What is APA style?

APA referencing style is an author-date referencing system published by the American Psychological Association. This form of writing research papers is used mainly in the social sciences, like psychology, anthropology, sociology, as well as education and other fields.

There are two components in the APA referencing style: in-text citations and their corresponding reference list entries. With anything that you have read, used and referred to in your academic writing, you must:

  • acknowledge in text (i.e. in the work / assignment/ essay you are writing)
  • include in your reference list (i.e. the list at the end of your work of all the sources you refer to)

This guide has been modified to reflect updates to the APA referencing style published in the 7th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (2020).

There are both significant and minor changes in the new edition.

Significant changes from the 6th edition to 7th edition:

  • Multiple authors – in text citations for three or more authors should include the name of the first author only, followed by et al. Reference list entries for works by up to and including 20 authors should include all authors’ names. For works by more than 20 authors, include the names of the first 19 authors followed by an ellipsis (…) and then the final author’s name.
  • Place of publication is no longer included in references.
  • Include the issue number in parentheses immediately after the volume number, for all journals that have an issue number.
  • DOIs are now given in the following format: https://doi.org/xxxxx
  • It is not necessary to include the words “Retrieved from” before a URL.
  • Database names and URLs for items in academic research databases should not be included in references, except for databases such as Cochrane, ERIC and Factiva that include works of limited circulation – for these items include the name of the database and the URL for the specific work.
  • For electronic works that do not have a DOI or a directly linking URL, the reference should be the same as the reference for a printed version of the work.

See all examples for details on how to construct references for specific resources such as books, journals and web pages.

Material Type In Text Citation Reference List Entry
Assignment from Another Unit (Amin, 2016) Amin, A. D. (2016). The science of life [Unpublished manuscript], SPSKB223: Research Method for Social Science, University of Life.


A-V Materials
Material Type In Text Citation Reference List Entry
DVD (Moore, 2003) Moore, M. (Writer/Director). (2003). Bowling for Columbine [DVD]. AV Channel.
Radio Programme (Browning, 2006) Browning, D. (Presenter). (2006, June 9). Black soccer heroes. Message Stick [Radio programme]. Guest speaker Dr. John Maynard. ABC Radio.
Sound Recording (Javanese Voice & Amin, 1999) Javanese Voice (Performers), & Amin, Z. (Director). (1999). Music for simple life [Album]. Javanese Studies, University of Life.
Television Series Episode (Masters, 2006) Masters, C. (Presenter). (2006, March 27). Big fish, little fish. Four Corners [Television series episode]. ABC Television.
Video Recording (Russell & Wiseman, 1995) Russell, G. (Writer, Producer and Narrator), & Wiseman, P. (Producer). (1995). Tackling bullies: An Australian perspective [Video recording]. Video Classroom.
YouTube/Vimeo Video (NRK, 2007) NRK. (2007, February 26). Medieval helpdesk with English subtitles. [Video]. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQHX-SjgQvQ


Book Chapters
Material Type In Text Citation Reference List Entry
Chapter or Article in Edited Book (Yura, 2020) Yura, P. (2020). ‘Good or bad’: How people think of me is not important. In B. Rudy & H. Dion (Eds.), Mental health policy (pp. 368-389). University of Life Press.
Article in an encyclopedia (Ford-Martin, 2003) Ford-Martin, P. (2003). Cognitive-behavioral therapy. In E. Thackery & M. Harris (Eds.), Gale encyclopedia of mental disorders (Vol.1, pp. 226-228). Gale.


