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APA 6th Edition Referencing: FAQs

This is a Wintec guide to help you with referencing in the American Psychological Association (APA) style.


 To search these FAQs, press CTRL + F

What if I can't find the author of a source?

How do I reference a resource that lists no author?

See APA Manual, p. 176, section 6.15 or

Note: If you can't find the author of a source, consider using a different source as a source without an author may not be authoritative.

If I use OneSearch to find an article, how do I reference it?

1. If there is a DOI, use this in your reference.

2. If there is no DOI, use the name of the database the article comes from. This will be the specific database, and it is often named in the detailed record, e.g. in the example below, the retrieval statement would be: Retrieved from SocINDEX database.

3. If there is no DOI and no database is named, use the URL of the publisher. You may be able to find this using Google, or another search engine.

How do I cite a long quote (over 40 words)?

Citing a long quote is similar to citing a short quote, except the formatting is slightly different. You need to:

  • miss a line
  • do not change the line spacing
  • indent left and right
  • do not use quotation marks,
  • put a full-stop before the in-text citation
  • leave a line at the end.

Look at the example below:

Mentoring is an important aspect in nursing leadership.
The mentor has the responsibility to create opportunities for professional growth and involvement, whereas the protégé is responsible for responding to these opportunities. The mentor has the responsibility to create opportunities for the protégé to gain recognition for the work accomplished; the protégé is accountable for being responsible and reliable with the work accepted. (Jones, 2007, p. 26)

So beginning nurses need to take advantage of the opportunities provided by their mentor.

How do I cite someone quoted in another author's work (a secondary citation)?

This is called giving a citation from a secondary source.  Often an author quotes someone else.  For example, you are reading a book by Partridge and he uses a quote from a source by Crane. If you use the quote (or paraphrase it), your in-text citation will look like this:

“Self-control and success in life are strongly linked” (Crane, as cited in Partridge, 2012, p. 34).

Crane (as cited in Partridge, 2012) states that there is a definite link between self-control and how successful people are in their lives (p. 34).

In the reference list, you would only include the details of the book by Partridge, as that was the source that you looked at. If you think the in-text citation is too long (for example, when you are writing an assignment with a low word count), then you can look for Crane’s source and use that information in-text and in the reference list

How can I give multiple citations from the same source in one paragraph?

Putting an in-text citation after every sentence from one source is distracting. Instead, introduce the source early, then refer to the author by name or pronoun. If you use the author’s name as part of the narrative, you only need to put the year in parentheses once, at the start.  However, the year always needs to be included when the author’s name is in parentheses. For example:

Lazar (2006) describes several aspects of the data gathering process. He notes that the relevance and number of questions can affect participation rates. Lazar also found that . . .  (pp. 33-34). 


Another important factor in the willingness of participants to complete the survey was the time of day that they were approached (Lazar, 2006, p. 35).

See APA Manual, p. 174, section 6.11

Note that tutors would not want you to paraphrase a whole paragraph in this way. Probably 2 or 3 sentences would be acceptable. It is also not good practice to paraphrase several pages into one sentence; rather break the ideas up so that they are easier for the reader to follow. Use three dots within a quote to indicate that you have omitted material from the original source, e. g. “This is the movement of the middle class . . . from schools serving low socio-economic status (SES) areas to schools serving middle SES areas” (Brett, 1994, p. 43).

How do I cite a summary or paraphrased passage from 2 or more texts in the same parentheses?

Where there is more than one source being referred to, list them alphabetically by the first author’s surname. Separate the citations with semi-colons. For example:

(Brown, 2006, p. 72; Jones & Allen, 2005, p. 12; Smith, 2004, p. 35).

How do I format the reference list?

For APA referencing, the reference list at the end of your assignment needs to be single-spaced. Each reference needs to have a hanging indent with a single line spacing between each reference, as shown below:

Hales, M. (2012). Community health nursing. In A. Berman, S. Snyder, B. Kozier, G. Erb, T. Levett- Jones, T. Dwyer,…D. Stanley (Eds.), Kozier and Erb’s fundamentals of nursing (1st Australian ed., Vol. 2, pp. 123-132). Frenchs Forest, Australia: Pearson.

Hubbard, J., Thomas, C., & Varnham, S. (2010). Principles of law for New Zealand business students (4th ed.). Auckland, New Zealand: Pearson.

Stulz, J. (2006). Integrating exposure therapy and analytic therapy in trauma treatment. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 76(4), 482-488. doi:10.1037/0002-9432.76.4.482

Steps to format your reference list

  1. Enter your APA references and organise them alphabetically.                  
  2. Highlight them with your mouse.
  3. In Word, click the arrow in the bottom right hand corner of the Paragraph box

  4. This opens up an options box. Select Hanging from the drop-down box under Indentation – Special.

  5. Select Single from the drop-down box under Line spacing.
    Note: Check with your tutor what line spacing they prefer.

