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APA 7 referencing style: Introduction

A guide to using the APA 7th edition referencing system for in-text citations and reference lists.

APA Referencing

APA referencing is the author-date style of referencing described in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. In this style, each reference consists of an in-text citation of the author and date, with the full details in the reference list at the end of the document.

This Guide provides an introduction to the most commonly used elements in the APA7 style. For further information, refer to the Publication Manual, or the APA Style Blog.

If using EndNote version X9.3 or prior you will need to download the APA 7 style as per these instructions.

If using EndNote version 20 the APA 7 style is available within the software; see the Selecting Styles in EndNote tab at this link for instructions.  

Two parts to acknowledging references in APA

The 2 parts to acknowledging reference material in the APA style work in partnership, to indicate to your reader where your ideas have come from and how they can locate the original source of these:

  1. the citation itself, which appears directly associated with a quote, summary or paraphrase.  In the APA style an in-text citation can be given in
    • parenthesis style as (Author, date) eg (Smith, 2014) or 
    • narrative style as Author (date)
  2. the complete description of the source, presented in an alphabetical list of references at the end of the work.  Alphabetising is primarily by the surname of the first author. This allows your reader to find the correct reference in the full reference list using just the information in the (Author, Date) in-text reference. For detailed instructions on variations see the APA Manual. For an example, see the example text.

How to use this APA Referencing guide: 

  • View our APA Referencing Guidelines to get an overview of the in-text and end-text construction rules applicable across all formats.
  • View our APA Examples for some of the most common formats, with a link to the APA Style Blog for more examples. 
  • See our APA example text for some of the key variations used to acknowledge sources in-text using APA Style. 

APA7 reference format examples - in-text and end-text in works

The overarching principle is that readers should have a reference detailed enough to allow them to locate the original source if they wish. You should always acknowledge authors whose ideas or information you have used.

For further examples see the APA Style website, or the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th edition.


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