Material Type In Text Citation Reference List Entry
Book: Including Page Numbers (Wells, 2009, pp. 225-226) Wells, A. (2009). Metacognitive therapy for anxiety and depression in psychology. Guilford Press.
Book: Single Author (Matthews, 1999) Matthews, J. (1999). The art of childhood and adolescence: The construction of meaning. Falmer Press.
Book: Two Authors (Colcough & Colcough, 1999) Colclough, B., & Colclough, J. (1999). A challenge to change. Thorsons.
Book: 3-20 Authors (Dwee et al., 2012) Dwee, D., Dion, H. B., & Brown, I. S. (2012). Information behaviour concept: A basic introduction. University of Life Press.
Book: More than 20 Authors (Author et al., Year) Include the first nineteen authors’ names, then insert three ellipses and follow with the final author’s name.
Book: Different Works by Same Author in Same Year Kubler-Ross, 1993a)
(Kubler-Ross, 1993b)
Kubler-Ross, E. (1993a). AIDS: The ultimate challenge. Collier Books.
Kubler-Ross, E. (1993b). Questions and answers on death and dying. Collier Books.
Book: Organisation as Author (American Educational Research Association, 1985) American Educational Research Association. (1985). Standards for educational and psychological testing. American Psychological Association.


Conference Papers
Material Type In Text Citation Reference List Entry
Paper Presentation from the Internet (Balakrishnan, 2006) Balakrishnan, R. (2006, March 25-26). Why aren’t we using 3d user interfaces, and will we ever? [Paper presentation]. IEEE Symposium on 3D User Interfaces, Alexandria, VA. https://doi.org/10.1109/VR.2006.148.
Unpublished Paper Presentation (Brown & Caste, 2004) Brown, S., & Caste, V. (2004, May). Integrated obstacle detection framework [Paper presentation]. IEEE Intelligent Vehicles Symposium, Detroit, MI..
Paper Presentation in Print Proceedings (Rowling, 1993) Rowling, L. (1993, September). Schools and grief: How does Australia compare to the United States [Paper presentation]. In Wandarna coowar: Hidden grief. 8th National Conference of the National Association for Loss and Grief (Australia), Yeppoon, Queensland (pp. 196-201). National Association for Loss and Grief.


Material Type In Text Citation Reference List Entry
Dataset (Ryff et al., 2019) Ryff, C., Almeida, D., Ayanian, J., Binkley, N., Carr, D. S., Coe, C., Davidson, R., Grzywacz, J., Karlamangla, A., Krueger, R., Lachman, M., Love, G., Mailick, M., Mroczek, D., Radler, B., Seeman, T., Sloan, R., Thomas, D., Weinstein, M., Williams, D. (2019). Midlife in the United States (MIDUS 3), 2013-2014 (ICPSR 36346) [Dataset]. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR36346.v7
Dataset Repository (University of Life, Centre of Animals, 2011) University of Life, Centre of Animals. (2011). Concept of animal behaviour. https://www.concept/NYTRW
Dataset Deposit Record (Theure & Gentaz, 2018) Theure, A., & Gentaz, E. (2018). Data from: The regulation of emotions in adolescents: age differences and emotion-specific patterns [Dataset]. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.n230404. Referenced in https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0195501
Dataset Description Article (Lemaignan et al., 2018) Lemaignan, S., Edmunds, C.E.R., Senft, E., & Belpaeme, T. (2018). The PInSoRo dataset: Supporting the data-driven study of child-child and child-robot social dynamics. PLoS ONE, 13(10), Article e0205999+. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0205999


Material Type In Text Citation Reference List Entry
E-book (Eckes, 2000) Eckes, T. (2000). The developmental social psychology of gender. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. https://lib.ugm.ac.id/443/record=b1600608
Chapter from an E-book (Jones & Gagnon, 2007) Jones, N. A., & Gagnon, C. M. (2007). The neurophysiology of empathy. In T. F. D. Farrow & P. W. R. Woodruff (Eds.), Empathy in mental illness. Cambridge University Press. https://lib.ugm.ac.id:443/record=b2130403
Article from an Electronic Encyclopaedia (Lai, 1999) Lai, M. C. C. (1999). Hepatitis delta virus. In A. Granoff & R. Webster (Eds.), Encyclopedia of virology (2nd ed.). Academic Press. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-012374410-4.00417-9
Article from an Electronic Reference Work: No author (“Alka-Seltzer”, 2019) Alka-Seltzer. (2019). In MIMS online. MIMS Australia. http://www.mimsonline.com.au


