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Referencing Style Guide: APA Referencing

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.

You may find Zotero useful. It is a free, easy to use tool to help you collect, organise cite and share research. 

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 20 authors list all authors. Where a work has 21 or more authors include the first 19 authors, 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. 

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 7th edition of 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. 

Look for the 'cite'/'citation' function in databases or on Google Scholar to speed up the referencing process.

(Always check against the ACPE Style and Referencing Guidelines before submitting)

ACPE style and referencing guidelines APA 7th ed

For all presentation and formatting guidelines (e.g., font style and size, margin and line spacing), it is best to refer to the assessment guide for specific formatting requirements for assessment tasks.

In-Text Referencing in Brief

  • When a work has two authors cite both names every time the reference occurs.
  • When a work has three or more authors, use et al from the first citation. 
  • eg Smith, Jon, Kay 2020 is referenced as Smith et al. (2020) 
  • 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
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.

Cite function - use your library and the databases to help

When you search the library catalogue use the Cite This! function as a template to APA, then always check ACPE's style and referencing guide.


When you search across all the databases, click on the article title you need, then 


View EBSCO Details 


use the cite function as a template to APA, then always check ACPE's style and referencing guide.


The tutorial below shows you how.

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.

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.




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