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APA REFERENCING: A Brief Guide

APA REFERENCING: A Brief Guide

APA (American Psychological Association) style is the most commonly used referencing format within the social sciences. 

When using the APA format, you should follow the author-date method of in-text citation. This means that the author's last name and the year of publication for the source should appear in the text, for example, (Armstrong, 2012), and a complete reference should appear in the reference list at the end of the paper. All sources that are cited in the text must appear in the reference list at the end of the document.

You need to include a citation and reference for anything that you quote, summarise, or paraphrase or on any other occasion where you use another person’s work within your writing. You also need to include a citation and reference for definitions, tables, images and statistics that are not entirely your own work.

 

In-text Citations

In-text citations consist of the surname(s) of the author(s) and the year of publication.

Author (Year); or (Author, Year)

Example:

Armstrong (2012); or (Armstrong, 2012)

 

If you are directly quoting from a work, you will need to include the author (last name), year of publication, and the page number for the reference (preceded by "p.").

Author (Year), “direct quote” (p.22).

(Author, Year, p.22)

 

Example:

  According to Jones (1998), "Students often had difficulty using APA style, especially when it was their first time" (p. 199).

  "Students often had difficulty using APA style" (Jones, 1998, p. 199).

 

Work by Two Authors

If the source you are using have two authors, then should use the last name of both authors in the signal phrase or in the parentheses each time you cite the work. Please note that you should use the word "and" between the authors' names within the text and use the ‘&’ sign in the parentheses.

Research by Wegener and Petty (1994) supports...

(Wegener & Petty, 1994)

 

Work by Three to Five Authors

If the source you are using have three to five authors, then you should use the last name of all authors in the signal phrase or in parentheses when you first cite the source. Use the word "and" between the authors' last names within the text and use the ‘&’ sign in the parentheses.

Blaxter, Hughes and Tight (2006) argued...

(Blaxter, Hughes & Tight, 2006)


In subsequent citations, you should only use the first author's last name followed by "et al." in the signal phrase or in parentheses.

(Blaxter et al., 2006)

Blaxter et al. (2006) argued....

 

Six or More Authors

If the source you are using have six or more authors, then you should use the first author's last name followed by et al. in the signal phrase or in parentheses each time you cite the work. 

Harris et al. (2001) argued...

(Harris et al., 2001)

 

Reference List

All sources that are cited in the text must appear in the reference list at the end of the document.

The information that you need to include in each reference is determined by the type of source you are using e.g. if it is a book, journal, newspaper, e-journal, website etc. Please see below for detailed information on each type of source.

Book:

Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle. Location: Publisher.

Example:

Blaxter, L., Hughes, C. and Tight, M. (2002). How to research. 3rd ed. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Armstrong, M. (2012). Armstrong’s Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice. 12th ed. London: KoganPage.

 

Journal Articles

Author, A. A.(Year of publication). Title of article. Title of Journal, volume number(issue number), pages.

Example:

Harlow, H. F. (1983). Fundamentals for preparing psychology journal articles. Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology, 55, 893-896.

 

Whole E-book:

The reference list entry for an e-book includes the author, date, title, and source (URL or DOI).

Author, A. (date). Title of book. Retrieved from http://xxxxxxxxx

Author, A. (date). Title of book. doi:xxxxxxxxxxxx

 

Chapter in an e-book:

Author, A. (date). Title of chapter. In E. Editor (Ed.), Title of book (pp. xx–xx). Retrieved from http://xxxxxxxxx

Author, A. (date). Title of chapter. In E. Editor (Ed.), Title of book (pp. xx–xx). doi:xxxxxxxxxx

 

Website

Author, A. (date). Title of document. Retrieved from http://xxxxxxxxx

 

Online Article

Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume number(issue number), pages. http://dx.doi.org/xx.xxx/yyyyy