Invention - avoid common APA format problems

Malc Prentice

How do I do "Burasage"

How do I do burasage if there is a long http address?

Break it before punctuation (./-) using SHIFT-ENTER

Watch this: (link)

Which verb should I use?

Bored of "said", "found" and "noted"? Choose another!

See use verbs for citation

Which tense should I use?

MOST OF THE TIME, something is finished. Use past tense

As Smith (1999) noted, X is Y (Smith finished writing)

Smith (1999) interviewed 10 JHS students (Smith finished interviewing)

If it is a FACT that is ALWAYS/STILL TRUE, use present tense

As Smith (1999, p.32) noted, cats do not speak English

To emphasize it is STILL IMPORTANT, use present perfect

As Smith (1999) has noted, X is Y

If something is NOT FINISHED, use present perfect

All research so far has found that X is Y

Data collected in this pilot project has shown X. Next, Y

What if there is no author?

In the text

Anonymous Articles/Chapters/Web short title in quotes ("How to park," 2013, April 1)
Anonymous Books/Reports (rare) short title in italics (How to park, 2013)
Organisation is author? Use that. (JAF, 2013)

Organisations are only authors for official reports, not for website pages.

In the References

Anonymous Articles/Chapters/Web full title in italics
Anonymous Books/Reports (rare) full title in italics
Organisation is author? Organisation name, plus full title in italics

Title of anonymous article or website in italics. (2013, April 1). Retrieved from

Title of anonymous book or report in italics. (2013). Retrieved from

JAF. (2013). Title of article where organisation is author. Retrieved from

What if there is no date?

In the text - use "n.d."

According to Author (n.d), X. Author (n.d.) notes that X

In the References


Author, P. (n.d.). Title of the Page. Retrieved October 8, 2013, from

What if I used a quote?

Direct quotes (" ") from a book need the page number

What if I have more than one source for a fact?

Separate with semicolons 1; 2; 3; 4

Do I give the page numbers?

In the text

Use p for one page Smith (2010, p. 23)
Use pp for multiple pages Smith (2010, pp. 25-26)
If no pages, use shortened subheading (Smith, 2010, "Participants")
If no pages or subheading, use paragraph number (Smith, 2010, para. 5)

In the references

Journal articles yes - beginning and end of article
News Online No
Newspaper articles yes - page(s) and section if needed
Books No
Edited book chapter yes - beginning and end of chapter

Smith, M. (2015, May 5). Article title. Journal of Something in Title Case and Italics, 23(3), 221-256.

Smith, M. (2015, May 5). Article title. Title or Newspaper in Title Case and Italics, p. 4.

Smith, M. (2015, May 5). Chapter title. In A. Editor and B. Editor (Eds.), Title of Edited Book in Title Case and Italics (221-256). City: Publisher.

When do I use "&" or "and"?

In text

Use "&" INSIDE brackets. English is great (Smith, Suzuki, & Jones, 2010).
Use "and" OUTSIDE brackets Smith, Suzuki, and Jones (2010) say that English is great.

In references

Always use "&" Smith, M., Suzuki, K., & Jones. P. (2010). English. Tokyo: Kodansha.

Don't forget the last comma: 1, 2, & 3 not 1, 2 & 3

How do I cite Acronyms like "UNESCO" or "SUA"?

First time (United Nations High Commision for Refugees [UNHCR], 2000)
Second time (UNHCR, 2000)

What order are the references in?

Aardvark, A. (2012).

Bananas are great. (2009, April 17).

Prentice, M. (2003a).

Prentice, M. (2003b).

Prentice, M. (2004).

UNHCR. (n.d. a)

UNHCR. (n.d. b)

UNHCR. (n.d. c)

Zod, G. (1999).

What if there is more than one author?

In references

Up to 7 authors = normal way

If >7 authors, list the FIRST SIX authors, three dots, and the LAST author. No "&".

First, F., Second, S., Third, T, Fourth, F., Fifth, F., Sixth, S., ... Last, L. (2013).

In Text

2 authors cite both EVERY TIME (First & Second, 2013)
3-5 authors cite in normal way the FIRST TIME (First, Second, Third, Fourth, & Fifth, 2013)
3-5 authors use short "et al." version SECOND TIME ONWARDS (First et al., 2013)
6+ authors use short version EVERY TIME (First et al., 2013)

Careful! ("et al.", not "et al")

What if a book has multiple editions?

Smith, J. (2013). Book Title (3rd ed.). Oxford: OUP.

How do volume (issue) numbers work?

WHat if my web page disappears?

This is why you put the "retrieved" date on website references.

Imagine you wanted to cite the front page of this website: (link)

However, the web page is down, or gone, or changed (which happens a lot with the front page of websites). If you give the date, then

1) Waybackmachine has an archive: (link)

2) Google Cache also has a version: (link)

That way people can use the cache or the wayback machine to access it.

I can't find the answer here

There's a lot I don't know how to do. If this answer isn't above, do this: