APA Format Citation Guide
This is a complete guide to APA (American Psychological Association) in-text and reference list citations. This easy-to-use, comprehensive guide makes citing any source easy. Check out our other citation guides on MLA 8 and Harvard referencing.
Core Components of an APA Reference:
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1. APA Referencing Basics: Reference List
A reference list is a complete list of references used in a piece of writing including the author name, date of publication, title and more. An APA reference list must:
· Be on a new page at the end of the document
· Be centred
· Be alphabetically by name of first author (or title if the author isn’t known, in this case a, an and the should be ignored)
· If there are multiple works by the same author these are ordered by date, if the works are in the same year they are ordered alphabetically by the title and are allocated a letter (a,b,c etc) after the date
· Contain full references for all in-text references used
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2. APA Referencing Basics: In-Text Citation
In-text references must be included following the use of a quote or paraphrase taken from another piece of work.
In-text citations are citations within the main body of the text and refer to a direct quote or paraphrase. They correspond to a reference in the main reference list. These citations include the surname of the author and date of publication only. Using an example author James Mitchell, this takes the form:
Mitchell (2017) states… Or …(Mitchell, 2017).
The structure of this changes depending on whether a direct quote or parenthetical used:
· Direct Quote: The citation must follow the quote directly and contain a page number after the date, for example (Mitchell, 2017, p.104). This rule holds for all of the variations listed.
· Parenthetical: The page number is not needed.
The surname of both authors is stated with either ‘and’ or an ampersand between. For example:
Mitchell and Smith (2017) state… Or …(Mitchell & Smith, 2017).
Three, Four or Five Authors:
For the first cite, all names should be listed:
Mitchell, Smith, and Thomson (2017) state… Or …(Mitchell, Smith, & Thomson, 2017).
Further cites can be shorted to the first author’s name followed by et al:
Mitchell et al (2017) state… Or …(Mitchell et al, 2017).
Six or More Authors:
Only the first author’s surname should be stated followed by et al, see the above example.
If the author is unknown, the first few words of the reference should be used. This is usually the title of the source.
If this is the title of a book, periodical, brochure or report, is should be italicised. For example:
(A guide to citation, 2017).
If this is the title of an article, chapter or web page, it should be in quotation marks. For example:
(“APA Citation”, 2017).
Citing Authors With Multiple Works From One Year:
Works should be cited with a, b, c etc following the date. These letters are assigned within the reference list, which is sorted alphabetically by the...