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APA 7th Edition Referencing Guide1

A Wintec Library guide to referencing in APA 7th edition style

Getting started—what is APA referencing?

APA referencing is part of almost all of your assignments at Wintec. It is a method of recording and acknowledging the sources from which you have gathered information for use in your assignments, presentations, and other work. APA is the American Psychological Association style of referencing, and among the most common used at academic institutions around the world

Referencing accurately in APA style ensures you practise good academic integrity and avoid plagiarism, and gives credit to the authors/originators of the information you have used in your assignment.

APA referencing has two main parts:

In-text citations

These go in the body of your assignment, and contain a few basic details about the information you have quoted or paraphrased—usually its author, publication date and a page or paragraph number.

The reference list

Is a list of all of the sources from which you have taken information, and is much more detailed than in-text citations. Reference list entries typically also include publisher names for books, and URLs or DOIs for online/electronic resources.

The basic formula of an APA reference list entry

Reference list entries typically have four main parts:

Who. (When). What. Where.

Author. (Date). Title. Source.

'Sentence case' versus 'Title Case'

Sentence case
The way this sentence is written, beginning with a capital and all other words in lower case (unless proper nouns, e.g., New Zealand).

Title case
When Each Word In a Title Begins With a Capital Letter Like This (Except Words Less Than Four Letters Long).

In the titles of reference list entries, the word that follows a colon [:] or dash [–] should begin with a capital letter.

First name(s) & surname/family name(s)

These terms pertain to the parts of an author's name:

First/given name(s) Surname/family name(s)
Robert Louis Stevenson

Handy tips
Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish which is an author's surname and which are their first names. To help avoid confusion:
  • Check how other scholars have cited the author’s name and follow the most common format.
  • If the author provides a reference list, check to see if they have cited their own work and replicate the format they have used.
  • Check your resource to see if the author’s surname is written in a distinguishing way. Sometimes surnames are written in all capitals (e.g., Robert Louis STEVENSON), or the surname is written first, followed by a comma and the author's first name(s) (e.g., Stevenson, Robert Louis) which can help you work out how to reference correctly.
  • Check the library catalogue or database bibliographic record for the work you are citing. For example:


Reference list entry
Stevenson, R. L. (2009). In the south seas. Floating Press. (Original work published 1908)
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