Citing sources


APA Style: Sample Reference List

All sources are listed alphabetically by author or title if no author is listed. Ignore A, the or an if they begin a title.

Book With Author

[Author (date). Title. City: Publisher.]
  • Jones, P (2001) History of Britain. London: Penguin

Book No Author

[Title (date). City: Publisher] The Britain of Henry Viii. (2002) Leeds: Wayland.

Book With 2-6 Authors

All authors are cited
  • Jones, A., Kasey, P., Pullman, R. (2001). Arthurian Legends: the history behind the myth.London: Penguin.

More Than Six Authors

When a work has more than six authors cite the surnames and initials of the first six authors then follow with the abbreviations et al. (date). Title. City: Publisher.


[Editors name(s). (Eds.). (Date). Title. City: Publisher.]

  • Paul, L. (ed.). (2001) Science for the classroom. New York: Harcourt Brace and Jovanovich. 

Sponsored by an Institution, Corporation or Other Organisation

[Name of Organisation, Department with the organisation (if applicable). (Date). Title. City: Author] Queensland Tourist and Travel Corporation, Market Research Department. (2004). Tourism Trends on the Gold Coast. Haley, B.

Newspaper Article

[Author (complete date, year first). Title of article. Title of Newspaper, section (for newspapers): page(s).]

  • Ross, T. (2005, May 14). A law unto themselves – not now. The Courier Mail, Features: p35.

Magazine/Journal Article

[Author (date). Title of article. Title of journal volume number, (issue no) page(s) covered by article.]

  • Potter, D.M. (2004) Brain food. New Scientist 40: 38-40.

Article In a Collection or Anthology

[Author of article. (date). Title of article. In Editor of book (Ed.), Title of book. (pages covered by article). City: Publisher.]
  • Dickens, P (1956). London – not for children. In P. Jones (Ed.), Britain’s War. (pp 39-48). London: Plantaganet.


[Author of article if given. (date). Title of article. In Title of Encyclopaedia (Volume number, pages covered by article). City: Publisher]

  • Pandas. (2000). In World Book Encyclopedia (vol 15, p 128). London: World Book International.

PERSONAL COMMUNICATION (interview, speech, letter, email, lecture) In the APA style these are not listed in the reference list. The source should be clearly indicated in the assignment. SEE: References Within a Text.

Material From Computers

  • If complete details of the source is not given eg. Author, one should just list whatever information is available in the order set out below.
  • Retrieved date is the date it was viewed.

Document From a Website

Author or source (if known).

[Date of publication or last update.] Title of article. Title of the Complete Work. Retrieved date from web url

  • Toomey, J (or) National Health Council. (2001, May). Cancer causing agents. Cancer Research in Adolescents. Retrieved June 1, 2005 from ( - notice no full stop after the internet address)

Print Source Retrieved Online (ie article from a magazine or newspaper etc)

 [Author or organisation (if available). Title of the Complete Publication. Pages or publishing information. Retrieved date, from website url] ŠŠ O’Connor, M. (February 28, 2005). Guns and children and consequences. Courier Mail. Section BAM. Retrieved May 4, 2005, from – page/493600%0.html

Posting to a Discussion Group [Name of author. (Date of posting), Subject line of message. [msg. number]. Posted to name of group] (again no full stop at the end) Banter, I (2005, April 1). Useless conversations talkfest [Msg007]. Message posted to talk. nonsense. convincingly

References Within a Text

References must be made within the text of your assignment for any information quoted or summarised using one’s own words. The source of the information is acknowledged in brackets at the end of the quote. Full details of sources should be cited in the reference list at the end of the assignment.

For Books & Articles

[use the author’s last name in the sentence, followed by the date of publication in brackets]

  • McDonald (2001, June) described the popularity of french fries with vinegar.
  • Note: APA style refers to the author’s work in the past tense (“described”)
When the author is not mentioned in a sentence, the brackets will contain both the authors last name and the date of publication.
  • French fries with vinegar became very popular in the new millennium (McDonald, 2001, June).

If no author is listed, only the first distinctive word of the title of the article is given followed by the date of publication.

For Direct Quotations:

[give the page no, with abbreviation p. or pp. if it’s a long quote after the date.]

  • Ronald (2002, June, p 40) made “new age french fries from morning to night”

Secondhand Quotations

[When quoting or paraphrasing another quote in a source, use as cited in]
  • Sloburn, operator of fast food outlets over the last ten years, referred to the years between 1990 and 1999 as the “golden age of french fries in America” (as cited in McDonald, 2001, p20).
In this example, Sloburn said it but it was found in McDonald’s book, which will be listed in the Reference list. (Sloburn will not be listed).

More Than One Author

For two authors, join the last names with and if you refer to them in a sentence or with an ampersand (&) if they are cited in parentheses. For three to six authors, give all the names for the first reference. Thereafter, use only the last name of the first author plus et al. (meaning “and others”). For more than six authors, only the last name of the first author plus et al is given.

Two Sources By The Same Author

When there are two or more sources by one author, the different dates will indicate the different sources. When two sources by the same author have the same date, a lowercase letter is put after the date to distinguish the source – Jones 1994a, Jones 1994b, and so on. Use the alphabetical order of the titles to assign letters.


a) When an entire website has been used as a general reference, one should refer to the website in a sentence and give its url in brackets.

  • Sloburn’s fast food outlet posted dietry information on it’s website (

b) Articles and Books Originally in Print but Retrieved Online. If the material appeared first in print but was viewed online, cite the author and original date of publication.

Personal Communication: Emails, Lectures, Interviews.

When a source communicated personally one writes, in brackets, personal communication and the date (month day, year). Sloburn, owner of Sloburnfast, reported that french fries are their best seller (personal communication, June 2, 2004).
Last reviewed 26 June 2019
Last updated 26 June 2019