Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Emergency Medical & Health Services: Using APA in your discussion forums

Posting (and replying) to discussion forums using APA style

Using APA in discussion posts is similar to using APA for your papers. Think of your discussion post as a short APA paper - you will use a formal writing style (vocabulary appropriate to an academic setting, and relevant to the subject, and using standard English grammar and spelling to the best of your abilities).

You will also need to reference one or more sources in your post, to support or illustrate your points, and cite your sources in your discussion post using an in-text citation and a corresponding full References citation. See below.

Note, that these citations are missing hanging indents and some formatting such as italics due to limitations of this tool.

References page-style citation for discussion forum posts

At the top or bottom of your post (whatever your specific instructions call for), you will type a References page type citation for every source you cited in your post.

One thing to keep in mind about formatting a References citation in Canvas discussion boards:

  • Unlike a Word document, you will not be able to create a hanging indent easily.
  • There are some work-arounds if you REALLY want a hanging indent (see the tab above), but frankly,
  • your librarian doesn't think a hanging indent is particularly necessary in a discussion forum post (see above: Example of an APA-style post).
  • However, the rest of your citation should be super nice! So type it up well, without a hanging indent, and I am sure your instructor will forgive you. No? See the tab above.
  • (This applies only to discussion posts, in all other work, you need a hanging indent.)





Here is the HTML code snippet for a hanging indent to copy and paste into the HTML editor in your post:

<div style="padding-left: 30px; text-indent: -30px". <p> </p> </div>

Would you rather see a video showing you how to make a hanging indent using HTML? See the tab above.


In-text citation for discussion forum post

The in-text citation is the easy part. Simply cite your source within your post as you would for a paper you are writing. See the example above, Example of an APA-style post.

CC BY SA license

Except where otherwise noted, the content in these guides by Tacoma Community College Library is licensed under CC BY SA 4.0.
This openly licensed content allows others to cite, share, or modify this content, with credit to TCC Library. When reusing or adapting this content, include this statement in the new document: This content was originally created by Tacoma Community College Library and shared with a CC BY SA 4.0 license.

Tacoma Community College Library - Building 7, 6501 South 19th Street, Tacoma, WA 98466 - P. 253.566.5087