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Referencing Style Guide: Home

This guide explains how to reference according to the APA 6th Edition.

Why do I have to Reference?

As the writer of an academic work, you will need to consult a number of different sources, including books, articles, reports and electronic resources, to support your own thoughts and ideas. Using a number of sources that discuss different perspectives and ideas about a topic will allow you to write a well-formed paper.

APA Style

The College has adopted the American Psychological Association (APA) style of referencing sources. The APA system uses the author-date system, for example (Smith, 2012), to make a brief reference to the sources in the text. The full details of the sources are then written at the end of the academic work in the Reference List.

Format Basics

Calibri, Arial or Times New Roman, size 12 font, 2 cm (min) margin, 1.5 cm (min) line spacing. Watch a video tutorial on the basics of APA style.

Tip: Look for the 'cite'/'citation' function in databases or on Google Scholar to speed up the referencing process.
(Always check against the APA Referencing Guidelines before submitting)

Style Guide PDF

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It is imperative that you acknowledge sources within your academic work. If you do not acknowledge the author of the source, it appears that you are attempting to present it as your own. This is known as ‘plagiarism’.

The ACPE Policy on Academic Honesty defines plagiarism as, “presenting another person’s ideas, findings or work as one’s own” (ACPE, 2014, p.2). Submission of plagiarised work is taken very seriously by the College and will result in penalties that may lead to expulsion from ACPE. 

What is In-Text Referencing?

Any time information from another source is used in your assignment, a short in-text reference to that source must be provided. You can incorporate an author's findings, ideas, and work into your paper by paraphrasing or using direct quotations.

Paraphrasing: an author’s work is expressed in your own words.

To paraphrase means to rewrite the original text (or part of) in your own words, without changing the intended meaning. Simply substituting synonyms for some of the words is not enough as you need to indicate to your lecturer that you understand what the author is saying. Paraphrasing is preferred over direct quotations.

Tip: A good way of managing this is to read a paragraph and then, without referring back to the book, write down your understanding of what the paragraph means.

Direct quotations: an author’s work is quoted word for word inside quotation marks or indented in a block format. Use direct quotations

  1. When the author expresses an idea better than you could.
  2. When you want to stress the authority of the author.
  3. As an ‘epigraph’. This is a direct quote found at the beginning of a book or chapter. While it relates to the theme of the material that follows, it is not incorporated within the main text.

 It is always a good idea to check with your lecturer before using direct quotations.

In-Text Referencing in Brief

  • When a work has two authors cite both names every time the reference occurs.
  • When a work has three, four or five authors cite all authors the first time. In subsequent citations use first author followed by et al. and the year.
  • When a work has six or more authors, cite only the first author followed by et al. and the year for all citations.
  • Include the author's name either within the sentence or at the end of the sentence in brackets with the year.
  • You do not have to include page numbers when paraphrasing, but it is encouraged.
Direct Quotations
(Always check with your lecturer to confirm that direct quotes are acceptable.)
  • For up to 40 words use quotation " " marks. For over 40 words indent quotation without quotation marks.
  • Direct quotations must be written exactly as they appear in the original work. Use three dots single spaced ... to indicate if you have left out any words.
  • If you add any word into a quote place within square [ ] brackets.
  • Cite author, date and page number. Use p. when the quotation is from one page. Use pp. when the quotation runs over pages.
  • When a quote is within a quote, use single quotation marks ' ' for the second quoted material.

What is the Reference List?

All references cited within the text are listed with more detail in the Reference List at the end of the paper. Only references cited within the text are included in the Reference List.

The Reference List in Brief

  • Each reference is listed alphabetically according to the author’s surname or by title if no author is listed.
  • Where a work has more than one author, list the names in the order as they appear.
  • For works with up to seven authors list all authors. Where a work has eight or more authors the first six are listed followed by an ellipsis (…) and then the last author’s name.
  • The second and subsequent lines of a citation are indented. Use single spacing within a citation and double spacing between citations.
  • Do not use numbering or bullet points.
  • For electronic resources, use a DOI where available in place of the publishing details. Include retrieval date where the document may change over time or where there is no publication date.