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OASIS Writing Skills

The Importance and Purpose of Citations

Title: Citation Formatting

Audio: Citation formatting is an important component of APA style because it ensures citation consistency from paper to paper and writer to writer. APA’s rules about citation formatting include guidelines for what to include in citations, how to format citations, and where to place citations. We will talk about the basic rules for all of these things in the module, exploring the proper formatting for basic narrative and parenthetical APA citations in your writing.

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Citing Quotations & Paraphrases

Title: APA's Recommendation

Audio: While writers are required to include page numbers when citing quotations, students often ask the Writing Center if they should include page numbers when citing paraphrases. This is because including page numbers when citing paraphrases is left to the writer. The 7th edition of the APA manual says “Although it is not required to provide a page or paragraph number in the citation for a paraphrase, you may include it in addition to the author and year when it would help interested readers locate the relevant passage within a long or complex work," like a book. In this passage, APA allows writers to determine when it is most useful to include a page number when citing a paraphrase, particularly because you, as the writer, will best know if a page number will aid the reader in locating the paraphrased idea or information. Next we'll talk more about what faculty might say about when to include page numbers in citations.


Title: Faculty Recommendations

Audio: Because including page numbers for citations of paraphrases is somewhat of a gray area in APA, some faculty may ask you to include them for all paraphrases. This may be due to a strict interpretation of the APA manual. The inclusion of page numbers can also help your instructor grade your assignment and ensure academic integrity. Next, we’ll talk about the Writing Center’s suggestion in this situation.


Title: What should you do?

Audio: Because including page numbers for citations of paraphrases can be an APA gray area, the Writing Center generally suggests students include them for one of two reasons: First, if your instructor asks you to include this information, be sure to do so. We always defer to instructors’ preferences and requirements when it comes to your coursework. Second, include the page number when citing a paraphrase if you, as the author, determine it is useful for a particularly long source, like a book. Lastly, note that you’re always welcome to ask your instructor or the Writing Center for clarification or more information.