Rubrics that require APA Style for the Sources Aspect

Academic Authenticity and APA


WGU is proud to ensure our students earn valued and credible degrees and provides strong policies and procedures to prevent plagiarism and hold students accountable to academic authenticity in their work (see “Academic Authenticity”). The American Psychological Association (APA)’s citation style is WGU’s choice for documentation of sources. It will enable you to meet WGU’s authenticity expectations and to format your documents according to prevailing standards of your academic discipline. We are committed to ensuring that our graduates utilize APA style competently by providing learning opportunities and evaluating adherence to APA citation style in assessment tasks for specific courses (especially at the graduate level).

Note: Some assessment tasks may not require APA formatting for sources, where WGU’s attention remains on attribution and retrievability of sources, without concern for APA style.

The WGU Scoring Rubric for each written assessment identifies if APA style is required for sources for that specific task.


WGU encourages its students to use APA Style for sources, whether required by the rubric or not. However, for many courses, APA is required for competency. You should identify the requirements regarding APA for each task prior to submitting it.


This chart briefly outlines the four components to include in your submissions that require APA formatting for sources. The WGU Writing Center and the APA Style Blog provide excellent resources about using APA; relevant links to these are below.


APA Aspect Requirements for Rubrics that require APA Formatting for the Sources Aspect
Attribution The submission must clearly attribute all material that is paraphrased, quoted, or of uncommon knowledge to its source. 100% attribution of sources is required to pass the sources aspect.
Please see additional resources on attribution at the WGU Writing Center – APA for Sources.
Retrievability Sources referenced or cited in the work must provide correct and sufficient information for the reader to verify the source material. 100% retrievability of sources is required to pass the sources aspect.
Please see additional resources on attribution at the WGU Writing Center – APA for Sources.
In-Text Citations In-text citations must include all required APA elements (e.g., author, date, and page/paragraph when required). Consistent application of APA formatting is also required, including correct punctuation, capitalization, parentheses, multi-author rules, citation placement, quotation marks, and all related APA rules.
Note: The submission must provide at least one in-text citation for each reference listed in the reference list.
Please see additional resources on in-text citations at References Versus Citations – APA Blog
Reference List The reference list must be double-spaced and alphabetized, use hanging indentation, and have a consistent application of APA formatting in all references. References must include all elements provided in the sources as required by APA, such as author, date, title, and publication, location, DOI, or URL, and use correct punctuation, italics, capitalization, parentheses, multi-author rules, and all related APA rules.
Note: The reference list must provide a full reference listing for each source cited within the text.
Please see additional resources on APA for references at References Versus Citations - APA Blog.


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