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APA Referencing guide: Start here

Sample reference list

In APA, you must have a hanging indent of 5 to 7 spaces from the second line for each reference entry within the reference list / bibliography. The entries are in alphabetical order.

Works by multiple authors

Note: When using multiple authors' names as part of your narrative, rather than in brackets, always spell out the word and. For multiple authors' names in-text within brackets, use &.

One author: (Glass, 2007)   

Two authors: (White & Sutton, 2019)

Three to five authors:
First citation: (McDonald, Delaney, Lu, & McMahon, 2018)
Subsequent citations: (McDonald et al., 2010)

Six or more authors: (Byrne et al., 2006)

DOI Explained

You may have noticed a number at the end of journal articles or ebooks and wondered what it signified.

What is a DOI?

A DOI (digital object identifier) is a unique and permanent code assigned to many, but not all, electronically published sources. A DOI is a persistent link that will take you straight to a document no matter where it is located on the Internet. DOIs do not change.

When a DOI is used, no further retrieval information is needed to identify or locate the content. Include the DOI as the final component of your source citation.

Think of it as a "digital fingerprint" or an article's DNA!

Reference list or bibliography, what is the Difference?

Generally, a reference list contains only those sources you actually referred to within the body of your assignment. So, for each resource on your list, there will be some citation/reference in your assignment. Your marker will check these off as he/she reads through your work

A bibliography is a list of all the sources you looked at for the assignment. This list, also attached to the back of your assignment, contains all those books, articles, website, and so on, you cite in your assignment but also those ones you consulted but didn't actually cite/reference within your assignment.

Your lecturer will indicate whether they wish to have a reference list and a bibliography attached to the back of your assignment. However, most subjects require only a reference list. If you are unsure, check with your lecturer.

APA guide in PDF

Printable quick guide

Top tips for APA

Check with your APA library contacts for help at: or 

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

Why using APA?:

  • 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.