H APA Formatting and Style

It is important that authors provide credit for the sources that they quote or paraphrase in their documents. The quality of the document lessens when the author fails to provide the source, or provides the source in an unsuitable or inappropriate format. The presence of these errors may question the author’s academic skill, academic honesty, and in the worse scenario, be investigated for the presence of plagiarism. An appropriate use of referencing will eradicate these complications.

The omission of references or the lack of attention to detail when referencing is a weakness to any researcher. You will be required to reference and prepare a bibliography in your undergraduate career, regardless of the discipline/field of study that you are in. You will also encounter referencing if you decide to pursue graduate studies and possibly in the workforce depending on your job. It is best to get into the habit of providing just as much attention and detail into your references as you do with your research. Qualities of good referencing include the correct spelling of author’s names, page numbering, formatting and the accuracy of the facts extracted and used in your manuscript.

Plagiarism is a common problem here at the University of Toronto and in academia as a whole. It is imperative to cite appropriately! It is prohibited to copy and use other people’s ideas, words or works, without proper referencing.

You most likely will not come across a course here at UTSC/UofT that is dedicated on how to properly reference. You can look out and sign-up for seminars/workshops that teach students how to reference appropriately. Your professors in other courses may briefly talk about how to reference, while others may expect you to have existing knowledge coming into the course. It is up to you to learn how to reference correctly!

The links below may help you learn more about the referencing process. There are a number of different referencing styles. Within each referencing style, there are different citation formats depending on the type of source the information you are using is coming from.

For this course, we will be using the APA (American Psychological Association) style.

UTSC Writing Support

UofT at Rotman

UTSC Citing sources

Purdue University


APA tutorial