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Help with referencing: I need to reference something in APA

Our advice for students using APA referencing is based on the 6th edition of the APA's Publication Manual.  A new, 7th, edition has been published but students should continue to follow advice and use tools based on APA 6th edition.

APA referencing guide

We don't cover everything in our guide.  Here are some places to look for more examples and for advice on building a reference when you can't find an example. 

If you still need some help, visit the library Helpdesk or contact us.

If there is no named author, or other information is missing, you may want to consider if the resource is suitable for academic work.  There may be good reasons for you to use a resource with missing information and you can follow the advice on these blog posts from the APA to create your references and citations. 

This is a PDF version of the first blog post.  It is not quite as complete but the layout is clearer: 

When your in-text citation includes two or more works, order them the same way they appear in the reference list (i.e. alphabetically), separated by a semi-colon.

Studies of reading in childhood have produced mixed results (Albright, Wayne, & Fortinbras, 2004; Gibson, 2011; Smith & Wexwood, 2010).

You can read more about citing sources on the APA blog


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 - revised or updated dates are publication dates for referencing

  • 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.

Referencing and acknowledging in your creative work

Referencing and acknowledgement are often used interchangeably and this can cause confusion when using images in your creative work. In this guide we make the distinction between acknowledging the images you use (often part of the terms and conditions of using a copyright cleared image) and referencing and citing your sources, an essential part of academic writing.

APA Referencing webinars

Getting started with APA referencing webinar

This is a 60 minute online class to help you get started with APA referencing. Places on each webinar are limited but we will timetable extra sessions to meet demand.

The workshop includes interactive activities to let you practice your referencing and a chance to ask any questions you have about APA.

To book a place go to UniHub and Search Events for APA referencing. Once you have booked you will be sent an email with instructions for joining the webinar.

First time users of Unihub will be prompted to select preferences before being able to see workshops.

Assessment guidance

How do I cite my sources?