Skip to Main Content
library logo banner

Referencing guide: APA 7th

APA (7th edition) referencing style sheet

This referencing guide is to be used in conjunction with the Library’s General guide to citing and referencing.

The information in this guide is based on the following manual from the American Psychological Association (APA):

American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Example of references using APA

There are standard reference formats for most types of document. Below are examples of the most common types of document you might want to reference. Each of the following gives a suggested standard format for the reference followed by examples for the different document types.

Author’s surname, Initials. (Year of publication). Title (xx ed. if not the first). Place of publication: Publisher.

Tseris, E. (2019). Trauma, women's mental health, and social justice: Pitfalls and possibilities. Routledge. 

Title. (Year of publication). (xx ed. if not the first). Publisher.

Merriam-Webster's collegiate dictionary (11th ed.). (2003). Merriam-Webster. 

Group author. (Year of publication). Title (xx ed. if not the first). Publisher.   

British Broadcasting Corporation. (2005).  Review of the BBC's royal charter: BBC response to a strong BBC, independent of government.

NB: When the author and publisher are the same, it is not necessary to add the publisher.

Editor’s surname, Initials. (Ed.). (Year of publication). Title (xx ed. if not the first). Publisher.

Palmer, S. (Ed.). (2011). Social work in mental health and substance abuse. CRC Press.

Authors’ surnames, initials. (Year of publication). Title. (xx ed. if not the first). Publisher. 

Rutter, L., & Brown, K. (2020). Critical thinking and professional judgement for social work. (5th ed).  Learning Matters. 

Author of chapter’s surname, Initials. (Year of publication). Title of chapter. In: Initials of the first editor, Surname of first editor & Initials of the second editor, Surname of the second editor (Eds.), Title of book (pp. xx-xx). Publisher. 

Martin, A. (2006). Literacies for the digital age. In A. Martin & D. Madigan (Eds.), Digital literacies for learning (pp. 3-25). Facet. 

Author’s surname, Initials. (Year of publication). Title of article . Title of Journal, Volume number(issue number), page numbers xx-xx. http// 

Oncul, O. (2016). Crime and delinquency. International Journal of Psychology, 51(S1), 295-303.  

Author surname, Initials. (Year of publication). Title of article. Title of JournalVolume number(issue number), page numbers xx-xx. URL 

Marion, T., Reese, V., & Wagner, R. F. (2018). Dermatologic features in good film characters who turn evil: The transformation. Dermatology Online Journal, 24(9), Article 4.  

Author surname, Initials. (Year of publication). Title. Publisher. URL.

Moore, A. (2012). Teaching and learning: Pedagogy, curriculum and culture (2nd ed.). Routledge.

Author surname, Initials. (Year of release in electronic format). Title. Publisher. URL (Original year work was Published). 

Hooke, R. (2005). Micrographia: Or some physiological descriptions of minute bodies made by magnifying glasses with observations and inquiries thereupon. Project Gutenberg. (Original work published 1664).

Name of government departments. (Date of publication). Title of report. Publisher [If different from the group author].

Public Health England. (2020) Stay at home: Guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.

Author surname, Initials. (Year of publication). Title of article. Title of Journal, Volume number(issue number), pages xx -xx.

Nevin, A. (1990). The changing of teacher education special education. Teacher Education and Special Education: The Journal of the Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children, 13(4), 147-148. 

Author’s surname, Initials. (Year of publication, Month of publication, Day of publication). Title of the article. Title of Newspaper, pp. xx-xx. 

Bowcott, O. (2020, September 24). Investigation launched after black barrister is mistaken for the defendant three times in a day. The Guardian, pp.20-21. 

Writer’s surname, Initials. (Writer), & Director’s surname, Initials. (Director). (Year, Month Day). Title of episode (Season x, Episode y) [TV series episode]. In Executive Producer’s Initial. Executive Producer’s surname (Executive Producer), Title of TV series. Broadcasting company.

Kripke, E. (Writer), & Trachtenberg, D. (Director). (2020, July 26). The Name of the Game (Season 1, Episode 1) [TV series episode]. In H. Gorenstein (Executive Producer), The Boys. Sony Pictures Television; Kripke Enterprises; Point Grey Pictures; Original Film; Kickstart Entertainment; Amazon Studios.

