In this section, you will find extra information and answers to frequently asked questions.
If these FAQs do not answer your question, see the Further Support tab to find out where you can go for additional help.
DOI stands for Digital Object Iditifier. It is a number given to most newer e-books and journal articles to make them easy to find. In APA style, you should always provide the DOI whenever it is available.
The DOI is a string of numbers and letters beginning with the number 10. Sometimes an e-book or article will only give you the string of numbers and letters, but sometimes it will format the DOI as a clickable link. In APA, you should always give the clickable link.
If you have only been given the string of numbers and letters, you can turn this into a clickable link by copying the DOI onto the end of the following address:
If you have accessed a source online, and it does not have a DOI, you should provide a web address. This should normally be the full web address to the exact page you have used. There are two exceptions to this:
The APA guide says that it doesn't matter whether your links are blue and underlined, or match the font of the rest of your reference list. You should have a consistent style throughout your reference list.
If you have read something which references something else, and you want to include this reference in your work, this is called a secondary citation. For example, if you have read a book by Khan, who quotes from a journal article by Li, and you want to use the information from Li's article.
If possible, you should try to find the original source, read it yourself, and reference that. Sometimes this might not be possible because the original source is out of print or in another language, for example. In this case, you can do a secondary citation.
Secondary citations are done in the in-text citation.
In your list of references, only include a reference for the source you read (i.e. Khan).
First, check the Types of Authors tab to make sure there is definitely not a person or organisation you could list as the author.
Sometimes a source will have no clear author at all though (e.g. religious works). In this case, use the title as the author in in-text citations, and move the title to the front of the list of references entry:
If a source does not have a date, replace the year with n.d. - this stands for 'no date'
If a source does not have a page number (e.g. a webpage) you can normally just leave this out. However, some sources may be clearly separated into sections other than page numbers. Particularly when the whole source is quite long, and you have taken information from a specific part, you can use things like:
Sometimes certain information about a source might not exist. You might be referencing a journal article without an issue number, or a song that was not released on an album. In this case, just leave that part of the reference out. Make sure the reader would still be able to find the source with the information you have provided.
If you have read a source that was originally published in another language but has been republished in English, reference it as normal following the usual guide for the type of source. Then add the name of the translator in brackets in the format (N. Surname, Trans.) after the title and before the full stop. Also add the original publication date in brackets at the very end of the reference.
You should check with your tutor before you reference something that is not written in English. If you want to reference something written in another language, you must speak the language yourself: you should not rely on automatic translators like Google Translate.
Write the reference as normal in the original language. Then, provide an English translation of the title in square brackets, after the title and before the full stop.
If you are referencing something that has two titles (e.g. a journal article) you only need to translate the title of the specific source you are using (i.e. translate the article title, not the journal title).
If your source is written using a different alphabet to your assignment, you must transliterate it into the Latin alphabet. You can then follow the same guidance above, translating just the title into English.
More information can be found on the APA 6th edition blog. (Please note that, because this is from the 6th edition, you should not copy the specific referencing example they use. The principles of transliteration and translation still apply to the 7th edition though.)
You might have seen the words 'title case' or 'sentence case' mentioned throughout this guide. This tells you which words should have a capital letter in the title part of a reference.
Sentence case is used for most titles in APA style. This means you capitalise the same words you would normally capitalise in an English sentence. You should put a capital letter at the start of:
'The' is capitalised when it is at the start of the title and the start of the subtitle, and 'Narnia' is capitalised because it is a place.
Title case is generally only used in references that have two titles (e.g. journal article and newspaper article references have both an article title and a journal/newspaper title). The guide will tell you when you need to use title case. You should also use title case when you are including the title of something within the text of your assignment.
Capitalise all words, except for minor words that are three letters or fewer. Even minor words should be capitalised if they are at the start of a title or subtitle.
The short, minor words 'of', 'the', and 'and' are kept in lower case, except where they appear at the start of the title or subtitle.
This is a very minor detail in APA referencing, and it can sometimes be difficult to work out whether a word should have a capital letter or not, even when you understand the rules. Don't spend too much time on this, and try not to worry if you think you have made a mistake.
You can use either 'single quotation marks' or "double quotation marks" in your work. Both are equally acceptable. You must be consistent within an assignment and use the same type throughout.
The general convention in British English is to use 'single quotation marks'. The convention in American English is to use "double quotation marks". Because APA is an American style, you will probably see more examples using "double quotation marks".
Although you can use either, you may wish to choose "double quotation marks" because Turnitin recognises them more easily. This means it should not highlight quotes in double quotation marks.
To be clear, if you use single quotation marks and Turnitin highlights your quote, this is not plagiarism and is not a problem as long as you have provided an in-text citation and reference list entry. But you might find it easier to read your Turnitin report if you are not distracted by properly referenced and punctuated quotes.
If you are quoting something that has a quotation or speech within it, you would normally switch quotation marks for the quote in the middle.
If you are using double quotation marks in your assignment, this would look like:
If you are using single quotation marks in your assignment, this would look like:
This guide contains examples of the most common sources you will need to reference. If you need to reference something more unusual, check the following resources:
The Library runs regular training sessions for APA referencing. These are open to all students and staff, and can be booked on the online workshops calendar.
The Centre for Academic Writing runs training sessions about plagiarism, and can also support you with how to incorporate sources into your writing.
If you have questions about referencing, your Academic Liaison Librarian will be happy to help. You can ask questions by email, or book an appointment for more support with referencing.
If you have questions not answered in this guide:
If you would like a hard copy of this quick guide, please ask at the Welcome Desk in Lanchester Library.