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APA referencing

This guide will help you reference a source in the APA (American Psychological Association) style.

In-text citations

Basic principles of citation

See Chapter 8

APA 7 uses the author-date citation system, where each source cited has 2 parts: a brief in-text citation that appears in the body of your work, and a corresponding reference list entry that provides a full reference to the source.


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American Psychological Association. (2020). In-text citations. APA Style.

American Psychological Association. (2020). Basic principles of citation. APA Style.

Parenthetical and narrative citations

See 8.11

In-text citations can be parenthetical or narrative.

In parenthetical citations, the author surname (or group name) and publication date appear in parentheses (brackets), separated by a comma.

In narrative citations, the author surname (or group name) is incorporated into the text as part of the sentence and the year immediately follows in parentheses.


Parenthetical citation: The results of this study were inconclusive (Wilson, 2020).

Narrative citation: Wilson (2020) determined that the results of the study were inconclusive.


Author type Parenthetical citation Narrative citation
One author (Dellios, 2019) Dellios (2019)
Two authors (Moro & Henson, 2017)  Moro and Henson (2017)
Three or more authors (Watt et al., 2017) Watt et al. (2017)
Group author (Bond University, 2020) Bond University (2020)
Group author with abbreviation, first in-text citation (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation [CSIRO], 2019) Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO, 2019)

Group author with abbreviation, subsequent in-text citations

(CSIRO, 2019) CSIRO (2019)
No named author, italicised title (Dinosaur Travels, 2019) Dinosaur Travels (2019)
No named author, non-italicised title ("Virtual Reality Educational Tools", 2019) "Virtual Reality Educational Tools" (2019)
Anonymous author (Anonymous, 2012) Anonymous (2012)


See 8.17

  • For a work with one or two authors, include the author names in every citation
  • For a work with three or more authors, only cite the first author plus "et al." in every citation ("et al." is an abbreviated latin term meaning "and others")
  • For parenthetical in-text citations, put an ampersand "&" between the first and second author names
  • For narrative citations, use the full word "and"

See 8.21

  • Where a reference is authored by a group, use the group name as the author
  • You may abbreviate a group name to use in subsequent in-text citations of a source
  • Provide the full name of the group in the first mention of the text
  • In a narrative citation, include the abbreviation in parentheses, before the year
  • In a parenthetical citation, include the abbreviation after the group name, in square brackets, before the year

See 8.14

  • Where no author is known or named, use the title of the work in place of the author name. If the title is italicised in the reference list then italicise the title in the in-text citation. If the title is not italicised in the reference list then put the title in double quotation marks in the in-text citation. Use title case for titles in in-text references, even though you use sentence case in the reference list
  • When an author is specifically stated as anonymous (or anon.), the word "Anonymous" is used in the place of the author field


See 8.10

Only use the year in an in-text citation, even if the reference list entry contains more information such as day and month (the exception to this is for personal communications. See below for more information "Sources with different in-text citation rules").

For works with no identifiable date, use the letters n.d. to indicate "no date".


Parenthetical citation, no date: (Palmer, n.d.)

Narrative citation, no date: Palmer (n.d.)

Citing multiple works

See 8.12

When citing multiple works in a parenthetical in-text citation, place each source in alphabetical order, separated by semicolons.

When citing multiple sources in a narrative citation, they can appear in any order.


Parenthetical citation: (Bond University, 2020; Moro & Henson, 2017; Watt et al., 2013)

Narrative citation: Moro and Henson (2017), Watt et al. (2013) and Bond University (2020) all looked at...

Citing specific parts of a source

See 8.13

To cite to a specific part of a source, such as a page, paragraph, chapter or table, include it after the year in your in-text citation.

Use the abbreviations p. for a single page, pp. for multiple pages, para. for a single paragraph and paras. for multiple paragraphs.


(Dellios, 2019, p. 20)

(Dellios, 2019, pp. 20–21)

(CSIRO, 2019, para. 2)

(CSIRO, 2019, paras. 2–8)

(Stapleton, 2017, Chapter 3)

(Stapleton, 2019, Table 2)

Paraphrases and quotations

See 8.23

Paraphrasing is putting the words and ideas of others into your own words. It is often used a way to summarise an author's ideas and express them more succinctly. You must always use an in-text citation when you paraphrase any source.

You may include page and paragraph numbers in the in-text citation. This is not required, but can be helpful to any readers of your work so they can easily identify where your information has come from.

See 8.25

Paraphrasing is preferable to quoting in most instances, however you may need to use quotations at other times, such as when:

  • Reproducing a definition
  • An author has said something memorable or succinct that you want to capture word for word
  • It is important to convey the exact wording

You should place your in-text citation at the end of a quote, and include page numbers or paragraphs where possible. Where no page or paragraph is available from a textual work (such as a webpage, or online news article), provide another way of identifying where the quote is located, such as:

  • Provide the heading, sub-heading or section name where the quote can be found
  • Count the paragraphs manually and provide the paragraph number (best used for short sources such as online news articles)

See 8.26

For short quotations of forty words or less, incorporate the quote into the text and enclose it with double quotation marks.


Parenthetical citation: "Wellness is not merely the absence of disease or infirmity" (Kent, 2016, p. 107).

Narrative citation: Kent (2016) defined wellness as "not merely the absence of disease or infirmity" (p. 107).

See 8.27

Any quotation of forty words or more is done as a block quotation. In block quotations you do not enclose the quote in double quotation marks. Instead, start the quote on a new line, indented from the left margin. Place parenthetical citations at the end of the quote, after punctuation.


Parenthetical citation:

Research on video games has shown that:

Australians who play video games spend an average of 89 minutes a day playing, including casual gameplay and in-depth gameplay. Women and girls play for 77 minutes a day on average while men and boys play for 98 minutes a day on average. (Brand et al., 2018, p. 16)

Narrative citation:

Brand et al. (2018) researched the average time male and female Australian gamers play per day:

Australians who play video games spend an average of 89 minutes a day playing, including casual gameplay and in-depth gameplay. Women and girls play for 77 minutes a day on average while men and boys play for 98 minutes a day on average. (p. 16)

Sources with different in-text citation rules

See 8.4

There are some sources that do not require both an in-text citation and reference list entry:

See 8.9

Personal communications, such as emails, text messages, personal interviews, unrecorded lectures or speeches and phone calls, are cited in text only. Give the initials and surname of the communicator, and as much of the date as possible.


(D. Crowe, personal communication, January, 2020).

(R. Givens, personal communication, 2019).

E.B. Farnum (personal communication, December 4, 2019).

See 8.22

General mentions of websites, not a specific page or part of the site, do not require an in-text citation or a reference list entry. Simply include the name of the website in the text with the URL in parentheses.


Useful resources were found using Bond's library research guide Psychology and Counselling (

Property information can be researched using RP Data (