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APSA (American Political Science Association) Citation Guide: Home

APSA Citation Style

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The American Political Science Association uses a variation of the Chicago Manual of Style citation system. It concentrates on formats important to political science, with special attention given to documents produced within the United States government.

The citation style guide for the revised 2018 edition of the American Political Science Association is predicated upon the 17th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style. Most of the citation style guidelines are based on the Chicago Style.

APSA relies on an author-date system (as used in Chicago Style), not the notes-bibliography system. In APSA, parenthetical references within the text direct readers to the reference list. However, footnotes can be used in ASPA in a more limited scope. They can be used to present short substantive material or to cross reference other sources. Footnotes should not be used to cite sources better left for the reference list. Ultimately, footnotes should be used sparingly.

Why Cite?

Citation may seem like a bunch of rules designed to make writing your paper even more difficult. However, the purpose of citation is primarily to show how your work fits into the larger conversation taking place on your particular topic and to help facilitate the exchange of ideas between scholars (that means you, too!). Citation also ensures that the original authors or originators of an idea receive proper credit for their work.

What does this mean for you? 

According to the High Point University Honor Code: "Every student is honor-bound to refrain from plagiarism."

But what does it mean to plagiarize something? 

Plagiarism involves quoting or paraphrasing without proper acknowledgment. You plagiarize if you submit, without appropriate documentation or quotation marks:

  • part or all of written or spoken statements derived from sources, such as books, the Internet, magazines, pamphlets, speeches, or oral statements;
  • part or all of written or spoken statements derived from files maintained by individuals, groups or campus organizations;
  • the sequence of ideas, arrangement of material, or pattern of thought of someone else, even though you express such processes in your own words.

(High Point University Student Government Association)

Summary: You plagiarize when you take credit for someone else's work, either on purpose or by accident. 

You can also plagiarize yourself. Called "self-plagiarism," this occurs if you reuse work from one course in another course without your instructors' permission. This is considered academic dishonesty. 

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HPU Libraries' Chicago Style Citation Guide

Detailed information about Chicago Style can be found on our full Chicago Style Citation Guide.

For quick reference, download the PDF of our Chicago Style Quick Guide: