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What Are the Do’s and Don'ts of APA Referencing Style? Let's Find Out

APA Referencing Style
June 29, 2021
Author : Kristy

PhD research scholars, assignment writers, graduates, and high school students often use APA referencing styles in their research papers or assignments. APA stands for American Psychological Association and it is a widely-used referencing style, so if you are writing any assignment or research paper that require you to use APA referencing style then you first need to find out what are the dos and don'ts of APA referencing style so that you can write the academically correct paper. If an assignment writer will use wrong or do mistakes in referencing then it can lead to marks deduction and it will also decrease the credibility of the article or paper.

The APA referencing style is also called the ‘author-date style that is used for writing papers, publications, books, scholarly journal articles, and other writing materials. This writing format or style often provides clarity to papers on complex topics. The format of this style helps in offering better understanding because of the better and professional flow of the paper, as the focus is on the content of the paper. It is often reported that this style is often used for social sciences, education and other fields. The writers in academic writing jobs often use Times New Roman and Arial with 12-font size. The consistency due to APA referencing style helps the reader to get clarity and this also increases the credibility of the work by giving credit where the credit is due. The APA style offers ease of navigation, maintains scientific rigour and intellectual integrity.

APA Referencing

What You Should Keep in Mind When Citing in APA Referencing Style

  • Give appropriate credit to all the sources that are used in your article or paper. This means that all the sources that are cited in the text must be included in the reference list.
  • Start the reference list with a separate page, page number at the top right corner of the page in the header and a heading on the top of the page, such as ‘References’.
  • The title of the heading should be centre aligned, ensure that all the entries are in alphabetical order and use a hanging indent with double-spacing for all the references.
  • The titles of magazines, newspapers, journals, and books, and volume number must be in italics.
  • The second name of the author is followed by a comma (,) and then the initial of his first name is written ending with a point (.). The last name is written after using ‘&’, with the year of the paper in brackets (for example, (2019)). Then, the title of the journal article is written ending with a point, followed by the name of the journal, volume, number in brackets, page numbers followed by ‘DOI:’ in APA 6th and DOI link in APA 7th, as shown in the example below:

Author, Initials. (Year). Title of article. Full Title of Journal, Volume number (Issue/Part number), Page number(s). 

APA 6th Style

Wei, H., Roberts, P., Strickler, J., & Corbett, R. W. (2019). Nurse leaders’ strategies to foster nurse resilience. Journal of Nursing Management27(4), 681-687. DOI:10.1111/jonm.12736

APA 7th  Style

Wei, H., Roberts, P., Strickler, J., & Corbett, R. W. (2019). Nurse leaders’ strategies to foster nurse resilience. Journal of Nursing Management27(4), 681-687. https://doi.org/10.1111/jonm.12736

  • If the DOI link is not available then ‘Retrieved from:’ is used.
  • If no information is mentioned about the year or other details then use ‘n.p.’
  • In the case of books –

Author, Initials. (Year) Title of book. Edition. Place: Publisher.

Peter, L. (2018). Scarlet father Mary. 8th edition. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited

In case of newspaper articles

Author, Initials. (Year). Title of article or column header. Full Title of Newspaper, Day and month before page numbers and column line.

Harry, L. (2017). The issues of global warming. Evening Standard, 17 Sept. p.30c.

  • If the entries include the same author and same year of publication then alphabets are used to differentiate, such as:

Wei, H. (2020a)

Wei, H. (2020b)

Wei, H. (2020c)

  • In the case of websites, write the name of the website, point, year of update/publication in brackets, point, name/title of the page, point, retrieved from: Example is shown below:

Nursing and Midwifery Board Aphra. (2021). Regulating Australia's nurses and midwives. Retrieved from: https://www.nursingmidwiferyboard.gov.au/

  • In case of intext-referencing make sure that you use only the surname of the author or name of the website, ‘et al.’ is used if there are more than one authors, followed by the year of publication in APA 7th but if it is APA 6th then first three names are used followed by ‘et al. and year’ if there are more than three authors. An example is shown below:

Wei, H., Roberts, P., Strickler, J., & Corbett, R. W. (2019). Nurse leaders’ strategies to foster nurse resilience. Journal of Nursing Management27(4), 681-687. https://doi.org/10.1111/jonm.12736

In-text referencing,

APA 7th – Wei et al. (2019) or (Wei et al., 2019)

APA 6th - Wei, Roberts & Strickler et al. (2019) or (Wei, Roberts & Strickler et al., 2019)

APA Referencing 2

What You Should Avoid When Citing in APA Referencing Style

  1. Never mix different styles, such as MLA or APA, APA 6th and APA 7th. Ask your tutor or check your instructions thoroughly for which APA style is to be followed before starting to avoid mistakes.
  2. Never change the font of the referencing style or the reference list page, it should be in the same font as the rest of the paper.
  3. Do not use ‘Running head’ in APA 7th, running head is only used in APA 6th.
  4. Do not use ‘and’ in the reference list while using APA styles, only use ‘&’
  5. Never increase the hanging indent beyond 0.5 inches. Moreover, it is more appropriate if you check the guidelines of your assignment or research paper for accurate referencing. 
  6. Do not include the reference for common knowledge, contact numbers, personal communications, and sources that were only consulted not used in the text.
  7. Do not make any errors while writing your references and highly avoid fake references in your reference list.
  8. Never use initials in in-text referencing, only use surnames as mentioned above in the example of point number 12.

Referencing art

The Bottom Line

In academic writing, the knowledge of appropriate referencing style is of great significance. As of now, you have got all the information and knowledge about the dos and don'ts of the APA referencing style, so now you can academically write an accurate reference list with an accurate reference style. However, it is important to look at the spelling, points (.), commas (,) and other factors. The writers use the APA style to avoid plagiarism and to verify the quotations. Make sure that you never miss any of the rules of the APA referencing style.

We hope this blog is useful in case you were on the lookout for some good APA referencing guides. You can even hire our assignment writing expert who will do referencing for you. Be it Harvard, MLA, Vancouver or any less-common reference style, our assignment help experts are familiar with all of them. Just fill out the form and one of our representatives at My Assignment Services will contact you and discuss your queries one-to-one.

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About the Author

Kristy

Kristy

Hi! I am a passionate writer with 3 years of experience in academic writing and over 2 years of experience as a professional blogger. I aim to provide academic solutions which add to the grades of the students as well as to their learning. I’m working with My Assignment Services since 3 years, during which I have always worked for the benefit of the students by providing them quality work.

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