In academic writing, the work of others must always be acknowledged and credited when you are using it in your writing. The way of giving credit to the author is called citing the text. This citation is incomplete without corresponding reference. The reference list is a major component of the document as it is required for retrieval of the citation by the reader or author at any point in time.
Understanding the complex APA style of referencing is considered an intimidating task for the students. The whole purpose and format of referencing can be understood once you have a clear picture of what information is to be given through referrals. It follows a simple process of classifying and organizing the information.
The Concept of Four W’s:
Who: Name of the Author/Authors/Editors
When: Date of Publication
What: Title of the paper, article, journal, book, edition etc.
Where: The location of the publication(the page number/web address etc.)
Once the information is classified and categorized, the next task is to write and organise these chunks of information as per APA format.
The names and dates always come at the beginning of the reference as a pair. Sometimes it may be required to add the name at more than one place. Most of the references, when it comes, dates require just the year, but at some locations, you may need to include the month and date of publication as well.
Remember that you must not use bold text in APA referencing and for referencing it should always be double spacing and hanging indents.
Few other important guidelines to remember for referencing in APA are:
Always start your referencing on a fresh page
References have to be listed in an alphabetical order
The indent has to start after the first line (one-half inch)
The font to be used is Times New Roman
The font size is 12
In a situation where there is no author, the citation has to start with the first word of the article title
The names of the authors are always given in inverted style ( the last name comes and for the first and middle name only use initials)
The major words in the title of the article can be capitalised. In general, only the first letter of the first word of the article can be capitalised.