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APA 6th Referencing Style Guide

This guide introduces the APA referencing style with examples of citation styles for different types of resources.


Reference format for print books

Author, Initial. (Year). Book title. City of publication, Country/State: Publisher.

No author

Reference list entry:

Collins concise New Zealand dictionary (7th ed.). (2008). London, England: Collins. 

In-text citations:

...this definition from the Collins Concise New Zealand Dictionary (2008) shows...

...highlights the debate around nuclear weapons ("Nuke Test Inquiry,"2009).

  • Use the first few words of the title, or the complete title if short, as listed in your reference list, and the date.
  • Format with:
    • double quotation marks for the title of an article or chapter or webpage;
    • italics for the title of a journal or book or brochure or report;
    • capitals for both.


One author

Reference list entry:

Gambles, I. (2009). Making the business case: Proposals that succeed for projects that work. Farnham, England: Ashgate.

In-text citations:

Gambles (2009) states....

....can lead to a more successful outcome (Gamble, 2009)


Two - seven authors

Reference list entry:

Gazda, G. M., Balzer, F. J., Childers, W. C., Nealy, A. U., Phelps, R. E., & Walters, R. P. (2005). Human relations development: A manual for educators (7th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Educational.

In-text citations - two authors

Walker and Allen (2004) said....

....stop smoking (Walker & Allen, 2004).

  • Use "and" between author names in a sentence
  • Use "&" between author names in an in-text citation
  • In the reference list use "&"
  • Always give both authors each time you cite the work​

In-text citations - three, four or five authors

First citation in text:

... as the findings suggested (Alred, Brusaw, & Oliu, 2009)

Subsequent citations:

... in the same study (Alred et al., 2009).

Alfred et al. (2009) found that ...

  • Give all authors the first time you cite them
  • In subsequent citations, give only the first author and et al.
  • Include the year if this is the first citation of this reference in the paragraph

In-text citationssix or more authors

Kosslyn et al. (1996) found that ...

  • Cite only the surname of the first author, et al. and the year (always give the year).


Corporate author (organization)

Reference list entry:

New Zealand Health Information Service. (2003). Report on maternity: Maternal and newborn information.  Wellington, New Zealand: Ministry of Health.

In-text citations:

.... as research indicates (Inland Revenue Department [IRD], 2007)

Subsequent citations:

.... suggested by recent statistics (IRD, 2010).

  • The first time you cite it in-text, write the corporate author in full with its abbreviation in square brackets "[...]" plus date.
  • In subsequent citations use the abbreviation plus date.


Unabbreviated corporate authors

In-text citation:

.... on student retention (The University of Auckland, 2010).
  • Write the corporate author in full every time if it is not well known by abbreviation.


Corporate author as publisher

Reference list entry:

New Zealand Universities Academic Audit Unit. (1988). Academic audit reports: Reports of the general academic audits of New Zealand universities. Wellington, New Zealand: Author.

  • In the reference list, where the author and publisher are the same, use the word Author in the publisher position.


New edition of a book

Reference list entry:

Berk, L. E. (2004). Development through the lifespan (3rd ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.


Edited book

Reference list entry:

Sykes, P., & Potts, A. (Eds.). (2008). Researching education from the inside: Investigations from within. London, England: Routledge.


Chapter from an edited book

Reference list entry:

Easton, B. (2008). Does poverty affect health? In K. Dew & A. Matheson (Eds.), Understanding health inequalities in Aotearoa New Zealand (pp. 97–106). Dunedin, New Zealand: Otago University Press.

  • the author(s) of the chapter is the main entry in your reference list and in your in text citation


Chapter from an edited book, newer edition

Reference list entry:

Root, J. (2007). Film noir. In P. Cook (Ed.), The cinema book (3rd ed., pp. 305–315). London, England: British Film Institute.


Book with a volume number of a series

Esposito, A. & Jain, L. C. (Eds.). (2016). Modeling emotions. In Toward robotic socially believable behaving systems series (Vol. 1).


