APA style

The APA referencing style (7th edition) guidance below has been cited from: American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th edition).

Please note your school may have specific referencing requirements; to ensure you are using the preferred referencing style please check with your school office.

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.

How to reference a particular source in APA style

Click on the appropriate header below to expand the section and find information about how to cite a particular source in an APA style.


  • In-Text Citations

    When using APA style, you are required to follow the author-date method of in-text citation. This means that the author's last name and the year of publication for the source should appear in the text.


    Research into CBT (Kirwan, 2013) found that...

    Use of &/and

    When referring to more than one author in the text use the word “and”, but use the ampersand “&” when referring to them in parentheses.


    Brackbill, Stellman, Perlman, Walker and Farfel (2013)...

    New research (Peterson, Slaughter, Moore & Wellman, 2016) has found...

    Direct Quotations

    If you are directly quoting from a work, you will need to include the author, year of publication, and page number for the reference (preceded by “p.” for a single page, or “pp.” for a page range).


    The report found that, “quality adult support works in practice to create the conditions for children to flourish” (Hooper, 2012, p. 22).

    “First, they may conform to satisfy normative needs to be accepted or to avoid disapproval” (Ng et al., 2015, pp. 379-380)…

    If you have introduced the quotation with a signal phrase that includes the author’s name(s), then you will only need to include the date of publication in parentheses, along with the relevant page number(s).


    According to Hooper (2012), “quality adult support works in practice to create the conditions for children to flourish” (p. 22).

    When you have used the cited author’s name in your text, you should include the year, in parentheses, after the author’s name. The page number should appear, in parentheses, after the quotation (as in the above example), unless the quotation precedes the author’s name in your text, in which case include the page number after the year and a comma.


    “So central is the categorization process to the operation of prejudice that some have argued that it is the sine qua non without which prejudice could not exist”, wrote Brown (2010, p. 35) in their exploration of the social psychology of prejudice.

    n.b. If the citation appears at the end of a sentence, the end punctuation should be placed after the closing parenthesis for the citation.

    Block Quotations

    If a quotation contains 40 words or more, treat it as a block quotation. Indent block quotations 1.27cm from the left margin (n.b. this is the default indentation created by the keyboard tab button), do not use quotation marks.

    If there are additional paragraphs within the block quotation, indent the first line of each subsequent paragraph an additional 1.27cm.

    Double-space the entire block quotation an place the final punctuation before the parenthesis.


    Researchers have looked at the function of contempt in social relationships:

    The social function of contempt, in contrast, is not to change another person’s actions but to exclude the other person from one’s social network, perhaps because the one who is feeling contempt perceives no way to influence or change the other person or does not wish to change him or her. (Fischer & Roseman, 2007, p. 104)

    Either cite the source in parentheses after the block quotation (as in the example above), or if you have introduced the block quotation with the author’s name(s), then cite the year after the author’s name(s) and then place only the page number in parentheses after the block quotation’s final punctuation. Do not add a full stop after the closing parenthesis in either case.


    Fischer & Roseman (2007) described the

    The social function of contempt, in contrast, is not to change another person’s actions but to exclude the other person from one’s social network, perhaps because the one who is feeling contempt perceives no way to influence or change the other person or does not wish to change him or her. (p. 104)

    If your block paragraph contains additional paragraphs, indent the first line of each subsequent paragraph and additional 1.27cm.


    Regarding the early, essentially Allportian, definitions of social psychological experimentation with human adults,even the extension of that definition to include not only the actual but also the imagined presence of other people left the field with a rather limited domain. Impoverished though it was, the Allportian conception of the social was tailor made for an experimental social science, given the notion of experimentation that prevailed among psychologists at the time. (Danziger, 2000, p. 333)

    Works with more than one author

    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: 

    • 2 authors: name both authors either within your text or in parentheses every time you cite the work


    Kirwan and Power (2013) suggest…

    “…might be associated with some personality traits” (Kirwan & Power, 2013, p. 201)

    • 3 or more authors: include the name of only the first author plus “et al.” every time you cite the work, including the first citation


    Hewstone et al. (2015) have argued…

    “…rather than simply attracting greater emphasis” (Hewstone et al., 2015, p. 59).

