Skip to main content

APA citation style: Introduction

A guide to using the APA 6th edition referencing system for in-text citations and reference lists.


The preferred style for all UWA Psychology, Education, Music Psychology, Music Education and Nursing papers is APA. This guides provides only a brief introduction to referencing in the APA style.  Please refer to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition, for more information. There are 2 variations from the Manual as used at UWA.  These were arrived at in consultation with the UWA School of Psychology.  They are:

  • If no DOI (digital object identifier) is assigned and the article or e-book is retrieved from a database, included the name of the database. There is no need to establish if the item is only available from that database or to look for the URL of the journal or book's own web site.
  • Include the journal issue number if available.  There is no need to check if a journal paginates by volume or by issue.

Note: With the 6th edition, retrieval date is no longer required for online materials except for sources which have very volatile content eg wikis.

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. 6th ed.  
Call Number: Print: EDFAA, Reid & Science
Reference 808.06615 2010 PUB

                                       APA Style Guide to Electronic References
        Call Number: Online

APA Citation Style Examples for UWA

Multiple citations in the same parentheses

When entering more than one in-text citation within the same parentheses enter them in the same order as in the reference list. 
In- Text

(Anderson & Reid, 2009; Howitt & Cramer, 2008)

Reference List

Anderson, M., & Reid, C. (2009). Don't forget about levels of explanation. Cortex: A Journal Devoted to the Study of the Nervous System and Behavior, 45(4), 560-561.

Howitt, D., & Cramer, D. (2008). Introduction to research methods in psychology (2nd ed.). Harlow, England: FT Prentice Hall.

Citing a reference someone else has cited

If you need to refer to a work that has been cited in a paper you have read but which you have not read yourself then the cited work is only referred to as part of the in-text citation.  The reference list entry is for the paper you have read.

In text

O'Reilly (as cited in Byrne, 2008) argues that...

Reference list

Byrne, A. (2008). Web 2.0 strategies in libraries and information services. The Australian Library Journal, 57(4), 365-376.

APA Examples print version (pdf)