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APA 6th General Style Notes

The APA 6th style is an author-date referencing system.

As the purpose of referencing is to acknowledge the source and to enable the reader to trace the sources, reference data must be accurate, including specific page numbers or specific URLs (web addresses) when it would be difficult to retrieve the original text without them.

References cited in the text must be listed in the Reference List, and all references listed in the Reference List must be cited in the text.

Exceptions: do not include in the Reference List sources such as:
• personal communications, such as letters, informal email, or private social media posts
• classical works or major religious texts
• web sites or Facebook orTwitter feeds when discussed as a whole.
Cite all these sources only in the text.

Reference List notes

Order the Reference List alphabetically by author surnames.

Where an item has no author it is cited by its title, and ordered in the Reference List alphabetically by the first significant word of the title (not A or The) .
• references by the same single or multiple authors are arranged by year of publication, the earliest first, e.g.,
Hong, B.H. & Yeung, K.L. (2001)
Hong, B.H. & Yeung, K.L. (2009)
• references with the same first author and different second or third author are arranged alphabetically by the surname of the second author, or if the same, third, and so on, e.g.,
Brown, J., Gold, F., & Black, L. (2007)
Brown, J., Gold, F., & Greene, H. (2006)
• references by the same author (or by the same two or more authors in the same order) with the same publication date are arranged alphabetically by the title (excluding A or The) that follows the date. Lower case letters – a, b, c – are placed immediately after the year in parentheses.
Smith, J.R. (2008a)
Smith, J.R. (2008b)
• references with multiple authors: give surnames and initials for up to seven authors. With eight or more authors, include the first six authors’ names, then insert three ellipses and add the last author’s name.

The APA style specifies that entries in the Reference List should have a hanging indent (the second and subsequent lines of the reference must be indented five spaces.) e.g.

American Psychological Association (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington D.C: Author.

Book titles are italicized, e.g., Journal of Information Technology. Chapter or section titles within a larger work are not italicized.

Translated works: if you used the non-English version of a work, cite using the original title and immediately following that title, give the English translation in brackets. If you used the English translation, just cite the English translation.

Give the publication date (the year the work was copyrighted) in parentheses, e.g., (2009). Note: APA uses parentheses ( . . . ) for standard parts of a reference, e.g., the year of publication, and brackets [ . . . ] for information that you have inserted, e.g., format information such as [Audio podcast].

Place of publication: within the United States, give the city and the abbreviation for the state, e.g., Boston, MA. Outside the United States, record the city and country, e.g., London, England, or, Melbourne, Australia.

Journal titles in the Reference List must be italicized and spelled out fully; do not abbreviate titles (e.g., Journal of Immunology, not J Immunol). Article titles are not italicized.

Inclusive page numbers for all articles and chapters in books should be included in the Reference List.

List page numbers in full (e.g., 132-135, not 132-5).

Electronic sources: in general, include the same elements, in the same order, as you would for a reference to a fixed-media source and add as much electronic retrieval information as needed for others to locate the source.

Acceptable abbreviations in the Reference List for parts of books and other publications include:

ed. edition
Rev.ed. revised edition
2nd ed. second edition
Ed. ( Eds.) Editor (Editors)
Trans. Translator(s)
n.d. no date
p. (pp) page (pages)
Vol. Volume (as in Vol. 4)
Vols. Volume (as in Vols. 1-4)
No. Number
Pt. Part
Suppl. Supplement
Tech. Rep. Technical Report

In-text citations

If more than one reference is used in a set of parentheses, the references are ordered alphabetically by author name. Separate multiple citations using a semi-colon, e.g., (Coats, 2005; McMinn, 2003; Ng, Leung, Kwok, & Chan, 2007).

References with multiple authors: cite all authors up to five in the first in-text citation (surnames only). In subsequent citations, use the surname of the first author followed by et al. (not italicized and followed by a period) and the year.
With six or more authors, cite only the surname of the first author followed by et al. and the year.

Always give specific page numbers for quotations in the text and include a complete reference in the Reference List, e.g.,
. . . (Miller, 1994, p. 276) . . . .
Miller (1994) found that, “the ‘placebo effect,’ . . . in all participants” (p. 245).

No distinction is made between print and electronic sources when citing in text.

If quoting the full title of a reference in the text, the first word of titles and subtitles and all other major words are capitalized and italicized e.g., When The Handicap Principle: A Missing Piece of Darwin's Puzzle was published . . . .

For classical, major religious and very old works not included in the Reference List, give the year of the translation or version that you used, with the word trans. or version, and give section numbers rather than page numbers, e.g., (Aristotle, trans. 1931); 1 Cor. 13:1 (Revised Standard Version). When the date of the original publication is available, include that date, e.g., James (1890/1983).

To cite a web site or a Facebook or Twitter feed as a whole or to discuss it in general, you need only to provide the site URL in parentheses in the text; there is no need for a Reference List entry.


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