APA Referencing Style Guide
This page provides APA information and examples for students and staff of the University of Waikato. It is designed to accompany (not replace) the 6th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (2010), which is available in the Library.
The Library also offers regular APA tutorials. Sign up for an APA tutorial.
- APA Style: Common Examples
- APA Style: Quick Guide [208.4 kb]
- APA Style: Quick Guide in Mandarin /APA 文献引用 [370 kb]
- APA FAQ (iBook and PDF downloads)
Official Style Guides / Info
- APA Style official website
- APA Style Blog
- Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.)
- APA Style Guide to Electronic References: Available online
- Perrin's Pocket Guide to APA Style (5th ed.)
Citations in Text
To cite works of others, APA style uses an author-date citation method. Citations in text are acknowledged with (Author, Date) or Author (Date).
Use quotation marks and include page numbers.
Samovar and Porter (1997) point out that
"language involves attaching meaning to symbols" (p. 188) or
"Language involves attaching meaning to symbols" (Samovar & Porter, 1997, p. 188).
A long quotation
A quotation of 40 or more words should be formatted as a freestanding, indented block of text without quotation marks. Note the location of the final full stop.
Weston (1948) argues that:
One of the most important phases of our special guests was to get information that would throw light on degeneration of the facial pattern that occurs so often in our modern civilization. This has its expression in the narrowing and lengthening of the face and the development of crooked teeth. (p. 174)
A quotation with no page numbers
If you quote from online material and there are no page numbers (e.g. HTML based document), use the paragraph number (para.) instead.
"Prevalence rates of antenatal major and minor depression have been estimated in community-based studies to range from 7% to 15% of all pregnancies" (Grote, Swartz, Geibel & Zuckoff, 2009, para. 2).
Page numbers are optional when paraphrasing, although authors are encouraged to include them, especially when it assists the reader to locate the reference in long pieces of text (Publication Manual, p. 171).
Giving meaning to specific symbols such as sounds and marks is considered to be the origin of written language (Samovar & Porter, 1997, p. 188).
When you find a quote (e.g. Arnett) within a work that you have read (e.g. Claiborne & Drewery) and you wish to refer to the original quote (Arnett), this is called citing from a secondary source.
- For graduates: Use secondary citations sparingly and locate the original source where possible (Publication Manual, p. 178).
In text citation:
Arnett (2000, as cited in Claiborne & Drewery, 2010) suggests there is an emerging adult stage in the lifespan of humans, covering young people between the ages of 18 and 25 years.
- In-text, name the original work as well as the work you have read.
- Use the phrase 'as cited in' to signify the secondary source.
In reference list:
Claiborne, L., & Drewery, W. (2010). Human development: Family, place, culture. North Ryde, NSW, Australia: McGraw-Hill.
- List Claiborne & Drewery in your reference list, not Arnett.
At the end of your assignment, you are required to provide the full bibliographic information for each source cited in text. References must be listed in alphabetical order by author, and then chronologically.
Exception: When citing from a secondary source, list only the secondary source in which you found the original information, and do not list the primary source in the reference list.
- Start the list of references on a new page at the end of your assignment.
- Do not use footnotes for referencing (Publication Manual, p.37)
- References should use the hanging indent format.
Each reference type (e.g. Book, Journal) has a standardised format. See also Formatting elements section for detailed information on how to format authors/date/title/publication information.
Each reference should include four elements: (1) Author/Editor/Producer (2) Date (3) Title of the work and (4) Publication Information.
Author, A., & Author, B. (Year). Title of the work. Place name: Publisher.
If the item is available online, a retrieval statement or
DOI is required after (3) Title. Exclude (4) Publication Information.
Author, A., & Author,
(Year). Title of the
work. Retrieved from http://...
Author, A., & Author, B. (Year). Title of the work. doi: xx-xxxxxxx
- DOI is a Digital Object Identifier (DOI).
A chapter in a book
When a book consists of many chapters written by different authors, reference each chapter you used.
Author, A., & Author, B. (Year). Chapter title. In A. Editor, B. Editor, & C. Editor (Eds.), Title of the book (pp.xx-xx). Place name: Publisher.
Author, A., & Author, B. (Year). Chapter title. In A. Editor, B. Editor, & C. Editor (Eds.), Title of the book (pp.xx-xx). Retrieved from http://...
Author, A., & Author, B. (Year). Chapter title. In A. Editor, B. Editor, & C. Editor (Eds.), Title of the book (pp.xx-xx). doi: xx-xxxxxxx
Items published on a regular basis, such as journals, magazines and newspapers, are known as serials or periodicals. Include the same elements as for a book, but exclude the publication information and add the volume, issue and page number(s) instead.
Each reference should include the following elements: (1) Author (2) Date (3) Title of article (4) Title of Periodical (5) Volume, Issue and Page numbers.
