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Teaching & Learning Research: Evaluating & Citing Sources

What is APA?

APA style is the official format for the American Psychological Association and is used widely throughout the social sciences.

Any class you take from the UCCS College of Education will require APA style citation.

If you are taking courses from other colleges, you may be using styles such as MLA, the Chicago Manual of Style, or Turabian. Courses in the sciences will have a wide range of styles as well, so please check with your instructors in other colleges.

The library has many style guides available in print or online. Check our catalog for call numbers and locations.

Help From the Writing Center

UCCS Writing Center

Excel Centers: The Centers for Excellence

The Writing Center consultants will help with formatting and citing sources according to APA, MLA, and Chicago style rules online or in person. Check their website for hours and other services.

APA Citation Help

Evaluating Sources

How do I know if my source is a good source?

  1. Authority: Who is the author? What are credentials?
  2. Objectivity: Why was this article written? Is it scholarly? Persuasive?
  3. Currency: When was it written? Is it relevant today?
  4. Coverage: How in-depth is this material?

What is the difference between a primary source and a secondary source?

Primary Source: A document, speech, or other evidence written, created or otherwise produced during the time under study.

(Original publications, journals, letters, conference papers  and proceedings, field notes, autobiographies, film footage, dissertations, studies, art, data, photographs, technical reports, patents) 

Secondary Source: A restatement or analysis of a primary source, written after the fact.

(Critiques, summaries, reviews, textbooks, dictionaries, encyclopedias, biographies, bibliographies, indexes, abstracts, handbooks)


UCCS students and faculty have access to RefWorks. You can set up an account with your UCCS email address.

The guide linked below describes how to use RefWorks in more detail:

How to Cite in APA

Basic Form for Articles:

Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume number(issue number), pages.


Cambre, B. (2009). Tearing down the walls: Cyber charter schools and the public endorsement of religion. TechTrends: Linking

Research and Practice to Improve Learning, 53(4), 61-64.

Basic Form for Books:

Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle. Location: Publisher.


Burns, M. K., & Parker, D. C. (2014). Curriculum-based assessment for instructional design: Using data to individualize instruction. New York: Guilford


APA Resources:

Online: OWL at Purdue http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01 This is an excellent online source for checking your sources are cited properly in the paper and in your reference section.

In Print: Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition. We have this manual in our reference collection and on reserves. Reference: BF76.7 .P83 2010a

In EBSCOhost databases (like ERIC): look for the Cite button in the article record. Double check against the APA style manual as EBSCO will often incorrectly capitalize article titles.