What is APA referencing?


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You need to master APA referencing for your GIHE studies

What is APA referencing?

The American Psychological Association (APA) style is a set of rules and guidelines used to communicate in a standardized way. According to the APA, “APA Style provides a foundation for effective scholarly communication because it helps writers present their ideas in a clear, precise, and inclusive manner.” (APA, para 1, n.d.).

Why do I need to master APA?

There are many different referencing systems, but APA is the style required by GIHE for all your assessed projects.

What do I use APA style for?

Academic and business communication should be evidence based and data driven. To produce top quality work, you need to base your arguments on sources, the work of the experts in the specific area. You incorporate source information into your work through paraphrasing (or more rarely, through quoting directly). You use APA style to give credit to your expert sources, to avoid issues of originality and plagiarism, and to demonstrate that your work is based on authoritative and reliable sources.

What are the key components of APA for my work at GIHE?

The two key components of APA style required by GIHE are the in-text citation and the end of text reference list.

What is an in-text citation?

An in-text citation is the family name(s) of the author(s) and the year of publication of the source material. The in-text citation always comes immediately before or after your paraphrase of the source information. The in-text citation can be in parentheses (parenthetical) or included in your paraphrased sentence (narrative):

Parenthetical: Revenue management is the key to a profitable business (Zhang, 2021).

Narrative: Zhang (2021) believes that revenue management is the key to a profitable business.

You can find a table showing all the possible formats for in-text citations on the official APA style website

What is the end of text reference list?

Every source you cite in your text must be fully referenced in a list at the end of your text. This full reference allows the readers of your written work or the audience of your oral presentation to find the source of your information. The format of each individual reference list entry depends on the type of source, but all entries follow the basic structure of four elements:




WHO = the name of the organization or the family name(s) and initials of the author(s)


WHEN = the year – the month and day if appropriate – the source was published


WHAT = the title of the source e.g. title of journal article, book, webpage on a website


WHERE = the place where your reader or audience can find your source themselves e.g. academic journal, book publisher, website URL

You can find the details about how to format the reference list entries for different types of sources on the APA style website.

What is the overall format of the end of text reference list?

There are six key points to format your end of text reference list correctly:

  1. Start on a new page at the end of your document. To do this, make sure you insert a page break at the end of your text.
  2. Use a consistent font. APA style recommends 11-point Calibri, 11-point Arial, 10-point Lucida Sans Unicode, 12-point Times New Roman, or 11-point Georgia.
  3. Title. The title of your reference list is the single word References in bold and centered at the top of the page.
  4. Line spacing. You should use double line spacing.
  5. Indentation. Each individual reference list entry should be formatted with a hanging indent.
  6. Alphabetical order. Your reference list should be ordered alphabetically by author family name, or organization name.
What does a correctly formatted reference list look like?

Refer to the official APA style website for a sample student paper with  a correctly formatted end of text reference list .