Skip to Main Content
University of Phoenix logo
University Library

APA Toolkit

The APA Toolkit has been designed to provide tools you can use to help you understand and format citations in APA format. Please contact your instructor for guidance if you have a specific question about a citation or formatting your paper.

animated zombieLooking for a fun way to learn about APA? Escape from the zombie apocalypse in our online escape rooms, PS648 and PS648 Part II!

What is APA format?

The American Psychological Association (APA) writing style is a formatting and citation standard for publications, papers, essays, and books. It is the primary writing style required for University of Phoenix assignments. The university currently uses the 7th edition of the APA Publication Manual.

Why do I need to cite my sources?

Whenever you quote, paraphrase, summarize, or otherwise refer to the work of another, you must cite the source of the information. Using citations gives credit to the ideas, words, and thoughts of others you use in your paper.

open pages of book
Learn about plagiarism and how you can avoid it.


  • Increase your credibility and reinforce your arguments.
  • Allow your readers to verify your research.
  • Strengthen your arguments by introducing evidence.
  • Give proper credit to other authors.

In addition, citing the works of others allows you to avoid plagiarism. Plagiarism is using another person's work, words, or ideas without attribution. Plagiarism falls into three main categories:

  • Using information from a source without citing it.
  • Using the language from a source without quoting it.
  • Paraphrasing sources too close to the original language.

Plagiarism is highly unethical and, in many cases, can have severe consequences beyond reducing your credibility as an author or researcher. For more information about plagiarism, see the university's plagiarism tutorial.

open pages of book
Learn about plagiarism and how you can avoid it.

Tools and Resources

Citation Generators

Citation generators create citations for a single resource. Please note that there are no perfect citation generators. They are designed to take the information you enter and generate a citation based on the citation type you select. They will not correct spelling errors or find the information you may have omitted, but they will save you time by formatting your references close to the citation style you select. You should always double-check your references in the APA Style manual or on the APA Style website.

  • RefWorks Citation Manager
    RefWorks Citation Manager (RCM) is an add-on tool that allows you to insert and edit citations from your RefWorks library directly in Microsoft Word. To add this plug-in to Word, open a document, click Insert, then Get Add-ins. Enter RCM in the search box, and select Add next to the entry for RefWorks Citation Manager. See RefWorks' video tutorials RefWorks Citation Manager (04:54) and Writing with RefWorks (06:51) for assistance with its citation manager.
  • Library Databases
    Most library databases offer a citation tool to generate a single citation for you. Look for a cite button or link on the abstract page of a selected resource to produce a citation.
  • Reference and Citation Generator
    The university's Reference and Citation Generator will generate a single citation after you select your resource type and enter the information in the fields it provides.
  • Microsoft Word Citation Tool
    Microsoft Word offers a feature to add a citation and create a bibliography within a document. See the Microsoft Word Citations help document for more information on adding citations to your papers.

Commonly Used Terms

explanation of paraphrasing
Learn about quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing sources.

Citing: Acknowledging the sources of your information and ideas.

In-Text Citation: A brief reference in the body of the essay or paper that indicates you are using another source. An in-text citation should always match more detailed information in the reference list.

Paraphrasing: Taking the information you have read and putting it into your own words. Paraphrasing should always include a citation.

Quoting: Also called direct quote. The copying of exact words or phrases of text from another source. Quotes should be placed in quotation marks.

Reference: Details about one cited source.

Reference List: A list of all sources cited in your essay or paper, which gives the reader all the information they need to locate the source.

explanation of paraphrasing
Learn about quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing sources.
Learn about the purpose and basic conventions of citing sources.

Ask Us!

Have a question or need help?

APA Style Manual

Verifying the correct format of your citations and references with the APA style manual is the best way to ensure they are right. The most recent edition (7th) can be purchased online from the APA Style website or book retailers like Amazon.

American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.).