Journal articles
Material Type In Text Citation Reference List Entry
Journal Article with a DOI (Vogels et al., 2009) Vogels, A. G. C., Crone, M. R., Hoekstra, F., & Reijneveld, S. A. (2009). Comparing three short questionnaires to detect psychosocial dysfunction among primary school children: a randomized method. BMC Public Health, 9, 489. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-9-489
Journal Article with a DOI: More Than 20 Authors and Including Page Number (Wiskunde et al., 2019, p. 1936) Wiskunde, B., Arslan, M., Fischer, P., Nowak, L., Van den Berg, O., Coetzee, L., Juárez, U., Riyaziyyat, E., Wang, C., Zhang, I., Li, P., Yang, R., Kumar, B., Xu, A., Martinez, R., McIntosh, V., Ibáñez, L. M., Mäkinen, G., Virtanen, E., . . . Kovács, A. (2019). Indie pop rocks mathematics: Twenty One Pilots, Nicolas Bourbaki, and the empty set. Journal of Improbable Mathematics, 27(1), 1935–1968. https://doi.org/10.0000/3mp7y-537
Journal Article with a URL (Ahmann, 2018) Ahmann, E., Tuttle, L. J., Saviet, M., & Wright, S. D. (2018). A descriptive review of ADHD coaching research: Implications for college students. Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability, 31(1): 24-58. https://www.ahead.org/professional-resources/publications/jped/archived-jped/jped-volume-31
Journal Article with an Article Number (March & Springer, 2019) March, E., & Springer, J. (2019). Belief in conspiracy theories: The predictive role of schizotypy, Machiavellianism, and primary psychopathy. PLoS One, 14(12): Article e0225964. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0225964
Journal Article from a URL and Including Paragraph Number (Munro, 1999, para. 12) Munro, C. (1999). Facing grief. Synergy, 3(3). http://about.ugm.ac.id/synergy/0303/grie
Journal Article in Print (Kyratsis, 2004) Kyratsis, A. (2014). Talk and interaction among children and the co-construction of peer groups and peer culture. Annual Review of Anthropology, 33(4), 231-247.
Journal Article in Print Including Page Number (Parker & Roy, 2001, p. 574) Parker, G., & Roy, K. (2011). Adolescent depression: A review. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 35, 572-580.
Journal Article in Print with 3-20 Authors (Zhang et al., 2016) Zhang, B., Cohen, J., Ferrence, R., & Rehm, J. (2016). The impact of tobacco tax cuts on smoking initiation among Canadian young adults. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 30(6), 474-479.


Material Type In Text Citation Reference List Entry
Image, Photograph or Artwork from a Book (Leibovitz, 1996, p. 72) Leibovitz, A. (1996). Olympic portraits. Little Brown.
Image, Photograph or Artwork from a Book (Leibovitz, 1996, p. 72) Leibovitz, A. (1996). Olympic portraits. Little Brown.
Reproduction in a Book (Bedford, 2001, p. 154) Bedford, P. (2001). Dingo dreaming [ochre on canvas]. Reproduced in McCulloch, S., & McCulloch Childs, E. (2008). McCulloch’s contemporary Aboriginal art: The complete guide (p.154). McCulloch & McCulloch Australian Art Books.
Image from a Book Chapter (Ardagna et al., 2008, Figure 1) Ardagna, C. A., Damiani, E., Frati, F., & Madravio, M. (2008). Open-source solution to secure e-government services. In A-V. Anttiroiko & M. Malkia (Eds.), Encyclopedia of digital government (pp. 1300-1305). Idea Group Reference. http://www.igi-global.com/
Image from a Journal Article (Yeh & Xu, 2010, Table 1) Yeh, Q-J., & Xu, X. (2010). The effect of Confucian work ethics on learning about science and technology knowledge and morality. Journal of Business Ethics, 95, 111-128. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-009-0352-1
Image from a Newspaper (Leunig, 1995, p. 24) Leunig, M. (1995, July 27). Thoughts of a baby lying in a child care centre. The Sydney Morning Herald, p. 24.
Image from a Database (Kessel, 1995, 10:10) Kessel, M. (Director). (1995). The making of a monologue: Robert Wilson’s Hamlet[video,1:02:18 mins]

. Cinema Guild.

