How to reference

In text citations

When you are using other authors’ ideas and information in your own understanding and in your own words, paraphrasing them, you need to clearly indicate the source where that specific idea/piece of information initially appears. It is important to know that this is also an important aspect of the academic research and writing.

When citing in text within a paper, use the author/s’ (or editor/s’) last name ensued by the publication year.


The digital society is one in which individuals create an attractive narrative that comes to life through posts, images and Instagram stories (Manor, 2019). or Manor (2019) states that people living in the digital society are giving life to appealing narratives by means of photos, posts and Instagram stories. or the digital society has specific traits and Manor (2019) highlights that one of them is individuals creating attractive narrative through posts, images and Instagram stories.

Reference list entry:

Manor, Ilan (2019). The digitalization of Public Diplomacy, Washington, USA: Palgrave Macmillan

Note: Some books may not have a city for place of publication, only a country.

Extra note: If it is not the first edition, the edition of the book should be included straight after the title.

If a work has three (3), four (4) or five (5) authors, cite all authors the first time and from then on include only the last name of the first author followed by the words et al. (‘et al.’ is Latin for ‘and others’)


Diplomacy is no longer limited to its initial, conventional subject matter; its application has been extended from eschewing war and maintaining peace to technology, science or the environmental protection, among others. (Cooper, Heine & Thakur, 2013).
or Cooper et al. (2013) state that diplomacy has suffered a lot of changes in recent times, moving forward from its traditional forms.

Reference list entry:

Cooper, A.F., Heine, J., & Thakur, R. (Eds.). (2013). The Oxford Handbook of Modern Diplomacy. Oxford, UK: Oxford Press.

Note: The people were identified as the editors, hence ‘(Eds.)’ is a shortened version of Editors.

If a work has six (6) or seven (7) authors, cite only the last name of the first author followed by et al. each time you refer to this work.


(Ciottone et al., 2006)

Reference list entry:

When a source has up to seven (7) authors, include all names in the reference list

Ciottone, G., Anderson, P.D. Auf Der Heide, E., Darling, R.G., Jacoby, I., Noji, E. & Suner, S. (2006) Disaster Medicine (2nd ed.), Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Press.

When there are eight (8) or more authors, cite only the last name of the first author followed by ‘et al.’ each time you refer to this work.


(Gluncic et al., 2004)

Note in the reference list: When there are eight (8) or more authors, include the first six (6) authors’ names and then use ellipsis points (...) before concluding with the last author’s name.

Reference list entry:

Black, S., Lerman, J., Banks, S.E., Noghrehkar, D., Curia, L., Mai, C.L., …. Arheart, K.L. (2019), Drug Calculation Errors in Anesthesiology Residents and Faculty. An Analysis of Contributing Factors. Anesthesia & Analgesia, 128(6) 1292–1299.

The names of groups that serve as authors (e.g., corporations, associations, government agencies) are usually integrally written every time they occur in a text citation. The names of some group authors (e.g., associations, government agencies) are written in full in the first citation and abbreviated thereafter. In deciding whether to abbreviate the name of a group author, use the general rule that you need to give enough information in the text citation for the reader to locate the entry in the reference list without difficulty. Some groups are recognised by an abbreviation (e.g., NATO for North Atlantic Treaty Organization). Refer to the APA manual, 2010, p. 176.

First text citation: (Ministry of Health [MOH], 2007).
Second & subsequent citations: (MOH, 2007).

Reference list entry:

Ministry of Health. (2007). Looking at long-term residential care in a rest home or hospital: What you need to know. Wellington, New Zealand: Author.

Note: If the author and publisher are the same – Author – can be used to indicate the publisher in place of the full name. See the example above.

Group as author no abbreviation

New Zealand House of Representatives, Health Committee. (2007, August). Inquiry into obesity and type 2 diabetes in New Zealand: Report presented to the House of Representatives.

In text citation:

(New Zealand House of Representatives, Health Committee, 2007).

There may be occasion to refer to more than one source in relation to similar information. In this case, list the sources in alphabetical order within the brackets, separated by a semi-colon.


Resilience is seen as the ability to surpass adversary, fight stress and recover from hardship (Dawson, 2006; Overton, 2005).

Reference list entry:

Dawson, L. (2006). Wise up!: How to be fearless and fulfilled in midlife. Auckland, New Zealand: Random House New Zealand.

Overton, A. (2005). Stress less: Make stress work for you not against you. Auckland, New Zealand: Random House New Zealand.

If a work has the same author and same date, differentiate between them by assigning lowercase letters a, b, c, etc.

They are listed in the reference list alphabetically by title (excluding A or The).


