A complete guide to APA in-text citation

An APA in-text citation consists of the author’s last name and year of publication, for example: (Smith, 2020). When quoting, also include page numbers, for example (Smith, 2020, p.170).

Here’s what an in-text citation looks like in a sentence:

  • The author claims that “plagiarism is becoming a bigger problem” (Smith, 2014, p. 170).
  • As Smith (2014) has shown, plagiarism is a serious issue for universities.
  • In 2014, Smith found that plagiarism is becoming increasingly widespread.

You can easily generate your in-text citations (and full reference list) in APA format with Scribbr’s free citation generator.

Scribbr APA Citation Generator

Continue reading: A complete guide to APA in-text citation

Free plagiarism checker comparison

Free plagiarism checkers are popular. Many students, marketers and text writers use them to avoid plagiarism. We conducted research to answer two main questions:

  1. Which plagiarism checkers are really free?
  2. How much plagiarism is detected by each plagiarism checker?
Overview of free plagiarism checkers
Plagiarism checkerPlagiarism detectedReally free?Restrictions
Scribbr44%Not freeBest plagiarism checker 2019
1. Quetext29%Only free trial3 x 500 words
2. EasyBib19%Only free trial3 days (credit card required)
3. PlagScan17%Only free trial2,000 words
4. Plagramme16%Not freeOnly shows percentage
5. Copyleaks7%100% free2,500 words p/m for free
6. Small SEO Tools5%100% freeMax. 1,000 words per check
7. Grammarly1%Not freeOnly shows percentage
8. Search Engine Reports4%100% freeMax. 1,000 words per check
9. PaperRater0%100% free10 checks per month
10. Edubirdie4%100% freeMight not be safe to use


  • Almost all 100% free plagiarism checkers detect very little plagiarism.
  • Plagiarism checkers that offer a free trial perform much better. However, you will probably end up paying for the service.

For comparison purposes, we added the Scribbr Plagiarism Checker, which is the best plagiarism checker as of 2019. It’s not free, but it does detect the most plagiarism of all plagiarism checkers.

Read the reviews

Continue reading: Free plagiarism checker comparison

APA title page (cover page)

An APA title page must include:

  • A running head (including page number)
  • The title of your paper (one or two lines long)
  • The full name of the author(s)
  • Your university or institution

Additional information, such as a course number or an author’s note, should be placed on a separate line below the institution.

APA title page template

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The best plagiarism checkers of 2019 [in-depth comparison]

The plagiarism checkers listed in this article are tested using two test documents:

  1. Student’s paper with 50% plagiarism
  2. 100% plagiarized text with excerpts from journals, books and websites.

The table below shows an ordered list of the top 10 best plagiarism checkers in 2019. The overall score is based on plagiarism detected, usability and accuracy.

Tests show that the Scribbr Plagiarism Checker is the best plagiarism checker on the market. It is able to detect exact similarities and difficult-to-detect paraphrasing plagiarism, while keeping false positives to a minimum. The plagiarism report is extensive and very easy to use.
Top 10 plagiarism checkers of 2019
Plagiarism checkerPlagiarism detectedOverall score
50% plagiarised text100% plagiarised text
1. Scribbr (in partnership
with Turnitin)
2. Ephorus23%61%
3. Quetext29%53%
4. Compilatio28%51%
5. BibMe19%57%
6. Plagscan17%58%
7. Plagramme16%61%
8. Grammarly0%24%
9. Smallseotools5%28%
10. SE Reports4%34%

Continue reading: The best plagiarism checkers of 2019 [in-depth comparison]

Primary and secondary sources

When you do research, you have to gather information and evidence from a variety of sources.

Primary sources provide raw information and first-hand evidence. Examples include interview transcripts, statistical data, and works of art. A primary source gives you direct access to the subject of your research.

Secondary sources provide second-hand information and commentary from other researchers. Examples include journal articles, reviews, and academic books. A secondary source describes, interprets, or synthesizes primary sources.

Primary sources are more credible as evidence, but good research uses both primary and secondary sources.

Continue reading: Primary and secondary sources

APA format for academic papers and essays

In addition to guidelines for APA citations, there are format guidelines for academic papers and essays. They’re widely used by professionals, researchers and students.

Scribbr APA Citation Generator

The most important APA format guidelines in the 6th edition are:

  • Use 12 pt Times New Roman
  • Set 1 inch page margins
  • Apply double line spacing
  • Insert a running head on every page
  • Indent every new paragraph ½ inch

Tip: also read our article on the most notable changes in the APA Manual 7th edition.

APA format

Continue reading: APA format for academic papers and essays

What is self-plagiarism and how can you avoid it?

Plagiarism generally involves using other people’s words or ideas without proper citation, but you can also plagiarize yourself.

Self-plagiarism means reusing work that you have already published or submitted for a class. It can involve re-submitting an entire paper, copying or paraphrasing passages from your previous work, or recycling old data.

Self-plagiarism misleads your readers by presenting old work as completely new and original. If you want to include any text, ideas, or data that already appeared in a previous paper, you should always inform the reader of this by citing your own work.

Continue reading: What is self-plagiarism and how can you avoid it?

Types of plagiarism

Plagiarism means using someone else’s words or ideas without proper attribution. The most common types of plagiarism are:

Type of plagiarismDefinitionSeverity
Global plagiarismPresenting an entire text by someone else as your own work.Severe
Paraphrasing plagiarismRephrasing someone else’s ideas without citation.Serious
Verbatim plagiarismDirectly copying a passage of text without citation.Serious
Mosaic plagiarismCombining text and ideas from different sources without citation.Serious
Self-plagiarismReusing passages and ideas from your own previously submitted work.Moderate
Incorrect citationFailing to give all the necessary information in your source citation.Moderate

Continue reading: Types of plagiarism