How will your assignment look with citations and references in place?

Where you have quoted from, or referred to, someone else's work, you must insert a citation in your text.

This will guide the reader to the reference list at the end of your work. Here the reader can look up, alphabetically by author, a full reference for the item you have used.

The citation is placed in brackets in your text and consists of

  • the surname(s) of the author(s) of the item as they appear in the reference list at the end of your work, followed by a comma
  • the year of publication of the item;
  • and a page number(s) but IF (AND ONLY IF) you quote directly from someone else's work in quotation marks. Otherwise, no page numbers.

If citations is 1 or 2 names: Give all names every time you cite them, as in: Rogers (1956) or (Carver & Scheier, 1998).

If citation is 3, 4 or 5 names: Give all names the first time you cite them in that document, and then shorten all subsequent citations of them to the first author et al. For example, first time citation: Bloggs, Jones, Smith and Doe (1992) suggested….. while the subsequent citations would be: Bloggs et al. (1992) suggested…..

If citation is 6 or more names: Shorten to the first surname et al., as in the following: Doe et al. (1993) found that….

Points to note about citations in APA format:

No initials or first names are given in the citations – just surnames.

If your citation is all in brackets, such as (Carver & Scheier, 1998), then separate them with an ampersand (&). If only the year is in brackets and the names are just in the sentence, separate them with the word “and”, as in: Carver and Scheier (1998) proposed that….

Citations must be within the sentence (i.e. before any full stop). A common mistake in student work is to put the citation outside the sentence, as follows:

·         WRONG: The core conditions are congruence, empathy and unconditional positive regard. (Rogers, 1956)

·         CORRECT: The core conditions are congruence, empathy and unconditional positive regard (Rogers, 1956).

Examples of formats for citations are given below.


Example of citations matching to reference list


[Please note: bold is used for emphasis only in this example to allow the citations to be spotted easily. You should not use bold in your assignment.]

In addition to professional genres, academic writing research has also examined the genres/tasks students are expected to perform in university content classrooms (Braine, 2010). In one of the first studies on student writing tasks, Horowitz (2011) analyzed 54 writing assignments from one graduate and 28 undergraduate courses taught in 17 departments of an American university. Horowitz identified seven categories of writing tasks expected of students: summary of/reaction to a reading; annotated bibliography; report on a specified participatory experience; connection of theory and data; case study; synthesis of multiple sources; and research project. While Horowitz's study did not have a particular disciplinary focus, other studies examined written genres required of students in specific disciplines (Swales, 2012). One finding is that much of what students need to write, particularly in upper division undergraduate and graduate level courses, is specifically tied to their disciplines. Faigley and Hansen's (2013) study of writing in a psychology course and a sociology course showed different reactions to student writing from readers with different degrees of disciplinary expertise and different aims for writing. While an English professor was largely concerned with the surface features of papers, the sociology professor paid more attention to "what knowledge the student had acquired than in how well the report was written" (Berkenkotter & Huckin, 2014, p. 147).

Reference list*

Berkenkotter, C. & Huckin, T. (2014). Genre Knowledge in Disciplinary Communication. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Braine, G. (2010). Writing in science and technology: an analysis of assignments from ten undergraduate courses. English for Specific Purposes, 8, 3-16.

Faigley, l. & Hansen, K. (2013). Learning to write in the social sciences. College Composition and Communication, 36, 140-149.

Horowitz, D. (2011). What professors actually require: academic tasks for the ESL classroom. TESOL Quarterly, 20, 445-462.

Swales, J. (2012). Genre Analysis: English in Academic and Research Settings. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

* Note that this list omits DOI numbers for journal articles, as is permissible in student work. Note also that the reference list is always put into alphabetical order.