There are two parts to APA referencing: in-text citations and a list of references. The videos below will give you an introduction to these elements. Click on the tabs above to learn more.
An in-text citation is a short reference which goes in the body of your assignment. You must give an in-text citation whenever you include information in your work that you have taken from somewhere else. This might be a quote, a paraphrase, summary, data, image etc.
Every in-text citation must have a matching entry in the list of references. This allows your reader to check the full details of the source.
Normally, an in-text citation contains:
Some specialist sources may be slightly different. If a source is different, you will be told in this guide or in the APA Publication Manual.
There are two ways to write an in-text citation:
Both types of citation are acceptable to use, and you will probably find that you switch between using both of them throughout your assignment.
In parenthetical citations, include all of the information in brackets. This should normally go at the end of a sentence, before the full stop. However, you may also include it elsewhere within the sentence if this makes your reference clearer.
In narrative citations, you include the author's name in the structure of your sentence. The other information then goes in brackets.
You may need to cite more than one source in the same sentence, for example, when multiple authors agree about something.
Narrative citations should be written as normal and in any order. Parenthetical citations should be included in the same set of brackets, in alphabetical order, separated by a semi colon.
If you are citing multiple works by the same author, you only need to list the author's name once, followed by the dates in order, with the earliest first.
Sometimes, you may use more than one sentence to paraphrase, summarise, or discuss a source. In this case, it is not necessary to repeat the same citation in every sentence. As long as it is clear from the structure of your sentences that you are still talking about the same source, you only need to include the citation in the first sentence. If you include the author's name in a subsequent sentence, you don't need to include the year again.
If you change topic and then return to talking about the original source later in your assignment, you should include a full in-text citation as normal.
The list of references gives the full details of every source you have included in an in-text citation. It provides the information that a reader needs to check the source themselves.
The information required for a list of references entry changes based on what type of source it is. Click the tabs at the top of the page to see examples for different types of references.
Generally, most references will start with an author, then have a date in brackets, a title, and then additional information specific to that type of source.
The list of references should be in alphabetical order by author's last name. There is an option in Word, Google Docs, Pages and other word processors to sort your list automatically. Your references should be in one long list - you do not need to create separate lists for books, articles etc. unless you are told otherwise by your tutor.
Each entry in your list of references should have a hanging indent. This means that the first line of each reference is in line with the margin of the page, and any lines afterwards are indented away from the edge. You can use the paragraph formatting tool in Word, Google Docs, Pages and other word processors to do this automatically.
If you have questions not answered in this guide:
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