simple guide to APA Referencing

A Simple Guide to APA Referencing

In universities across the world, students are judged and marked not only on the work that they submit, but also on the format they use and the references their work is based upon. One of the most common tasks students face in their academic life is to write papers that draw upon the research of others. By using simple guide to apa referencing, students are required to mention or give credit to the sources they have borrowed facts or information from that is not common knowledge to the public.

For example, we all know that Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan. But if we were to include the total population of Islamabad in our paper, we would need to provide the source of that information as various surveys differ in opinion.

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This is called Referencing. The basic definition of referencing would be ‘to provide a book or article with citations of sources of information’. The referencing of the text book APA makes it easier to add quality research about the same subject in the past. The details about where the information was found and upon which an assignment is based on is listed in two chapters at the end of the assignment; called the Reference list and the Bibliography.

Direct quotes or paraphrased findings of other authors are mentioned in the reference list. Sources that were read for background information but were not necessarily or directly included in the assignment are listed in the bibliography.

Guide To APA Referencing

APA stands for American Psychological Association. The APA Referencing style is a set of guidelines pre-defined to make reference lists and the bibliography reliable and easier to decipher. There are different referencing styles used in different academic fields and countries. The simplest way to avoid mistakes is to use the style your school or university recommends and not to mix and match.

The APA Referencing style is used primarily in the USA, specifically by the Social Sciences and the institutions affiliated with it. The APA style helps a student to cite a source and format their paper/essay/thesis in a clear and consistent manner. The elements of APA style include in-text matters such as punctuation standards, margin depth, heading format and line spacing. Follow the steps below so as not to miss any important information:

Record the full bibliographic details and relevant page numbers of the source from which the info has been taken.

Insert the citations at the appropriate place in the text of your paper. all the in-text citations at the end of your document.

The outline of your paper should be based upon the following steps:

The essay should be typed, double spaced on a standardized paper with 1” margins on all sides. The font used should be clear and easily readable. The APA recommends using 12 pt. Times New Roman.

Create a Title page with the text double spaced. Title of the paper, name of the author and the institution should be the only thing mentioned on the page. No titles (Dr.) or degrees (PhD) should be used with your name.

Include A Page Header On Top Of Every Page

The essay should contain FOUR major sections; the Title Page, the Abstract, the Main Body and the References.

The abstract of your essay should concisely summarize the keywords of your research paper. It should at least include the topic of your research, research questions, participants, methods, data analysis and conclusions. You can also include possible implications of your research and future work. The Abstract of the paper should be a single paragraph, double-spaced and not more than 250 words.

In-Text Citations

The surname of the author and the year of publication is required. A page number is also included in case of a direct quote. If there is no author then you can just use the title of the source along with the date of publication in the Reference List. Each reference should appear on a new line in the reference list and each item in the reference list is required to have a hanging indent. APA referencing indent makes it further easier for the writers to work flawlessly. Furthermore, references should never be numbered.

Citing A Book In APA Style

When citing a book in APA, always remember to capitalize the first letter of the first word of the title and any subtitles, as well as the first letters of any proper nouns. Furthermore, the full title of the book, including any subtitles, should be stated and italicized.

APA Format Structure

Author. (Year of Published). Title of Book. City, State: Publisher.

APA format example:

Ahmed, U. 2006. La – Hasil. Lahore, Pakistan: Ilm O Urfan Publishers.

What You Are Citing

In –Text Citation

Entire work

(Ahmed, 2006)

A specific page

(Ahmed, 2006, p.45 )

Citing An E-book

Nowadays, almost every book is available online and has its own source or version. An E-book is an “electronic book” and the digital version of a book that can be read on a computer, e-reader (Kindle) or any other electronic device.

Author, (Year of Publication). Title of work [E-reader version].Retrieved from or doi: xxxx/

Remember, a DOI (digital object identifier) is an assigned number that helps link content to it’s location on the internet and is thus extremely important. Hence, use it in your citation if it is provided. All DOI numbers begin with 10 and are separated by a slash.

Magazine Article

Author, (Year, Month Date Published). Article title. Magazine Title, Page(s).

