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APA 6th Edition - University of Lincoln

Referencing system for Psychology

A guide to the referencing system APA 6th Edition

APA style tutorial

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Getting Started with APA referencing

The quickest and easiest way to reference your academic work is to:

  • record the necessary information at the time of using it
  • be consistent

Referencing is a very important consideration when submitting a piece of academic work and by following these guidelines you will ensure that you will meet the requirements set out by your tutor.

You need to reference:

  • to demonstrate that you have undertaken research for your academic work
  • to avoid accusations of plagiarism
  • to acknowledge the work of other authors, which can be found in books, journal articles, websites etc.

There are many systems of referencing available; this guide will focus on the American Psychological Association (APA) system which is used for both the School of Psychology and the School of Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Lincoln.

This guide provides examples of different information sources: how to cite them within your text and how to include them in your reference list.  For more information, please consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, (6th ed., 2nd printing). The APA Manual also provides information about paper formatting and writing style whereas this guide is primarily focused on the referencing aspect.

The APA website also contains information and tips on using the APA style at

Other referencing styles

If you are doing a joint degree with another discipline, you may be required to use a different referencing system such as Harvard for some assignments.  If so, please refer to the University of Lincoln Harvard guide.

APA referencing

There are two parts to APA referencing:

  1. In-text citation
  2. Reference list.

Double-space your entire paper, including the reference list and any block quotations (unless advised differently by your tutor/lecturer).

Printable Guide

APA Style Blog

This blog is a great source of up-to-date information about APA style.  It is run by a group of experts who work with APA Style every day. They "publish weekly posts to talk about what we love—writing, publishing, and APA Style" - their words!

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RefWorks logo

RefWorks is referencing software which allows you to:

  • store references
  • organise references
  • generate citations
  • generate reference lists
  • share references

It's available to all staff and students, click here to log in.

To access RefWorks on your mobile device go to

To find out more about RefWorks view the comprehensive online help or contact your Academic Subject Librarian.

Need help?

Alexis Lamb ( and
(Academic Subject Librarian for Psychology and Sport)
(01522) 886078

Subject guides available at:

Tracey Newby (
(Academic Subject Librarian for Education)
(01522) 886087

Subject guide available at: