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How to reference using APA style
Last Updated: Nov 10, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Why do we reference?

You reference to acknowledge the work or ideas of others and to direct readers to the source. 

If you fail to reference the work of others then you are committing plagiarism. 

Referencing shows the extent of the research that you have done for your assignment.


Plagiarism occurs when you copy someone's work or ideas without acknowledgement. Plagiarism also occurs when you use someone's creative work without permission or acknowledgement.

It is a serious offense and can result in failing an assignment or subject. 

Try this short plagiarism quiz.

Have you heard of some of these copyright myths?


How to use the works or ideas of others in your assignment?

There are four ways that you can use the ideas or works of others

  1. Direct Quotation - The first is when you use the exact words of another, and this is called a direct quotation. Direct quotations must always be placed in quotation marks and the page number must be given in your in-text citation. If there is no page number then give the number of the paragraph on the page where the words are found.
  2. Paraphrase - The next way is when you paraphrase. Here you take the author’s ideas but use your own words and sentence structure to record the author’s ideas. You must give an in-text citation and add a citation to the reference list.
  3. Summary - The next is way is when you summarise. In this case you are reducing the amount of content and use the author’s key points. Again you must acknowledge with an in-text citation and include in References.
  4. When you copy information in the form of an image, table, graph or map from a source.






Referencing Documents

Click on the A Guide to Referencing at Toowoomba Grammar School  to access PowerPoint.

A Guide to Academic Writing and Referencing Booklet

APA Style Reference Guide

Guide to Citing and Referencing Primary Source Documents



Guides to APA style

It is important to be able to cite sources without using CiteMaker. These websites may help.

Re:cite: Giving credit where it's due. (Source: University of Melbourne)

QUT CiteWrite: QUT cite tool (Source: QUT)


Finding the Information I Need to Reference a Book


How to Find the Author of a Website


How to Cite tables, graphs, images etc


Notice the caption under the graph. 

Points to Note:

  • Label tables above the table and figures below the figure.
  • A table or figure from an outside source should be labelled like any other outside information and its source should be provided.
  • Number all tables and figures, even if you use only one of each.
  • Graphics are numbered consecutively in the order in which they appear (e.g. Figure 1, Figure 2, Figure 3).
  • The title of a table or other graphics should be brief but informative. 
  • Specific reference  must appear close to the to the image, diagram, graph etc.

Test your understanding


Referencing Appendix and other Tips

Appendix (one) Appendices (more than one) provide a place for supplemental material which give/s greater details, visuals and examples for better understanding of the main work. An appendix can also be used when the assignment itself would be too long or disjointed. 

  • Appendices appear after the References.
  • They must be referred to in the body of the text.
  • They can be lettered numbered (Appendix 1, Appendix 2)  or lettered (Appendix A, Appendix B)
  • Figures and tables in the appendices are labelled A1, A2, B1, and so forth, according to the appendix in which they appear. (Note: Omit the letter if there is only one appendix.)
  • If an appendix from a source is referred to in an assignment then it must be referenced.
  • Each appendix should contain different material.



Acceptable abbreviations you can use in referencing.


A Guide to Academic Writing and Referencing


Other Reference Tools



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