APA referencing is a widely used citation system in academic writing. But while the basics of APA citations are simple, there are many variations depending on the source type and situation.
To help ensure your referencing is error free, then, we’ve compiled this list of rules for using APA citations according to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Seventh Edition.
1. Basic APA Citations
To cite a source in APA referencing, simply give the author’s surname and the source’s year of publication in brackets, separated by a comma, at the end of the relevant clause. For example:
APA citations are simple (Jones, 2018).
If you have named the author in the text, however, give the year in brackets immediately afterwards:
According to Jones (2018), APA citations are simple.
2. Citing a Work with Multiple Authors
When a source has two named authors, they should be joined with an ampersand in the citation:
Too many cooks spoil the broth (Smith & Jones, 2015).
However, if the authors are named in the text, use the word ‘and’ instead:
Smith and Jones (2015) argue that too many cooks spoil the broth.
For sources with three or more authors, give just the first name plus ‘et al.’:
Two is company, three is a crowd (Smith et al., 1985).
You would then give the names of all authors in the reference list.
3. Quoting Sources
If you are quoting a source, make sure to include a page number in the citation after the quote:
The subject reported being ‘tired and confused’ (Smith, 1992, p. 248).
This format changes when the author is named in the text. In this case, you should give the year immediately after the author’s name and the page number(s) after the quotation:
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Smith (1992) says that the subject was ‘tired and confused’ (p. 248).
4. Organisational Authors
When a source does not seem to have a named author, you can usually use an organisational author. This refers to the company or organisation responsible for the document. For example:
Correct referencing is very important (ProofreadMyEssay, 2018).