How to Format APA Style

This page provides APA 7th information and guidelines for students and staff of the University of Waikato. For more specific examples, see APA Common Examples.

Format 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).

Direct quotation

Use quotation marks and include page numbers.

Samovar and Porter (1997) point out that "language involves attaching meaning to symbols" (p. 188)


"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, provide either a section heading, paragraph number (para.), or both.

"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 et al., 2009, para. 2).

Kīngitanga leaders argued monetary compensation was not enough, claiming “as land had been taken, land should be returned” (Swarbrick, 2015, Limited settlement section).

Indirect Quotation / Paraphrasing

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.

Giving meaning to specific symbols such as sounds and marks is considered to be the origin of written language (Samovar & Porter, 1997, p. 188).

A citation from a secondary source

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.

  • Where possible, try and track down the original work and quote from that.

In-text citation

  • 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.

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 reference list

List Claiborne & Drewery in your reference list, not Arnett

Claiborne, L., & Drewery, W. (2010). Human development: Family, place, culture. McGraw-Hill.

A citation from a secondary source in an edited book

Edited books are put together by editors and usually have chapters written by different authors. The authors of these chapters may quote or paraphrase other authors. If you quote or paraphrase these other authors, you must acknowledge everyone - the author(s) of the quote, the author(s) of the chapter in the edited book and the editor(s) of the edited book.

  • Where possible, try and track down the original work and quote from that.

In-text citation

As Wearmouth and Connors (2004) state, "schooling plays a critical part in shaping a student's sense of 'self', that is, in his or her belief in his or her ability, responsibility and skill in initiating and completing actions and tasks" (as cited in Glynn & Berryman, 2005, p. 298).

In reference list

Glynn, T. & Berryman, M. (2005). Understanding and responding to students' behaviour difficulties. In D. Fraser, R. Moltzen, & K. Ryba (Eds.), Learners with special needs in Aotearoa New Zealand (3rd ed., pp. 294-315). Dunmore Press.

Format Reference List

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.
  • References should use the hanging indent format.

Each reference type (e.g. Book, Journal) has a standardised format. See also Format elements section for detailed information on how to format authors, date, title, and source.

Book and book chapter

Each reference should include four elements: (1) Author or Editor (2) Date (3) Title of the work and (4) Source.

Author, A., & Author, B. (Year). Title of the work. Publisher.

Author, A., & Author, B. (Year). Title of the work. Publisher.

A chapter in an edited 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). Publisher.

Author, A., & Author, B. (Year). Chapter title. In A. Editor, B. Editor, & C. Editor (Eds.), Title of the book (pp.xx-xx). Publisher.

A Chapter in a non-edited book with multiple authors

Even though it is not an edited book, when a book is written by multiple authors and has chapters written by some of the authors, individual chapters could be cited.

Du Plessis, A. (2012). Job analysis and design. In Human resource management in Australia and New Zealand (pp. 134-171). Oxford University Press.


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 the source information is the volume, issue and page number(s).

Each reference should include the following elements: (1) Author (2) Date (3) Title of article (4) Title of Periodical (5) Volume, Issue, Page numbers and (6) DOI if available or URL.

Author, A., & Author, B. (Year). Article title. Title of Periodical, x(x), pp-pp.

Author, A., & Author, B. (Year). Article title. Title of Periodical, x(x), pp-pp.

Author, A., & Author, B. (Year). Article title. Title of Periodical, x(x), pp-pp. http://...

Online documents / Webpages

Include the same elements as for a book, but the source information is the Website Name and URL.

Each reference should include the following elements: (1) Author (2) Date (3) Title of Webpage (4) Website Name & URL.

Author, A., & Author, B. (Year). Title of the webpage. Site Name. http://…

Provide the most specific date possible (e.g. 2020, May 2). Use no date (n.d.) if no date of publication is given.

If you feel your webpage is likely to change or be updated, include an access date.

Author, A., & Author, B. (Year). Title of the webpage. Site Name. Retrieved Month Day, Year, from http://…

Format elements

Each element (e.g. Author[s], Date, Title, Source) 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.

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.

In the literature reviewed, A . B. Smith (2003) and C. Smith (2010) …

  • For a work with three or more authors, include the name of only the first author plus “et al.” in every citation, unless this would create ambiguity.
  • et al. is short for et alii - Latin for 'and others'. Do not italicise et al.
  • Sometimes multiple works with three or more authors and the same year shorten to the same citation. To avoid confusion when this occurs, write out as many names as needed to distinguish the references.

