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APA 6th edition Referencing guide: Start here

This guide will show you all you need to know about APA.

What is referencing?

Referencing allows you to use the work of others to add weight and significance to your reports, essays, presentations without "stealing" their words and ideas.  Referencing consists of two elements:

  • reference/citation in text (i.e. within the body of the work / assignment/ essay that you are writing)


  • in your reference list
    (i.e. the list at the end of your work of all the sources you refer to)

You can reference any of the following (once information is communicated):

books, articles from journals, magazines and newspapers, websites, webpages, documents on websites (PDFs, PPT slides), lecture notes, YouTube videos, blogs, annual reports ...

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James Cooke University Tutorial on APA

Acknowledgement and Thank you

Much gratitude to:

Mark Collins in James Cook University, Australia for his permission to use his APA 6th edition template and material.  Also thank you for all the wonderful advice.  Much appreciated. Librarians really are the best.

Top tips for APA

Check with your APA library contact for help at: 

AUTHORS:  Use only initials for the author’s first and middle names.

TITLES: Capitalize only first word, proper nouns and proper adjectives in titles and subtitles

PUBLICATION DATE:  Use the most recent date listed. Use n.d. for no date.

PUBLICATION PLACE  US Publishers: Give the town and two letter US state abbreviation used by United States Postal Service.  For non US publishers give the town and country, e.g. Dublin, Ireland.

ITALICIZE Only italicize book titles, journal titles and volume number.  Do NOT italicize issue numbers. 

Before starting

Always check with your lecturer/supervisor on the referencing style that they require.  From September 2016 the library will be supporting the use of APA 6th edition for the Business School. 

Main reasons are because:

  • APA is stable and fixed globally so is not subject to the variations that exist with Harvard.
  • APA is based on Harvard so most components are already familiar.
  • For undergraduates 1st and 2nd years this referencing style is easily available on Microsoft Word. (i.e. is the 2nd option under referencing styles)
  • Easily available on Zotero, Mendelely, Refme and all other automatic citation/bibliographic software systems.