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APA Referencing: Citations/Quotations and Abbreviations

Referencing help and examples for using the American Psychological Association (APA) referencing style.

Quotations

If you are quoting someone word-for-word or using someone else's ideas or statistics in your writing, you will need to reference it within the body of your work. Work the author’s surname or organisation’s name, the year of publication and the page number into the paragraph you are writing. The purpose is to give basic details so your reader can get more information from the list at the end.

Example 1:"In the food and beverage industry, it is estimated that 25 percent of employees steal regardless of the controls in place" (Walker, 2011, p. 222).

Example 2: Walker (2011, p. 222) states that "in the food and beverage industry, it is estimated that 25 percent of employees steal regardless of the controls in place".

Example 3: In his 2011 text, Walker states that "in the food and beverage industry, it is estimated that 25 percent of employees steal regardless of the controls in place" (p. 222).

Note that page numbers are only necessary for in text citations when direct quotes or precise information is used. Also note in these examples the different ways the in-text citation can be worked into your sentences. You may use the author's name and the date of the work as part of your writing, or put the information all in brackets as in Example 1 above).

Direct quotations

  •     should be used sparingly in an assignment
  •     can be used if you need to record exact words or phrases
  •     are useful if you find some writing which expresses exactly what you want to say very well
  •     can be a phrase, a short sentence, or longer

    Small quotations (less than 40 words) are included in your writing with the text in double quote marks:

    The pearl has been "a particularly potent literary device" (Joyce & Addison, 1992, p. 15) in many cultures from ancient times.

    If the quotation is longer than 40 words, set it out like this:

       The post-war years were not a time of great innovation.  As Ewing (2001, p. 167) states: 

                  To get back to normal, which meant to order and stability, was the general longing and fashion voiced this

                     conservative mood in a series of smooth, well-balanced lines, embodied in clothes of notable elegance,

                     carefully designed, well made and flattering.


OR

       The post-war years were not a time of great innovation:

             To get back to normal, which meant to order and stability, was the general longing and fashion voiced this

                      conservative mood in a series of smooth, well-balanced lines, embodied in clothes of notable elegance, 

             carefully designed, well made and flattering (Ewing, 2001, p. 167).

                       

  • Points to remember for longer quotes:

  • place a colon (:) at the end of your writing before the quote
  • leave a space of one line before and after the quotation
  • do not use quotation marks around the quotation
  • indent the quote

 

Citing Someone Else's Quotation

Sometimes an author will cite another author and you may want to use this in your assignment.  Care needs to be taken with quotations and citations taken out of context.  It is a good idea to try to track down the original work.  If you are not able to find the original work, you may still use a quotation from or a reference to the cited work, making sure that you acknowledge both of the authors.

Original text:

"Although Barnes sees the mods as a male-dominated youth culture (Barnes, 1991,  p.8), Garber and McRobbie argue that the mods were the first 'softer' working-class subculture, in which girls could participate more openly and directly (Garber & McRobbie, 1979,  p.226)."

In-text citation:

Some writers disagree with the idea that the mods were a male dominated subculture (Garber & McRobbie ,1979, p. 226 in Jenss, 2005, p. 192).

OR

Garber & McRobbie (1979,  p. 226 in Jenss, 2005, p. 192) claim that the mods were one of the first youth subcultures in which girls could participate more fully.

Reference list:

Jenss, H. (2005). Sixties dress only!. In  A. Palmer & H. Clark (Eds.), Old clothes, new looks: second hand fashion (pp.191-199). Oxford : Berg Publishers.

Note:

  • Only cite the work you have actually consulted in your reference list

Personal Communications

References to personal communications such as letters, emails, interviews, or phone conversations can be included in assignments. The in-text citation should have the author's initials then surname followed by personal communication and the date in month day, year format.  These citations should not be included in the Reference List/Bibliography, as the data is not generally recoverable.

In-text citation:

The patient valued the knowledge and experience of other cancer patients more than medical information ( P.Wilson, personal communication, September 10, 2013).

OR

When interviewed, Susan Jones said she halted her information seeking because of fearful and contradictory information ( S. Jones, personal communication, September 28, 2013).

Using Abbreviations

If you are referring  to an organisation with a long name on numerous occasions, you may abbreviate the name if the abbrieviation is well known  (For example , RSPCA). Your reader must be able to locate the entry in the reference list without difficulty.  The first time you refer to the organisation in-text, include both the full name in round brackets and  the abbreviation in square brackets [   ]   Thereafter, the abbreviation can be listed on it's own in round brackets. Abbreviations (acronyms and initialisms)  are written  without full stops in between.

Example in text :

First in-text-citation:

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) has a policy on removing injured animals. The RSPCA is permitted to enter a property at any time following a report of complaint (Royal Society for the prevention of Cruelty to Animals [RSPCA],  2006).

Subsequent in-text citations:

(RSPCA, 2006)

In the reference list, Write the name of the organisation in full . For example:

Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. (2006). Policy statement on removal of animals at risk . Brisbane : RSPCA.

Common abbreviations used in APA style

  • ed.                          edition
  • 2nd. ed                  Second edition
  • Rev. ed.                 Revised edition
  • Ed. / Eds.               Editor/ Editors
  • n.d.                         no date
  • p. / pp.                    page/pages
  • Vol.                         Volume

See the APA style guide for further examples.             

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