When you are using APA format in your paper, there are two kinds of citations you'll need to include: a list of references on your reference page, and your in-text citations which allude to quotations, summaries, and paraphrases of the author's research.
While there is no single foolproof "trick" to it, there are some guidelines that should help. To start, each reference page entry should include all of the information someone would need in order to find the source material. This includes: author(s) name(s); date of publication; title of article, book or other research product; title of "container" of that article (it could be an academic journal, website, periodical, or other); location where it was published, and internet location and date accessed. Each element in a reference page citation is separated by a period (not by a comma, as in MLA format). There are specific formatting rules for the font style and line spacing. Also, the order of the information in an entry is about the same as in the list of elements shown above.
Those are the basics of APA formatting. It takes practice to become comfortable with citing sources in APA, but once you have done that, you will see that the rules follow a definite pattern. The keys are to include all the elements to locate the source material and to work "outside-in" to show who created it, where it is found, and when it was published. For instance, if you are citing an academic journal article, the "outside-in" would be: 1) The author's name, 2) the title of the article, and 3) the "container" of the article, which in this case is the academic journal name.
I can walk you through the steps of creating a reference page citation, so that you can see it in action. We'll look at a sample research source and identify the essential pieces of information. Then, I will help you create an accurate citation, explaining the "how" and "why" of it.