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Psychology Subject Guide: Referencing

This guide will give information on books, ebooks, databases and other useful resources.

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Use these referencing guides to look at how to cite APA style


The APA(American Psychological Association) style of citation is used extensively within the social and behavioural sciences. At the National College of Ireland it is used by students studying on the Psychology courses. The APA style has two main components. It requires the student to employ in-text citation, so you can reference your assignments, projects and theses as you go along. APA also requires the student to complete a reference list that is appended to the back of your work and features full publishing information for the sources cited in-text. Please remember to double check with your lecturer or supervisor which referencing style you should use for your written work.

Getting started

As indicated above there are two components to APA referencing:  in-text citations in your paper and the reference list at the end of your paper. The example below is a book with one author.

In-text format:

Include the author's surname, year of publication and page number.

Paraphrase example: Santrock (2011) suggests that young adults realise that thinking cannot just be conceptual, but rather has to be more pragmatic (p. 433).

Quotation example: Young adults come to realise “that thinking can’t just be abstract but rather has to be realistic and pragmatic” (Santrock, 2011, p. 433).

Reference list format: Author surname(s), Initial(s), (Year), Title -in italics. (Edition). Place of publication: Publisher.

Example: Santrock, J.W. (2011). Lifespan development. (13th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

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