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Cabarrus College: APA

Cabarrus College of Health Sciences Information


Writing assignments for Cabarrus College of Health Sciences are expected to be completed in the American Psychological Association (APA) citation and format style.  You are expected to follow this format for all works submitted.  Your best reference is to utilize the Publication manual of the American Psychological Association. (2016). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, which provides information regarding PRINT sources and APA style guide to electronic references. (2012). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association for ELECTRONIC sources


Cabarrus College offers Smartthinking Online Tutoring for students.  It is a service that will assist you with your research paper and with citation formating.  You may access Smartthinking through Canvas.

APA Manual


Citation is acknowledging other people's works and/or ideas within your own work (paper, poster, presentation, etc.).  It is the formal method of letting your readers know which material in your work came from another source and gives your reader the information necessary to find that source again.  Citation also shows the amount of research you have done and strengthens your work by lending outside support to your ideas. 

Please review Dr. Sarah Elaine Eaton's blog post regarding the difference between Citation and Reference for more information.

Cabarrus College of Health Sciences requires the use of the APA method of citation, format and reference. 

Citation is a matter of "giving credit where credit is due!"   Anytime you quote, summarize, paraphrase or refer to anyone else's work, you need to cite it!  Citing is the method of giving credit to other people's work when you use them in your own work (such as papers, speeches, posters or projects).  Citing is the best way to avoid plagiarism! 

Please refer to the article "Why Cite? Three Reasons to Cite Your Sources" and Falcon Scientific Editing for "6 Reasons Why Citation of Sources is Important When Writing" for additional information regarding citing your sources.

You may not have to cite anything that is considered common knowledge, such as dates, well known facts, etc.  For example, "Washington, D.C. is the capital of the United States of America". This statement is common knowledge and does not require citation.

Below are some examples of things that need to be cited. This list is not comprehensive.  If you have any questions regarding what needs to be cited for your work, please contact your instructor.  

  • journal articles, newspaper articles, magazine articles
  • books ( excerpts, chapters or the whole book)
  • websites and web pages
  • encyclopedias and dictionaries
  • interviews and speeches
  • all ideas that are not your own

A good rule of thumb is that you should cite anything that comes from another source, either directly or indirectly.  When in doubt, cite!

Electronic sources must be acknowledge.  This includes eBooks, journal articles, and any type of media (TV, movies, audio clips, etc.). 

Anything that is hearable or viewable must be cited and in many cases you may have to secure permission to use the images, photos, artwork, and/or recordings.

Students in higher education programs often prefer to use citation management programs for scholarly writing assignments.  There are many programs available, some at a cost and others that are free.  Cabarrus College does not promote any specific citation management program; however, students may choose to use one during the course of their studies.  Please be aware that you are still responsible for the end result, so it would be prudent to review all the results from a citation manager to verify that they are correct!

A few, but by no means all,  popular citation managers include:  

  • EndNote

  • Mendeley Reference Manager

  • RefWorks (individual subscription required)

  • Zotero (Cross-Platform, Open Source)

Some universities have created tutorial web pages on citation management.  Examples include:

Below are additional websites that will provide assistance with APA citation:


Plagiarism is derived from the Latin term plagiarius which means kidnapper.  If you use someone's work without proper credit (citation), you are "kidnapping" their work.  Plagiarism is NOT tolerated in the academic or professional field and Cabarrus College does NOT tolerate plagiarism.

Per the Academic Information and Policies in the 2019-2020 Catalog & Handbook:

Plagiarism is the use of another person's words, ideas, or results without giving that person appropriate credit.  To avoid plagiarism, every direct quotation must be identified by quotation marks or appropriate indentation and both direct quotation and paraphrasing must be cited properly according to the accepted format for the particular discipline or as required by the instructor in a course.  Some common examples of plagiarism are: 

  • Copying word for word (ie. quoting directly) from oral, printed, or electronic source without proper attribution.
  • Paraphrasing without proper attribution, i.e., presenting in one’s own words another person’s written words or ideas as if they were one’s own
  • Submitting a purchased or downloaded term paper or other materials to satisfy a course requirement.
  • Incorporating into ones’ work graphs, drawings, photographs, diagrams, tables, spreadsheets, computer programs, or other non-textual material from other sources without proper attribution credit. (p. 36)

Although these are examples of plagiarism, this list is not exclusive.  If you have any questions, please refer to the Student Handbook or contact your instructor for assistance.

Cabarrus College of Health Sciences 2019-2020 Catalog & Handbook. (2019). Charlotte, NC. page 36.

United States Copyright law governs the fair use of copying materials for research.  Please refer to the U.S. Copyright website for more information regarding the rules and regulations regarding copyright.  You can also refer to Frequently Asked Questions about Copyright.

Copyright protects various types of works, including literary works, musical works, dramatic works, pictures, graphs, sound recordings and audiovisual works.  This is NOT a comprehensive list.  Copyright laws are defined in the U.S. Code, Title 17 Chapter 1.  For a more user friendly breakdown of the U.S. Code,  you can view the information on Cornell Law School website.