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I need to reference something in APA 7

APA referencing examples

In this section, you will find examples of how to reference the resources most used in writing at university.

Take a look at the 'Quick guide to referencing'.  This is an introduction to the basic principles of APA 7 style of referencing.  

For more examples see the guides below: 

APA 7 is now our standard referencing style which should be used by students unless they are directed by their course teaching team or have agreement to use another style.

Students who have already begun work using APA 6 should consult with lecturers or tutors to see if they can submit using APA 6 for that work, but will normally use APA 7 for any new work.  Research students should consult with supervisors on an appropriate referencing style.  

Anonymised or confidential sources

Sources which need to maintain anonymity or confidentiality are treated as Personal Communications: please see below. Normal referencing rules are not followed, as details such as a title or URL could identify the source even if the author is concealed.

Book: Electronic

Reference format:

Last name, Initial (s)., (Year). Title of book  (Nth ed. if second edition or later). Publisher.   If no DOI is available use a URL.

Reference examples:

Cassell, C., Cunliffe, A. L., & Grandy, G. (Eds.). (2018). The SAGE handbook of qualitative business and management research methods. Sage.

Abram, C., & Karasavas, A. (2018). Facebook for dummies (7th ed). Wiley.

Citation examples:

(Cassell et al., 2018) or Cassell et al. (2018)

(Abram & Karasavas, 2018) or Abram and Karasavas, 2018


Only include edition information for second and later editions.   Book references without edition information are assumed to be first editions.

DOIs are Digital Object Identifiers.   Unlike web addresses, they identify content that can be accessed through different services so are preferred to web addresses.

Book: Print

Reference format:

Author(s). (Year of publication). Title. (Nth ed. if second edition or later). Publisher. 

Reference examples:

De Waal, K. (2017). My name is Leon. Penguin Books. 

Bolton, W. (2021). Instrumentation and control systems (3rd ed). Elsevier.

Citation examples:

(De Waal, 2017)  or   De Waal (2017) 

(Bolton, 2021)  or  Bolton (2021)


Only include edition information for second and later editions. Book references without edition information are assumed to be first editions.

Chapter from an edited book

Reference format:

Author(s) of chapter. (Year of publication). Title of chapter. In Editor(s) of book (Eds.) Title of book (Nth ed. if second edition or later) (pp. Page numbers). Publisher. DOI or URL if DOI not available- only if eBook

Reference examples:

Sabri, Y. (2021). Humanitarian logistics and supply chain management. In Sweeney, E. & Waters, D. (Eds.) Global logistics: new directions in supply chain management (8th ed., pp. 338-357). Kogan Page.

Smith, M.J. & Moruzi, K. (2021). Young adult Gothic fairy tales and terrifying romance. In Smith, M.J. & Moruzi, K. (Eds.) Young adult Gothic fiction: monstrous selves/ monstrous others (pp. 170-181). University of Wales Press.  

Rees, W. (2018). Planning in the Anthropocene. In Gunder, M., Madanipour, A., & Watson, V. (Eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Planning Theory (pp. 53-66). Routledge.

Citation examples:

(Sabri, 2021) or Sabri (2021)

(Smith & Moruzi, 2021) or Smith and Moruzi (2021)

(Rees, 2018) or Rees(2018)


Only include edition information for second and later editions.   Book references without edition information are assumed to be first editions.

DOIs are Digital Object Identifiers.   Unlike web addresses they identify content that can be accessed through different services so are preferred to web addresses.

Generative AI

Before you use any Generative AI as part of your research or writing, you should:

  1. Check the guidance from your course or department on using AI. Speak to your Academic Advisor or Course Leader to find out if the use of AI is permitted.
  2. Read the University's guidance on AI in learning and assessment.

Images, diagrams, charts and tables

In referencing, what is important is the kind of source you use, not what form the information within that source takes. So if you use an image from a book, for example, what matters is that it came from a book, not that it is an image. The reference would be a normal book reference, whether the information you used took the form of text, an image, a diagram, a chart, a table, or anything else. Likewise, an image taken from a webpage would be a normal webpage reference; an image taken from a journal would be a normal journal reference; and so on. 

