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APA Referencing (APA 7th edition)

This guide shows students and staff how to reference using the APA Referencing style.

Direct quotes should only be used sparingly in your work. It's generally better to put material into your own words, as this demonstrates your understanding of the material. Reserve direct quotes for particularly well written, striking content. To avoid plagiarism, it's also important to make sure that you do more than just make minor changes to the wording. 

To paraphrase or summarise without plagiarising:

  • Note the key points from the resource;
  • Without looking at the original material, write the idea in your own words;
  • Review the original material to check you have conveyed the idea correctly
  • Check that your writing does not use the same phrasing as the original source. Making minor changes to the material is not sufficient;
  • Specialised subject terms do not need to be changed;
  • If you cannot paraphrase, use a direct quote;
  • Include both an  in-text citation and a reference list entry for each resource used.


Summarising involves repeating the main ideas of a passage in your own words.  A summary concentrates on the important points rather than the details.

Original text

'... in order to learn consumers' views on beauty, Dove surveyed girls and women in the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States.  Some of the results were disturbing; for example, in Britain, more than half of those surveyed said their bodies "disgusted" them.  Six out of ten girls believed they would be happier if they were thinner, but actually fewer than two out of ten were in fact overweight.  Apparently, fashion's images of artificially curvaceous models and celebrities had wreaked not a little havoc on young self-concepts.'

Example of a summary  

Rath, Bay, Petrizzi and Gill (2015) report that the results of a survey by Dove of young girls and women in Britain indicate that many young girls have false ideas about whether they are overweight or not. 

Points to note:

There are different ways you can incorporate an in-text citation into your work. You can include the author's surname/s and the date in brackets at the end of a sentence or use the author's name/s  as part of your sentence.


Rath, P.M., Bay, S.,  Petrizzi, R. & Gill, P. (2015). The why of the buy: Consumer behavior and fashion marketing (2nd ed.). Fairchild Books.


Paraphrasing is expressing what an author writes in another way. 

Original text

'An interesting aspect of plant growth is that new cells and tissues are formed all through the lifespan of of the plant, even in trees that may be a hundred or more years old" (Clarke & Lee, 2019)

Example of a paraphrase

As Clarke & Lee (2019) explain, old plants continue to grow new cells. 


Trees continue growing new cells throughout their entire life (Clarke & Lee, 2019).


Clarke, I. & Lee, H.. (2019). Name that flower (3rd ed). Melbourne University Press.