Occupational Therapy

Guide to research in the area of occupational therapy. Also helpful for the areas of physical therapy, nursing, health, physiology and kinesiology.

Citing Sources

NoodleTools Citation Generator

NoodleTools Tutorials

Citation Basics

  1. Place in-text citations in the body of the paper to acknowledge the source of your information.  This is meant to be a shortened version of the full citation that appears on the final page of your paper.
  2. Place full citations for all your sources on the last page entitled References or Works Cited (different citation styles require different titles).  Full citations are meant to provide readers with enough information so that they can locate the source themselves.
  3. APA or MLA are citation styles.  Each has different guidelines for how to source information (author, title, year...etc.) should be formatted and punctuated for both in-text citations and for the References or Works Cited pages

(click image to enlarge)

To find video segments in the "Contents" area: Click the carrot or the arrow at the bottom of the video player as shown in the image below. 

(click image to enlarge)

To find video segments, in the Contents area, click the carrot or the arrow at the bottom of the video player

Why Cite Sources?

Avoid Plagiarizing

You must cite any direct quotation, summary, or paraphrase of any idea or fact from your research. Citing sources is giving credit to the original author and publication where you found the information. Not citing sources is plagiarism and you may be subject to academic discipline.

Lend Authority to Your Paper:

By referencing the work of scholars and other professionals, you demonstrate that your own research is based on solid, reliable information and that you are capable of critical thinking by being able to synthesize that research into your own.

Provide a Path: 

By citing sources, you provide the information readers of your paper need in order to locate the same sources that you did.

Acknowledge Other's Work: 

Part of your research is built upon the research of other people. In the scholarship tradition in the United States, it is considered respectful and fair to give them credit for their hard work (just as you might hope someone would give you credit if they were quoting your own work!)

APA Citation Video Tutorial

Source: "Introduction to Citation Styles: APA 7th ed." by CSUDH Library, is licensed under a Standard YouTube License.

Learn the basic conventions of citing sources in-text and in a reference list using the American Psychological Association (APA) Style, 7th edition.
MLA Citations Video Tutorial

Source: "MLA Citations: Understanding Containers" by sc4library, is licensed under a Standard YouTube License.

Learn how to use containers when citing resources in MLA style.

How to Cite Interviews

Citing Interviews & Personal Communications

Personal communications (conversations, interviews, letters, etc.) 

Personal communications, because they are difficult to recover, are not listed in bibliographies and works cited pages; instead, they are cited in-text only, for example:

(J. Binnie., personal communication, March 28, 2008)

Images, Charts, Tables, Graphs - APA

Images, Charts, Tables, Graphs Inserted into Essays & Presentations

You are required to cite images that you insert into essays and visual presentations.
Note: For artificial intelligence-created images, see: Images Generated by an AI Tool 

In the body of the essay or in a visual presentation:

  • Above the image:
    • Include the bolded word Figure and the number of the figure (you would need to number any subsequent figures sequentially in your paper)
    • Include the title of the image in title-case italics.  If the image does not have a given title, give your own short description of the image where you would normally put the title.
  • Below the image:
    • Include this word in italics: Note.
    • Include citation information in this format (note that this is a different format than the formal APA citation that you include on the References page):
      • for webpages:
        • Title of Webpage in Italics and Title Case, by A. Author and B. Author, year, Site Name (URL). Copyright Year by Name of Copyright Holder
      • for articles:
        • “Title of Article in Title Case” by A. Author and B. Author, year, Title of Periodical, Volume(Issue), p. xx (DOI or URL). Copyright Year by Name of Copyright Holder.

Figure 1

More Farmers in Peru Have Stopped Planting Coca, Opting for Cacao and Coffee

More Farmers in Peru Have Stopped Planting Coca, Opting for Cacao and Coffee

Note. From Peruvian Prosperity: From Coca Farmer to Chocolate Maker, by N. Guitierrez, 2016, USAID (https://www.usaid.gov/results-data/success-stories/coca-farmer-chocolate-maker). Copyright 2016 by USAID.


On the References page:
  • include the entire formal APA citation for the source

    USAID. (2016, September). Peruvian prosperity: From coca farmer to chocolate maker. https://www.usaid.gov/results-data/success-stories/coca-farmer-chocolate-maker


Images, Charts, Tables, Graphs Not Inserted but Referred to into Essays & Presentations

If you refer to information from an image, chart, table or graph, but do not insert it in your essay or presentation, create a citation both in-text and on your Reference list.

If the information is part of another format, for example a book, magazine article, encyclopedia, etc., cite the work it came from.

  • Example: if information came from a table in an article in National Geographic magazine, you would cite the entire article.
  • Example citation: Image from a Website

If you are only making a passing reference to a well known image, you would not have to cite it, e.g. describing someone as having a Mona Lisa smile.


OT Research Worksheet

How To Create APA Citations by Different Source Type

Citations Lab Slides

Try It!

1. FIRST, using any of the tools on this Create APA Citations tab, create a citation for the source below:

2. NEXT, write your citation on a piece of paper OR type/paste your citation into an electronic document

3. THEN, create an APA in-text citation for this direct quote from the source above:

Characterized by repetitive motor movements or sounds such as hand-slapping and finger-flipping, “stimming,” short for self-stimulating behaviors, has historically been used as a diagnostic finding in autism.

4. FINALLY, create an in-text citation for the direct quote above and write or type/paste the in-text citation at the end of the quote


Practice creating a citation and in-text citation by answering the questions below.  How?

  • Use any of the citation tools on this page  OR
  • Ask a librarian for help OR
  • Use this citation cheat sheet:
  1. Create a citation in APA Style for the article below:

Addressing Sex in Occupational Therapy: A Coconstructed Autoethnography. Rose, Natalie; Hughes, Claire. The American Journal of Occupational Therapy; Bethesda Vol. 72, Iss. 3,  (May/Jun 2018): 1-6. DOI:10.5014/ajot.2018.026005


  1. Below is an excerpt from page 5 of the article above.  Imagine you were adding the underlined words below as a quote in the body of your essay.  Write the quote and create its corresponding in-text citation:

Sexuality affects many areas of people's lives, including their safety, valued occupations, social roles, and identity. These concerns are often significant for people with disability or illness; therefore, they should not be ignored simply out of professional discomfort. Occupational therapy has the power to play a meaningful and significant role in people's lives, and through this power, it also has an obligation to view clients as whole people, which includes sex and sexuality.