Newspaper Article

Author, (Year, Month Date Published). Article title. Newspaper Title, Page(s).


Author, (Year, Month Date Published). Article title. Website Title. Retrieved Month Date, Year. From URL.

Thus you can apply the rules of each format as you cite your sources in different ways.

Why is Referencing important?

Referencing demonstrates that you have read relevant literary background and can provide authority for statements you made in your assignments. In this way, you credit other researchers and writers while acknowledging their contribution. You also avoid plagiarism which is highly frowned upon in the academic world with repercussions ranging anywhere from dismissal of your paper to suspension.

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One of the several different formats is needed by writers especially when they are writing a paper. The APA format is the most preferred choice in many cases especially for the behavioral and social sciences and for the field of education as well. American Psychological Association in 1929 created this format and they also introduced some important rules to structure a paper to allow the readers to read it with full ease. The ease is not only for the readers but for publishers as well. There are a lot of benefits of using APA format in your writing.

APA Formatting In The Field Of Education

In many fields of academics the APA format is used extensively. When in your paper you make use of APA format, the paper restructuring is generally not required and you are less likely to use it when submitting your work to the examiner, editor of your journal or a publisher. It also indicates that there is no need for you to learn many different types of formatting while writing about various topics and simple APA format can do your desired task.

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In your paper you also get a proper structure and order when you use APA referencing and formatting. In this way your paper looks more professional and formal. Many people especially those who read about science theories and discoveries they are accustomed to read the work in APA format and hence it also lends the credibility to the paper. Some people however who do not comply are often met with some chaos.

No Restructuring Of The Content Is Needed

When you are using APA referencing style PDF, it leaves no place to wonder about the restructuring of the content. Within this format the rules set detail the margin sizes, the needed spacing and the font which is supposed to be used. The new writers and even some experienced writers also get some knowledge and instructions on how the citation should be done regarding resources inside the paragraph body and in the section of referencing. The number of pages, headings and the used abbreviations are discussed you can focus more on your content if you know well about the paper structuring.

The APA Format Enhances Writing Skills

Making use of APA format enable the new and old writers to develop and enhance their writing skills. It is a well established fact that the format has its own rules for the paper structuring and many are aware of this, the ins and outs of grammar are also discussed and in this way any writer can get help from it.

Along with this, the critical thinking skills of the person also develop. Unbiased writing is also promoted by it. The APA format also asks writers to make it sure that the paper they are working on has a neutral perspective. The use of gender pronouns are included in it along with making it sure that in any of the text there is no bias contained.

APA Referencing Images Insertion

Another advantage of APA referencing is that it allows the use of images in the paper. There are several guidelines which include the ways writers can make use of charts, tables and graphs in their research paper to make data readable and easier to understand. This makes the reading and understanding further easier. With the help of images the readers often grasp the concepts presented in the paper quickly as written text can be very powerful thing in this case.

This is particularly true while writing something about science where in presenting data and to make it readable huge amounts of numbers are needed. In the same way referencing a table in APA makes it easier for the writers to allow adding more information in their work.

APA Formatting With Numerous Materials

In the end, there is another basic benefit of using APA format. It is the presence of numerous materials that enable the new writers in learning and the ways to use the format accurately. Through APA website the APA manuals can be referenced easily. At the web site you will find a lot of tutorials and writer’s examples.

Due to its pervasive utilization, numerous other information sources are there which can be seen outline regarding the proper and accurate handling and using of this format. To use at first it is always challenging for the writers, but later on the popularity of this APA format allows writers to learn it well since there are so many guides along with this format.

5 Facts You Need To Know About APA Citation

As you are going to start with the source and cite the needed information more for the academic papers especially in colleges and universities, professional content or articles and books, mostly the people start off feeling overwhelmed. At the first time it can be quite the head scratcher especially while exactly determining which kind of format is required at first.

To get used to of this sort of formatting can take a bit especially behind the citations and figuring out what is supposed to be included. Keep in mind the first five facts while making use of APA format and citations.

Which Papers Need APA In The First Place?

