How to Use APA Citing and
Paraphrasing to Avoid Plagiarism
Is This Plagiarism?
Copying a direct quotation into your paper,
placing quotation marks around it, and crediting
the source.
This is not plagiarism.
How about this?
Taking someone’s ideas or words, putting them
into your own words, and crediting the source.
This is not plagiarism.
It’s Paraphrasing!
What is Paraphrasing?
A paraphrase uses an author's idea, but expresses
it in your own words, without the use of
quotation marks.
Just changing a few words from the
original is plagiarism.
Paraphrasing is permitted as long
as you credit the source.
Examples of Paraphrasing
The original passage:
Students frequently overuse direct quotation [when] taking notes,
and as a result they overuse quotations in the final [research]
paper. Probably only about 10% of your final manuscript
should appear as directly quoted matter. Therefore, you
should strive to limit the amount of exact transcribing of source
materials while taking notes. Lester, James D. Writing Research Papers.
2nd ed. (1976): 46-47
A legitimate paraphrase:
In research papers students often quote excessively, failing to keep
quoted material down to a desirable level. Since the problem usually
originates during note taking, it is essential to minimize the material
recorded verbatim (Lester 46-47).
Examples cont.
An acceptable summary:
Students should take just a few notes in direct quotations
from sources to help minimize the amount of quoted material
in a research paper (Lester 46-47).
A plagiarized version:
Students often use too many direct quotations when they
take notes, resulting in too many of them in the final research
paper. In fact, probably only about 10% of the final copy
should consist of directly quoted material. So it is important to
limit the amount of source material copied while taking notes.
What is Quoting?
A quotation uses exactly the same words and
puts them in quotation marks.
- If the quotation is more than 2 lines you should
put it in a separate paragraph and indent it from
both sides.
“Leprosy was eradicated in the west by the end of
medieval times” (Foucault 3).
What is a Summary?
A summary should contain the main points
from the author's text. Don't forget to
reference it with the author's family name,
date of publication and page number.
When Should I…
1. The author’s words will
be difficult for your reader
to understand
1. Everything the author
writes is important
1. Not all the author’s
words are necessary
e.g. If the author gives
examples or explanations
that you don’t need to put
in your text
2. Your instructor wants to
know if you understand the
author correctly
2. The quotation will not
make your text too long
2. If paraphrasing or quoting
will make your text too long
3. You haven’t used many
quotations already
Common Knowledge
Things that are considered “common knowledge”
do not need to be cited.
-Canadian Confederation began in the year 1867.
-John A. Macdonald was Canada’s first Prime
-William Shakespeare was born in England in the
16th Century.
APA Formatting
• List only the resources to which you have specifically referred,
not those merely consulted
• Place the page of references at the end of your assignment on
a separate page titled References
• Use authors’ names in the order they appear on the title page;
do not alphabetize multiple authors of a source
• Invert authors’ names and include only initials of first and
middle names (i.e. Adam Smith becomes Smith, A.) Use an
ampersand (&) to connect two authors’ names (e.g. Spacey,
K., & Butler, G.)
• Use commas to separate authors and an ampersand for the
last author if there are three to six authors
Formatting cont.
• List the first six authors and then et al. if there are more than six
• Begin the reference with the title of the work if no author is
• Arrange the list alphabetically; if there is no author and the title
begins with a, an, or the, alphabetize by the second word
• Begin each entry with a hanging indent (first line begins at the
left margin and all other lines are indented ½ inch)
• Double space within and between entries in your list of
• Capitalize only the first word in the title and the first word after a
APA Quick Tips
• An in text citation must point clearly to a specific source
in References.
• The in text citations and the References list work
• The in text citation, a brief reference to a work, enables
the reader to identify the source of an idea quickly and
easily. Knowing the author’s last name (or the title) from
the in text citation, a reader can locate the complete
publication information for that work in the
alphabetically arranged References list.
Useful APA Tools/Resources
Communications Centre
Publication manual of the American
Psychological Association – 6th edition
Documenting research sources using APA style. (n.d.). Retrieved from
You note it, you quote it. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Helpful Fact Sheets. (n.d.) Retrieved from