    Group or organisation as an author

    If the author of a work is an organisation or a group, mention the name of the organisation within your text or in your parenthetical citation the first time you cite the source, in the same way you would with an individual person.


    According to the American Psychological Association (2020)…

    If the organisation or group you have cited has a well-known abbreviation, you may choose to include the abbreviation in brackets the first time you cite the source and then use only the abbreviation in subsequent citations.

    First citation:

    According to the American Psychological Association (APA, 2020)… “…even when one of the references is cited multiple times in a single paragraph” (American Psychological Association [APA], 2020, p. 267).

    Second citation:

    As laid out by the APA (2020)… “…help readers locate the correct entry in the reference list” (APA, 2020, p. 266)

    More than one reference by an author in the same year

    If there is more than one reference by the same author in the same year, use lower-case letters (a, b, c) after the year to order the entries in the reference list. Use the lower-case letters after the year in your in-text citations to differentiate the references.

    n.b. Where possible, multiple references by the same author should be labelled in order of publication.


    …outlined by Smith (2009a, p. 45) and developed further in his report (2009b, p. 23)

    Two or more works in the same in-text citation

    When you need to cite two or more works within the same in-text citation, order them the same way they appear in the reference list (i.e. alphabetically), separated by a semi-colon.


    …this was a major influence during the formation of social psychology as a discipline (Danziger, 2000, p.101; Farr, 1996, p. 35)

    If your in-text citation includes multiple works by the same author, you should give the author’s name once and follow with the relevant dates.


    …as is observable in her work on depression (Kreindler, 2014, 2015, 2022)

    Unknown author(s)

    If the author’s name is unknown, you should give the title of the article, book or webpage, along with the date of publication.


    The subsequent report (British Psychological Association, 2012), found that…

    If the title of the work is italicised in the reference list, then you should also italicise the title in the in-text citation. If the title of the work is not italicised in the reference list, you should use double quotation marks around the title in the in-text citation.


    Book with no author: (Interpersonal Skills, 2019)

    Magazine article with no author: (“Understanding Sensory Memory,” 2018)

    When the author of a work is overtly designated as “Anonymous”, use “Anonymous” in place of the author name in the in-text citation.


    …(Anonymous, 2018)

    Referring to works quoted within other works

    Wherever possible and practicable you should consult the original sources and cite those rather than secondary sources (works that mention the original source). However, this is sometimes not possible, in which case you should name the original source – either in a signal phrase in the text, or within the parentheses – along with the secondary source in the parentheses. If known, include the year of the original source in the citation.


    Adorno argued that… (1950, as cited in Kreindler, 2005, p. 90)

    …(Adorno, 1950, as cited in Kreindler, 2005, p. 90)

  • Reference List

    The reference list is a list of all the sources that you have used that appears at the end of your paper. The purpose of the reference list is to provide the information needed for a reader to locate and retrieve any source you have cited in the body of your paper.

    Follow these rules when creating your reference list:

    • 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
  • Sentence and Title Case

    APA Style is a “down” style, which means that words are lowercase unless there is specific guidance to capitalise them. For a full list of when words should be capitalised, see Chapter 6 in the APA Publication Manual, 7th Edition

    For titles of works and headings within works, APA style uses two types of capitalisation: title case and sentence case. In title case, major words are capitalised, while in sentence case, most words are lowercased.

    Title case

    In title case, capitalise the following words in a title of heading:

    • The first word of a subtitle, even if is a minor word
    • The first word after a colon, em dash, or end punctuation in a heading, even if it is a minor word
    • Major words, including the second part of hyphenated major words (e.g., “Self-Assessment”, not “Self-assessment”) words of four letters or more (e.g., “With”, “From”, “Between”).Only use lowercase for minor words that are three letters or fewer in a title or heading (except the instances listed above):
    • Short conjunctions (e.g., “and”, “so”, “yet”, “but”, “for”, “if”, “or”, etc.)
    • Articles (“a”, “an”, “the”)
    • Short prepositions (e.g., “as”, “at”, “by”, “for”, “in”, “of”, “off”, “on”, “to”, “up”, “via”, etc.)

    When to use title case

    Use title case for the following:

    • Titles of books, articles, reports and other works appearing within your text.


