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Referencing and Avoiding Plagiarism: APA

APA Referencing Style

The American Psychological Association (APA) referencing style is most commonly used to cite sources within the social sciences. It is currently used for courses such as Psychology, Education, and Learning and Teaching in the National College of Ireland.

The APA style is based on an author-date system which includes in-text referencing throughout the written work and then full referencing details are provided at the end of the work in a list titled the Reference List.

NB: Other referencing styles such as Harvard or IEEE may be used by your course – please consult with your lecturer to confirm which style they require you to use.

Getting Started

According to the APA guidelines, a specific format should be used throughout your document. It is recommended that the format includes the following:

  • Typed text
  • Double-spacing on an A4 sized document
  • 1 inch margins on all sides
  • Size 12 font
  • Times New Roman fong

For further guidance of the most recent rules of the APA style, see these resources below:

When using the APA referencing style, a reference needs to be made at the point at which a source is referred to in the text of your work. This consists of a short, basic reference (Author, Year, page number) inserted every time you use or refer to someone else’s work in-text.

Example:

Many young adults “understand that thinking can't always be abstract. In many instances, it must be realistic and pragmatic” (Santrock, 2015, p. 420).

NB: In the APA style, you are also encouraged (but not required) to provide the page number for a paraphrase when it would help the reader to locate the relevant passage in the source material.

When using the APA referencing style, a reference needs to be made in your reference list at the end of your work. A reference list provides comprehensive details of the sources used throughout your written work.

If a reader wants to know the full details of a source you have used, they can refer to your reference list.

Example:

Reference List

Santrock, J. W. (2015). Life-span development. (15th ed.). New York: McGraw Hill.

Hanging Indentation:

In your reference list, if an reference entry spans across more than one line, all of the lines after the first line of the entry should be indented one-have inch from the left margin. 

Example:

Coghlan, D., & Coughlan, P. (2014). Effecting change and learning in networks through network action learning. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 51(3), 375-400.

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APA - Core Sources

Book - Single author

Components

Author Surname, Initial(s). (Year of publication). Title of book (in italics). (edition – only include if not the first.). Place of Publication: Publisher.

Example

Santrock, J. W. (2015). Life-span development. (15th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Book - Two authors

Components

Author Surname, Initial(s)., & Author Surname, Initial(s). (Year of publication). Title of book (in italics). (edition – only include if not the first.). Place of Publication: Publisher.

Example

Boyd, D., & Bee, H. (2015). Lifespan development. (7th ed.). London: Pearson Education.

Book - Three or more authors

Components

Author Surname, Initial(s)., Author Surname, Initial(s)., & Author Surname, Initial(s). (Year of publication). Title of book (in italics). (edition – only include if not the first.). Place of Publication: Publisher.

Example

Shaughnessy, J. J., Zechmeister, E. B., & Zechmeister, J. S. (2015). Research methods in psychology. (10th ed.). London: McGraw-Hill.

Book - Corporate author

Components

Company/Corporate Name. (Year of publication). Title of book (in italics). (edition – only include if not the first.). Place of Publication: Publisher.

Example

American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association. (6th ed.). Washington DC: Author.

NB: See the NCI Library Referencing Guide for further details including additional sources, in-text citations, and reference lists.

Book - Editor(s)

Components

Editor Surname, Initial(s). (Ed.). (Year of publication). Title of book (in italics). (edition – only include if not the first.). Place of Publication: Publisher.

Example

Davey, G. (Ed.). (2011). Applied psychology. Chichester: BPS Blackwell.

Chapter of an edited book - Single author

Components

Author Surname, Initial(s). (Year of publication). Title of chapter. In Editor Initial(s). Surname (Ed.), Title of book (in italics (edition – only include if not the first., pp. page numbers of chapter). Place of Publication: Publisher.

Example

Preuss, T. M. (2009). The cognitive neuroscience of human uniqueness. In M. S. Gazzaniga (Ed.), The cognitive neurosciences (4th ed., pp. 49-66). London: The MIT Press.

Chapter of an edited book - Two authors

Components

Author Surname, Initial(s)., & Author Surname, Initial(s). (Year of publication). Title of chapter. In Editor Initial(s). Surname (Ed.), Title of book (in italics) (edition – only include if not the first., pp. page numbers of chapter). Place of Publication: Publisher.

