APA Style is the standardised format used by psychologists for laying out work, citing and referencing sources. The Library has copies of the APA Publication Manual (6th ed.), which you can consult for guidance. There are also useful websites:
The above resources refer extensively to the style of presenting work, as well as outlining how to format citations and references. In most cases, you will only need to cite and compile reference lists in APA format. Check with your lecturer, if you are in doubt.
This guide provides an overview of the basics of citation and referencing and should not be regarded as a substitute for the information sources above.
Citing the Author of a Chapter in an Edited Book
If you are citing the author of a chapter in a book with a different editor, cite the chapter author in the text as follows:
Harlen (2012) considers that both formative and summative assessment contribute to effective teaching and learning.
Cite in the bibliography or reference list as follows:
Harlen, W. (2012). On the relationship between assessment for formative and summative purposes. In J. Gardner, (Ed.), Assessment and learning, 2nd ed. (p. 87). London: Sage.
Citing a Citation
Occasionally you may want to cite a reference that has been mentioned in a work you have been reading. Before doing so, you should make every effort to track down, and read, the original material. You must not give the impression that you have consulted the originals by listing them in your bibliography, as you might be accused of plagiarism. In other words, you must not quote a secondary source as a primary source.
However, if you cannot consult the originals, you may cite them as follows:
Citing in the text
“We examine ideology as fellow travellers, not as neutral observers” (Vincent, 1995 as cited in Heywood, 2012, p. 15).
Citing in the bibliography
Only list the primary source.
Heywood, A. (2012). Political ideologies: An introduction. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillian.
In order to cite a short direct quote from a single author you need to put the quote in inverted commas, followed by the author’s surname, the year and page numbers in brackets. There is some flexibility in how you structure your sentence.
“Claiming to do work which you have not done, or exaggerating its amount, or fabricating results or findings is unforgivable as it strikes at the heart of trust in research” (Robson, 2011, p. 497).
According to Robson (2011), “Claiming to do work which you have not done, or exaggerating its amount, or fabricating results or findings is unforgivable as it strikes at the heart of trust in research” (p. 497).
Treat multiple authors as outlined in the paraphrasing and summarising section, but remember to include the page numbers. A quotation of more than 40 words should be displayed as an indented free standing block of text without quotation marks. If the quotation is longer than a paragraph, indent the first line of subsequent paragraphs within the block of text. Cite as above.
Mancini (2003) discusses the difference between the impact of internal and external causes of procrastination:
Internal causes for procrastination are more difficult to attack than external ones, but once psychological obstacles are conquered, they’re conquered for all tasks. If you procrastinate because of a fear of change, that fear will color many different kinds of tasks. Once you conquer this fear, you’ll be able to approach most tasks with renewed energy.
While a single internal cause can make you procrastinate on many tasks, external causes for procrastination tend to be task specific. (p. 45).
In order to cite from an electronic journal or website you need to include the author’s surname and the year of publication in brackets.
Turner (2001) has created many useful graphs showing the transition between the different age groups.
In order to cite from a website that has no obvious author stated you should use the title of the page (abbreviate the title if necessary) in double quotation marks. Include the date as usual.
New child vaccine gets funding boost (“New Child Vaccine,” 2001).
NB. If there is no obvious date, use n.d. which means “no date”
New child vaccine gets funding boost (“New Child Vaccine,” n.d.).
To cite an entire website use the url.
The BBC new website includes current new items and magazine articles on a range of topics (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/).
Paraphrasing or Summarising an Author
In the text of your work you must cite the author or editor’s name and date of publication each time you paraphrase or summarise from a source of information. In order to cite a single author in the text you need to include the author’s surname and the year of publication in brackets.
The Internet has changed the way students access research material (Robson, 2011).
If you mention the author in the text, only put the year in brackets.
The work of Robson (2011) shows that the Internet has changed the way students access research material.
How you cite multiple authors in the text depends upon the number of authors.
1 or 2 authors
All of the authors are cited: The public believes that financial audits are primarily used for identifying fraud (Cosserat & Rodda, 2009). (NB. In brackets use the & not and )
3 or more authors
Include all of the authors for the first citation. For any subsequent citations in the same paragraph, only the first author is cited and the others are represented by et al. Follow the same guidelines for citing the same authors in any subsequent paragraphs.
In the case of inelastic demand, Sloman, Wride and Garrett (2012) demonstrate that demand for a product remains the same regardless of price.
The discipline of economics provides a way of understanding the decisions people take (Sloman et al., 2012).
NB. With six or more authors of the same work, cite only the name of the first author followed by et al. and the year for all first and subsequent citations. Remember to include all authors in your reference section.
If reference is being made to authors from different works, they must all be in included and listed in alphabetically.
The discipline of economics provides a way of understanding the decisions people take (Parkin, 2011; Sloman, Wride, & Garrett, 2012).
Parkin (2011) and Sloman, Wride and Garrett (2012) believe that the discipline of economics provides a way of understanding the decisions people take.
Your references should be listed alphabetically by the author’s surname. The list is located on a new page at the end of your essay/report and should only include those sources cited in your work. Attention to detail, including spelling and formatting is extremely important. Your reference list should be double spaced and the second and subsequent lines of references should be indented.
Here are some examples of how to reference some of the sources you may use.
Reference as you would a book, listing the main contributors in the author position and use brackets to label their contribution. Identify the format of the material in square brackets after the title. For a single item from a series or collection, reference as you would a chapter in an edited book.
Sacks, O. (Writer), & Marshall, P. (Director). (1990). Awakenings [Motion picture]. USA: Columbia Pictures
Scaer, R. (2012, September 25). The brain in trauma and PTSD [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from
Mosley, M. (Presenter), & Stinitz, A. (Director). (2011). Broken brains [Television series episode]. In
K. Townsend (Series producer), The brain: A secret history. London: British Broadcasting Corporation.
Author, A. A. (Year). Title of work. Location: Publisher.
