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APA Citation Style Artevelde University College Media Libraries 1
APA Citation Style
Office of Educational Development and Internationalisation
Last update: 13/01/2016 19:27
Copying elements from different sources without crediting the source is considered plagiarism. If you
verbally copy a text (quotation) or want to refer to a publication in your text (citation), you have to do
this adequately and clearly. In order to make adequate quotations and citations, we aim at agreements
made by and for this educational institution. We follow the APA style that was developed by the
American Psychological Association and has received international recognition.
B A S I C R U L E
Year of Publication
Illustrations and Tables
2. Year or Date of
4. Information about the
E X A M P L E S
R E F E R E N C E L I S T
Document on a Website
Electronic Version of a
Audio Visual Material
Q U O T A T I O N S A N D
P A R A F R A S E S
How to Quote
How to Paraphrase
T I P S & T R I C K S
Add References through Word
Add References through Other
APA Citation Style Artevelde University College Media Libraries 2
Twofold rule for correct references according to the APA style:
- Firstly, mention the reference (authors last name and year of publication) in the text.
- Finally, add the complete source to a reference list at the back of your text.
In the text, briefly refer to the source you are using. Only mention the authors last name and the year of
There are several ways to do this: functionally within the sentence, adding information in parentheses, or
a combination of these two options.
a) Davison (2011) researched the use of social media, which shows that ...
b) Research into the use of social media (Davison, 2011) has shown that ...
c) Davisons research in 2011 has shown that the use of social media ... (less common)
Only mention the authors last name.
Year of Publication
The second element is the year of publication. It is very important that you mention the publication year
of the publication that you worked with. In case there are several dates, the most recent date is
sufficient. If the publication does not have a date, use n.d. for no date.
It is possible that a publication was written by multiple authors. We distinguish between references in
the text or in parentheses.
Follow the appropriate grammar rules if the reference appears within the sentence. If there are two,
three, four or five authors, separate the last and second last name by using the conjunction and.
Separate the other authors by using commas. In the text, mention all authors in the same sequence used
in the publication. If there are six or more authors, only use the first authors name followed by et al..
For a reference in parentheses, mention the author followed by a comma and the year of publication. If
there are two authors, separate the first and last name by an ampersand (&). For three, four or five
APA Citation Style Artevelde University College Media Libraries 3
authors, put a comma between the first names and a comma followed by an ampersand between the
second last and last name. For six or more authors, use the first authors name followed by et al.
For the following references in a text written by three or more authors, you only have to use the first
authors name followed by et al.
Number of authors Author(s) in the main text Author(s) and year of publication in
1 Smith (2011) states ... (Smith, 2011)
2 According to Norton and Williams
Another research (Norton & Williams, 2005)
3, 4 or 5 OSullivan, Stevens and Richards
(2004) postulate that
(OSullivan, Stevens, & Richards, 2004)
6 or more Katz et al. (2010) demonstrate that (Katz et al., 2010)
The following rules have to be followed for a list of different sources:
If you refer to multiple publications of different authors in a text, classify them alphabetically, based on
the authors last name and separate them by a semicolon. If you refer to different publications of the
same author(s), the last name followed by the years of publication and separated by commas is
sufficient. Different publications of the same author(s) in the same year can be distinguished by adding a
letter. That letter also has to be added to the reference list.
List in parentheses with two or several Example
publications of different authors Different studies (Higgins & Jones, 2010;
Vanderstraeten, 2005; Williamson, 2007) indicate
publications of the same author(s) Polsma (2000, 2005, 2008) did extensive research
publications of the same author(s) from the same
In different publications, Janssens (2007a, 2007b)
demonstrates that ...
APA Citation Style Artevelde University College Media Libraries 4
If the author is not a person but an organisation (e.g. department, working group, association,
government institution, etc.), use the full name for the first reference. If an organisation is often referred
to with an abbreviation, you may use this abbreviation in your text. If the name of the organisation is
mentioned in parentheses, use square brackets. Note: write down the full name in the reference list.
(Vlaamse Vereniging voor Ergotherapeutische Schoenzolen1 [VVES], 2008)
From then on: (VVES, 2008)
If a publication does not mention any author, use the title. Only use the first words for longer titles.
Italicise the (first words of the) title of a journal or book. Use double quotation marks for the (first words
of the) title of an article, book chapter or webpage.
Several recent initiatives concerning health in Flemish secondary schools
(Gezondheidsbeleid op school2, n.d.) show that the official recommendations for a better
health policy are taken seriously.
Although there has been a lower illiteracy rate in our society in the last decades, the digital
divide, a new form of illiteracy, is constantly increasing (Het onderwijs: een bondgenoot3,
Write the following title in the reference list:
Gezondheidsbeleid op school4 [Website]. (n.d.). Retrieved 9 September 2015 from
Het onderwijs: een bondgenoot in de bestrijding van armoede en uitsluiting. (2006). Ghent:
Beweging van Mensen met Laag Inkomen en Kinderen.5
A source can also be a type of personal communication, e.g. emails, personal class notes or phone calls. These information sources need a very detailed reference in parentheses in the main text:
the initials and surname of the person from whom you received the information
the announcement that it concerns personally obtained information
the date on which you received the information, e.g. the date on which you received the
email or had the phone call
1 Flemish Association for Therapeutic Shoe Insoles 2 Health Policy at School 3 Education: an Ally 4 Health policy at school 5 Education: an ally in the reduction of poverty and exclusion. (2006). Ghent: Movement of People with Low Income and Children.
APA Citation Style Artevelde University College Media Libraries 5
This information should never be included in the reference list because it is not relevant for the reader or
third parties. However, you do have to mention the initials of the first name.
According to K.W. Schaie (personal communication, 18 April 2012)
If you are referring to an entire website, mention the URL in parentheses.
I found the following information concerning digital literacy on the website of the
Department of Educational Studies (http://www.ond.vlaanderen.be).
If you were not able to consult the original (primary) source, you can make an indirect reference to a
secondary source in which your original source was cited. Write down the original source with a
reference to the secondary source in parentheses. Put the (secondary) source you consulted yourself in
the reference list. Because you cannot check whether your secondary source has dealt with your original
source correctly, we advise you to use as little secondary sources as possible.
the Claeys note (as referred to by Vanden Broeck, 2011)