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Nursing : APA Citation Guide

A research guide for nursing students

Quick & Accurate APA References

When editors or teachers ask you to write in APA Style®, they are referring to the editorial style that many of the social and behavioral sciences have adopted to present written material in the field.

A physical copy of the Official APA Publication Manual can be found here at Kirk Library and is available for your reference. 

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th Edition

Overview of the APA Style

About APA Style®

The best scientific writing is spare and straightforward. It spotlights the ideas being presented, not the manner of presentation. Manuscript structure, word choice, punctuation, graphics, and references are all chosen to move the idea forward with a minimum of distraction and a maximum of precision.

To achieve this clarity of communication, publishers have developed rules of style. These rules are designed to ensure clear and consistent presentation of written material. Editorial style concerns uniform use of such elements as

  • punctuation and abbreviations
  • construction of tables
  • selection of headings
  • citation of references, and 
  • presentation of statistics

Source: APA Style Official About Page

There is a great tutorial that you can take as an introduction to APA style if you're unfamiliar with this format or need to refresh your skills:

APA Style Tutorial 

Annotated Bibliography

"An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, and documents. Each citation is followed by a brief (usually about 150 words) descriptive and evaluative paragraph, the annotation. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited." (Cornell University Libraries)

What is a DOI?

DOI (Digital Object Identifier):  A character string used to uniquely identify an object, such as an electronic document. The DOI is a permanent identifier, unlike a URL (Web address) which is subject to change.  This is an example of a DOI for a scholarly journal article: 10.1111/lasr.12043.

APA recommends providing a Digital Object Identifier (DOI), when it is available, as opposed to the URL. Below is an example of a citation with a DOI assigned:

Brownlie, D. (2007). Toward effective poster presentations: An annotated bibliography.European Journal of Marketing, 41, 1245-1283. doi:10.1108/03090560710821161 (Note: Use hanging indent format.)