All the formats for citation were made for the writing of specific kind that deals with various aspects of the subject. In 1929 the APA style was born and in the Psychological Bulletin it was published as well along with the guidelines of the format. On the other hand, to start catching on took some time.

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A perfect sense is therefore made that since American Psychological Association has created the APA style for the first time and it was initially introduced in the Psychological Bulletin. This format was generally made for the sciences, social sciences and psychology related articles.

Later on, some other fields of academics were included in this style of referencing such as anthropology and sociology. If you are not working on a social science project, there is always a chance that another format would be given to you which is known as MLA format and sometimes for this purpose Chicago style is also given.

Your APA Paper Should Have Four Parts

Keeping the knowledge of APA formatting style indicates more than simply figuring out the correct use of information in an article in the accurate manner especially while citing a source. Four major sections are there in APA papers. The sections include the title page with the course and the title, name of author and the school which is affiliated with it.

In the second section, the APA is sometimes not remembered, the abstract section is the name given to it. It generally comprises of 200 words with a brief summary with essential details about what your paper is all about. This section is also a preview which readers are supposed to take in.

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The section number three of the APA paper is actually the main body. It is actually the juice of the paper and also offers the solid reason why someone is reading a particular paper. The content of the paper will not be captivating if no interesting information is added inside it. In this case generally APA citations are of no use even if you have used them in the best possible manner.

In the end, the section number four for the APA paper comprises of the list of references. It is actually a categorized list of all the valuable sources which you consulted and utilized while making your own paper. If any information is cited in the paper, which you need more to get good and reasonable grades, all such things are supposed to be added in this section of referencing list.

Remember the In-Text Citations For APA

While writing your paper in an amazing form, citations are always needed to be added in the text or else it would be considered that your work is not extra ordinary and original and hence it is likely to get rejected. The citations added thus are known as in text citations and in APA formatting style they are written along with the last name of the author and this is followed by the year of publishing of that book.

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More than what you think it is much easier to do it. For example,  if you have gathered the information from the book of B.F. Skinner who is a famous and well known psychologist and you are referring to this information, the book was published in 1950 and hence you are supposed to write simply (Skinner, 1950) and this is the easiest and simplest way. On the other hand, you are supposed to keep in mind that at the end of your work, you have to extend this data or information in your reference list on the source.

Formatting For The APA Reference Page At The End

At the end of the paper the reference page is likely to be started on a new page. All you need is to put a simple heading on the top if it, such as “References”. You need to center the topic at the top of the page. Once you have finished it, APA referencing alphabetical order, you are ready to list your list of sources. When you are making the list of referencing alphabetically, your time will be definitely saved as you are more updated on the content of the articles and alphabetical order of the sources used.

Do not intend the first line of a reference and it is always essential to remember it. All the lines after it should be intended over. Make use of double space in the referencing section.

The Order Needed for Each APA Citation

Sometimes citations get confusing and this is actually the time where it happens. Depending on the style of formatting, the information order used can often put you in a wonder that why is there no universal way to cite the used resources despite of the subject content. On the other hand, for APA references page here is a quick breakdown.

While adding citations in the journal based article, the journal referencing APA formatting is supposed to start with the name of the author and the year when the book was published. The name of publication is also added and then the magazine pages where you found the article. A lot of times are there when the same article is written by many authors and if this is the case, you can put the name of these authors in alphabetical order. Referencing a journal article APA makes it easier for journals to be impact ful and plagiarism free.

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APA style book referencing and referencing a bible APA is actually easier as compared to writing an article. You need to add the name of an author and the year when his work was initially published, this is followed by the name of the used book and in the end publisher name is mentioned. Citing of the books is relatively a simpler task in APA referencing. APA referencing dissertations are also submitted by students and this ensures the high quality work.

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Once you have done everything, re-read all the things to make it sure that your referencing is accurate and free of mistakes. This will make you a better writer in a long haul. It is very important not to let the process go down.

The times you need to cite your sources are not supposed to be too immense. If for the creation of APA citations you need help, try the online citation generator. It will give you basic guide lines and you can create citations using different formats and as compared to other online citation generators it is easier to be used. Keep on citing the sources and keep your chin up.

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