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Program Planning (Graduate): SBS 5002

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Formatting citations

Again, why do we ask you to format your papers the same way? Some of it is for consistency - it's easier to find the information we are looking for and make sure you are following instructions if your papers are formatted similarly. More importantly, when you are submitting a grant, journal article, or proposal in the "real world", the organization you are submitting to will typically ask you to follow some sort of style guide. And if you don't?

Believe it or not, your grant, journal article, or proposal may not even get reviewed if you haven't followed instructions. It might not be APA - they could ask for a different style like AMA, Chicago, Vancouver, MLA, or something that is field-specific. If that's the case, have no fear: you'll be well-prepared to find and follow any guidelines because of your familiarity with the rules of APA.

Use a citation manager to help you format and organize your citations. It will save you time and assist you in writing your papers. Remember though, it is a tool and not a substitute for understanding APA style.

About citation managers

  • When in a database and saving articles, look for the button to "download" or "export" your citations. This may be called something like "Bibliographic Citation Manager."
    • In some of the Temple subscriptions the choice for RefWorks is already selected.
  • Save and sort all of your citations in folders with identifying labels.
  • You can manually add other citations you may have directly into a citation manager.
  • You can select citations to create a bibliography and have it formatted automatically in the style of your choice.
    • You can easily enter in-text citations as you type your paper using the Word addon/plugin provided by the program.
      • Note: You have to either download or connect this to your word program first. 
  • Share your citations and bibliographies easily with the share options.

Free and reliable

There are many citation managers available. Some are free and others require an initial purchase. The most commonly used one in the College of Public Health is free.