Skip to main content

APA referencing

What is referencing?

Referencing is a way of acknowledging the sources you have used to support your arguments in an essay or assignment. Importantly, referencing will avoid plagiarism!

Plagiarism is passing off someone else's work as your own, be it ideas, graphics or statistics, and is as serious an offence as cheating in an exam.

APA (American Psychological Association) referencing is used by many departments at Kangan Institute including Business Management and Justice and Legal Studies.

When to reference?

An important part of academic writing is the research process and finding evidence from information sources that support your arguments and contention of your assignment topic.

When you refer to this evidence in your assignment you must reference.

You can include the information in your assignment by using a direct quotes or by writing the information into your own words by paraphrasing or summarising.

Direct quotes

When you take an exact phrase, sentence or sentences from a resource you must reference this information as a direct quote in your assignment.

You must include:

  • the reference at the point where you use the information
  • the page number/s in the reference
  • double quotation marks

Short quotes are integrated into the sentence you are writing. Short quotes are 40 words or less for APA referencing.

When you add the direct quote to your writing you can either include the reference at the end of the quote as shown in Example 1 or at the beginning by mentioning the author in the writing and introducing the quote as shown in Example 2.

   Example 1    To gather information on your financial position "make a list of things like your assets, debts, sources and regular income'"(Brown & Koch, 2004, p. 49)      

Example 2

Brown and Koch (2004, p. 49) suggest to "make a list of things like your assets, debts, sources and regular income".

 

Long quotes are separated from the main text. You need to create a new paragraph and indent the writing from the main text. Do not use quotation marks.

Example:

The Style Manual (Snooks, 2002, p. 220) explains how to cite government publications,

Citation of government publications generally follows the…..


Paraphrasing, summarising and writing information in your own words

When you write your assignment you will support your arguments and assignment question with evidence found in your reading.  You must reference where you get your information from even when you write this into your own words.

You must include:

  • the reference at the point where you use the information
  • the page number if the information comes from one or two pages
  • no need to include page number if information is summing up many pages

When you paraphrase or summarise your writing you can either include the reference at the end of the piece of writing as shown in Example 1 or at the beginning by mentioning the author in the writing and introducing the evidence as shown in Example 2.

Example 1  

When attending an interview at a bank for a personal loan you must be well prepared (Brown & Koch, 2004).

Example 2

Brown & Koch (2004) suggest that it is vital to be well-prepared when attending an interview for a personal loan at a bank.