The citation will also be a regular parenthetic citation (name, year). If you are using a source that uses page numbering, you also include the page number(s) the image appears on, just as if you were quoting text, ie (name, year, p. XX): like a quotation, including a page number makes it quicker and easier for your reader to find the image in the original work.

The only slight difference from a regular in-text citation is that citation does not go in the main text of your assignment, but sits directly underneath the image (or table, or chart, etc) as a caption. You also add a figure number to each caption as well as the citation. Figure numbers are straightforward: the first image that appears in your work is Fig.1, the second that appears is Fig.2, and so on. If you need to discuss the image in the text of the work, you refer to the figure number in the text, not to the citation, eg 'As can be seen from Fig.1...'. This is because it's common to include several similar images from the same source, or even the same page of the same source: referring to the figure number makes it absolutely clear which one you are referring to, even in cases where several images have identical citations. The citation information is still available in the caption if your reader wishes to find the image.

There is detailed advice on using images and other media available here: 

Journal Article

Reference format:

Author(s). (Year). Title of the article. Name of Journal, volume number (Issue number), page-page.   If no DOI is available use a URL. for online articles

Reference examples:

Strangfeld, J. A. (2019). I just don’t want to be judged: Cultural capital’s impact on student plagiarism. SAGE Open, 9(1), 1-14.

Vezzani, V., & Gonzaga, S. (2017). Design for social sustainability: An educational approach for insular communities. The Design Journal, 20(1), 937-951.

Citation examples:

(Strangfeld, 2019) or Strangfeld (2019)

(Vezzani & Gonzaga, 2017) or Vezzani and Gonzaga (2017)


DOIs are Digital Object Identifiers.   Unlike web addresses they identify content that can be accessed through different services so are preferred to web addresses.

Official report or publication

Reference format:

Author(s). (Year of publication). Title. (Report series and/or report number). Publisher. DOI or URL if online

Reference examples

Dacre, J., Woodhams, C., Atkinson, C., Laliotis, I., Williams, M., Blanden, J., Wild, S., & Brown, D. (2020).  Mend the gap: the independent review in gender pay gaps in medicine in England. Department of Health and Social Care.

Women and Equalities Committee. (2019). Tackling inequalities faced by Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities (Seventh report of session 2017-19. HC360). House of Commons.  

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. (2021). Safeguarding adults in care homes. (NICE guideline NG189). 

Citation examples:

Dacre et al. (2020) or (Dacre et al., 2020)

Women and Equalities Committee (2019) or (Women and Equalities Committee, 2019) 

First citation: 
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE, 2021) or (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence [NICE], 2021) 
Second and subsequent citation:
NICE (2021) or (NICE, 2021) 


In many cases, reports and official publications have a corporate author.  If so, the specific government agency responsible is listed as the author. The publisher is the over-arching parent agency or department. 

In the reference, always write out the name of corporate author in full and do not include any abbreviation or acronym. In the citation, where a corporate author can be written as an abbreviation or acronym, write the name in full for the first citation, followed by the abbreviation or acronym. For any subsequent citations, you can use the abbreviation or acronym.  

Reports may have a report number or be part of a series. This information can be useful in identifying the report, and is included in brackets immediately after the title. 

When the publisher is the same as the author, omit the publisher from the reference.

DOIs are Digital Object Identifiers.   Unlike web addresses they identify content that can be accessed through different services so are preferred to web addresses.

Personal communications- sources your readers can't access

There are certain sources you use which your readers can’t access for themselves. This might be because: 

  • The sources are transitory, one-off events which were not recorded or repeated, like conversations, telephone calls, or unrecorded lectures. 

  • They are unpublished and physically or technically inaccessible to others, like personal emails or letters. 

