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APA Citation and Referencing Style


Any time you write a scientific article, citing from relevant sources (textbooks, journals, thesis, dissertations, and other publications seems unavoidable, because it is the most common way to provide evidence to support the assertions and claims in a scientific manuscript.  Keep in mind that you must always document the sources you cite. it will enable your readers to relocate your source works easily and efficiently from the information included in your citations. it also gives credit to authors whose works you have used. 

There are three major citation styles: (1) American Psychological Association Style (APA) – the most common style in the social sciences (psychology, education, sociology etc.); (2) Chicago (or Turabian) Style – commonly used in the humanities (history, philosophy, and etc.); and (3) Modern Language Association Style (MLA) – used in English and in some other disciplines in the humanities. In our English Department we use the APA style, and this slide presents the main guides. It can bee accessed and downloaded from here.


At the end of your essay, place a list of the references you have cited in the text. Arrange this in alphabetical order of authors’ surnames, and then chronologically (earliest publication date first) for each author where more than one work by that author is cited. The author’s surname is placed first, followed by initials or first name, and then the year of publication is given. If the list contains more than one item published by the same author(s) in the same year, add lower case letters immediately after the year to distinguish them (e.g. 2010a). These are ordered alphabetically by title disregarding any initial articles (a, an or the).

As a general guide for writing references, keep the following in your mind

  1. The reference list includes only the sources you have used in any submission. APA Style requires reference lists, not bibliographies.
  2. The reference list begins a new page with the centered heading – References
  3. If an entry has more than one line, write the lines in single space.
  4. Double-space one reference entry to another.
  5. Reference list entries should be indented half an inch (five to seven spaces) on the second and subsequent lines of the reference list for every entry – a hanging indent is the preferred style. (i.e. entries should begin flush left, and the second and subsequent lines should be indented).
  6. Arrange entries in alphabetical order by the surname of the first author as the letters appear.
  7. If there is no author, the title moves to the author position (filed under the first significant word of the title). If the title in this instance begins with numerals, spell them out.

Studying A Quick Guide to the APA Referencing Style is recommended to help you write your reference list. It’s practical and free to download. To get more detailed guides for using APA style, feel free to access such as Purdue OWL or APA Referencing Style Guide. To get an example of Reference List using the APA style, feel free to retrieve this pdf file.

After studying the guides, do the following exercises on the reply section below (Deadline: Monday, April 21, 2014).

Citation Exercises

Rewrite all the following sentences by correcting the way every citation is written using the APA style! In some cases, the expressions should be rephrased to make them effective and grammatical.

  1. Merari Siregar (2001, p. 10) has been stating that when thought is written down, ideas can be examined, reconsidered, added to, rearranged, and changed.
  2. Denver & Roger (2009) accentuate there are three stages of the writing process; prewriting, drafting, and revising. (P, 222)
  3. recount text is a text that tells about something that happened or retells past events or activities and has a purpose to give detailed information about what and when of that event (Anderson and Anderson, 2003, p. 32).
  4. Writing skill is a difficult skill to be developed and learned, especially in the foreign language (Aguero, et al. 2005).
  5. According to (Alwasillah, 2001) explained the reasons that make students do not enjoy writing activity, namely: 1). They consider that writing is task; 2). There is less interaction between them in writing activity; 3). It needs extra skills or knowledge to write.

Referencing Exercises

Based on the information including in all items below, write a references list  using the APA style! Since this blog doesn’t have indenting facility, you can ignore the rule that “reference list entries should be indented half an inch (five to seven spaces) on the second and subsequent lines.”

  1. A book entitled “Practical English Language Teaching”, Written By David Nunan. Published in 2003 by Mc Graw
    Hill, New York
  2. A conference paper presented by Parlindungan Pardede in SWCU international Conference 2011 held by Satya Wacana Christian University, Salatiga, November 2011. The paper is entitled “Using BALL to Develop Writing Skills: Students’ interest and Perception.
  3. A book written by Suresh Lohini, Raymond Adhikar, and Ahmed Subedi. Published in 2009 by M.K. Distributor, Kathmandu. The title is: The Magic of Words.
  4. An article entitled “Defining Critical Thinking” written Michael Scriven and Richard Paul and published in 2012 in the website of The Critical Thinking Community with the web address: http://www.criticalddnking.org/ aboutCT/ define_criticat_thinking.cfm. The article was retrieved on 22 July 2013.
  5. An article by Parlindungan Pardede, entitled Using short stories to teach language skills. Published in Journal of English Teaching, Volume 1, No. 1, pages 15-27.
  6. A textbook written by Debra Marsh. Published in Cambridge by Cambridge University Press in 2012. It is entitled Blended Learning: Creating Learning opportunities for language learners.
  7. An article entitled “Blended Learning: where it came from and where it heads to” by Hideto D. Harashima. The date of publication is unknown. It was retrieved from: http://glocall.org/pluginfile.php/1300/ mod_resource/content/0/Blended_Learning.pdf on July 30, 2012
  8. An article entitled “CALL (computer assisted language learning)” by Gerard Davies. It is published in pages pp.90–93 of “Routledge Encyclopedia of Language Teaching and Learning” edited by Michael Byram which was published in 2000 by Routledge in London.


Just an encouragement to keep your fire burn!

Students who are able to hand assignments in on time will be filled with a sense of accomplishment and keep on developing a committed character to fulfill responsibilities. These two will enable them to meet the challenges of future tasks and will become inspired to keep going towards a successful career and a rewarding life.