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APA 7th referencing guide: Referencing and APA style

A concise guide to APA 7th style for referencing by Lancaster University Library

Cite Them Right

cite them right logo open book At Lancaster you have access to Cite Them Right : the essential guide to referencing and plagiarism.

Cite Them Right covers the range of referencing styles which can be used including

Chicago, Harvard, OSCOLA, APA, IEEE, MLA, Vancouver and MHRA.

APA 7th edition

apa 7th vs apa 6thThe APA 7th edition was published in 2020 and is fully revised from the 6th.

If you are changing to APA 7th, look out for changes in referencing all types of documents. 

Notable changes from APA 6th:

  • number of authors to include in the reference list has increased 
  • no longer need to include the location for publishers / place published
  • new standardised format for URLs and DOIs 
  • no longer need to include the format, platform or device for ebooks. 

The Library also has a guide for APA 6th. 

What is referencing?

When you write your assignment, you are required to refer to the work of other authors to strengthen your argument and provide evidence for the points you want to make. Each time you do so, it is necessary to identify their work by making reference to them in your own written work. This practice of acknowledging authors is known as 'referencing'. 

References must be provided whenever you use someone else's views, theories, data or organisation of material. You may need to reference a range of different sources of information, for example from books, journal articles, videos, websites, images, computers and any other print or electronic sources.

Steps involved in APA referencing

There are two forms of reference required in the Harvard method of referencing:

In-text citation, i.e. where you refer to the work or ideas of another individual or organisation and indicate this source at the relevant point in the body of your writing. An in-text citation will require brief details, including the name of the author, year of publication and potentially a page number.  Fuller details should be provided in your reference list later in your assignment.

Full reference in reference list, i.e. the full publication details for sources used, arranged alphabetically by author name or organisation name in a list provided towards the end of your assignment.

Print the APA guide

The printable APA referencing guides are updated every year.

The 7th edition was published in October 2019

Why reference?

Acknowledging the work of others in your writing is good academic practice. Referencing also shows the breadth of your research, allows the reader to consult your sources and verify your data, and helps to avoid plagiarism and the penalties involved.

The APA 7th vs APA 6th image is used with permission from BibGuru from their blog post