  • They are confidential and most people aren’t permitted to view them, like confidential internal company documents. 

  • The source is anonymised, and a full reference would reveal enough information to identify the source. 

These are known as Personal Communications.

Reference example:
Personal Communications do not have a reference in the reference list. If your reader can't access the source once they've found it, then finding the source won't help them!

Citation example:
Your reader still needs to understand where the information comes from, so they can evaluate the reliability and relevance of the source. So Personal Communications have an expanded citation:

(A.Author, personal communication [Description], month day, year)

For example:

(I. Patel, personal communication, January 5, 2018) or I. Patel (personal communication, January 5, 2018) 

(NHS Trust, personal communication [Confidential policy], 2021) or NHS Trust (personal communication [Confidential policy], 2021) 

If the author is a person rather than an organisation, the author name includes initials.

You can include a short description of the source in [square brackets] if you think it will help you readers understand the quality and relevance of the the source

If available and appropriate, include a month and day as well as the year as part of the publication date.

If the information you are using is personal or confidential you may wish to anonymise the author to preserve privacy and confidentiality: for example, if you used a NHS Trust's confidential internal policy, you may simply wish to call it NHS Trust rather than specify the exact trust. Please note that you never actually write the author name as Anonymous unless that's what the source itself does.

If you wish to use information in your work which is unpublished you should always ask for permission first. You should make clear how you will use information when seeking permission from the sender of personal communications. This also applies to information found on a social network site or a discussion list open to friends or invited members only.


Secondary reference: a citation in something you have read

When you want to use information or ideas that you have seen cited in something you have read, the best thing is to find the original source and read it for yourself. But sometimes this is not possible, or what you want to write about is the way that someone has used another source. In which case you should use secondary referencing making it clear that the ideas come from a secondary source rather than where they were originally published. 

Reference format:

Reference only what you have read (the source where you saw the citation).  Follow the format for a journal article, book etc. as appropriate. 

Reference examples:

These are the sources for the example citations below

Hollinger, K. (2012). Feminist film studies. Routledge.  

Robson, C. & McKartan, K. (2016). Real world research:  a resource for users of social research methods in applied settings (4th ed.). Wiley.

Citation format:

(original author, publication year of original source, as cited in secondary author, publication year of secondary source). 

Citation examples:

(Neale, 2000, as cited in Hollinger, 2012) or
Neale (2000, as cited in Hollinger, 2012)

(Anastas, 1999, as cited in Robson & McKartan, 2016, p148) or
Anastas (1999, as cited in Robson & McKartan, 2016, p148)


If the date of the original source is unknown then omit the date.

If your citation is a quote use the page numbers for the source in your reference list, not the original page numbers.


Reference format:

Author(s) / organisation name. (Year of publication, month day). Title of webpage. Website name. Retrieved month day, year, - if year of publication not available URL.

Reference examples:

Examples with date published:

Amos, J., Morelle, R., & Francis, A. (2024, May 2). Face of 75,000-year-old Neanderthal woman revealed. BBC News.

World Health Organization. (2020, May 30). Youth advocate in Kenya’s tobacco control drive.

Example with no publication date:

Civil Society Unit. (n.d.).  History of cooperation between DPI and the NGO community.  United Nations. Retrieved July 7, 2021, from

Citation examples:

(Amos et al., 2024) or Amos et al. (2024)

(World Health Organization, 2020) or World Health Organization (2020)

(Civil Society Unit, n.d.) or Civil Society Unit (n.d.)


  • Reference the individual page or pages which you have used.
  • For the date, use the published or last updated date of the page.  If there is no published or last updated date on the page use the copyright or last update date of the site.  If no day or month is given use the year only.
  • If no date can be found use (n.d.) and include  Retrieved Month Day, Year, from before the web address.
  • If a web page does not have an author, use the author of the web site.  The site author could be an individual but is more commonly a company, institution, or organisation.
  • If the author is the same as the website name do not repeat it after the title of the webpage.


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