The APA makes a distinction between theses/dissertations available in print form only (‘unpublished’) and those available online (‘published’), and it makes further distinctions according to the type of online publisher. The APA also uses American terminology to describe a thesis/dissertation: 'doctoral dissertation’ and ‘master’s thesis’. Please refer to the Publication Manual for detailed guidance. The example below is for Doctoral dissertation published online, but not in a database.

Author Surname, Initials. (Year of the award). Title of dissertation (Level of the award, Awarding institution). Archive name. URL 

Confait, M. F. (2018). Maximising the contributions of PhD graduates to national development: The case of the Seychelles [Doctoral dissertation, Edith Cowan University]. Edith Cowan Online Repository.  

Author's surname, Initials. (Year, Month Day site/document was published online: be as specific as is possible). Title. Retrieved Month Day, Year, from URL. 

Note: If there is no individual author, you can use an organisation or corporate body name the group author (organisation), e.g. British Broadcasting Corporation. If neither is available, move the title to the author position, before a full stop and the date of publication.

National Health Service. (2020, October 16). Check if you or your child has coronavirus symptoms. Retrieved October 20, 2020, from  

Do not include retrieval dates unless the source material may change over time (e.g. wikis, web pages...)

The American Psychological Association uses an author-date style of referencing with details entered in round brackets. For example:

The traditional approach to human cognition is over-simplified in assuming that processing is typically serial (Eysenck & Keane, 2010).

Treatment of multiple authors:

When a work has two authors, cite both authors every time.

When a work has three or more authors, include only the surname of the first author only, followed by et al., and date of publishing in every citation, including the first. For example:

Kisangua et al. (2007) found that … [first and subsequent citations]


Formatting the reference list in APA style: 

Begin the reference list on a new page at the end of your assignment.
Apply a hanging indent to each reference list entry. This means that the first line of each entry is left-aligned, while the second and subsequent lines are indented (the Publication Manual recommends 0.5" or 1.27cm).

To create a hanging indent in Microsoft Word: Highlight your reference entry, right-click, select 'Paragraph' from the list, a box will open and select 'Hanging' from the drop-down menu labelled 'Special'.

The Publication Manual also recommends double-line spacing within and between reference list entries, but check your tutor or department's preferences. See examples:

British Broadcasting Corporation. (2005). Review of the BBC's royal charter: BBC response to a strong BBC, independent of government.

Martin, A. (2006). Literacies for the digital age. In A. Martin & D. Madigan (Eds.), Digital literacies for learning (pp. 3-25). Facet. 

Oncul, O. (2016). Crime and delinquency. International Journal of Psychology, 51(S1), 295-303.  

The reference list should contain full details of all the sources mentioned in the text, arranged alphabetically by surname of the first author.

Treatment of multiple authors within the reference list:

For sources with 21 or more authors, include the first 19 authors’ names, insert an ellipsis (…) and then add the final author’s name. Do not place an ampersand (&) before the final author's name. See:

Kalnay, E., Kanamitsu, M., Kistler, R., Collins, W., Deaven, D., Gandin, L., Iredell, M., Saha, S., White, G., Woollen, J., Zhu, Y., Chelliah, M., Ebisuzaki, W., Higgins, W., Janowiak, J., Mo, K. C., Ropelewski, C., Wang, J., Leetmaa, A., ... Joseph, D. (1999). The NCEP/NCAR 40-year reanalysis project. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 77(3), 437–471.

Referencing an item not covered in this guide?

Image of the book cover

Publication manual of the American Psychological Association : the official guide to APA style (7th Ed.).

The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Seventh Edition is the official source for APA Style. 

Shelf mark: 808.06615 AME  

Image of the book cover

Concise guide to APA style : the official APA style guide for students (7th ed.).

The Concise Guide to APA Style, Seventh Edition is the official APA Style resource for students. Designed specifically for undergraduate writing.

Shelf mark:  808.06615 AME  

Image of the APA blog logo

APA Style Blog (7th ed.).

The APA Style website and blog will provide information about the seventh edition style only, with a very useful Q&A section. 

The Complete Guide to Referencing and Avoiding Plagiarism

You may also find helpful this e-book. It includes examples for APA and other styles.

Click on the image or book title to access the e-book.

Also available in print shelf mark 808.027 NEV (Level 3)