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APA (7th ed.) Reference Style

An introduction to the APA (American Psychological Association) 7th ed. referencing system with reference formats & examples.

In-text references

APA 7th ed. is an 'author/date' system, so your in-text references for all formats (book, journal article, web document, etc.) consist of the author(s) surname and year of publication.


The basics of in-text references in APA:

  • Include author or authors and year of publication.
  • Use round brackets.

Example: (Smith & Bruce, 2018)

APA in-text referencing


Quote directly 

If you quote directly from an author you need to include the page or paragraph number of the quote in your in-text reference. 

  • Include author or authors, year of publication and page or paragraph number of your quote.
  • Use round brackets.

Example: (Smith & Bruce, 2018, pp. 25-26)

APA 7th ed in text referencing



Paraphrasing is when you are summarising the words or expressing the ideas of the author(s) in your own words.

When paraphrasing you must acknowledge the original source in the text of your writing.

When paraphrasing there is more than one way to place the citation within your text.


Citation at the beginning

Example: Leskowitz (2017) describes the transcendent states that athletes experience …


Citation in the middle

Example:  … sport viewed as a spiritual path (Leskowitz, 2017), and one that is frequently followed in the west.


Citation at the end

Example:  … athletes using techniques adapted from holistic and complementary medicine (Leskowitz, 2017).


Different referencing methods may highlight the importance of the author, or give more weighting to the information.


Author-prominent citations

Example: In his research, Leskowitz (2017) explores mindfulness, biofeedback …


Information-prominent citations

Example:  … applying up-to-the-minute advances in holistic and complementary medicine (Leskowitz, 2017).


Including page numbers in a paraphrase citation

Although APA 7th ed. does not require page numbers when paraphrasing another's work, you may choose to include page numbers particularly when dealing with a lengthy or complex document.

Example: A number of holistic practices and dispositions can be applied when training or coaching athletes to increase the likelihood of athletes getting into 'the Zone' (Leskowitz, 2017, p. 324).

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