Quick guide to APA referencing

Quick guide to APA Referencing

This is an introductory guide to citing and referencing using the APA system. For more detailed examples go to the iCite guide or Cite Them Right Online

Please note that these pages are based on the 6th edition of the APA style. A 7th edition has since been produced.  Details of this 7th edition can be found on the APA web pages:

Citing in text

A citation is an abbreviated indication of the source(s) you have used in text., use the authors (s) or editor, date of publication, and page numbers if required. Example, (Smith, 2010).

Examples of citing in text

  • One Author/ Editor: Marks (2011) states that ...OR...(Marks, 2011)
  • Two Authors/Editor: Bee and Boyd (2010) state that...OR (Bee & Boyd, 2010)
  • Three, four or five Authors/Editors: (Rolfe, Jasper, & Freshwater, 2010) first cite, (Rolfe et al., 2010) subsequent cities
  • Six or more Authors/Editors: Cite the first name listed in the sources followed by et al. For example,... Yamada et al. (2003) OR...(Yamada et al.,2003)
  • No Author/Editor: Use the Italics; do NOT use 'anonymous' or anything similar, for example, It is maintained that medicine has greatly improved (Medicine in old ages, 1985, p.74)...
  • No Author and No date: Use the title and 'no date'. For example, Thunderstorms have become increasingly common (Trends in atmospheric pressure, no date)... 

Citing multiple sources

If you cite two or more works within the same parentheses they should be in alphabetical order of author.

....(Philips, Ajrouch, & Hillcoat- Nalletamby, 2010: Rolfe, Jasper, & Freshwater, 2010).

Arrange two or more works by the same authors (in the same order) by year of publication. Place in-press citations last. Give the authors' last name once; for each subsequent work, give only the date.

...(Davies, 2003, 2010, 2012)

Citing sources published in the same year by the same author

Use lower case letters (a, b etc.) to distinguish between works published in the same year by the same author(s). 

...Hewitt (2010a) states that...this was supported by Hewitt (2010b)...

The suffixes are assigned in the reference list, where these kind of references are ordered alphabetically by title (of the article, chapter, or complete work).

Page numbers

It is recommended that page numbers should be included in in-text citations where this is necessary to indicate a specific part of the text, for example with a direct quote or paraphrase.

  • See the example above for ‘No Author/Editor’


A reference gives the full details of the brief citation you have referred to in a text and is shown at the end of your essay. A reference will include authors, titles, editions, publisher details or journal details. 

Examples of References

  • Author/Editors: All authors'/editors' names should be listed in your reference list (no matter how many there are).


Author/Editor, year of publication (in round brackets), Title (in italics), Edition (only include the edition number if it is not the first edition, Place of publication: publisher Series and volume number (where relevant).

  • One Author: Guy, J. (2001). The view across the river: Harriette Colenso and the Zulu struggle against imperialism. Charlottesville, Virginia: University Press of Virginia. 
  • Two Authors: Banerjee, A., & Watson, T.F. (2011). Pickard's manual of Operative dentistry. (9th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. 
  • Three to seven Authors: List all the authors and always separate the final two authors with & as shown below.

Dym, C.L., Little, P., Orwin, E.J., & Spjut, R.E (2009). Engineering design: a project based introduction. (3rd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

  • Eight or more Authors: List the first six authors then an ellipsis (i.e. three dots) then the last author in the reference.

Standing, S., Ellis, H., Healey, J.C., Johanson, D., Williams, A., Collins, P.,...Shah,P. (Eds.). (2004). Grays anatomy: The anatomical basis of clinical practice (39th ed.). Edinburgh, Scotland: Churchill Livingston. 

  • Edited Book: Al-Sabbagh, M. (ed.). (2015) Complications in the implant dentistry. Series: Dental clinics of North America. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier.
  • Chapter in a Book: Sparkes, V. (2010) Function of the Spine. In T.Everett &C.Kel (eds.), Human movement: an introductory text (pp.191-209) (6th ed.) Edinburgh: Churchill Livingston Elsevier.
  • Ebook: Wear, A. (2000). Knowledge and practice in English medicine. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from http://site.ebrary.com/lib/bham/detail/.action?docID=5004608


  • Journal (Print): Author, year of publication (in round brackets), Title of article, Title of journal (in italics), Volume number (in italics), Issue (in round brackets), page numbers. 

Knapik, J.J., Cosio-Lima, L.M., & Reynolds, K.L. (2015) Efficacy of functional movement screening for predicting injuries in coast guard cities. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 29(5), 1157-1162. 

  •  Journal (Electronic): Same information as above, but if doi available include at the end of reference. 

Kanpil, J.J., Cosio-Lima, L.M., and Reynolds, K.L. (2015) 'Efficacy of functional movement screening for predicting injuries in coast guard cadets', The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 29 (5), pp. 1157-1162. EDUC 1028: E- learning. Retrieved from http://intranet.bir.ac.uk

Web pages

 If you need any further help with referencing our Academic Skills Centre with be able to assist you with any help, advice or support you need. 



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