    As is argued in the 2013 book CBT With Children, Young People and Families

    Meanwhile the recent article, “The Cultural Foundation of Human Memory”…

    • Titles of tests or measures, including subscales


    Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale

    WAIS-IV Verbal Comprehension Index

    All Headings within a work

    • The title of your own paper and of named sections within it


    • The Data Analyses section
    • Titles of periodicals (these are also italicised)


    Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition

    The Times

    • Table titles (these are also italicised)
    • Figure titles (these are also italicised), axis labels, and legends

    Sentence Case

    In sentence case, you should use lowercase for most words in the title or heading. Capitalise only the following words:

    • The first word of the title or heading
    • The first word of a subtitle
    • The first word after a colon, em dash, or end punctuation in a heading
    • Nouns followed by numerals or letters e.g., during Trial 5; as shown in Table 2, Figure 4B, and Chapter 7
    • Proper nouns

    When to use Sentence Case

    Use sentence case for the following:

    • Titles of articles, books, reports, webpages, and other works in your reference list entries, even if title case was used in the original work:


    Fuggle, P., Dunsmuir, S., & Curry, V. (2013). CBT with children, young people & families. SAGE Publications.

    Wang, Q. (2021). The cultural foundation of human memory. Annual Review of Psychology, 72, 151-179.

    • Table column headings, entries, and notes
    • Figure Notes
  • Books

    Citation order and format

    Author Surname, Initials. (Year of publication). Title (ed.). Publisher Name.

    Print Books:

    Fuggle, P., Dunsmuir, S., & Curry, V. (2013). CBT with children, young people & families. SAGE Publications.

    Eysenck, M. W., & Keane, M. T. (2020). Cognitive psychology: A student’s handbook (8th ed.). Psychology Press.

    Citation order and format

    Author Surname, Initials. (Year of publication). Title (ed.). Publisher Name. DOI or URL

    eBooks with a DOI:

    Maio, G. R., & Haddock, G. (2010). The psychology of attitudes and attitude change. SAGE Publications. https://doi.org/10.4135/9781446214299

    eBooks without a DOI:

    Lindesmith, A. R., Strauss, A. L., & Denzin, N. K. (1999). Social psychology (8th ed.). SAGE Publications.

    n.b., Reference ebooks without a DOI as you would a print book if publication information is the same i.e., publisher, edition, pages numbers.

  • Edited Books

    Citation order and format

    Author of the chapter Surname, initials. (Year of publication). Title of the chapter. In editor of the book Initials. Surname (Ed. or Eds.), Title of the book in italics (Edition number., pp. pages of chapter). Publisher Name. DOI/URL (if an eBook)

    n.b., Only include the edition number if it is not the first edition.

    Chapter in an Edited Book with a DOI

    De Mello, C. B., Da Silva Gusmão Cardoso, T., & Alves, M. V. C. (2023). Social cognition development and socioaffective dysfunction in childhood and adolescence. In P. S. Boggio, T. S. H. Wingenbach, M. L. Da Silveira Coêlho, W. E. Comfort, L. Murrins Marques, & M. V. C. Alves (Eds.), Social and affective neuroscience of everyday human interaction (pp. 161–175). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-08651-9_10

    La Rooy, D. J., Malloy, L. C., & Lamb, M. E. (2011). The development of memory in childhood. In M. E. Lamb, D. J. La Rooy, L. C. Malloy, & C. Katz (Eds.), Children’s testimony: A handbook of psychological research and forensic practice (2nd ed., pp. 49–68). Wiley. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781119998495.ch3

    Chapter in an Edited Book without DOI (use for print books and ebooks in databases e.g., Ebook Central):

    Smith, P. K., Hart, C. H., & Gaysina, D. (Eds.). (2021). Behavioral genetics. In The Wiley-Blackwell handbook of childhood social development (3rd ed., pp. 72–93). Wiley-Blackwell.

    Reference work with individual author

    The reference work category includes dictionary, thesaurus and encyclopedia entries.

    Soyka, M. (2015). Alcohol-related disorders. In J. D. Wright (Ed.), International encyclopedia of the social & behavioral sciences (2nd ed., pp. 507–512). Elsevier. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-08-097086-8.27003-7

  • Journal Articles

    Printed journals

    Citation order and format

    Author Surname, Initial. (Year of publication). Title of article. Title of Journal, Volume number(Issue), page numbers


    Chen, Z., Mo, L. & Honomichl, R. (2004). Having the memory of an elephant: Long-term retrieval and the use of analogues in problem solving. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 133(3), 415-433.

