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Getting Started with Research: APA


Excelsior Online Writing Lab includes a variety of writing and citation information, including APA and MLA style guides. 

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Using DOIs for Online Resources

APA citation style requires the use of DOI's (Digital Object Identifiers) if available for all resources that have originated online. You do not need the url if you have a DOI.

Articles found in library databases or on the Web that were originally published online should include a DOI. Many databases will provide the DOI for you along with the rest of an article's citation information (title, author, etc.). 

If you cannot determine the DOI of an article that originated online and NOT in print, simply include "Retrieved from" and the URL address of website at the end of the PRINT citation.


Have a DOI and need to find a document?

Use this DOI resolver.

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Using Someone's Information in Your Work

There are three ways to use information from someone else's, or your own, work responsibly and ethically in your own work. In all three cases, you must give credit to the creator of that information by citing their work. 

Quoting – Quote by copying the exact words from a source into your paper, and putting quotation marks around them. You quote when the words matter as much as or more than the ideas or information in a passage. 

Paraphrasing – Paraphrase by rephrasing a sentence or short passage in your own words. It's not enough to just change the author's words -- you should completely change the way the information is expressed. You paraphrase when it's the ideas or information you need to express, and not the exact words. 

Summarizing – Summarize by stating the main ideas of a source or section of a source in your own words. You summarize when you want to refer to a long section of a source or to present an overview of one of your source's ideas. 

Always include a citation, whether you quote, paraphrase, or summarize.

If you quote, paraphrase or summarize your own writing (from another paper) you must cite yourself. "Recycling" part of or an entire paper from one class for another is considered plagiarism.

Check out "Quoting, Paraphrasing and Summarizing" at Purdue Owl. 

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