UNC Charlotte
Writing Resources Center
APA Documentation
Locations:
Cameron 125
Atkins T1 (by Peet’s)
Cone 268
Center City 714
Appointments:
writing.uncc.edu/writing-resourcescenter/schedule-appointment
uncc.mywconline.com
Website: writing.uncc.edu/writing-resources-center
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 704.687.1899
The workshop will cover the essentials of the
American Psychological Association (APA)
documentation style, including:
 understanding documentation
 avoiding plagiarism
 paraphrasing source material
 integrating research information
 learning to cite sources within the text
 preparing a reference section
Documentation refers to a system of
crediting people and institutions who
created the information that writers use for
their own purposes. Credit is required
whether or not a person plans to publish the
material. Writers should document sources
that are used for research papers, oral
presentations, or Internet- or electronicbased pursuits (e.g., websites, blogs, or
PowerPoint slides).
Why do we document sources
in academic work?
We use the work of others to:
 prove credibility as a researcher
 demonstrate fairness through consulting multiple points of view
 provide background for research
 place research in the context of others’ work
 help readers follow the progression of ideas
 reveal how new ideas relate to established ones
 show readers where to locate more information on the subject
What materials require
documentation?
Materials that require citation include:
 quotations
 paraphrases
 summaries
 claims that are arguable
 facts that are not widely known
Materials that do not require citation
include:
 common knowledge
 ideas available in a variety of sources
 finding from your own primary or field
research
What is plagiarism?
Does plagiarism apply only to
print material?
 Plagiarism occurs when a writer deliberately
uses someone else’s language, ideas, or
original material without acknowledging its
source.
 Plagiarism applies to texts published in print
or online, to manuscripts, to broadcasts,
and to the work of other students.
How do writers use source
material in ways that avoid
plagiarism?
Aside from documenting sources,
writers avoid plagiarism in the manner
that they incorporate information from
resources into their own writing. The
most common ways to use others’
information are through direct
quotations, paraphrases, and
summaries.
Let’s define a:
 Direct quotation
 Paraphrase
 Summary
Direct Quotations: Use the original source’s language
verbatim (word for word) and include quotation marks
as well as an in-text citation.
Print source:
“A traffic ticket is a public document because it is: (a) a document
issued by a public employee during the conduct of public business, (b)
a record stored in a government database, and (c) an exhibit in a
legal proceeding” (Harrington, 2011, p. 7).
Internet source:
“A traffic ticket is a public document because it is: (a) a document
issued by a public employee during the conduct of public business, (b)
a record stored in a government database, and (c) an exhibit in a
legal proceeding” (Harrington, 2011, para. 3).
Note that a page or paragraph number appears in the
citation.
 Paraphrases and Summaries: Express the
ideas of the original source in the writer’s
own words and sentence patterns. Simply
changing a few words or switching the
order of elements in the passage does not
constitute a paraphrase or summary.
 Paraphrases may condense only a few
sentences of the source.
 Summaries usually condense one or more
paragraphs.
Original Source:
“The rise of industry, the growth of cities, and the
expansion of the population were the three great
developments of late nineteenth century American
history. As new, larger, steam-powered factories
became a feature of the American landscape in the
East, they transformed farm hands into industrial
laborers, and provided jobs for a rising tide of
immigrants. With industry came urbanization, the
growth of large cities (like Fall River, Massachusetts,
where the Bordens lived), which became the centers of
production as well as of commerce and trade.”
Williams, J. G., Smithburn, E., & Peterson, M.J. (Eds.) (1980). Lizzie Borden: A
Case Book of Family and Crime in the 1890s. Bloomington, IN: TIS Publications.
Here’s the quote presented as a paraphrase.
Is it acceptable? Why or why not?
The increase of industry, the growth of cities, and the
explosion of the population were three large factors
of nineteenth century America. As steam-driven
companies became more visible in the eastern part
of the country, they changed farm hands into
factory workers and provided jobs for the large
wave of immigrants. With industry came the growth
of large cities like Fall River where the Bordens lived,
which turned into centers of commerce and trade
as well as production.
An unacceptable paraphrase too closely
resembles the original wording and structure,
so this was not a viable option to the quote.
The increase of industry, the growth of cities, and the
explosion of the population were three large factors of
nineteenth century America. As steam-driven
companies became more visible in the eastern part of
the country, they changed farm hands into factory
workers and provided jobs for the large wave of
immigrants. With industry came the growth of large
cities like Fall River where the Bordens lived, which
turned into centers of commerce and trade as well as
production.
Acceptable Paraphrase
According to Williams, Smithburn, and Peterson(1980),
Fall River, where the Borden family lived, was typical of
northeastern industrial cities of the nineteenth century.
Steam-powered production had shifted labor from
agriculture to manufacturing, and as immigrants arrived
in the U.S., they found work in these new factories. As a
result, populations grew, and large urban areas arose.
Fall River was one of these manufacturing and
commercial centers.
Note that the citation appears within the text, which offers a
viable alternative for in-text citations. Also, in APA, page and
paragraph numbers do not appear in citations for
paraphrases or summaries.
What makes a strong paraphrase?

