a paper do not need citations for sources. Example:
    • Food contains calories and nutrients.
  • Unsure if an idea is common knowledge for the intended readers of your paper? When in doubt, cite a source.
Reusing Collaborative Papers:
  • If two students wrote a paper as a collaborative group or team project, one of the authors cannot submit the entire paper for another assignment as if it is his or her own paper.
  • Any information borrowed from a paper you wrote collaboratively should include citations for the information borrowed from the original paper.
Plagiarizing Accidentally:
  • Keep direct quotes in a separate document from your working document.
  • Keep track of all sources consulted.
  • When in doubt, check your paper/project against the wording within the sources.


Documenting the Spoken Word:
  • Information drawn from personal communications, speeches, broadcasts, conversations, interviews and other spoken words must be documented with a citation and/or parenthetical citation (Writing Tutorial Services).
  • Style manuals provide information about citing sources for the spoken word. Consult Style Manuals on Reserve to locate style manuals in Owens Library. Citation examples for personal communications and interviews are listed on the library's Citing Sources pages.
Respecting Others:
  • Giving credit for work that is not your own respects and honors the intellectual property of others and is expected by your professors.


Taken from Owens Library, NW Missouri State University

Images from an Electronic Source

Images, diagrams and artistic works should be cited as you would cite any other type of work.
  • Images in text are also generally accompanied by a caption that includes copyright information and a statement of permission for use. Please check with your instructor to see if this is necessary.
Tip: You should give as much information as possible about the images that you have used, including these basics:
  • creator's name (author, artist, photographer etc.)
  • date the work was published or created
  • title of the work
  • place of publication
  • publisher
  • type of material (for photographs, charts, online images)
  • website address and access date
  • name of the institution or museum where the work is located (for artworks and museum exhibits)
  • dimensions of the work (for artworks)

General Format 

      In-Text Citation (Paraphrase): 
      (Artist Surname, Year)
      In-Text Citation (Quotation):
      (Artist Surname, Year)
      Artist Surname, First Initial. Second Initial. (Year). Title of the artwork [Format].
            Retrieved from URL (address of web site)

       Reference (No Author)
      Title of work [Type of work]. (Year image was created).
            Retrieved from URL (address of web site)

       Reference  (No Author, No Title, No Date)
      Many images found on the Web fall under this category.
      Try to locate the missing information by clicking on the image,
      and/or looking at the bottom of the image.
             [Subject and type of work]. Retrieved from URL (address of web site)

      In-Text Citation (Paraphrase):
      (Baumel, 2010)
      In-Text Citation (Quotation):
      (Baumel, 2010)
      References (Basic):
      Baumel, A.  (2010). Cholera treatment center in Haiti [Online image].
             Retrieved October 2, 2010 from
        Reference (No Author)
      Flu epidemic [Online image]. (1919).Retrieved November 6, 2010
       Reference  (No Author, No Title, No Date):
       [Untitled illustration of a sleeping dog ]. Retrieved December 5, 2010
             from http://www.sleepinganimals/


How to Use the New DOI Format in APA Style

by Jeff Hume-Pratuch

Have you noticed that references in most recently published journal articles end with a string of numbers and letters? That odd-looking item is the article’s digital object identifier (DOI), and it may just be the most important part of the reference. The DOI is like a digital fingerprint: Each article receives a unique one at birth, and it can be used to identify the article throughout its lifespan, no matter where it goes.

Developed by a group of international publishers, the DOI System  provides a way to guarantee that digital copies of articles can remain accessible even if a journal changes its domain name or ceases publishing. DOIs are assigned and maintained by registration agencies such as CrossRef, which provides citation-linking services for scientific publishers.