Author, A., & Author, B. (Year). Article title. Title of Periodical, x(x), pp-pp
A journal article available online
Author, A., & Author, B. (Year). Article title. Title of Periodical, x(x), pp-pp. doi:xxx-xxxxx
Author, A., & Author, B. (Year). Article title. Title of Periodical, x(x), pp-pp. Retrieved from http://...
Include the same elements as for a book, but exclude the publication information and add a retrieval statement in its place: (1) Author (2) Date (3) Title (4) Retrieval statement. Include a retrieval date if the source material is likely to change over time (Publication Manual, p. 192).
Author, A., & Author, B. (Year). Title of the webpage. Retrieved from http://...
Author, A., & Author, B. (Year). Title of the webpage. Retrieved from ...website: http://...
Author, A., & Author, B. (Year, Month Day). Title of the webpage [Description of form]. Retrieved Year, Month Day from http://...
Each element (e.g. Author[s], Date, Title, Publication information) has a standardised format including punctuation and presentation style (e.g. capital letters and italics etc.).
In text citation
Acknowledge a citation with author's last name and publication year.
- For two or more works within the same in text parentheses, order the authors alphabetically as they would appear in the reference list. Separate them with semicolons.
- Separate two or more works by the same author with a comma (Publication Manual, p. 177-178).
On the other hand, much has been already discussed ... (Brown, 2003; Cunningham, 2001; Stewart, 1995, 1999, 2004).
- For authors with the same surname, include the author's initials in all in text citations, even if the year differs (Publication Manual, p. 176, section 6.14).
In the literature reviewed, A . B. Smith (2003) and C. Smith (2010) ...
In reference list
Invert the author(s) name(s), and use initial(s) of first name(s). Use the ampersand (&) between the last two authors' names (also note the full stop and comma after each author's name).
|One author||Brown, W. P.|
|Two authors||Samovar, L. A., & Porter, R. E.|
|Three to five authors||Krause, K.-L., Bochner, S., & Duchesne, S.|
|Six or seven authors||Shepherd, R., Barnett, J., Cooper, H., Coyle, A., Moran-Ellis, J., Senior, V., & Walton, C.|
|Eight or more authors||Chiappini, E., Principi, N., Longhi, R., Tovo, P. A., Becherucci, P., Bonsignori, F., ... de Martino, M.|
|Corporate / group author||Ministry of Education.|
|No author||Use Anonymous only if this is used in the publication.|
- Eight or more authors: List first six authors, then insert three elipses (...), followed by the last author.
- Corporate / group author: i.e. an organisation, association or government department.
- If the author's first name is hyphenated, include the hyphen with a full stop after each initial.
The year of publication goes in parentheses ( ) after the author(s).
|Books and academic journals||(1993)|
|Magazines and newspapers:
(1993, June 12)
|In press||(in press)|
If an author has published more than one item in the same year, add lower case letters a, b, c etc. immediately after the year. The order is arranged alphabetically by title in the references list, but exclude 'A' or 'The' when it is the first word (Publication Manual, p. 182).
In text citation:
As discussed by Lohan (2009b), it is inevitable... Lohan (2009a) also suggested that…
In reference list:
Lohan, L. (2009a). Managerial behaviour and... The Journal of Information and…
Lohan, L. (2009b). A new perspective on ... New Zealand Journal of Management…
Titles of formally published materials (e.g. Books, Journals, DVDs) are italicised, with the first letter of the
first word of the main title and the subtitle in capital letters.
Proper nouns also begin with a capital letter.
Exception: Journal titles (including magazines and newspapers) are italicised and all key words in the journal title begin with a capital letter.
- Do not italicise an article title in a journal or chapter title in an edited book.
Give the location (city) of the publisher - give the first
city listed only.
Exception: Place of publication is not required for journal, magazine or newspaper articles.
|American cities||Thousand Oaks, CA|
|Non-American cities||Hamilton, New Zealand
|Non-American cities with a state||Sydney, NSW, Australia|
- All publishing cities now require the state or province, if applicable, and country (Publication manual, pp. 186-187).
- For the United States, use the city name, then the 2-letter postal code instead of the United States.
Use the first publisher listed if multiple publishers are
Exception: Publishers are not required for journal, magazine or newspaper articles.
- Do not include words like Publishers, Co., or Inc. However, keep words like Books or Press.
- When the author is the publisher of the work, use the word 'Author' in the publisher field.
Information such as edition (excluding 1st edition) or report number goes in parentheses ( ) immediately after the title (Publication Manual, p. 186).
Jespersen, N. D., Brady, J. E., & Hyslop, A. (2012). The molecular nature of matter (6th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
A description of the work goes in square brackets [ ] after the title.
e.g. [DVD], [Poster], [Kindle DX version], [Powerpoint slides], [Letter to the editor] etc.
Christchurch Methodist Central Mission. (1984). Durham Street Church: 120 years anniversary brochure: 1864-1984 [Brochure]. Christchurch, New Zealand: Author.