Example

Reason, P., & Riley, S. (2008). Co-operative inquiry: An action research practice. In J. A. Smith (Ed.), Qualitative psychology: A practical guide to research methods (2nd ed., pp. 207-234). London: Sage.

NB: See the NCI Library Referencing Guide for further details including additional sources, in-text citations, and reference lists.

eBook – Single author

Components

Author Surname, Initial(s). (Year of publication). Title of eBook (in italics) (edition – only include if not the first.). doi: / or Retrieved from url

Example

Watson, T. J. (2008). Sociology, work and industry (5th ed.). Retrieved from https://ezproxy.ncirl.ie:2157/abstract/9780203928479

eBook – Two authors

Components

Author Surname, Initial(s)., & Author Surname, Initial(s). (Year of publication). Title of eBook (in italics) (edition – only include if not the first.). doi: / or Retrieved from url

Example

Hogg, M. A., & Vaughan, G. M. (2011). Social psychology (6th ed.). Retrieved from https://ezproxy.ncirl.ie:2157/abstract/9780273726012

eBooks – Three or more authors

Components

Author Surname, Initial(s)., Author Surname, Initial(s)., & Author Surname, Initial(s). (Year of publication). Title of eBook (in italics) (edition – only include if not the first.). doi: / or Retrieved from url

Example

Law, H., Ireland, S., & Hussain, Z. (2007). The psychology of coaching, mentoring and learning. Retrieved from https://ezproxy.ncirl.ie:2157/abstract/9780470060445

NB: See the NCI Library Referencing Guide for further details including additional sources, in-text citations, and reference lists.

Journal article – Single author

Components

Author Surname, Initial(s). (Year of publication). Title of article. Name of Journal (in italics), volume number(in italics)(issue number), page numbers of article.

Example

Kowner, R. (2001). Psychological perspective on human developmental stability and fluctuating asymmetry: Sources, applications and implications. British Journal of Psychology, 92(3), 447-469.

Journal article – Two authors

Components

Author Surname, Initial(s)., & Author Surname, Initial(s). (Year of publication). Title of article. Name of Journal (in italics), volume number(in italics)(issue number), page numbers of article.

Example

Coghlan, D., & Coughlan, P. (2014). Effecting change and learning in networks through network action learning. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 51(3), 375-400.

Journal article – Three or more authors

Components

Author Surname, Initial(s)., Author Surname, Initial(s)., & Author Surname, Initial(s). (Year of publication). Title of article. Name of Journal (in italics), volume number(in italics)(issue number), page numbers of article.

Example

Wang, J., Zhang, Z., & Jia, M. (2017). Understanding how leader humility enhances employee creativity: The roles of perspective taking and cognitive reappraisal. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 53(1), 5-31.

NB: See the NCI Library Referencing Guide for further details including additional sources, in-text citations, and reference lists.

eJournal article – Single author

Components

Author Surname, Initial(s). (Year of publication). Title of article. Name of Journal (in italics), volume number(in italics)(issue number), page numbers of article. doi: / or Retrieved from url

Example

Wood, W. (2017). Habit in personality and social psychology. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 21(4), 389-403. doi: 10.1177/1088868317720362

eJournal article – Two authors

Components

Author Surname, Initial(s)., & Author Surname, Initial(s). (Year of publication). Title of article. Name of Journal (in italics), volume number(in italics)(issue number), page numbers of article. doi: / or Retrieved from url

Example

Huppatz, K., & Ross-Smith, A. (2017). A discipline at the crossroads? Using a gender-inspired paradigm to reposition the sociology of work and employment. Journal of Sociology, 53(4), 756-770. doi: 10.1177/1440783317743810

eJournal article – Three or more authors

Components

Author Surname, Initial(s)., Author Surname, Initial(s)., & Author Surname, Initial(s). (Year of publication). Title of article. Name of Journal (in italics), volume number(in italics)(issue number), page numbers of article. doi: / or Retrieved from url

Example

Hakanen, J. J., Peeters, M. C. W., & Schaufeli, W. B. (2018). Different types of employee well-being across time and their relationships with job crafting. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 23(2), 289-301. doi: 10.1037/ocp0000081

NB: See the NCI Library Referencing Guide for further details including additional sources, in-text citations, and reference lists.