Several volumes in a multivolume work

Koch, S. (Ed.). (1959-1963). Psychology: A study of science (Vols. 1-6). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.


Reprints and translations

Reference list entry:

Freud, S. (1953). The method of interpreting dreams: An analysis of a specimen dream. In J. Strachey (Ed. & Trans.), The standard edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud (Vol. 4, pp. 96-121). Retrieved from (Original work published 1900)

  • give the date of the version that you have read after the author; put the date of the original publication at the end
  • in text give both dates: (Freud, 1900/1953).


Classical works

Reference list entry:

Plato. (1961). Meno (R. S. Bluck, Trans.). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. (Original work published ca. 380 B.C.)

  • in text give both dates: (Plato, 380 B.C./1961)


Wordless picture book

Reference format:

Creator (Illustrator), Initial. (Year). Book title. City of publication, Country/State: Publisher.

Reference list entry:

Lehman, B. (2011). The secret box. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children.


Graphic novel where author and illustrator are given equal credit for authorship

Reference format:

Author, Initial. & Illustrator, Initial. (Year). Book title. City of publication, Country/State: Publisher.

Reference list entry:

Moore, A., & Gibbons, D. (1986). Watchmen. New York, NY: DC Comics.


Always use the DOI (digital object identifier) for an e-book if it is available.


ebook - with DOI:

Reference list entry:

Schiraldi, G. R. (2001). The post-traumatic stress disorder sourcebook: A guide to healing, recovery, and growth.


ebook - Kindle:

Reference list entry:

Gladwell, M. (2008). Outliers: The story of success [Kindle DX version]. Retrieved from


ebook - free online, no DOI:

Reference list entry:

Austen, J. (1853). Pride and prejudice: A novel. Retrieved from

  • include the full URL or the site's homepage URL, whichever takes you to the source more reliably


ebook - via the AUT Library, no DOI:

Reference list entry:

Knox, P. L., & Mayer, H. (2009). Small town sustainability: economic, social, and environmental innovation. Retrieved from

  • Replace the URL of the database with the homepage of the publisher.

For example:

Replace the database URL for the reference above,

with the Proquest homepage URL:


Chapter in an edited ebook - with DOI:

Reference list entry:

Helmig, B., & Thaler, J. (2010). Nonprofit marketing. In R. Taylor (Ed.), Third sector research (pp.151–169).


Chapter in an edited ebook - not from AUT Library:

Reference list entry:

Anderson, E. (2005). Dewey's moral philosophy. In E. N. Zalta (Ed.), The Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy (Fall, 2008 ed.). Retrieved from

  • If the date of the most recent change or update is not clear from the website entry, include the retrieval date


Online dictionary definition:

Reference list entry:

Light. (n.d.). In Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary (11th ed.). Retrieved from

In-text citations guide  

Book compilations / custom publications

  • Treat a book that is a compilation of chapters from other books and published specifically for AUT (or another organisation) as an edited book
  • Include the name and centre for which it is published, if that is stated with the other publishing details in the first few pages of the book


Book - where the organisation for which the book is compiled is not named:

Reference list entry:

Mpofu, C. (Ed.). (2010). Psychology and lifespan development: An introductory text for health professionals [Custom textbook]. North Shore, New Zealand: Pearson Custom Publication.


Book - where the organisation is named:

Reference list entry:

Krägeloh, C. (Ed.). (2008). Research methods and statistics in the health sciences [Custom textbook]. North Ryde, Australia: McGraw-Hill Custom Publication for Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences, Auckland University of Technology.

Chong, S. & Werner, M. (Ed.). (2016). ACCT 601 accounting practice & systems for AUT University [Custom textbook]. Melbourne, Australia: Cengage Learning. Custom publication for Faculty of Business and Law, Auckland University of Technology.


