In research papers, you must provide accurate references for the
sources of your information. Ask your professor which format you
are to use, and if the department has a style sheet. This handout
provides guidelines (with page references, in case you need more
detailed information) from the Publication Manual of the
American Psychological Association, Fourth Edition. This
manual is comprehensive, detailed, and fairly easy to use, and
provides all the stylistic information you will need to write a
paper suitable for publication. A reference copy is available in
Counselling Services. (Note: some disciplines, such as English,
use a different system of referencing developed by the Modern
Languages Association.) Recent journal articles in your
discipline are a useful source of models for correct referencing
format. An essential source of formatting instruction is the red
marks you will discover on your returned papers or reports.
In this handout, examples are in Courier font, and are indented.
pp. 168 - 172)
The APA style uses a within-text referencing system rather than
footnotes or endnotes. References (in parentheses in your essay)
correspond with items in your reference list, at the end of your
essay. A reference list is not a bibliography: it includes only
material that you have specifically referred to in your essay.
Each reference must provide enough information for the reader to
identify and retrieve the source. The reference list is described
below under "Reference List."
The following reference includes author, date of publication, and
One author notes that ". . . there is a subtle annoyance evident in an audience that is listening to someone reading a speech
word for word" (Lorayne, 1985, p.53).
The following reference does not include page number, since it
refers to the content of a work and does not include a direct
The two drafts were each approximately one-thousand words long and were analyzed completely for T-units (Hunt, 1965) and for
clauses and selected clause features.
The following parenthetical reference gives the date only,
because the author's name is supplied in the text. In a new
paragraph, the publication date must be restated.
Murray (1981) has pointed out that "revision is not just clarifying meaning, it is discovering meaning and clarifying it while it is being discovered" (APA Manual, p. 33).
Use of "et al."
(APA Manual, p.168 -
When a work has two authors, do not use "et al."; always cite
both names every time you reference the work. When a work has
multiple authors, "et al." is used in referencing, according to
the following rules.
When a work has three, four or five authors, cite all authors the
first time the reference occurs:
Wasserstein, Zappulla, Rosen, Gerstman, and Rock (1994) found . . .
Subsequently, for the first citation per paragraph thereafter,
use "et al." with the date:
Wasserstein, et al. (1994) found . . .
In subsequent citations within the paragraph, omit the year:
Wasserstein, et al. found . . .
Multiple References in the same parentheses
(APA Manual, p.172)
For works by the same author(s), arrange by year of publication,
give surnames once, and separate dates by commas.
A number of studies (Johnson & Wilson, 1992, 1994) . . .
For works by the same author(s) and same year of publication,
identify by the suffixes a, b, c, etc.
A number of studies (Johnson & Smith, 1992a, 1992b, in press-a,
in press-b) . . .
For works by different authors, arrange by alphabetical order of
the surnames of the first author (if more than one author is
listed for a single work). Separate citations with semicolons.
A number of studies (Bates, 1989; Johnson, 1992; Wilson & Compton, 1990) . . .
(APA Manual, p. 174 ff.)
- Items in the reference list appear in alphabetical order by
the surnames of the authors
- If there is more that one author of an article, use the one
listed first in the article -- if more than one reference with
the same first author and different second or third authors,
arrange alphabetically according to surname of the second author,
and so on
- If you have several references by one author, put them in
date order, oldest to newest -- if the same date, arrange
alphabetically by title
- Single author references precede multiple author references
of the same author
- If the author is an association, alphabetize by the first
significant word of the full official name
(APA Manual, p. 182 ff.)
Author, A. A. (xxxx). Title of article. Title of periodical, xx, xxx-xxx.
Explanation of x's: After author -- date of publication; after
title of periodical -- issue number; then page numbers of the
article. Underline title of periodical and issue number.
- Book or other non-periodical (eg. report, etc.)
Author, X. X. (xxxx). Title of book. Location: Publisher.
Capitalize only the first word of the title (and subtitle), for
both periodical articles and books. Capitalize the major words of
the names of periodicals.
Citing Internet Sources of Information
Brief Citation Guide For Internet Sources in History and the
Humanities. This information is based on MLA rather than APA
formatting conventions, but may be useful all the same.
Proposed standard for
referencing online documents in scientific publications.
Internet Sources of Information on APA
Publication Manual Crib Sheet
Internet Sources of Information on MLA
Brief Citation Guide For Internet Sources in History and the
Humanities. This site is mainly concerned with MLA
formatting, but has pointers to APA information as well.
Appearance counts: papers that are neat, clean, and formatted in
the conventions of the discipline receive higher marks than other
papers even if the content is identical.
Editing for spelling, grammar, punctuation, clarity and
conciseness is essential. Editing, however, will not solve
problems in organization, or "critical thinking" (analysis of
issues, inclusion of relevant information, presentation of an
argument, evaluation of points of view, and so on). You should
have a clear thesis and know what you are going to say before
attempting to write a rough draft. If your problems with writing
are in this area, see a Learning Skills Counsellor for help in
developing suitable strategies.