APA Referencing Style

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. 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. It is important to first consult your course outline, lecturer or tutor for the preferred citation style for each unit you undertake.  

    Creating And Formatting In-Text Harvard Style Citations

    Books, or extracts from books, may be encountered online in PDF form. A book will generally include a copyright page with the details of publication. To cite an online book like this, list the usual information for a book, followed by a URL or DOI at the end.

    APA Format  – Last name, Initials. (Year). Book title. Publisher. DOI or URL

    APA Reference Entry – Lachner, A. (2020). Timing matters! Explaining between study phases enhances students’ learning. Journal of Educational Psychology, 112, 841–853. https://doi.org/10.1037/edu0000396

     APA in-text Citation – ​(Lachner, 2020)

    Citing A Dissertation Or Thesis

    A dissertation or thesis published online will often be in PDF form. These will generally feature a title page clearly marking them as a dissertation or thesis.
    List the author, date, and title, followed by the type of document (e.g. “Master’s thesis”) and university in square brackets, the name of the website, and finally the URL.

    APA Format – ​Author last name, Initials. (Year). Dissertation title [Type of dissertation/thesis, University Name]. Archive Name. URL

    APA Reference Entry – Ndlovu, S. (2020). Linguistic markers of maternal focus within emotional conversations: The role of depressive symptoms and maltreatment [Master’s thesis, University of Notre Dame]. CurateND. https://curate.nd.edu/show/9k41zc80w8w

    APA Reference Entry  (Ndlovu, 2020)

    Citing A White Paper

    A white paper is a type of report presenting the ideas, policy, or proposals of the organization that issued it (e.g., a government or business) concerning a particular topic.
    The format for citing one is similar to that for a report, except that white papers generally don’t have report numbers, and the label “White paper” in square brackets appears after the title instead.

    APA Format – ​Organization Name. (Year). White paper title: Subtitle [White paper]. Publisher Name. URL

    APA Reference Entry – ​Department of Health and Social Care. (2012). Caring for our future: Reforming care and support [White paper]. Crown. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/136422/White-Paper-Caring-for-our-future-reforming-care-and-support-PDF-1580K.pdf

    APA in-text Citation ​(Department of Health and Social Care, 2012)

    Citing A Brochure

    Brochures and pamphlets are small, informative promotional texts designed, for example, to introduce an exhibition or advertise a range of products or services.
    Brochures encountered in PDF form are cited in a similar format to reports. Note that when the organization listed as author is the same as the publisher (as in the example below), you should only list it once.

    APA Format – ​Organization Name. (Year). Title [Brochure]. or [Pamphlet]. Publisher. URL

    APA Reference Entry – ​Museum of Modern Art. (2004). Projects 81: Jean Shin [Brochure]. https://www.moma.org/d/pdfs/W1siZiIsIjIwtaF9wcm9qZyb2NodXJlLnBkZiJdXQ/projects81_brochure.pdf?sha=f2f2e81f2cbf0514

    APA in-text Citation – ​(Museum of Modern Art, 2004)

    Citing A Newspaper Or Magazine Article

    When you encounter a newspaper or magazine article in PDF form, the page numbers will generally be available, so that you can just cite it in the format for a print article.

    APA Format – ​Last name, Initials. (Year, Month Day). Article title. Newspaper Name, pages.

    APA Reference Entry – ​Schwartz, J. (1993, September 30). Obesity affects economic, social status. The Washington Post, A1, A4.

    APA in-text Citation – ​(Schwartz, 1993)



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