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APA style Print Page

Quick Reference for APA Style

The general format for a reference:

Who is the creator?

Wilson, I.

When was it created?


What is it Called?

Past lives: Unlocking the secrets of our ancestors.

Source Where is it located?

London, England: Cassell.

Author/s: person or Organisation
Producer & Director:
(audio-visual media)

If continually updated then 
year, month,


Book and chapter title
Title of article and journal title 
Website title
Title of motion picture [Motion picture]
The title is written in italics. 
Minimise capitalisation
- first word of title is capitalised as is first word of subtitle.Colon is placed
between title and subtitle.

Book - Where was it published and who published it?
Journal What is the volume number, issue number and page number. 
Website. Where is website located - URL or DIO (direct image identifier) 
Motion picture, ClickView – Country of origin: Studio.


 How do you reference the words or ideas of others

1.       In-text citing which occurs in the body of your assignment and looks like this:
(Jones, 1998, p. 199).

a.       Use quotation marks for direct quotation and page number for a printed work or paragraph number for an online work.

b.       For paraphrased information (where you use someone else’s words or ideas in your own words) although not mandatory, it is helpful to provide a page or paragraph number to assist the reader find the source.

2.       The second part to referencing is the list of references which appears as an alphabetical list at the end of your assignment. It is known as References. The second line is indented.

Book one author Book two authors  Book with an editor  Book Chapter 
 eBook   Journal print  Journal online from a database Newspaper article  
Motion Picture, DVD,
ClickView and Youtube
Internet Webpage no author and no date Online Encyclopaedia
Blog (Weblog)


Book one author

Wilson, I. (2010). Past lives: Unlocking the secrets of the past. London, England: Cassell.

Book two authors

Burke, H., & Smith, C. (2004).The archaeologist's field handbook. Crow's Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin.

Book with an editor

Penrose, J. (Ed.). (2005). Rome and her enemies: An empire created and destroyed by war. Oxford: Osprey.

Corporate author - groups including corporations, associations, government agencies, and study groups can serve as authors. 

American Psychological Association. (2009). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington 
     DC: Author.

Book Chapter

Barnes J. (2010). Uylsses S. Grant. In Roberts A (Ed.) The art of war (pp. 212- 227). London, England: Quercus.


McNab, A.. (2007). Avenger [OverDrive]. Retrieved from:

Journal print

Similar as for a book but the title of the article, volume number (in italics) but do not put "Vol" before the number. Issue number comes next and is bracketed but not italicised. Month or other designation if there is no volume number. Include all page numbers. Add the DOI if possible.

Capitalise the first and all major words in the publication name.

Gabbett,T., Jenkins,D., & Abernethy, B. (2010). Physical collisions and injury during professional rugby 
     league skills training. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 13(6), pp. 578-583.

Journal online from a database

Smyth, A. M., Parker, A. L., & Pease, D. L. (2002). A study of enjoyment of peas. Journal of Abnormal Eating, 8(3), 120-125. Retrieved 

Newspaper article

Schwartz, J. (1993, September 30). Obesity affects economic, social status. The Washington Post, pp. A1, A4.

Motion Picture, DVD, ClickView and Youtube

Either the producer's or director's name can be given, or both. Indicate in brackets the role following the name. 

Robbo, de M. (Producer).  (2002). Chromotography.  [Clickview].type of resource Australia.

Grazer, B. (Producer), & Howard, R. (Director). (2001).

     A beautiful mind [Motion Picture]. USA: Universal Studios.

Fink, M. (Producer). & Armstrong, G. (Director). (1979). My brilliant career.  [DVD]. Australia: ICON & Majestic Films.


Author, A. A. (year). Title of work. Retrieved month day, year, from source.

APA does not require a retrieval date except where information may change over time. If no author is given then use the title and if no date then put (n.d.) for no date.

Webpage no author and no date

Pet therapy. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Online Encyclopaedia

Cell. (2014). In Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved from

Blog (Weblog)

Harrsch, M., (2014, March 23). Roman Times. Retrieved from


When to cite a reference


In-text referencing using APA

In-text referencing from a website requires a paragraph number for direct quotations. See this link for further explanation.


