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APA Referencing - Education & Counselling students: APA Style Rules

This guide provides information on how to reference using the APA 6th edition referencing style. PLEASE NOTE: Theology students should use Chicago Footnote Style

Style rules

The APA style is an author-date style used for citing and referencing information in assignments and publications. In addition to the information provided in this guide on how to reference particular sources there are some overall style rules you need to follow, which are detailed below. 


When using direct quotes in your assignment include page numbers. If the quote is under 40 words, place double quotation marks around the quote:


It is true that “learning how to teach is as complex as teaching itself” (Marsh, Clarke, & Pittaway, 2014, p. 11). 

If the quote is 40 words or longer, start the quote indented on a new line, without double quotation marks. Place the in-text citation after the quote including page numbers.


Students explained they read dystopian novels because they helped them to see what is necessary to create a better, fairer world. One student stated that:

Authors take a wrongness in the world and exaggerate it and show what could happen if things continued in that way – and it would be a disservice to the author if you don’t try to understand that problem and where it came from and what you could do about it. (Wilhelm, 2015, p. 18)

If the there are no page numbers, such as on a website, replace page numbers with paragraph numbers, using the abbreviation para. 


"Be sure to address an issue between you and a student or between two students as quickly as possible" (Alber, 2012, para. 11).

Citing an author cited within the reference

You may want to cite an author who is cited within the text you are reading e.g. if Kemmis quotes Young in his journal article and you want to refer to the idea from Young. If possible find the original source i.e. the book that Young wrote and use that as your reference. If this is not possible, because it is out of print, you are unable to locate it or it is only available in another language, then put the source you read in your reference list and refer to the cited author in your in-text reference.


In text:                        Young's concept (as cited in Kemmis, 2014) considers the power relationships in action research.                                                                                                                                                  Reference List:          Kemmis, S. (2014). Action research. London, England: Springer.


Multiple authors in one in-text reference

There can be times in your research when you have read the same idea from different authors in different sources. When including multiple authors in an in-text reference you need to order them alphabetically according to the first author's surname and separating each citation with a semi-colon.


The importance of professional learning for a teacher's ongoing career development cannot be underestimated (Cash, 2011; Drufess, 2010; Stevens & Lake, 2015; Young, 1998).

Reference List

The reference list is located at the end of your assignment and should include all the details of every source you have referred to in your assignment. NB: APA Style does not use bibliographies (all sources you read) but a reference list (only sources you refer to in your assignment)


Reference lists should be organised alphabetically, according to authors' names, and then chronologically if there is the same author for two or more references e.g.

Ames, M. (2013). Engaging "apolitical" adolescents: analyzing the popularity and educational potential of dystopian literature post-9/11. High School Journal, 97(1), 3-20.

Arnold, M., & Kunzel, B. (2007). Speculative fiction: classroom must-reads. English Journal, 97(1), 118-122.

Board of Studies NSW. (2012). Suggested texts for the English K-10 syllabus.  Sydney, NSW: Author.

Board of Studies NSW. (2014). English Stage 6 prescriptions: area of study, electives and texts: Higher School Certificate 2015-2020. Sydney, NSW: Author.


Note that the title of the book or journal article should be italicised and hanging lines should be indented (i.e. if the reference goes onto a second line).


There are acceptable abbreviations in the reference list for parts of the books:

Abbreviation Book or publication part
ed. edition
Rev. ed. Revised edition
2nd ed. Second edition
Ed. (Eds.) Editor (Editors)
et al. and others
n.d. No date
No. number (series)
p. (pp.) page (pages)
para. paragraph
Pt. part
Vol. Volume (not used for journals)



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