What is APA? How do I learn more?


What does the acronym APA mean?

APA stands for the "American Psychological Association" but when you are instructed to write a paper or assignment "in APA" this means that you should format your writing according to the guidelines in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th edition.

APA style is used by researchers and professionals who work in the social sciences and some sciences to format papers, cite sources in-text, and list references at the end of their papers. Rasmussen requires all students and staff to use APA style in their research papers because professionals in the programs we offer use it when publishing.

Why Cite Resources?

Citations are tools that help your reader, but they serve a variety of purposes:

  • Giving credit where credit is due, also known as attribution, thereby avoiding plagiarism
  • Demonstrating that your research rests on a solid theoretical foundation
  • Adding credibility to an argument by integrating the work of experts
  • Situating a piece of writing within the context of the field at large
  • Creating a research roadmap that enables other researchers to follow the creation of knowledge over time

​​Get Started with APA Tools and Resources

We have developed many tools to assist students with APA formatting, and they can be accessed via the Resources link in your online course or through the following links:


  • Last Updated Jul 02, 2024
  • Views 16103
  • Answered By Kerry Louvier

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