Most students will have to reference an assignment at some stage of their studies. This unit will take you through how to use the American Psychological Association's (APA) referencing style. Work through and complete the activities to learn how to avoid plagiarism when using other people's works, e.g. words, ideas, images etc. Please note that this tutorial is based on the APA Style Manual 6th edition.
APA is an author-date system of referencing (or citing).
Referencing details must be provided in two locations:
- In the text of your assignment, i.e. whenever another person's ideas, words, thoughts etc. has been used e.g., direct quotes, paraphrases or summaries.
- In the reference list where full bibliographic details are provided.
APA in-text referencing
The APA system of referencing uses in text references or citations to acknowledge someone else's words, thoughts or ideas that have been included in your work. Information required in the text of your assignment includes:
- the author(s)'s surname(s)
- the year of publication
- the page number or paragraph number for non paginated sources (direct quotes only).
Punctuation in citations
Commas are used to separate information within parentheses (), e.g. author's name and date of publication. Full stops are always used after the abbreviation p for page number or pp for page numbers, e.g. p. 34 or pp. 34-35. If the citation is at the end of the sentence, it is considered to be part of the sentence, so the full stop is placed after the closing parenthesis.
The ampersand, the symbol '&' used to replace 'and', can only be used inside parenthical citations e.g. .....for many participants (Jones & Lee, 2011). In a sentence, only use 'and' e.g. Jones and Lee (2011) point out that many participants.....