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Referencing guide

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Referencing acknowledges the sources that you use to write your essay or assignment paper. In-text citations are used throughout your writing to acknowledge the sources of your information. The full references for the citations are then listed at the end of your assignment paper in the References list.

Apa Referencing Guide

The American Psychological Association (APA) style is a widely used author-date system of referencing or bibliographic citation. This guide covers basic explanations and examples for the most common types of citations used by students. This guide is based on the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th edition).

In-Text Referencing

APA is an 'author/date' system, so the in-text reference for all formats (book, journal article, web document) consists of the author(s) surname and year of publication.

The basics of an in-text reference in APA:

  • Include author or authors and year of publication.
  • Use round brackets.
  • Example: (Smith & Bruce, 2018)

If the document uses any quote directly from an author, then it is needed to get included in the page or paragraph number of the quote in the in-text references. See the 'Quotes' section below for more advice on adding quotes into your work.

  • Include author or authors, year of publication and page or paragraph number of your quote.
  • Use round brackets.
  • Example: (Smith & Bruce, 2018, pp. 25-26)

Reference List


Place references in alphabetical order by the surname of the first author followed by the initials of the author’s given name. Arrange references with the same author(s) by year of publication, beginning with the earliest.

Form of Author Name

  • Begin with the surname, followed by the initials, e.g. Author, A. A. Separate successive author names from one another by a comma and a space, e.g. Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C.
  • If several items have the same first author, both alone and with co-authors, arrange the single-author items before any multi-author items.
  • Items by the same author(s) with the same publication date are arranged alphabetically by title (excluding “A”, “An” or “The”) unless they are identified as belonging to a series, in which case arrange them in series order. Add a lower-case letter (a, b, c, etc.) after the year:
  • Example: Smith, J. (2016a) and Smith, J. (2016b).

Date of Publication

The year of publication is required for all references. The month is also required when citing a journal that has no volume or issue number, or a presentation at a conference; the month and day of the month are required when citing a magazine, a newsletter or a newspaper.

  • For articles accepted for publication but not yet published, use (in press). If no date of publication is available, use (n.d.).


Give the original title and, in square brackets, the English translation of the title. Capitalize non-English titles according to the conventions of the particular language.

Journal Articles

Volume and issue numbers: Link multiple volume or issue numbers with an en dash.Enclose issue information in parentheses.

Page numbers: List the first and last pages of the article, linked with an en dash, e.g. “156–163”.

Basic formats: Author, A. A. (Year). Title of article: And subtitle. Journal Title, volume(issue), pages. Fauci, A. S. (2002). Smallpox vaccination policy: The need for dialogue. New England Journal of Medicine, 346(17), 1319–1320.

Two authors: Light, M. A., & Light, I. H. (2008). The geographic expansion of Mexican immigration in the United States and its implications for local law enforcement. Law Enforcement Executive Forum Journal, 8, 73–82.

Three to sevenauthors: Include all authors' names in the reference list. Good, C. D., Johnsrude, I. S., Ashburner, J., Henson, R. N. A., Firston, K. J., &Frackowiak, R. S. J. (2001). A voxel-based morphometric study of ageing in 465 normal adult human brains. NeuroImage, 14, 21–36.

Harvard Referencing

Harvard referencing is also used to style the document. It is different from APA and other styles. In this section, the points that make Harvard unique and different from others are illustrated. Harvard style referencing is easy to learn and implement. Regular practice of this style can make user expert in it.

Citation in Harvard

Unlike others, Harvard has its own way of both direct and indirect citations. From the above

Table, it is clear that we do not use comma between year and author name.

Example: Indirect citation

One author: Cognitive behavioural therapy is useful for treating patients suffering from depression (Robert 2009).

Two authors: Cognitive behavioural therapy is useful for treating patients suffering from depression (Robert and Gupta 2009).

Three or more authors: Cognitive behavioural therapy is useful for treating patients suffering from depression (Robert et al. 2009).

Example: Direct citation

One author: Robert (2009) concluded that cognitive behavioural therapy is useful for treating patients suffering from depression.

Two authors: Robert and Gupta (2009) concluded that cognitive behavioural therapy is useful for treating patients suffering from depression.

Three or more authors: Robert et al. (2009) concluded that cognitive behavioural therapy is useful for treating patients suffering from depression.


Giving journal reference will include author(s) name, year, article title, journal name, volume number, issue number, page range.

Points to remember:

  • Page range will be separated by colon.
  • Journal article will appear in roman and sentence case.
  • Journal name will appear in italic and title case.
  • There would be no comma between journal name and volume number.
  • Volume number, issue number and page number will be in roman.


Fernandez, B. and C. Mehul. 2018. Is Canada really growing? Canadian Government 23(4):111-117.

Chapter In A Book

When giving reference for chapter in a book, it requires author name, year, chapter title, editor name, book title, page range, publisher location and publisher name.

Point to Remember

"In" will be used before including editor(s) name, and ed. or eds. will be after it.

Chapter title will appear in roman and sentence case.

Page number will be included for chapter without using p. or pp.


Arya, R. and L. Offit. 2017. Corporate social responsibility in Google. In Mac, R., J. Reow, and M. Newton, eds., Corporate social responsibilities (111-132). New York: Digiversal.

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