Book chapter:

Reference list entry:

Bordens, K., & Abbott, B. (2008). Explaining behavior. In C. Krägeloh (Ed.), Research methods and statistics in the health sciences [Custom textbook] (pp. 3–30). North Ryde, Australia: McGraw-Hill Custom Publication for Facultyof Health and Environmental Sciences, Auckland University of Technology.

In-text citations guide  

Notes on the Reference List

A reference list only lists the sources you have referred to in your writing.  

The purpose of the reference list is to allow your sources to be be found by your reader. It also gives credit to authors whose work and ideas you have considered.  All references cited in the text must appear in the reference list, except for personal communications (such as conversations or emails) which cannot be retrieved.  

A bibliography is different from a reference list as it lists all the sources used during your research and background reading, not just the ones you refer to in your writing.  

Reference list example


Alred, G. J., Brusaw, C. T., & Oliu, W. E. (2009). The business writer’s handbook. New York, NY: St Martin's Press.

Best, A. (2004). International history of the twentieth century. Retrieved from

Easton, B. (2008). Does poverty affect health? In K. Dew & A. Matheson (Eds.), Understanding health inequalities in Aotearoa New Zealand (pp. 97–106). Dunedin, New Zealand: Otago University Press.

Flesch, R. (n.d.). How to write plain English. Retrieved April 12, 2009, from /writing/flesch.shtml

​Global warming. (2009, June 1). Retrieved June 4, 2009, from

Li, S., & Seale, C. (2007). Learning to do qualitative data analysis: An observational study of doctoral work. Qualitative Health Research, 17, 1442–1452.  

Radio New Zealand. (2008). Annual report 2007-2008. Retrieved from /pdf_file/0010/179676/Radio_NZ_Annual_Report_2008.pdf  

Read, E. (2007, November 1). Myth-busting gen Y. New Zealand Management. Retrieved from


Title Include the title 'References' (one word, beginning with a capital letter, centred, and not in italics


Indent Hanging indent your references (space bar in 5 - 7 spaces for the second and subsequent lines of each reference)
Space between references In general double-space between references
Ampersand Use for 2 - 6 authors, use & before the final author
One author, two publications Order by year of publication, the earlier one first.  Same year of publication for both - add 'a' and 'b' after the year, inside the brackets. Include this in the in text citation. example: Baheti, J. R. (2001a).
URLs Remove the underlines from URLs so that any underscores ( _ ) can be seen
Same first author, different second author Order alphabetically by second or subsequent authors
Upper case letters (capital letters)

Journal title - use headline style; i.e. capitalise all the words, except articles and prepositions

Book title or article title (in a journal, magazine or newspaper) - use sentence style; i.e. capitalise the first word of the title, and subtitle (after the colon), and any proper names

Place of publication

USA publishers give the city in full and the abbreviation for the state. 
New York, NY
Springfield, MA

Publishers outside the USA: Give the city in full and the country in full
London, England
Auckland, New Zealand

Square brackets

If format, medium or description information is important for a resource to be retrieved or identified, use square brackets after the title to include this detail:  

Scorsese, M. (Producer), & Lonergan, K. (Writer/Director). (2000). You can
    count on me [Motion picture]. United States: Paramount Pictures.  


Secondary citations

A secondary citation is where you are citing information or quotes the author of your reference has taken from source that you have not read.

In-text citation:

Seidenberg and McClelland’s study, conducted in 1990 (as cited in Coltheart, Curtis, Atkins, & Haller, 1993), shows that ...
... as some studies show (Seidenberg & McClelland, as cited in Coltheart, Curtis, Atkins, & Haller, 1993).
  • Name the author of the original work in your text, cite the secondary source in in-text citation: (as cited in ..., 1993)

Reference list entry: 

Coltheart, M., Curtis, B. Atkins, P., & Haller, M. (1993). Models of reading aloud: Dual-route and parallel-distributed-processing approaches. Psychological Review, 100, 589–608.

  • Give the secondary source in the reference list.