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Help with Referencing: Your APA reference list

Always check your references

Think of yourself as the quality controller of your reference list.  Make sure that your citations and references are as good as they can be by checking that all the details are correct and that you have followed the guidance provided.

APA referencing guides

You can find out more about APA in the APA Referencing: a quick guide leaflet produced by SHU Library. 

You should try the quick guide first to find out how to cite sources and create your reference list.  However, if you can't find the answer to your question try the APA referencing guide from the University of Huddersfield - A clear guide with reference building tools

If you still can't find an answer try looking in the Your APA reference list tab which has more details about creating references with APA, or try the APA FAQs tab.

The parts of a reference - who, when, what, where

You may find it helpful to think of a reference to a source as being made of four parts.

Thinking about this might help you when you are creating and checking your references.  For example, have you included all these parts in the reference?

  • Who - the author or creator

  • When - usually the year of publication, but can be more detailed date

  • What - the title

  • Where - information to help you find it. For example: the journal details, the publisher and place of publication (for books), the web address, etc.

For more information, have a look at this post from APA about the generic reference (who, when, what and where). The APA 6th edition does not provide examples for every type of information that you may need to cite and reference however you can  try the Frankenreference approach suggested on the APA style blog to reference something not covered by an APA guide.

What to do if you have more than one author

The table below shows examples of how to write a reference, in most situations, when you have multiple authors. This is the same for all sources.

Number of authors Example of names at the start of a reference

Up to seven authors - list all

Brown, C. V., DeHayes, D. W., Hoffer, J. A., Martin, W. E., & Perkins, W. C. (2009)

Eight or more authors - list first six, link with ... then add last author

Paredes, B., Widera, A., Murg, V., Mandel, O., Fölling, S., Cirac, I., … Bloch, I. (2004)

Corporate author British Airways. (2015)

No author - whole work

Dictionary of biology. (2004)

No author - section

Editorial. (2015)

Putting together your reference list

APA reference examples

There are set formats for how references for different types of sources should be laid out. These are some common examples of how references should appear in your reference list. There will be other sources of information which may require additional information.  For electronic sources include the DOI (Digital Object Identifier) if you have it.  If there is no DOI include a web address.

A book reference should follow this pattern:

Author(s), (Year). Title. Edition (other than first edition). Place of publication: Publisher.

Rigby, J. (2015). English gothic: Classic horror cinema 1897-2015 (4th ed.). Cambridge: Signum.

You will usually find the relevant information on the title page and the following pages.

An electronic book (eBook) reference should follow this pattern:

Author(s). (Year). Title. Edition (other than first edition). and the DOI (if available) or the web address from which it was retrieved.

Melchers, G., Shaw, G. & Shaw, P. (2013). World Englishes  (2nd ed.). Retrieved from

A chapter in an edited book should follow this pattern:

Chapter author(s). (Year).  Chapter title. In Editor(s) Book title (page numbers). Place of publication: Publisher. For eBooks replace place of publication and publisher with DOI or web address.

Fitzgerald, J., & Hayward, P. (2009). Inflamed: Synthetic folk music and paganism in the island world of The Wicker Man. In P. Hayward (Ed.), Terror tracks: Music, sound and horror cinema (pp. 101-111). London: Equinox.


A journal/magazine article reference should follow this pattern:

Author(s). (Year). Title of article. Journal/magazine title (in full), volume number, (issue number), page numbers.

Jones, P. (2011). Revisit: Reframing Park Hill. Architectural Review, 230(1376), 83-93.

An eJournal/magazine article should follow the same pattern as for print journal articles but add the DOI.  If there is no DOI give the web address of the article or the service used to access it.

Author(s). (Year). Title of article. Journal/magazine title (in full), volume number, (issue number), page numbers. doi or web address of the article or the service used to access it.

Shute, V. J., Wang., L, Greiff, S., Zhao, W. & Moore, G. (2016). Measuring problem solving skills via stealth assessment in an engaging video game. Computers in Human Behavior, 63, 106 -117. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2016.05.047 

A newspaper reference should follow this pattern:

Author(s). (Year, Month, Day). Title of article. Title of newspaper, page number.

Harford, T. (2010, May 29). Does free Internet access really exist? Financial Times, p. 14.

A web page reference should follow this pattern: Author(s). (Year). Title. Web address.

If you cannot identify an author, reference the web page by title.

British Film Institute. (2016).  BFI Film Fund.  Retrieved from

For some sources it may be appropriate to include the full date (if available) e.g. blog posts.

Young, H. (2016, June 2). What do ‘skills’ mean for school governing bodies? [Blog post]. Retrieved from


Advice on using italics when referencing websites can vary depending on the referencing guidance you use - the above follows APA best practice.