Formatting style used officially by the American Psychological Association in the fields of psychology, education, and other social sciences is referred to as Referencing style APA. Listing of all the resources used in the work including the author name, date of publication, title and more is called reference list. An Referencing style APA can be divided into in text citing and referencing. The format for referencing is presented for a quick understanding.


         Format: author surname, initial., & author surname, initial. (year of publication). Title (in italics). Edition. Publisher.


Referencing style APA does not differentiate how books, journal articles, website or web documents or other formats are referenced except for audio-visual or slides. Here instead of pages, paragraph (para) are used.


In-Text Citation in Referencing style APA

Citations used in the text’s main body referred as in-text citation either as direct quote or paraphrased. It is listed in the format author’s surname and date of publication.

         Example: Mitchell (1936) or (Mitchell, 1936)

Include page number if quoting the author in Referencing style APA. If quoting the referencing author, the citation should follow the quote immediately and include page number

         Example: (Mitchell, 1936, p.103).

When using parenthetical referencing, Referencing style APA does not require page number.


Referencing style APA in two or three or more authors:

Surname of both authors are listed separated by ‘and’ or “&” symbol.

         Example: Cussler and Burcell (2017) … Or … (Cussler & Burcell (2017).


In case of three or more authors

         ExampleWilliams, Willig, and White (2016)


Referencing style APA cites three or more authors by listing the first authors surname followed by et al.

         Example: Gupta et al (2017) state… Or …(Gupta et al, 2017).



Unknown Author in Referencing style APA

For an unknown author, the write up title is used as a rule or first few words of the write up.

         Example: Tips for APA style (2022)…..or …… (Tips for Referencing style APA, 2022)


A book title, publication, handout or report should be cited in Referencing style APA as

         Example: (Tips for Referencing style APA, 2022)


Citation from an essay, “chapter” or “web page” should be enclosed in inverted comma

         Example: (“Tips for Referencing style APA”, 2017).


Author with multiple works in one year in Referencing style APA is cited as

The reference should be cited using a, b, c etc., after the date inside the reference list alphabetically arranged by surname of the first author.

         Example: (Smith, 2017a) or (Smith, 2017b).


In Referencing style APA parenthetical citing of multiple works the surname can be recorded just once which is followed by dates in chronological order.

         Example: Smith (1907, 1813, 2017) or (Smith, 1907, 1813, 2017)


Multiple authors as per Referencing style APA are cited alphabetically, with authors name separated by a semicolon.

         Example: (Smith, 2017a; Cussler & Burcell 2017; Williams, Willig, & White, 2015).


Citing an organisation/group Referencing style APA:

When citing a group for the first time, the group’s full name should be used. Thereafter it can be referred to with the short title.

         Example: Citing for the first time: (International Cotton Association, 2021)

Subsequent citations can be as (Cotton Association, 2021)


Secondary source citing Referencing style APA:

The author whose work is quoted and date should be recorded first followed by ‘as cited in’ followed by the author who is citing it and date.

         Example: Clough (1862) as cited in Robb (2011) Or (Clough, 1962, as cited in Robb, 2011)


Book citation in Referencing style APA

         Examples: Williams, B., Willig, L., and White, K. (2020). All the Ways We Said Goodbye. New York, New York: HarperCollins

         Cussler, Clive & Burcell, Robin (2018). The Romanov Ransom (2nd ed.). London, UK: Penguin Random House


Edited book in Referencing style APA

It is like book referencing however editor’s name is used

         Example: Thomas, J. (Ed.). (2021).  A Guide to One Pot Cooking (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Random House


Referencing style APA edited book chapters

         Example: Thomas, J. (Ed.). (2021).  Variety Rice. (In J. Thomas (Ed.). A Guide to One Pot Cooking (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Random House


E-book citation Referencing style APA

An e-book reference is like book referencing except the publisher is replaced by URL.

         Example: Christie, A., (2019). The Murder on the Links. Retrieved from


E-book chapter Referencing style APA

The Referencing style APA is same as edited book chapter reference however the publisher’s name is replaced by URL. The editor(s) name can be placed next to the chapter title in the same style as for book followed by title and pages referred to.

         Example: Christie, A., (2019). A Fellow Traveller. The Murder on the Links. Retrieved from


In case, editor(s) and page range need to be cited, APA styles reference’s it as….

         Example: Christie, A., (2019). A Fellow Traveller. (In J., Thomas (Ed.). The Murder on the Links (5th ed., pp 50-58). Retrieved from



Referencing style APA printed or online journal article

The difference in article and book citation is omission of publisher and location. While citing in Referencing style APA, journal article’s title, volume, issue and page number are mentioned.

         Example: Gabrielsson, John & Stephan, Hjorth. (2016). Pattern Recognition in a Serial Liar and Cheater. AAPS Journal, 67(2), 81-95


         Example: Gabrielsson, John & Stephan, Hjorth. (2016). Pattern Recognition in a Serial Liar and Cheater. AAPS Journal, 67(2), 81-95. Retrieved from


Newspaper articles in print or online in Referencing style APA

         Example: Gaurav, K. (2022, January, 09). Omicron Effect: Govt offices to remain shut in Himachal Pradesh on weekends. pp.4


Magazine in Referencing style APA

         Example: Mitchell, J.A. (2017). How Covid changed the Work Culture. The Mendeley, pp. 26-28


Images in Referencing style APA

         Example: Gogh, V. V. (1885). The Potato Eaters [painting]. Retrieved from


Film in Referencing style APA

         Example: Fried, R. N., Jewison, N., Mulvehill, C., & Woods, C. (Producers), & Jewison, N. (Director). (1994). Only You. United States of America: TriStar Pictures.


TV programme in Referencing style APA

         Example: Catlin, M., and Walley-Beckett, Moire (Writers), & Johnson, R (Director). (2010). Fly [Television series episode]. In Schnauz, T. (Executive Producer). Breaking bad. Culver City, CA: Sony Pictures Television




Song and Referencing style APA

         Example: Lennon, John., Ono, Yoko, (1971) Imagine [Recorded by John Lennon]. On Imagine [audio album]., New York, NY: East Record Plant (27 May - 4 July)


Website and Referencing style APA

Author surname, initial(s). (Year, month day). Title. Retrieved from URL

         Example: Smith, J.A. (2021, May 21). Internet Ethics: What and How. Retrieved from


Listing Reference Referencing style APA

·         A new page at the end of the work should be used to list and page title centrally aligned

·         Reference list should include all the sources used at the end of the work

·         Alphabetic order should be used for listing, surname first, followed by title. Initials can be expanded. The names in the work with multiple authors should be recorded as is in the source and should not be rearranged.

·         Capitalise first alphabet of the title’s first word. It should be in italics. In case of journal articles, first alphabet of all the worda are capitalised except for preposition, conjunction, or articles.

·         A hanging indent makes the reference more obvious.


The above simplified pointers will help you with Referencing style APA comfortably