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APA 7th Referencing Style Guide

About this guide

This APA referencing style guide provides some insight into APA style rules. You may get some ideas about what is the APA 7th referencing style from our APA 7th brief guide first, then find more referencing examples within this guide or from the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th edition).

Where there is uncertainty in citing a particular source, check your course guidelines and clarify with your lecturers.

Referencing & APA style


Referencing is about acknowledging the ownership of resources used in your academic writing, and provides information necessary to identify and retrieve the work cited in the text.

There are many different referencing styles. At AUT most courses use the APA reference style.

What is APA?

APA referencing style is an author-date referencing system published by the American Psychological Association. 

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)

Reference management software

You may use a reference software to manage your references. The most popular software are EndNote, Mendeley and Zotero.

APA manual, brief guide, videos & other tools

APA 7th brief guide

APA manual

Publication manual of the American Psychological Association. (2020). 7th edition, American Psychological Association. 

APA online resources

APA concise guide

Concise guide to APA style: The official APA style guide for students. (2020). 7th edition, American Psychological Association: guidelines for scholarly writing using APA styles.

APA videos  

Referencing tools

Reference list vs. Bibliography

reference list lists only the sources you refer 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 you have consulted for their ideas.  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.  

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.