Conference paper – Three or more authors

Components

Author Surname, Initial(s)., Author Surname, Initial(s)., Author Surname, Initial(s)., Author Surname, Initial(s)., & Author Surname, Initial(s). (Year of publication). Conference paper title. Title of Conference (in italics)(pp. page numbers of conference paper). Location. doi: / or Retrieved from url

Example

Heene, M., Coyne, J., Francis, G., Maguire, P., & Maguire, R. (2014). Crisis in cognitive science? Rise of the undead theories. The Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society 2014, (pp. 82-83). Quebec City, Canada. Retrieved from https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Crisis-in-Cognitive-Science%3F-Rise-of-the-Undead-Heene-Coyne/affe953dbe01a85cb08622c40360687ecc0bee60

NB: See the NCI Library Referencing Guide for further details including additional sources, in-text citations, and reference lists.

Psychological test/measurement - Three or more authors

Components

Author Surname, Initial(s)., Author Surname, Initial(s)., Author Surname, Initial(s)., & Author Surname, Initial(s). (Year of publication). Title of Test/Measure. Name of Database (in italics). doi: / or Retrieved from url

Example

Pekaar, K. A., Bakker, A. B., van der Linden, D., & Born, M. P. (2018). Rotterdam Emotional Intelligence Scale. PsycTESTS. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/t66601-000

NB: See the NCI Library Referencing Guide for further details including additional sources, in-text citations, and reference lists.

Webpage

Components

Author Surname, Initial(s). (Year of publication). Title of webpage (in italics). Retrieved from url

Example

Dewey, R. A. (2007). Psychology and science. Retrieved from http://www.intropsych.com /ch01_psychology_and_science/tofc_for_ch01_psychology_and_science .html

Document from a webpage

Components

Author Surname, Initial(s). (Year of publication). Webpage document title (in italics). Retrieved from Publisher/Website Name url

Example

Sweeney, J. (2013). A strategic review of further education and training and the unemployed. Retrieved from Department of Education and Skills https://www.education.ie/en/Publications/Education-Reports/A-Strategic-Review-of-Further-Education-and-Training-and-the-Unemployed.pdf

NB: See the NCI Library Referencing Guide for further details including additional sources, in-text citations, and reference lists.

Newspaper article – Print

Components

Author Surname, Initial(s). (Year, Month and Date of publication). Title of article. Title of Newspaper (in italics), Title of Supplement (if applicable, also in italics), p. page number of article.

Example

McConnell, D. (2014, April 19). What are we and where are we going? The Social Conquest of Earth. The Irish Times, Weekend, p. 12.

Newspaper article – Online

Components

Author Surname, Initial(s). (Year, Month and Date of publication). Title of article. Title of Newspaper (in italics). Retrieved from url

Example

O’Connell, J. (2018, May 19). Jennifer O’Connell: Why do we live in a culture that venerates stress? The Irish Times. Retrieved from https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/people/jennifer-oconnell-why-do-we-live-in-a-culture-that-venerates-stress-1.3491747

NB: See the NCI Library Referencing Guide for further details including additional sources, in-text citations, and reference lists.

Case study – Online

Components

Author Surname, Initial(s). (Year). Title of case study. Name of Journal (in italics), volume number(in italics)(issue number), page numbers of case study. doi: / or Retrieved from url

Example

Durrani, H. (2014). Facilitating attachment in children with autism through art therapy: A case study. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, 24(2), 99-108. doi: 10.1037/a0036974

NB: See the NCI Library Referencing Guide for further details including additional sources, in-text citations, and reference lists.

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NCI Library Referencing Guide

APA Referencing Quick Guide

Disclaimer

Whilst every possible effort has been made to accurately and consistently reflect the APA, Harvard and IEEE styles in the examples provided, small errors may occur. This LibGuide is regularly revised and any errors which are identified will be rectified immediately. Please note, there are also variations within these styles regarding certain details – should your reference vary slightly from an example contained within this LibGuide, it is important that you are consistent with the variation when presenting and formatting your references, as long as it does not follow a contrary style to the one you should be using.