Uses your own words and writing style.

Expresses your perspective about the
information and why it belongs in your paper.

Demonstrates why you think the information.

Includes a citation.
Blending in source material rather than just plopping
information into the text helps to establish flow. Consider
two examples involving a direct quotation.
Plopped Version
People did not know much about the town. “The rise of
industry, the growth of cities, and the expansion of the
population were the three great developments of late
nineteenth century American history. As new, larger, steampowered factories became a feature of the American
landscape in the East, they transformed farm hands into
industrial laborers, and provided jobs for a rising tide of
immigrants. With industry came urbanization, the growth of
large cities (like Fall River, Massachusetts, where the Bordens
lived), which became the centers of production as well as of
commerce and trade” (Williams, 1980, n. p.).
Blended Version
Until 1892, most people thought of Fall River, Massachusetts
as a sleepy, rural hamlet. They did not realize the extent that
“[t]he rise of industry, the growth of cities, and the expansion
of the population were the three great developments of late
nineteenth century American history. As new, larger, steampowered factories became a feature of the American
landscape in the East, they transformed farm hands into
industrial laborers, and provided jobs for a rising tide of
immigrants. With industry came urbanization, the growth of
large cities …, which became the centers of production as
well as of commerce and trade” (Williams, 1980, n. p.). If
citizens had known about Fall River’s transformation, then
perhaps the Lizzie Borden murders would not have seemed
as unbelievably shocking.
How is the blended version
better?
Plopped Version

Limited information leading into the
quotation

Lacked text appears after the quote
to show its relevance to the topic
Blended Version
 Leads readers into the quotation and
demonstrates how the quote relates to
the topic (Oreo Technique).
 Alters the quote minimally, which
assists flow.
 Relates the quote to the topic (or
explains the quote).
What does it mean to explain
the quote?
The practice of relating a quotation to
the topic is also referred to as explaining
the quote. It does not paraphrase the
quotation. If the writer can paraphrase
the quote, then that would prove a
better option. A paper needs the
writer’s own voice to give it authority, so
a minimum number of direct quotations
should appear in the paper.
APA primarily cites information within
the text in two formats. One places
the author’s name and year of
publication parenthetically at the end
of the sentence. The other includes
this information as part of the
sentence. To increase the paper’s
flow, it’s best to use a mix of the two
formats.
Option 1
Paraphrase
While sunshine laws exist in North Carolina, research
determined that the general public has difficulty
accessing government documents (Harrington,
2011).
Direct Quotation
“While sunshine laws exist in North Carolina, research
determined that the general public has difficulty
accessing government documents” (Harrington,
2011, p. 19).
Option 2
Paraphrase
While sunshine laws exist in North Carolina, Harrington’s
(2011) research determined that the general public
has difficulty accessing government documents.
Direct Quotation
“While sunshine laws exist in North Carolina,
Harrington’s (2011) research determined that the
general public has difficulty accessing government
documents” (p. 19).
Do writers need to cite every sentence?
Would the paper’s flow appear
choppy?
Is there an alternative that avoids
plagiarism, cites sources, and enhances
flow?
Bookending Sources
For instances when multiple sentences in the
paper clearly include information from the same
source, “bookending” the citations is a better
alternative than citing each sentence individually.
Harrington (2011) indicated that what are considered public
documents and what governments readily provide to citizens
remains in dispute. Governing bodies frequently claim that
drafts and white papers should not be available for public
inspection because they remain unfinished. However, even
draft reports from an outside consultant should be considered
public because they are being created by someone paid
with public funds (Harrington, 2011).
How are the in-text citations
related to the reference section
of a paper?
Citations form a shorthand that points to
the entries of the reference section.
Reference entries contain complete
bibliographic information for each source
cited in the main text.
Note: Every citation in the text must lead to a
reference entry; every reference entry must
be connected to an in-text citation.
Haybron, D. M. (2008). Philosophy and the science of
subjective well-being. In M. Eid & R. J. Larsen (Eds.), The
science of subjective well-being (pp. 17-43). New York,
NY: Guilford Press.
Light, M. A., & Light, I. H. (2008). The geographic expansion
of Mexican immigration in the United States and its
implications for local law enforcement. Law Enforcement
Executive Forum Journal, 8(1), 73-82.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National
Institutes of Heath, National Heart, Lung, and Blood
Institute. (2003). Managing asthma: A guide for schools
(NIH Publication No. 02-2650). Retrieved from http://
ww.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/prof/ lung/asthma_sch.pdf
VandenBos, G. R. (Ed.). (2007). APA dictionary of psychology.
Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Locations:
Cameron 125
Atkins T1 (by Peet’s)
Cone 268
Center City 714
Appointments:
writing.uncc.edu/writing-resourcescenter/schedule-appointment
uncc.mywconline.com
Website: writing.uncc.edu/writing-resources-center
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 704.687.1899