Referencing literature according to APA standards


Reference to literature according to the system of the American Psychological Association (APA) is based on the 6th edition of the APA publication manual.

A publication with one author

The simplest case of reference concerns publications of one author. References to this can be included in the text in the following ways:

Jones (2012, p. 37) showed that. . .

In a Lifestyle Study (Jones, 2012, p.37). . .

In 2012, Jones (p. 37) showed that. . .

A publication with two authors

Both names must always be mentioned. If the names are in the current text, there are “and” between, if they are in brackets, there must be an ampersand (“&”) between.

Hogenaar and Van Dort (2007) recently formulated an opinion. . .

In a recent opinion (Woger & Van Dort, 2004).

A publication with about three authors and less than ten

Name the first time all names, next time only the first name followed by et al. (= Et alii; et without the point and all. By point).

First time:

. . . appeared from research (Sattler, Brown, Evans, & Cohen, 2011, p. 123).

Next times:

. . . to these conclusions (Sattler et al., 2011, p. 127).

This should not lead to confusion with another source. If that is the case, then so many names mention that confusion is excluded.

A publication with six or more authors

Both the first and the following source entries only mention the first name followed by et al.

Brown et al. (2014, p. 7). . . This should not lead to confusion with another source. If that is the case, then so many names mention that confusion is excluded. Keep listing the year, including repeated references within one paragraph.

A publication with an institutional author

Sometimes a publication has an organization as an author. Then state this as an author.

In the final report (Social and Cultural Planning Agency, 2010, p. 37). . .

Known abbreviations of names of organizations can be used. The official rule is that this acronym is explained at the first source statement and can be utilized just the next time. The reference list uses the full name.

First time:

World Health Organization (2012) published a study in which. . .

Next times:

. . . as can be read in the report (WHO, 2012).

Publication without personal author

The reference is to the first two or three words of the title. To put the titles of articles quotes, the titles of books are displayed in italics.

(“Cope with Information”, 1987, p. 40)

(Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, 1980, p. 345)

Repeated source listings within one paragraph

If you refer to a single publication multiple times in one paragraph, you can leave the year after the first time, provided that this does not lead to confusion with another publication. For example Candor and Huges (2008). . . . According to Candor and Huges, that honesty should be regarded as an essential condition.


if the first reference is in the bracket e.g. (Candor & Huges, 2008), you will also refer to the following references after (a) m (s) and year. Cite all references in brackets also the year, so if they follow a first reference in the current text, e.g., Candor and Huges (2008). . . . That means honesty should be considered as a critical condition (Candor & Huges, 2002).

Multiple references between one pair of brackets

Work from the same author (s) is listed chronologically (from old to recent) for multiple references in one place.

In further research (Jones & Watson, 2007, 2011) was demonstrated. . .

Work from different authors is ranked in one place in multiple referrals in the order they are in the essay alphabetically.

. . . appeared from various experiments (Adams & Vries, 2014; Schmidt & Kobler, 2008, 2009; Zen et al., 2012).

Multiple publications of the same author (s) in the same year

If you refer to multiple publications from the same author (s) from the same year, make small letters (from a: a, b, c, etc.) after the publication year. You can do this both in the text and in the reference list.

(Watts & Freeman, 2014a, p. 43)

(Watts & Freeman, 2014b, p. 178)

Which letters of which publications are coming is determined in the reference list. These references are ranked alphabetically by title.

Personal communication (letters, colleges, (phone) calls, email)

You enter initials and last name and exact date.

(D. P. Lindstrom, personal communication, May 25, 2013)

Refer to an article from an edited book

An edited book is a book with editors and articles from various authors. As a rule, you refer to as specific, which is, if you use an article in an edited book, refer to the article, not to the book as a whole. In the text, refer to the author (s) of the article and year of the book. The reference list will then reveal which book is the article.

Indirectly refer

If possible, you should consult and refer to the source. Sometimes, however, you have learned about the work of an author through another publication, and it is not possible to get the original publication. In that case, you can refer indirectly as an emergency solution: you indicate that you learned from an author’s work through another publication. This is as follows:

(Brown, in WHO, 2015, p. 45).

Brown (in WHO, 2015, p. 45) suggested. . .¬† In English manuscripts, this must be noted as “as cited in.”: Brown (as cited in WHO, 2015, p. 45)

From the reference list, only the publication of Watts will be published.

Quote literally

Literature quotes always include a page listing. Quotation quotes are used for short literal quotes: She concluded: “Although fat and oil is one of the classes of food ” (WHO, 1986, p. 603).

If you have a literal quote of more than 40 words, make a block quote from it. You do not use quotes, and the text spans five positions from the left margin. The reference at the end of the quote comes after the point.

The Kloet and Van Donk (2004) conclude:

The personal repertoires are the primary driving force behind the oeuvre of these makers. The own background and family history, the right environment and personal interests and visions are the most important sources of inspiration for the selection and selection of subjects for documentaries. This naturally leads to the emergence of multicultural topics in the work of creators directly involved. (P. 285)

Above are the various ways you can reference your essay. For more information please click here

Mary Linda

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