The referencing guidance below is not exhaustive. For a more exhaustive guide to American Psychological Association (APA) referencing style, refer to Purdue Online Writing Lab comprehensive guide.
Guidance below is cited from: Pears, R. & Shields, G. (2016) Cite them right: the essential referencing guide, 10th ed. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Important to note:
APA style requires that an indent measuring half an inch (known as a "hanging indent") is applied to the second and subsequent lines of a listed reference, but never the first line. Due to the formatting constraints of this website, this requirement is not reflected in the examples below; please bear this in mind when formatting your reference.
Click on the appropriate header below to expand the section and find information about how to cite a particular source in an APA style.
The APA style of referencing requires you to follow the author-date method of in-text citation.
Research into CBT (Kirwan, 2013) found that...
Use 'and' if referring to more than one author in the text, but '&' if citing them within rounded brackets.
Brackbill, Stellman, Perlman, Walker and Farfel (2013)...
New research (Peterson, Slaughter, Moore & Wellman, 2016) has found...
If you have used a direct quotation, you also need to include the page number(s). You only need to use the author's forename initials if there is more than one author of the same name.
"quality adult support works in practice to create the conditions for children to flourish" (Hooper, 2012, p. 22)...
The number of authors there are for any given piece of work determines how the authors' names are formatted for in-text citations. The following rules apply:
1-2 authors: list both authors in every citation, for example:
Kirwan, N. and Power, C. (2013)...
2-5 authors: list all authors in the first citation, for example:
Brackbill, Stellman, Perlman, Walker and Farfel (2013)...
For every subsequent citation, use the name of the first author followed by et al. For example:
Brackbill et al., 2013...
6+ authors: If there are six or more authors, use the name of the first author that's listed followed by et al. for the in-text citation. Note that et al. is not italicized. For example:
underlying mechanisms (Reis et al., 2010)...
If there is more than one reference by an author in the same year they are generally labelled in order of publication with a lower case letter.
...outlined by Smith (2009a, p.45) and developed further in his report (2009b, p.23)
If the author's name is unknown, you should give the title of the article, book or webpage.
...(British Psychological Association, 2012)
You may want to refer to a work that you haven't actually read, but which has been summarised or discussed in somebody else's work. Use: [author's surname], [year], cited in [author's surname], [year], [p. X]
...(Jones, 2014, cited in Roberts, 2015, p. 17)...
*Note: only include references where you read the original work in the list of references at the end of your work; you cannot include details about original studies if you have not read them.
The bibliography is a list of all the sources that you have used.
Follow these rules when creating your bibliography:
arrange references in alphabetical order by author's surname.
apply an indent measuring a half an inch (known as a "hanging indent") to the second and subsequent lines of a listed reference, but never the first line. Please be aware that this instruction has not been reflected in the examples in this section, as this website does not allow for it.
use the reference title instead where there is no author or author is unknown.
use the URL instead for references with neither author nor title - such as web page references.
place year of publication in round brackets followed by a full stop.
italicise titles of sources and volume numbers of journal articles, but not issue or page numbers.
do not enclose titles of articles within journals, or chapters within books, in quotation marks.
capitalise book titles, the first letter of the first word of a subtitle, and any proper nouns.
capitalise each major word of a journal title.
give the place of publication, followed by the publisher. If it is an American city, give the city name followed by the two-digit abbreviation of the state. If it is a non-US city, give the city name followed by the country name.
list page numbers for book chapters immediately after the title of the book in round brackets and before publication details.
indicate internet sources by Retrieved from URL, or doi. Note that APA style does not include a retrieval date for online sources.
APA also states that it is not necessary to include the name of the database when referencing online journals or ebook collections.
APA referencing style discourages the use of footnotes. However, you can use them to add additional information by using a superscript number for the footnote.
Author Surname, Initials. (Year of publication). Title. ( ed.) Place of publication: Publisher.
Lopez, S.J. & Snyder, C.R. (2011). Oxford handbook of positive psychology. (2nd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Moneta, G.B. (2013). Positive psychology: A critical introduction. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Author of the chapter/section- Surname, Initial. (Year of publication). Title of chapter/ section. In Name of editor of book (Ed.) Title of book (pp. X) Place of publication: Publisher.
Pike, G. & Brace, N. (2012). Recognition. In Braisby, N. & Gellatly, A. (Ed.) Cognitive psychology (pp. 100-133). Oxford University Press.
NB. In the example above, the publisher is a university, and the name of the place of publication is included in the name of the university - so you don't need to repeat the name as the location.