Subbotsky, E. V. (1993). The birth of personality. London: Harvester Wheatsheaf.
Book with multiple authors
Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Year). Title: Subtitle. (Edition). Location: Publisher
Burns, T., & Sinfield, S. (2008). Essential study skills: The complete guide to success at university.
(2nd ed.). London: SAGE.
Note: For 2-7 authors, list all the authors in your reference list. For more than seven authors, list the first six authors, then an ellipsis (…) followed by the last author. The ampersand (&) is always used in the reference section and should be preceded by a comma. The initial letter of the subtitle is capitalized. If the book is a second or subsequent edition, include an edition statement.
Book Section or Chapter
Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Year). Title of chapter. In A. Editor & B. Editor (Eds.), Title of book.
(pp.xxx-xxx). Location: Publisher.
Town, J. S. (2003) Information literacy and the information society. In S. Hornby and Z. Clarke (Eds.),
Change and challenge: Debates on the information society for the 21st century. (pp. 83-103).
London: Facet Publishing.
Note: For book chapters and newspaper articles precede page numbers by p. for a single page or pp. for multiple pages. For journal articles simply enter the page numbers.
Proceedings of conferences, symposia, etc. can be published in book or, if they are regular events, periodical format. If this is the case use the appropriate book, book chapter or journal format for your reference list.
For unpublished papers or poster presentations, follow the format below.
Presenter, A. (Year, Month). Title of paper or poster. Paper or poster session presented at Event Name of Organization Name, Location.
Smith, B. (2009, July). Assessment – are we getting it right? Paper presented at the Annual Learning and Teaching Staff Conference of the University of Bolton, Bolton.
Author, A. (Year). Title of dataset [Data set]. Retrieved from http://www.xxxxxxx (or DOI, where available)
Huxley, P. J., Thomas, R., Rogers, A., & Robson, B. (2002). Urban regeneration, mental health and quality of life in Wythenshawe, South Manchester, 1998-2001 [Data set]. http://dx.doi.org/10.5255/UKDA-SN-4410-1
Editor/s (Ed/s.). (Year). Title. Location: Publisher.
Maguire, M., Reiner, R., & Morgan, R. (Eds.). (2002). The Oxford handbook of criminology. (3rd ed.).
Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Author, A. A. (Year). Title of work. Retrieved from http://www.xxxxxx
McQueen, R. A., & Knussen, C. (2006). Introduction to research methods and statistics in psychology.
Retrieved from http://lib.myilibrary.com/Open.aspx?id=177083
Note: For all electronic material, check with your lecturer whether the date of retrieval should be included in your citation. If it is required, it should appear in the format Retrieved Month dd, Year, from http://www.xxxxxxx
Journal Article (Electronic)
Author, A. A. (Year). Title of the article. Title of the Periodical, volume number (issue number),
page numbers. Retrieved from http://www.xxxxxxxx (or DOI, where available)
Addyman, C., & Mareschal, D. (2010). The perceptual origins of the abstract same/different concept in
human infants. Animal Cognition, 13, 817-833. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10071-010-0330-0
Journal Article (Printed)
Author, A. A. (Year). Title of the article. Title of the Periodical, volume number (issue number), page no.
Buss, D. M. (1995). Evolutionary psychology: A new paradigm for psychological science.
Psychological Inquiry, 6 (1), 1-30.
Author, A. A. (Year, Month dd). Title of article. Title of Magazine, (Issue number), page numbers.
Hankinson, A. (2012, September). Olympic impact. Easyjet Traveller, 112-114.
Reporter. A. (Year, Month dd). Title. Newspaper, p.x.
Ramesh, R. (2012, June 26). Half of care homes ‘fail patients with learning disabilities’. The Guardian, p.14.
Newspaper Article (Online)
Reporter, A (Year, Month dd). Title of article. Newspaper. Retrieved from http://www.xxxxxxx
Ramesh, R. (2012, Jun 25). Half of care homes fail to meet standards, warns watchdog. The Guardian.
Retrieved from http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/jun/25/half-care-homes-
Author, A. A. (Year, Month dd). Title of post [Description of form]. Retrieved from http://www.xxxxxxx
Herbert, Wray. (2012, August 29). Having heart: Can we rethink life’s stresses? [Web log post]. Retrieved
Author, A. (Year). Title of dissertation. (Unpublished level dissertation). Name of Institution, Location.
Charlton, J. P. (1997). The modelling of performance on specialist computing courses.
(Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Manchester, Bolton.
Author or Organization. (Year). Title (Report Number or code if applicable). Location: Publisher.
Department for Education and Skills. (2005) Government response to hidden harm: The report of an inquiry
by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs. Nottingham: DfES Publications.
Author, A. (Year). Title. (A. Translator, Trans.). Location: Publisher (Original work published year).
Freud, S. (1999). The interpretation of dreams. (J. Crick, Trans.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
(Original work published 1900).
Note: Your in-text citation must include both dates (Freud, 1900/1999)
Author or Organisation. (Year). Title of webpage. Retrieved from http://www.xxxxxxx
Lemetyinen, H. (2012). Language acquisition. Retrieved from
With websites it can sometimes be difficult to identify an author or a date. If you can’t find an individual or organizational author, then use the title as your point of entry. The title entry should be in normal rather than italic font, unless it is a report or similar document, and only the initial letter should be capitalized. Always check the bottom of a web page for the date that a web page was last updated. If this information is missing, enter n.d. in the brackets where the year would appear.
New child vaccine gets funding boost. (2001). Retrieved March 21, 2001, from