In the sixth edition of the APA Publication Manual, DOIs are formatted according to the initial recommendations from CrossRef:

Herbst, D. M., Griffith, N. R.,  & Slama, K. M. (2014). Rodeo 
     cowboys: Conforming to masculine norms and help-
     seeking behaviors for depression. Journal of Rural 
     Mental Health, 38, 20–35. doi:10.1037/rmh0000008

The DOI prefix (10.1037, in the case of APA journals) is a unique number of four or more digits assigned to organizations; the suffix (rmh0000008) is assigned by the publisher and identifies the journal and individual article. 
Recently, however, CrossRef changed the format of the DOI to a more user-friendly one in the form of a URL:

Herbst, D. M., Griffith, N. R.,  & Slama, K. M. (2014). Rodeo 
     cowboys: Conforming to masculine norms and help-
     seeking behaviors for depression. Journal of Rural 
     Mental Health, 38, 20–35.

As you can see, the DOI itself is the same (10.1037/rmh0000008), but it is preceded by to insure that it resolves into a working link. Because this change is recent and many publishers are still implementing the new CrossRef guidelines, either the old or the new DOI format is acceptable. But be sure not to mush them together! Here are some examples.



OWL: APA E-Sources

Citing Films

In-Text Citation

  • For a parenthetical citation, use the director's and the producer’s last names and separate the names with an ampersand symbol (&). Follow the names with a comma, and then list the year that the movie was released. For example: (Spielberg & Lucas, 1981).

    If you are including an in-text citation as part of a sentence, rather than in parentheses at the end of a line, include the director’s and producer’s last names, separated with “and.” Then include the year the movie was released in parentheses. For example: According to Spielberg and Lucas (1981), in the film Raiders of the Lost Ark . . .”

    When including a direct quote from the movie, also include the scene number or scene name.

References List

  • In APA format, include the bibliographic information on the references list in alphabetical order according to the director’s last name. The basic guidelines to follow for movie references include the following:
    Director’s last name, first initial. (Director), & producer's last name, first initial. (Producer). (Year film was made). Title of film [Medium]. Country of origin: Studio. Note the use of brackets instead of parentheses for the medium. If the director and producer are the same person, include that information in the parentheses after the director's name.

    For example:
    Hitchcock, A. (Producer & Director). (1960). Psycho [Film]. United States: Universal Studios.

    If you are unable to locate certain bibliographic information about a film, utilize or a similar website to help find the data.

More With Media

Motion Picture

Note: Citations with more than one line of text should have a hanging indent of 1/2 inch or 5 spaces.

Important Elements

  • Director/
  • Date of release
  • Title (in italics)
  • Country where motion picture was made
  • Studio

Motion Picture

Johnston, J. (Director). (2004). Hidalgo. [Motion Picture]. United States, Touchstone/Disney.

Online Video

Jhally, S. and J. Earp, (Producers) (2012).  Race, power, and American sports, featuring Dave Zirin, [Online video]. Retrieved November 27, 2013, from Media Education Foundation/Kanopy.

Television Program

Important Elements

  • Producer
  • Date of broadcast
  • Title of television episode
  • Title of series (in italics)
  • Location of network and network name

Television Program in a Series:

Buckner, N. & Whittlesey, R. (Writers, Producers & Directors). (2006). Dogs and more dogs. [Television series episode]. In P. Apsell (Senior Executive Producer), NOVA. Boston: WGBH.


In APA style, interviews and other forms of unpublished personal communication, such as e-mail, letters, memos or class notes, are not included in the reference list. Cite interviews and personal communication in parentheses within the text of your paper:

Professor Smith contends that the use of educational technology in the classroom increases student engagement (J. Smith, personal communication, September 4, 2015).

Indirect Sources

If you refer to a source that is cited in another source, list only the source you consulted directly (the secondary source) in your reference list. Name the original source in the text of your paper, and cite the secondary source in parentheses: “Wallace argues that…. (as cited in Smith, 2009).” In this example, only the Smith source would be included in the reference list.

Trible Library provides links to other websites to aid in research and is not responsible for the content or privacy policy of those sites.