Using Microsoft Word 2010 to create your APA references


Overview of APA Style

The APA 6th style is a referencing style which uses author-date and is parenthetical that is it uses brackets. The style is based on the Harvard Referencing system.

Details to note:

  • For in-text citations the name of the author, year of publication, and page number where possible, are placed in parenthesis (Roberts Quercus, p. 45). The in-text citation is placed immediately after the text which refers to the source being cited.

According to Jones (1998), "Students often had difficulty using APA style, especially when it was their first time" (p. 199). 

  • The list of references is called "References" not Bibliography or List of References and is found on a new page at the end of the work. It includes all sources that have been used within the work and is alphabetical by author's last name.
  • All sources listed in References must also be cited in the text.
  • If the author is an organisation then the organisation's name is written in full in References. Within the body of work, the full name of the organisation followed by the acronym in brackets is given in the first instance. Thereafter the acronym will suffice. Here is an example, The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and thereafter ATO. Consistency is important; therefore, do not go back and forth between full name and abbreviation. If the name of the organisation  is short or if the abbreviated name would not be easily understood, then the full name of the organisation should be written each time.
  • It is best to avoid quoting or citing a source which is cited within another secondary reference. Where quoted in a secondary source then citing details are for example: Smith (as cited in Jones 2010). Only the secondary source is given in the References.
  • The list must have a hanging indent of five spaces. For example:
  • American Psychological Association. (2009). Publication manual of the American

         Psychological Association. (6th ed.). Washington DC: Author.                            

  • Brief information for the name of the publisher. Leave out words and abbreviations, such as "publisher" "Co." "Inc". Where the author and the publisher are the same then place "Author" in place of name of publisher. See example above.
  • Where there is no author then use the title in place of the author's name. Exclude words such as "A" or "The". 
  • If there are two references by the same author then arrange by year of publication.
  • Capitalise only the first word of the title and of the subtitle. Capitalise proper nouns.

Past Lives: Unlocking the secrets of the past

  • Italicise the title of the book, title of a webpage and title of a journal or periodical.
  • Do not create separate list for each type of resource - for instance a separate list for webpages. All references must be in the same alphabetical list.
  • Note punctuation:  a full-stop separates each part of the reference except for the colon(:) after the place of publication. The APA style is often called the "full-stop" citation style.
  • APA ordinarily requires page numbers for quotations, and paraphrases. When an electronic source lacks stable numbered pages, include paragraph numbers or headings to help readers locate the particular passage being cited.

Where to find author, date etc.

Citation at a Glance

A citation should contain all the necessary information to identify the source and allow others to locate it. In the book this information can be found on the Title page and the Copyright /Verso page - see diagram on left.. 

For a website you need to find the author and the date when theweb page was written or updated. How do you cite a website will assist you find these details.

Source: Hacker/Sommers (Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2010).
This model follows the style guidelines in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th ed. (2010).


BBC (2014).


Origins of APA

In 1929 the United States National Research Council sponsored a group of psychologists, anthropologists and publishing professionals to codify a standard or style of writing which would make scientific writing more easily read. This style became known as the APA Style. Overtime the style has undergone a number of revisions with the latest revision,  APA 6th published in 2009.

The style not only called for formatting of the references used in writing but elements such as:

  • the structure of the paper - parts of the paper, use of headings, punctuation.
  • the tone of the paper including reducing bias
  • citing refrences in the text
  • there is a list of references at the end of the paper which is called "References"
  • presentation of numbers and statistics and
  • construction of tables and figures.

Test Your Knowledge

APA Quiz

Apa Style And Citation Quiz

APA Style Quiz

APA Style Short Quiz (A list of drag and drop questions to test your referencing of common sources from EIT- Eastern Institute of Technology.) 

APA Style Long Quiz (Use an examplar to test your knowledge by filling in answers to in-text referencing from EIT- Eastern Institute of Technology.)



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