  6. Click OK.

  7. Alternatively, you can highlight your whole reference list and then press [Ctrl] + [t] (Windows) / [Command] + [t] (Mac) and this should create a hanging indent for you.

How do I reference an eBook retrieved from Google Books?

These eBooks are freely available on the Internet. They should be referenced as follows:

Example—reference list entry 

Schneider, Z., & Whitehead, D. (2013). Nursing and midwifery research: Methods and appraisal for evidence-based practice. Retrieved from

How do I reference an eBook retrieved through the Library Catalogue?

An example from ProQuest eBook Central looks like this on the catalogue:

Clicking on the link takes you through to the following page:

Once you have opened the eBook, you will see in the ProQuest eBook Central logo in the top left hand corner. This indicates the collection this eBook comes from. This is only accessible by Wintec staff and students via login. A URL is therefore not given and the reference would be as follows:

Gulanick, M., & Myers, J. L. (2014). Nursing care plans: Diagnoses, interventions, and outcomes (8th ed.). Retrieved from ProQuest eBook Central database.

Similarly, if it comes from the EBSCOhost eBook collection (in which case you wouldn’t see the ProQuest logo and it would say EBSCO on the catalogue or eBook Collection (EBSCOhost) when you click on the title in OneSearch), you would follow the same format but change the database name as follows:

Eklund, R. C., & Tenenbaum, G. (2007). Handbook of Sport Psychology. Retrieved from EBSCOhost eBook Collection.

The example below shows a link. When you click on the link you will be taken directly to to the book on the internet.

The reference is as follows:

Waikato Institute of Technology. (2014). Annual report. Retrieved from

If I search one database and it directs me to another database for the full-text, which database name do I put in my reference list?

You cite the database that the full-text is retrieved from, not the one originally searched.

For example, if you were searching EBSCOhost, and were directed through to ScienceDirect for the full- text, you would say Retrieved from ScienceDirect.

How do I reference and create appendices?

An appendix contains detailed, supporting information that would distract the reader and clutter the text if it were included in the body of the essay. Appendices contain material such as long lists, detailed descriptions, detailed statistics, transcripts of interviews, specification or data sheets and demographic data. Appendices appear at the end of the paper, after the reference list and figures and tables (if used).

  • If there is only one appendix, it is called an Appendix. If there are several appendices, they are referred to as Appendix A, Appendix B, and so on. The first appendix referred to in your text will be named Appendix A, the second Appendix B, etc.
  • Each Appendix should begin on a separate page, deal with a different topic, and have a title reflecting the content.
  • The page numbering continues on from the last page of the text.


In the centre of the top of the page write the label, e.g. Appendix A and the title. The text of the appendix follows - see example below. Note: The APA manual suggests paragraph 2 and all subsequent paragraphs should be indented, as this is the custom in the United States. In New Zealand we tend not to indent paragraphs, but write in block style. Check with your tutor as to which style you should use.

Appendix A

Lesson plan example

Objective: This lesson is intended to stimulate the students' interest and comprehension in reading by using a ghost story.

Warm-up: Students work in pairs. They are shown a picture of Berkley Square, a haunted place in the story. Students are given paper, and read it: The horror of Berkley Square. Underneath they write their ideas about what they think the story will be about.

After 10 minutes they are asked to read out their predictions. Any words that are related to the picture are written up on the board ...    

In text citation:

Refer to the Appendix at the appropriate place in text, e.g.

Demographic data shows that a large proportion of people reoffend within the first five years of being released from prison (see Appendix A)…

In text citation:
You are allowed to state what kind of information the Appendix contains, if it provides clarification, e.g.

In addition to the limitations of email, Cummings et al (2002) reviewed studies that focuses on international bank employees and college students (see Appendix B for demographic information)...

If you refer to another author’s Appendix in your essay, it is also included in your reference list as follows:

Reference list:

Parker, A.. (2011). Appendix A of Teaching in the Islands. Auckland, New Zealand: Reed.

In text citation:

The number of children attending school varies from island to island (Parker, 2011, p. 64).

How do I cite an introduction, preface, foreword, or afterword in a book?

These are portions of a book that are separate to the main chapters, and are often written by someone different from the main author(s) of the book, as in the examples below: 

Preface, etc. from an edited book

Reference list

Smith, A. (2012). Foreword. In D. Gordon-Burns, A. Gunn, K. Purdue, & N. Surtees (Eds.), Te aoturoa tataki: Inclusive early childhood education: Perspectives on inclusion, social justice and equity from Aotearoa New Zealand. Wellington, New Zealand: NZCER Press.

In-text citation

The Te Whariki programme for early childhood education “provides a strong foundation to foster inclusive practices” (Smith, 2012, p. vi), which benefits …

Preface, etc. from a book with author(s)

Reference list

Baldock, H. (1999). Introduction. In P. Smith, & L. Callan, Our people, our century. Auckland, New Zealand: Hodder Moa Beckett.