Online Image/Artwork (Nolan, 1946) Nolan, S. (1946). The encounter [enamel paint on composition board]. National Gallery of Australia. http://cs.nga.gov.au/Detail.cfm?IRN=28938
Online Map (Google Maps, 2015) Google Maps. (2015, February 5). The British Library, London, UK. Google. https://www.google.com.au/maps/place/The+British+Library/@51.529972,-0.127676,17z /data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x48761b3b70171395:0x18905479de0fdb25
Original Image/Artwork (Viewed in a Gallery or Collection) (Adam, 2004) Adam, L. (2004). Sweet and sour [wood veneers, nylon]. Culture Home Art of University of Life.
Internet Documents
Material Type In Text Citation Reference List Entry
Electronic Document (Murray, 2005) Murray, G. (2005). A duty of care to children and young people in Western Australia: Report on the quality assurance and review of unsubstantiated allegations of abuse in care: 1 April 2004 to 12 September 2005. Western Australia, Department of Child Protection. http://www.community.wa.gov.au/NR/rdonlyres/851183A4-A822-4592-AB66-C410E453AEEC/0/DCDRPTGwennMurrayreportwithcover2006.pdf
Government Publication (Australia. Department of Health and Aged Care, 2000) Australia. Department of Health and Aged Care. (2000). National youth suicide prevention strategy. http://www.health.gov.au/hsdd/mentalhe/sp/nysps/about.htm
Government Publication: Curriculum Document (Western Australia. School Curriculum & Standards Authority, 2017) Western Australia. School Curriculum & Standards Authority. (2017). Curriculum and assessment outline: Humanities and Social Science. http://k10outline.scsa.wa.edu.au/home/p-10-curriculum/curriculum-browser/humanities-and-social-sciences
Whole Internet Site (Goldberg, 2010) Goldberg, I. (2010). Dr. Ivan’s depression central. http://www.psycom.net/depression.central.html


Newspaper articles
Material Type In Text Citation Reference List Entry
Newspaper Article in Print (Kissane, 1998) Kissane, K. (1998, September 5). Kiss or kill: Who is the victim when a battered woman kills? The Age: Extra, p. 6.
Newspaper Article with URL (Devlin, 2010) Devlin, H. (2010, January 28). Neuron breakthrough offers hope on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. The Times. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/science/medicine/article7005401.ece
Newspaper Article from Factiva (Delalande, 2019) Delalande, J. (2019, October 26). Our teens struggle the most. The West Australian, p. 32. Factiva. https://global-factiva-com.libproxy.ugm.ac.id/ha/default.aspx#./!?&_suid=157Gjze1vwrdykucFXF5NKVky1g3ut9zc6.


Material Type In Text Citation Reference List Entry
Podcast (Brown, 2018) Brown, D. (Speaker). (2018). Scholarship strategies, 2018 University of Life Lecture [Audio podcast]. University of Life. https://listeningme./083729
Podcast Lecture from LMS (Huge, 2019) Huge, F. (Speaker). (2019, Dec 29). Challenges in rural development [Audio podcast]. In Rural and Global Studies. University of Life. https://ruraldevelopment//874814
Podcast Radio Programme (Gary, 2007) Gary, S. (Host). (2007, December 23). Black hole death ray. StarStuff [Audio podcast]. ABC News Radio. http://abc.net.au/newsradio/podcast/STARSTUFF.xml


Readers/Study Guides
Material Type In Text Citation Reference List Entry
Study Guide and Reader (Woofey, 2005) Woofey, G. (2005, April 23). Freedom of speech. Reprinted in Press and freedom study guide and unit reader 2002 (pp. 12-23). University of Life.
Reader (Swan & Carey, 2018) Swan, S., & Carey, L. (2018). Climate change: How to prevent. Global Change, 32, 20. Reprinted in Development of climate (UO143): Unit reader. University of Life.