    Lenhausen, M. R., Schwaba, T., Gebauer, J. E., Entringer, T. M., & Bleidorn, W. (2023). Transactional effects between personality and religiosity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 125(2), 421-436.

    Wang, Q. (2021). The cultural foundation of human memory. Annual Review of Psychology, 72, 151-179.

    n.b., If article only available in a database, reference as print. Examples of databases include PsycINFO, APA PsycNet, Ebook Central, JSTOR, Medline, Web of Science, Scopus, Google Scholar.

    Online Journals

    Citation order and format

    Author Surname, Initial. (Year of publication) Title of article. Title of Journal, Volume number (Issue), page numbers/Article number. Retrieved from URL or doi:

    Online journal article with DOI, volume and issue:

    Knettel, B. A. (2016). Exploring diverse mental illness attributions in a multinational sample: A mixed-methods survey of scholars in international psychology. International Perspectives in Psychology, 5(2), 128–140. https://doi.org/10.1037/ipp0000048

    Journal article with an article number or eLocator

    Galli, F., Bursi, F., & Carugo, S. (2019). Traumatic events, personality and psychopathology in Takotsubo syndrome: A systematic review. Frontiers in Psychology, 10, Article 2742. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02742

    Gonzalez, A. M., Odic, D., Schmader, T., Block, K., & Baron, A. S. (2021). The effect of gender stereotypes on young girls’ intuitive number sense. PLOS ONE, 16(10), Article e0258886. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0258886

    Journal article without a DOI (not in a database) with URL

    Ahmann, E., Tuttle, L. J., Saviet, M., & Wright, S. D. (2018). A descriptive review of ADHD coaching research: Implications for college students. Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability, 31(1), 17–39. https://www.ahead.org/professional-resources/publications/jped/archived-jped/jped-volume-31

    Systematic Reviews from Cochrane database

    Ziganshina, L. E., Abakumova, T., Nurkhametova, D., & Ivanchenko, K. (2023). Cerebrolysin for acute ischaemic stroke. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD007026.pub7

     n.b., Format Cochrane articles as you would a journal article.

  • Theses and Dissertations

    Theses and Dissertations

    Citation order and format

    Author Surname, Initials. (Year of publication). Title of dissertation/thesis [Doctoral dissertation/Master’s thesis, Name of Institution Awarding the Degree]. Database/archive name.

    Thesis/Dissertation from a database:

    Hollander, M. M. (2017). Resistance to authority: Methodological innovations and new lessons from the Milgram experiment [Doctoral dissertation, University of Wisconsin - Madison]. ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global.

    n.b., Published theses/dissertations are available from databases, university websites or personal websites whereas unpublished works generally need to be accessed directly from the university library in print form. If accessed online, but not in via a database include URL.

    Thesis/Dissertation Unpublished:

    De Leon, M. S. T. (1983). A collective psychology of negotiation: The effects of intragroup accountability and intergroup power on the social categorisation process in negotiations between groups [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. University of Sussex.

  • Newspapers and Magazines


    Citation order and format

    Author Surname, Initials. (Year, Month Date of publication). Title of Article. Title of Publication, page number(s) or URL if online

    Print Newspaper:

    Chazan, G. (2023, August 2). Germany warned over pitfalls of boiler ban. Financial Times, 4.

    Morozov, E. (2023, August). Une multinationale contre Salvador Allende. Le Monde Diplomatique, 16.

    Online Newspaper:

    Guardian, The. (2022, May 28) The Guardian view on the child sexual abuse inquiry: Survivors deserve better. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/may/28/the-guardian-view-on-the-child-sexual-abuse-inquiry-survivors-deserve-better

    Online Newspaper Databases:

    Cite Newspaper articles accessed via academic research databases and plaforms e.g., Nexis, ProQuest, Business Source Premier as you would a print newspaper.


    Stacey, K. (2023, January 4). Labour will ‘fight fire with fire’ in general election as vote talk heats up. The Guardian.

  • Websites

    Use the webpages/websites reference type if no other category fits e.g., blog, journal, conference proceeding other than the website itself.