In-text citation

In the past, “many attempts have been made to integrate television series and books” (Baldock, 1999, p. 12) with varying levels of success…

If the introduction/preface/foreword is written by the same person who wrote the rest of the book, reference it exactly as you would any other part of the book, e.g.

Preface, etc. from a book with author(s)

Reference list

Klickstein, G. (2009). The musician’s way: A guide to practice, performance, and wellness. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

In-text citation

These are the “fundamental skills that bring about musical excellence” (Klickstein, 2009, p. v).

How do I cite a book that has been reprinted?

In cases where a book has one copyright date and has been reprinted since, use the original copyright date as the material has not changed.

Claudia Orange’s The story of a treaty was originally published in 1989, and has been reprinted numerous times since (1992, 1993, 1994, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004 and 2005). The material has not changed, so you would use the original copyright date as below:

Orange, C. (1989). The story of a treaty. Wellington, New Zealand: Bridget Williams Books.

Note: If the book says it has been revised or updated, it is a new edition and you must use the date it was revised or updated. You should also include the information in the edition statement e.g. (Rev. ed.).

Where do I find the author's name for a chapter in an edited book?

These are often listed at the beginning of each chapter, such as in Jarvis' Physical examination & health assessment, and Kozier and Erb's fundamentals of nursing.

However, they may not appear in the chapters themselves, but may be listed in the contents page of the book. In Understanding pathophysiology, the authors listed on the title page are not in fact responsible for all the chapters in the book. In the contents pages, under each chapter title, the authors responsible for writing that chapter are listed. For example:

20. The structure and function of the musculoskeletal system, 475 
Derek Nash

Another way authors may be listed is in the list of contributors. In Pillitteri's child and family health nursing in Australia and New Zealand, no authors are listed at the beginning of the chapters, or in the contents list, but there is a list of contributors, and under each it lists the chapter(s) they have written.

Sometimes contributors are listed with no attributed chapters. These do not need to be listed in the reference.

How do I reference multiple works by the same author?

Refer to this table to see the rules that apply:

Single author with multiple works from different years are listed by year of publication, beginning with the earliest year.    

Smith, B. (2007).
Smith, B. (2008).
Smith, B. (2009).

Single authors who are also co-authors are listed before the co-authored work (even if the co-authored work was published earlier). Brown, A. (2010).
Brown, A., & Smith, B. (2008).

Single author with works published in the same year are arranged alphabetically by title and then a lowercase letter (a, b, c,) is added after the publication year.

Smith, B. (2011a). Birth control…
Smith, B. (2011b). Pre-conception checklist…

See APA Manual, p. 182

The order of the letters is determined by the alphabetised titles in the reference list.  It is NOT determined by which one you refer to first in-text. Thus, even if you mentioned his article on “Pre-conception checklist” first in your assignment, you would still refer to (Smith, 2011b, p. 33).

Can I put abbreviations/acronyms for corporate authors in in-text citations?

Yes, you can after the first citation. For example:

First citation Subsequent citations
The Ministry of Health (MOH, 2013)…

MOH (2013)…

(Ministry of Health [MOH], 2013)

(MOH, 2013)

See APA Manual, p. 177

It’s not necessary to put the abbreviation after the corporate author’s name in the reference list; simply list it in full.

Example—reference list entry

Ministry of Health. (2013, May 27). New Zealand suicide prevention action plan 2013–2016. Retrieved from

How do I find the URL of a journal's publisher?

​You will need to use the URL of an online journal's publisher if:​

  • You are publishing your work
  • You are working at Post Graduate level
  • You are an OT student
  • There is no DOI or database listed

To do so, you need to go into the 'Detailed record' for the article from OneSearch.  You can do this by either clicking on the main title of the article in OneSearch, or clicking on "Detailed record" in the top left-hand corner if you are in the PDF version of the article.

​Main title 


From within the PDF 


Once you are in the detailed record you need to go down to where it says "Source" and click on the link.

Then copy and past the URL next to "Publisher URL" into your reference.

Example—reference list entry

Wickramasuriya, A. M. (2018). Cacao biotechnology: Current status and future prospects. ​Plant Biotechnology Journal, 16​(1), 4-17. Retrieved from 

How do I reference a US patent?

Inventor, A. (Issue date). U.S. Patent No. 123,456. Location: Patent Issuer (usually U.S. Patent and Trademark Office). 

Example—reference list entry
Scalise, C. M. (2008). U.S. Patent No. 7,377,392. Austin, TX: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

In-text citations
Use the patent number and issue date.

Example—in-text citations
As detailed in U.S. Patent No. 7,377,392 (2008)...

... (U.S. Patent No. 7,377,392, 2008).

See also: APA blog or section A7.07 of APA Publication Manual.

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