Secondary Sources
Material Type In Text Citation Reference List Entry
Secondary Source Seidenberg and McClelland (as cited in Reid, 2020) Reid, A. S. (2020). Study of multiple paranormal phenomena. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 45, 17-26.


Social Media
Material Type In Text Citation Reference List Entry
Blog Post (Flower, 2015) Flower, R. (2015, June 1). How a simple formula for resolving problems and conflict can change your reality. Pick The Brain. http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/how-a-simple-formula-for-resolving-problems-and-conflict-can-change-your-reality/
Blog Comment (Stephen, 2017) Stephen. (2017, February 21). Re: Why you should let your passion die [Comment]. PsychCentral. https://psychcentral.com/blog/discuss/102347/
Facebook Post (University of Life Office, 2010) University of Life Office. (2010, December 20). Psychology of learners [Status update]. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/41764892
Facebook Comment (Toto, 2011) Toto, H. (2011, September 1). Re: Psychology of learners [Comment]. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/qu4qwyierqw
Tweet (Kruszelnicki, 2017) Kruszelnicki, K. [@DoctorKarl]. (2017, February 19). Fact-checker scientist @bengoldacre, evidence-based medicine, dead cat #Shirtloadsofscience: http://apple.co/2kXmeCd: http://bit.ly/2faxmw5 [Tweet]. https://twitter.com/DoctorKarl? ref_src=twsrc^google| twcamp^serp|twgr^author
YouTube/Vimeo/Ted Talk video (Setrakian, 2017) Setrakian, L. (2017, January). Lara Setrakian: 3 ways to fix a broken news industry. [Video]. https://www.ted.com/talks/lara_setrakian_3_ways_to_fix_a_ broken_news_industry#t-521404
YouTube Comment (Kirk, 2017) Kirk, J. (2017, February). Re: Medieval helpdesk with English subtitles. [Comment]. YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQHX-SjgQvQ
Instagram Post (University of Life Library, 2019) University of Life Library. (2019, May 22). An artwork showing history of animals {Photographs]. https://www.instagram.com/73q64723648913
Instagram Comment (Black, 2011) Black. (2011, May 23). Re: An artwork showing history of animals {Comment]. Instagram. https://www.instagram.com/3649238y
App (StudentVIP, 2017) StudentVIP. (2017). Lost on Campus (Version 4.1.3) [Mobile app]. Apple App Store. https://www.apple.com/au/ios/app-store/
Game (Persson & Bergensten, 2011) Persson, M., & Bergensten, J. (2011). Minecraft [Game]. Mojang Synergies AB. https://minecraft.net/en-us/


Material Type In Text Citation Reference List Entry
Unpublished Thesis (Neo, 2000) Neo, M. C. (2000). The role of education as a process of human release from various problems of life [Unpublished M.Appl.Psy. thesis]. University of Life.
Published Thesis (May, 2017) May, B. (2017) A survey of radial velocities in the zodiacal dust cloud. Canopus Publishing.
Thesis from a Database Sonny, 1999) Sonny, Z. (1999). Computer education for children (Publication No. 01230123) [Doctoral dissertation, University of Life]. ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global.
Thesis from a Repository (Vells, 2015) Vells, T. (2015). Language for life [PhD thesis, University of Life]. UOL Library Repository. https://reporepo/9iqw4qwriq


The source of the content is originally from https://libguides.murdoch.edu.au/APA/home. with several adaptations and modifications in some areas and citation examples.

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