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APA 6th edition Referencing guide: FAQs

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

Secondary Referencing

Secondary sources: When you are referring to the ideas or words of an author who has been cited in another author's work. Also called 'secondary citation'.



"...optimistic, independent yet good at collaboration" (Tapscott as cited in El-Shamy, 2004, p. 25).
Tapscott (as cited in El-Shamy, 2004) argues ...



El-Shamy, S. (2004). How to design and deliver training for the new and emerging generations.San Francisco, CA: Wiley.

Provide the full reference for the book that you actually read.

Harvard and APA differences

One difference between APA and Harvard is that the Volume number appears in italics within APA.



What’s the difference between a reference list and a bibliography?

Reference list – only includes sources cited in the text of your assignment. Bibliography – includes all materials used in the preparation of your work. 

What happens if the edition is other than the first edition.

Second edition = 2nd ed.
Third edition = 3rd ed.
Fourth edition = 4th ed.
Revised edition = Rev. ed.
General Format 
  In-Text Citation (Paraphrase): 
      (Author Surname, Year)
      In-Text Citation (Quotation):
      (Author Surname, Year, page number)
      Author Surname, First Initial. Second Initial. (Year). Book title: Subtitle (edition).
            Place of Publication: Publisher.
      In-Text Citation (Paraphrase): 
      (Harris, 2001)
      In-Text Citation (Quotation):
      (Harris, 2001, p. 50)
      Harris, L. A. (2001). Canadian copyright law (3rd ed.). Toronto, ON: McGraw Hill

Publisher rules

Where the place of publication is required, for American locations, provide the name of the city and state (abbreviated) - e.g. Boston, MA; for all other locations, provide the city and country. Note: for London, you may use either London, England, or London, United Kingdom. 

List of U.S. state abbreviations from Wikipedia 

For publishers located outside the U.S.

Always spell out the country name is located outside of the United States.

Give both the town/county and country:

Dublin, Ireland:


The Title of an image or figure is not italicised in the reference list.

What is the difference between an image and a figure for APA 6th Edition.

When you refer to the existence of an image but do not reproduce it yourself within your paper, then you reference it according to the basic image rule.  However, if you reproduce the image itself, it is a figure and needs a copyright permission statement.

Rules for Italics

When the work stands alone then italicise the title.

e.g., book, e-book, report [technical, government, etc.], dissertation, thesis, film, video, television series, podcast, YouTube video, artwork, map, music album, unpublished manuscript.

When the work is part of a great whole, then do not italicise the part but the title of the entire work.
(e.g., journal article, book chapter, e-book chapter, newspaper article, magazine article, blog post, television episode, webisode, webpage, tweet, Facebook update, encyclopedia entry, Wikipedia entry, dictionary entry, song)