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Citing Guide for Business Majors (APA 7th ed.): Citing/Writing Helpers

Butler University Writers' Studio

Citing/Writing Helpers

Please be aware that Citation Management Tools or Citation Makers (ex:  EasyBib) are not perfect. If you use citation tools to create a reference list and in-text citations, ALWAYS check the output against the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.

How Do I...

A Digital object identifier, also known as a DOI, is an alphanumeric string assigned to an article by a publisher to provide a persistent link for online access.

  • If an article has a DOI, you will usually find it on the first page of the article.  If you find an article in a database, you may see the DOI listed with the citation for the article. Many EBSCO databases, such as Business Source Complete, will provide the DOI when available, especially for articles from academic journals.
  • According to APA style, if you have a DOI for an article, you should include it at the end of your citation. Example:
  • If no DOI is available, provide information on where you retrieved the material.  Example:  Include the name of a database or the URL for a website.

Some of the citing examples provided in the links below include:

  • Sources with more than one author
  • Sources with no author 
  • Sources that are organizations (ex:  companies, government agencies)  
  • Two or more works by the same author in the same year

Not all dates will look the same.

  • The format for the date in an APA citation depends on the source type.  Usually you will include just the year, but some sources (such as newspaper or magazine articles) are cited with the month and year, and some also include the day. 
  • For websites:  Use the date of last publication or last update.  Do not use the copyright date from a webpage footer. 

No dates:  "I can't find any date information. What do I do?"

Sometimes a source may not have a date, and that is often true for information found on a website.  In those cases, you should use "n.d." (short for "No date") in place of the date.  Example:  Smith (n.d.)

An adapted and abbreviated style for in-text citing of sources for a table or chart is shown in the image below.  Include the author's last name (or name of organization) and the year.  If the graphic includes information from multiple sources, include an in-text citation for each in alphabetical order, separated by a semi-colon.  The References page at the end of your paper should include the full-text citation for the sources cited under the graphic.



Direct Quotes, Summaries & Paraphrases


  • Referring to a source and stating someone else's opinions, thoughts, ideas, or research
  • Using an image or media file that you did not create

When in doubt, cite it


Handwritten text that starts with a quotation mark and ends with a parenthetical citation.

  1. Directly Quoting 
  2. Summarizing 
  3. Paraphrase 

"Which option you should choose depends on how much of a source you are using, how you are using it, and what kind of paper you are writing, since different fields use sources in different ways." Grounds for Argument. When to Quote, Paraphrase, or Summarize a Source. Used under CC BY NC SA

Image:  Random quote by Gabriel Jones. Used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0


  • Your thoughts and your interpretations
  • Common knowledge​


"Must be identical to the original, using a narrow segment of the source. They must match the source document word for word and must be attributed to the original author."  Purdue University Online Writing Lab. (2012). Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing


  • If summarizing or paraphrasing cannot capture the essence or meaning of the text 
  • To retain a specific or unique phrasing used by the source's author
  • If you are analyzing the text itself (often in English or language classes)


Most of the time when you cite a source, you want to summarize or paraphrase. Direct quotations should be used sparingly when the situation meets the criteria above. When you do use direct quotations:

  • Do not take the quote out of context. The author's meaning should not change.
  • Be sure to integrate multiple sources within your text. You don't want to have a paper or a passage that seems to have come only from one source, with little original text from you.
  • Use transitions to make sure your quote adds to your paper without interrupting its flow.


  • Place quotation marks around the entire word-for-word passage, whether it's a phrase or a sentence.
  • Attribute with an in-text citation; most citation styles request that you provide a page or paragraph number when directly citing.  
  • If your quotation is longer, check with your citation style guide to see if additional formatting is necessary (block quotations, for example).  


"Involves putting the main idea(s) into your own words, including only the main point(s).... Summaries are significantly shorter than the original and take a broad overview of the source material."  Purdue University Online Writing Lab. (2012). Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing

"Similar to paraphrasing, summarizing involves using your own words and writing style to express another author's ideas. Unlike the paraphrase, which presents important details, the summary presents only the most important ideas of the passage." University of Houston-Victoria Student Success Center (n.d.). Decide when to Quote, Paraphrase & Summarize.


  • To provide necessary background information for your audience
  • When broad, concise information will suffice 


  • Attribute with an in-text citation; some citation styles request that you provide a page or paragragh number whenever available.
  • You should not be using any word-for-word quotations or language unique to the source, so you do NOT need quotation marks around your summary.


"A paraphrase is a detailed restatement in your own words of a written or sometimes spoken source material. Apart from the changes in organization, wording, and sentence structure, the paraphrase should be nearly identical in meaning to the original passage. It should also be near the same length as the original passage and present the details of the original." University of Houston-Victoria Student Success Center (n.d.). Decide when to Quote, Paraphrase & Summarize.

Paraphrasing is "your own rendition of essential information and ideas expressed by someone else, presented in a new form." Purdue University Online Writing Lab. (2012). Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing

When paraphrasing, you must change both the sentence structure and the language of the original text


  • "When the wording is less important than the meaning of the source" University of Houston-Victoria Student Success Center (n.d.). Decide when to Quote, Paraphrase & Summarize.
  • If a summary would not provide enough specific details


  • Attribute with an in-text citation; some citation styles request that you provide a page or paragragh number whenever available.
  • When paraphrasing, you must change both the sentence structure and language of the original text.  Therefore, since you will be changing the text, you do NOT need quotation marks around your paraphrase.


It doesn't necessarily mean that most people would know it offhand. And sometimes it's a judgment call because what seems like common knowledge to one person isn't to another. Here are good rules of thumb:

  • If you can find the same information in multiple places, stated in relatively the same way, it's common knowledge (Generally, it is said that you should find the information three to five sources)
  • If most people are aware of this fact, or if it's general reference, it's common knowledge

CAUTION:  Opinions and unique terminology/phrasing do not qualify as common knowledge.

When in doubt, cite


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