APA Citation Summary Example: Mastering The Art Of Properly Referencing Sources

Apa Citation Summary Example – Simplified Guide and Tips

What do you mean by APA citation summary?

When conducting research or writing academic papers, it is crucial to provide proper citations for any sources you have referenced. In the field of social sciences, the American Psychological Association (APA) style is widely used for citing sources. An APA citation summary is a concise and organized representation of a source’s main ideas, which is typically used when summarizing or paraphrasing information from a longer text.

How to create an APA citation summary?

Creating an APA citation summary involves carefully reading the original source and condensing its main points into a shorter version. To effectively summarize a source, follow these steps:

1. Read the source thoroughly:

APA Annotated Bibliography Format  EasyBib
APA Annotated Bibliography Format EasyBib

Before attempting to summarize the source, it is crucial to read it carefully to fully understand its content. Highlight or take notes on the main ideas, supporting evidence, and any important details.

2. Identify the key information:

Once you have a good grasp of the source, identify the main arguments, theories, or findings presented. These key points should be the focus of your summary.

3. Write a concise summary:

APA Style - APA Style In-Text Citations: The Basics Summary: APA
APA Style – APA Style In-Text Citations: The Basics Summary: APA

Using your own words, condense the main points of the source into a concise summary. Ensure that the summary captures the essence of the original work while being brief and clear.

4. Include an in-text citation:

When summarizing or paraphrasing information from a source, you must provide an in-text citation to acknowledge the author’s work. In APA style, this typically involves including the author’s name and the year of publication in parentheses.

What is known about APA citation summaries?

In-Text Citations: The Basics - Purdue OWL® - Purdue University
In-Text Citations: The Basics – Purdue OWL® – Purdue University

APA citation summaries are widely used in academic writing to provide a brief overview of a source’s content. They serve several purposes, including:

1. Demonstrating understanding:

Summarizing a source shows that you have comprehended its main ideas and can articulate them concisely. This demonstrates your understanding of the subject matter.

2. Supporting arguments:

By including relevant APA citation summaries, you can strengthen your own arguments by providing evidence from credible sources. This enhances the credibility and validity of your work.

3. Avoiding plagiarism:

APA citation summaries help you avoid plagiarism by properly attributing ideas and information to their original sources. Plagiarism is a serious academic offense that can result in severe consequences.

Solution for creating effective APA citation summaries

To create effective APA citation summaries, follow these tips:

1. Focus on the main ideas:

Avoid including excessive details in your summary. Instead, concentrate on the source’s main arguments or findings.

2. Use your own words:

Avoid copying sentences or phrases directly from the source. Express the main ideas in your own words to demonstrate your understanding.

3. Maintain clarity and conciseness:

Avoid unnecessary jargon or complex language in your summary. Ensure that the information is presented clearly and concisely.

4. Revise and edit:

After writing the summary, review it for clarity and coherence. Ensure that the content accurately reflects the main points of the original source.

Additional Information about APA citation summaries

Here are a few additional points to consider:

1. Length:

APA citation summaries should be significantly shorter than the original source. Aim for around 100-150 words, depending on the length and complexity of the source.

2. Use of quotations:

Quotations are generally discouraged in APA citation summaries, as they are meant to be a concise representation of the source’s main ideas.

3. Paraphrasing:

Paraphrasing is often preferred over direct quotes in APA citation summaries. It demonstrates your understanding of the source and allows you to express the main ideas using your own words.

4. Formatting:

APA citation summaries should follow the general formatting guidelines of the APA style, including double-spacing, 1-inch margins, and a hanging indent for the reference entry.


APA citation summaries play a significant role in academic writing, allowing researchers to effectively convey the main ideas of a source in a concise manner. By following the steps outlined in this guide and adhering to APA style guidelines, you can create accurate and well-crafted summaries that enhance the credibility and clarity of your own work.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: Can I use direct quotes in an APA citation summary?

A1: While it is generally discouraged to use direct quotes in APA citation summaries, you may include them sparingly if they are crucial to conveying the source’s main ideas accurately.

Q2: Is there a specific word limit for an APA citation summary?

A2: There is no specific word limit for an APA citation summary. However, it is recommended to keep it concise and typically aim for around 100-150 words.

Q3: Can I use APA citation summaries in other citation styles?

A3: APA citation summaries are specifically designed for the APA style. While you may adapt the principles of summarization to other citation styles, it is essential to follow the guidelines and requirements of the respective style.

Q4: Are APA citation summaries only used in academic writing?

A4: While APA citation summaries are commonly used in academic writing and research papers, they can also be applied in other contexts, such as summarizing articles, books, or reports for professional or personal purposes.

Q5: What if I cannot access the full text of the source I need to summarize?

A5: If you are unable to access the full text of a source, it is best to find an alternative source or citation that covers similar information. Summarizing a source without reading it in its entirety can result in an incomplete or inaccurate summary.