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APA Referencing, How-to-Guide

How APA referencing works.

The APA system of referencing is used by the Psychology Department at LSBU.

There are two stages to referencing sources using the APA system.

Firstly, you need to cite the source in the body of your work, at the point where you are referring to it.  This is called an in-text citation, and just includes the author(s) and publication date.

Secondly, you need to add a full reference to the source at the end of your work.  This part is called the reference list and is arranged in alphabetical order, normally by author.

 Please note this is an edited version of APA referencing and, if you are going to publish content in academic journals, you will need to adhere to their official APA referencing style guidelines.


Why do we need to reference?

Referencing is an essential academic skill. You need to reference in order to:

  • show evidence of your research
  • support your arguments and analysis
  • allow readers to identify and locate the sources you’ve used
  • acknowledge the work and ideas of others

If you do not reference properly you will lose marks and risk plagiarising the work of others.

Plagiarism is the act of passing off someone else’s work as your own and is a form of cheating. NOTE: You need to acknowledge others’ work, even if you are paraphrasing or putting their work or ideas into your own words.