Eyes are susceptible to melanoma, even though it is rare (Cancer Society of New Zealand, 2013a).
According to the Cancer Society of New Zealand (2013b) the rate of…

Reference list entry:

Cancer Society of New Zealand. (2013a). Ocular melanoma: Information sheet. Retrieved from

Cancer Society of New Zealand. (2013b). Reducing your cancer risk. Retrieved from

The rules for this are quite complex, mostly because there is one rule for citations in brackets (parenthetical) and other rules for citations that are part of the narrative.

‘Part of the narrative’ means that the reference is part of a sentence, and not in brackets.


If a citation is part of the narrative, it looks like ‘According to Johnson (2015)…, or Johnson (2015) states that….
If a citation is parenthetical, it looks like ‘(Johnson, 2015)’

Citations in brackets (parenthetical)

One rule, very straightforward.

The APA manual states that the year should be included in all citations that are in brackets. “Do include the year in all parenthetical citations” (APA, 2010, p. 174)

This applies irrespective of the style (part of the narrative, or parenthetical) of the first citation.

Example from APA manual (2010, p. 174)

Among epidemiological samples, Kessler et al. (2003) found that early onset social anxiety disorder results in a more potent and severe course. ….The study also showed that there was a high rate of comorbidity with alcohol abuse or dependence and major depression (Kessler et al., 2003).

Citations that are part of the narrative

There are two rules for this style of citing. Not so simple.

If the first citation is part of the narrative, do not include the year in subsequent references that are in the narrative. APA states “you need not include the year in subsequent nonparenthetical [emphasis added] references….” (APA, 2010, p. 174). We asked for clarification of the meaning of ‘need not’, via the APA style blog, and they have informed us that it is correct to interpret the text ‘you need not’ to mean ‘do not’.

Example from APA manual (2010, p. 174)

Among epidemiological samples, Kessler et al. (2003) found that early onset social anxiety disorder results in a more potent and severe course. Kessler et al. also found….

If the first citation is in brackets, the year is to be included in subsequent citations* within the paragraph. (*this applies whether they are in the narrative or parenthetical)

Example from APA manual (2010, p. 175)

Early onset results in a more persistent and severe course (Kessler et al., 2003). Kessler et al. (2003) also found…

Where possible use the original material. However, if the information you wish to use is cited by another author, acknowledge the source you have read, showing it is a secondary source. This demonstrates you have not read the original source but read about it in a secondary source. Within the text citation, use the words “as cited in” to indicate this is a secondary source. In the reference list, include the author and details of the source you actually read. Refer to the APA manual, 2010, p. 178.


Fawcett (as cited in Polit & Beck, 2008) identified some fundamental concepts…

Reference list entry:

Polit, D. F., & Beck, C. T. (2008). Nursing research: Generating and assessing evidence for nursing practice (8th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

APA Citation Examples:

(6th Edition,

In-text citation examples:

  • Page specified, author mentioned in text:
    Lutz & Huitt (2010, p. 4) argue that "the statistical significance of ..."
  • Page specified, author not mentioned in text:
    The results were consistent throughout the study (Fernández-Manzanal, Rodríguez-Barreiro, & Carrasquer, 2007)
  • Six authors:
    The study found that ... (Sania et al., 2011)
  • No author:
    The data presented ... ("How sleep enhances memory retention", 2015)

Reference examples:

  • Book, one author, multiple editions:
    Hawking, S. W. (1998). A brief history of time: From the big bang to black holes (10th ed.). New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group
  • Ebook, online only:
    Tyler, G. (n.d.). Evolution in the systems age.
  • Journal article, three authors, with a DOI:
    Fernández-Manzanal, R., Rodríguez-Barreiro, L., & Carrasquer, J. (2007). Evaluation of environmental attitudes: Analysis and results of a scale applied to university students. Science Education, 91(6), 988–1009. doi:10.1002/sce.20218

For more practical examples, please refer to:
APA Format Citation Guide


There may be texts which you have consulted for your work, but not cited. These can be listed at the end of your assignment in a bibliography.

These items should be listed in alphabetical order by author and laid out in the same way as items in your reference list.

If you can cite from every work you consulted, you will only need a reference list.

If you wish to show to your reader the unused research you carried out, the bibliography will show your extra effort.

Editing Note:
All the manuscripts should be easy to read and understand with no writing or grammar error!
The Editors recommends that every manuscript be thoroughly reviewed for grammatical and spelling errors prior to submission.
Many of our authors choose to have their manuscript submitted to an English language editing service to increase the quality of the manuscript. The use of these services is not required and does not guarantee acceptance for publication.