If I'm using an entry from the DSM-5 in my paper, do I quote the entry portion I'm using or paraphrase every single criteria?


My paper is an explanation of a specific mental disorder. I need to explain what it is in detail and am using the DSM-5 as a reference. Should I paraphrase every single criteria or can I quote them? I'm trying very hard to avoid plagiarism and I want to make sure I get this right.

Answered By: Linda Kern
Last Updated: Dec 12, 2016     Views: 272


If you are confident that you can paraphrase the DSM criteria without altering the meaning, that's OK to do. You would have to include all relevant criteria in the paraphrase. Because it's a paraphrase and not a summary, I recommend you include the page numbers in the citation.

If you are concerned that the passage can't be paraphrased without altering the meaning, it's OK to quote. If the quote includes 40 or more words, use a block quote format:

Don't enclose a block quote in quotation marks. Start it on a new line and indent the text 1/2" on the left. Double space the text. Indent each new paragraph. Close with the citation, which, in this case, goes after the last period. (Author, year, pp. XX-XX)

See APA p. 171 for details on a block quote. See the APA Style Blog for the correct reference entry for the DSM.

Thanks for asking!

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