Citing according to the 6th edition of APA

The main rules

Currently, the 7th edition of APA applies to almost all educational institutions. We explain to you how to cite according to the 7th edition of APA in another article. You can also use our APA generator to do it. To cover all the bases, we decided to briefly explain how citation works in the 6th edition of APA. Here are the main guidelines. 


Citing according to the 6th edition of APA

Quoting means quoting someone else's literal words. This is allowed, as long as you format the quote correctly and include a proper source citation. That way, the reader can see which source you derived this quote from. 

With the 6th edition of APA, there are a number of guidelines for citing sources. They are described as follows.


Quotes of less than 40 words

Are you citing a quote that is less than 40 words? Then, put the quoted text between double quotation marks. In doing so, you include the source of the quote and the year and page number of the publication in which this quote can be found. For example, this looks like this:

Pieters (2010) defines job satisfaction as follows: "Job satisfaction exists when a person enjoys going to work and derives satisfaction in a workday from the activities and responsibilities performed" (p. 15).

Quotes of at least 40 words

If a quotation consists of 40 words or more, you should put the quotation between two blank lines, indenting in the margin. Double quotes are not necessary.

You also call this type of citation a "block quote," because the quoted text is like a block within the text. You put the source citation in the running text before the citation begins, or in brackets at the end of the citation. 

For example, it looks like this:

According to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), among other things, repetitive behavior patterns are considered a hallmark of autism. The DSM-5 states the following:

B. Limited repetitive patterns of behavior, limited interests and activities, as evidenced by:

  1. stereotyped or repetitive motor movements, use of objects or speech

  2. Stubborn adherence to the same thing, rigidly attached to routines or ritualized patterns of behavior 

  3. Very limited, fixated interests that are abnormally intense or focused

  4. Over- or underreacting to sensory stimuli or unusual interest in sensory aspects of the environment

(DSM-5, 2017, p. 67)

Other rules for citing with the 6th edition of APA

The following rules apply to citations to the 6th edition of APA, among other things:

  • Copy the quotation verbatim. If you change something minor (such as when you change an uppercase letter to a lowercase one), always put that change in square brackets.

  • You may abbreviate part of a quotation. In that case, always put three dots in square brackets at the point of the omitted text, i.e., "[...]."

  • Always include the source citation in the bibliography, following the APA guidelines for it.

  • Don't make your text a list of quotes. Alternate quotes with paraphrases and your own original text.

Changes APA 7th edition vs. 6th edition

Are you curious what has changed in the APA 7th edition from the 6th edition? We have listed the changes for you. 

Getting your thesis reviewed?

Correct source citation and proper quotation is very important to avoid plagiarism. What else should you pay attention to when writing a thesis? How can you be sure that you hand in your thesis without sloppy mistakes? Simple: have our editors check your thesis for language, structure, common threads and/or proper sources. Then, you can hand in your document worry-free.