    • If the author of webpage is unclear you may need to infer from context. Try checking the contact/About page or the website's copyright information.
    • Provide the most specific date possible i.e., Year, Month day (this won’t always be possible)
    • In most cases you do not need to include a retrieval date. If the pages content is going to change over time then include a retrieval date e.g., online dictionaries, social media. Format as follows: Retrieved Day Month Year Year, from URL


    Citation order and format

    Author Surname, Initials/Organisation name. (Year, Month Date of publication if available). Title of webpage in italics. Site Name. URL

    Webpages with a group author

    World Health Organisation. (2018, March). Questions and answers on immunization and vaccine safety. https://www.who.int/mongolia/health-topics/vaccines/faq

    Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. (2009, November 10). People at high risk of developing flu-related complications. https://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/highrisk.htm

    n.b., If the author and website are the same you can omit the website name.

    Webpages with an individual author(s):

    Allott, K., & Medalia, A. (2023, May 24). Cognitive health matters: Screen to intervene. Early Intervention in Mental Health. https://iepa.org.au/iepa-news/cognitive-health-matters-screen-to-intervene/

    Webpages with no date:


    British Nursing Association. (n.d.). Nurses’ mental health matters: Self-care strategies and resources. https://www.nationalnursesunited.org/what-employers-should-do-to-protect-rns-from-zika

    Referring to a website in general:

    If you’re referring to a website in general (i.e., not referring to particular information or page) you do not need to create a reference list entry or in-text citation. Instead, include the name of the website in the text and provide the URL in parentheses.


    We created our survey using Qualtrics (https://www.qualtrics.com/uk/)...

  • Reports

    The reports category includes government, technical and research reports. Reports will often contain original research, but unlike a journal article may not be peer reviewed.

    Citation order and format

    Author surname, initial or Organisation name. (Year). Title of report in italics (Report No. include number if available). Publisher. https:// DOI or URL

    Report by organisation or government department

    Department for Work and Pensions. (2023). Work and Health Programme evaluation: Synthesis report. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/work-and-health-programme-evaluation-synthesis-report

    National Cancer Institute. (2018). Facing forward: Life after cancer treatment (Report No. 18–2424). U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health. https://www.cancer.gov/publications/patient-education/facing-forward

    When the author is the same as the publisher omit the publisher.

    Reports by individual authors

    Johnson, R., Smith, E., & Belton, E. (2021). The sustainability of NSPCC services in adopting organisations: A review of progress across DART, GCP2 and Baby Steps. NSPCC. https://learning.nspcc.org.uk/research-resources/2021/sustainability-of-delivering-nspcc-services/research-resources/2021/sustainability-of-delivering-nspcc-services

    Reports parts of a series by individual, organisation or government department:

    Public Health England. (2014). Laboratory confirmed cases of Pertussis reported to the enhanced pertussis surveillance programme in England during July to September 2014 (Health Protection Report 8, Issue 48). https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/health-protection-report-volume-8-2014

    Reports and other gray/grey literature may have a suggested citation. This will make it easier to identify the correct information for your APA style reference.

  • Data Sets

    Citation order and format

    Author Surname, Initials. or Name of Group. (Year of publication). Title of data set in italics (Version no. if applicable) [Data set]. Publisher Name. DOI or URL


    Flood, S., King, M., Rodgers, R., Ruggles, S., & Warren, J. R. (2018). Integrated public use microdata series, current population survey (Version 6) [Data set]. Minneapolis, MN: IPUMS. https://doi.org/10.18128/D030.V6.0

    Hoffman, S. (2024). NCES Academic Library Survey Dataset 1996 - 2020 [Data set]. FigShare. https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.25007429.v1

    NatCen Social Research, University College London, & Department of Epidemiology and Public Health. (2023). Health Survey for England, 2019 [Data set]. UK Data Service. https://doi.org/10.5255/UKDA-SN-8860-1

    Office for National Statistics. (2024). UK spending on credit and debit cards [Data set]. https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/economicoutputandproductivity/output/datasets/ukspendingoncreditanddebitcards


    The bracket description is flexible e.g., data set, data set and code book.

    For published data sets provide the name of the organisation that has published, archived, produced or distributed the data.