Curtis, Acres, Thomas, Henderson, et al. (2020) argue that ...

Curtis, Acres, Thomas, Henderson, Maxey, et al. (2020), however, refute that ...

  • In the example above, et al. is used to indicate there are other authors not listed. If, in order to distinguish same authors and same date, one author remains unlisted, you cannot use et al. as this indicates more than one author is not stated. In this instance their name must be included in the in-text citation.

When the author is unknown, the title takes the author position in the reference list. Please see common examples for further information.

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 twenty authors

Krause, K.-L., Bochner, S., & Duchesne, S.

Twenty-one or more authors

Moore, J., Adams, A., Higgins, H., Barnes, B., Smith, G., Carter, T., Thomas, R., Roberts, K., Thompson, T., Sanders, C., McDonald, R., McGee, G., Sampson, G., Reid, S., Robin, D., McKay, W., Walker, B., McCaw, P., Cross, M., … Walters, B.

Group author

Ministry of Education.

No author

If no author is stated, the title takes the author position


If the author’s name is given as anonymous, use anonymous in the author field

  • Twenty-one or more authors: List the first 19 authors, then insert an ellipsis (...), followed by the last author.
  • 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 (e.g. Ku, Y.-C.. for Yi-Cheng Ku). e.g

Ku, Y.-C., Kao, Y.-F., &  Qin, M. (2019). The effect of Internet celebrity’s endorsement on consumer purchase intention. In F. F.-H. Nah, & K. Siau (Eds.), HCI in business, government and organizations: eCommerce and consumer behavior (pp. 274-287). Springer.


The year of publication goes in parentheses ( ) after the author(s).

Books and academic journals


Magazines and newspapers:


Daily, weekly



(2013, June)

(2013, June 12)

(2013, Winter)

No date


In press

(in press)

  • Provide the most specific date possible (e.g. 2020, May 2). Use no date (n.d.) if no date of publication is given.
  • 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.
  • If there are multiple works that have no publication date and they are written by the same author, add a hyphen before lower case letters a, b, c etc.

in-text citation

As discussed by Lohan (2009b), it is inevitable ...
Lohan (2009a) also suggested that …
Having said that, the Ministry of Economic Development (n.d.-a) stated that …
Hence, it is … (Ministry of Economic Development, n.d.-b).

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

Ministry of Economic Development. (n.d.-a). Child poverty

Ministry of Economic Development. (n.d.-b). Digital evolution

Alphabetise the references by title, disregard the words “A”, “An” and “The” at the beginning of reference title (e.g. “Managerial behaviour” is before “A new perspective”).

Title of the work

Titles of formally published materials (e.g. Books, Journals) are italicised. Most titles use sentence case, where only the first word of a title, first word of a subtitle and proper nouns have capitals. The exception is journal titles (including magazines and newspapers) which use title case (where all key words begin with a capital letter).

Sentence case e.g. Anti-corruption reforms in France: Progress and challenges.

Title case e.g. International Journal of Adolescence and Youth.

  • Do not italicise an article title in a journal or chapter title in an edited book.

Additional information (e.g. Editions)

Information such as edition (excluding 1st edition) or report number goes in parentheses ( ) immediately after the title.

e.g. (3rd ed.), (Vol. 2), (No. NZG-1567) etc.

Jespersen, N. D., Brady, J. E., & Hyslop, A. (2012). The molecular nature of matter (6th ed.). Wiley.

A description of the work goes in square brackets [ ] after the title.

e.g. [Film; DVD], [Database record], [Powerpoint slides], [Letter to the editor] etc.

Euronews. (2019, July 27). Greta Thunberg urges French MPs to 'listen to scientists’ and act to reduce global warming [Video]. Dailymotion.


Publication Place

  • NEW: Publisher locations (city/state/country) are no longer required.


  • NEW: If two or more publishers are listed, include all of them in the order shown on the work or on a database, separated by a semicolon (e.g. Empire Publishing Service; SAGE Publishing).
  • NEW: Use the publisher name as shown on the work you use.
  • NEW: When the author and the publisher are the same, omit the publisher from the reference.
  • Exception: Publishers are not required for journal, magazine or newspaper articles.
  • Do not include words like Co., Ltd. or Inc. However, keep words like Books, Press or Publishing.