APA 6th referencing

A guide to APA referencing (6th edition). APA stands for American Psychological Association

Are you using APA 7th ed referencing?

Have you been told that you are to use APA 7th edition for your referencing? 

Our beta Unitec APA 7th Referencing Guide is now live!  Please find it here!


Staff and students of Unitec are responsible for acknowledging the sources used when writing research articles, books, assignments and projects. You must acknowledge what you have read in order to avoid plagiarism, and so that:

  • readers of your work can find the original sources you used
  • the authors of the original sources you used are given credit for their work
  • your own research and ideas are clearly evident and you are given credit for your work
  • your work has credibility in the larger realm of scholarly knowledge

There are two parts to acknowledging another's work within your own:

  1. You use an in text citation in the main body of your work that has some brief information about the source.
  2. You provide the complete information about the source at the end of your work in the form of a list of references or bibliography.

The way in which these two parts are laid out is determined by a bibliographic style. Each department at Unitec requires you to use a particular style for citations and references. Your department may have their own handbook that you can use as a guide.

The most common styles and some examples of citations and references are found in this guide. The library has a number of published style guides available in the Reference Collection and some Unitec departments produce style booklets.

If you require more help with referencing than this guide can provide please contact the Student Learning & Achievement Team.


What is Plagiarism?

Unitec considers plagiarism a serious academic offence. Unitec's Academic Statute 2005 (Part E. 1.01 (b)) defines plagiarism as "the act of taking and using another person's thoughts, ideas, writings, inventions or work as one's own without proper acknowledgement and includes:

i. copying the work of another student;
ii. directly copying any part of another's work, including
    information obtained from the internet;
iii. summarising another's work;
iv. using experimental results obtained by another"

Consequences of Plagiarism

If you are caught plagiarising, there are a range of disciplinary actions that can be taken against you, from a reduced grade for the assignment to being excluded from any Unitec programme of study.

How do I avoid plagiarism?

Take careful notes of where you find your information and always acknowledge the work of others, whether it be:

  • selections of text
  • quotations
  • graphics
  • tables
  • figures
  • graphs or diagrams

If you:

  • regularly make photocopies from books or journal articles
  • print out articles from databases, web pages
  • scan graphs, diagrams, photographs, artwork

remember to note down the details you will need to cite the information in your assignment. The details you need may differ depending on what bibliographic style your department requires, but the minimal information to record should include:

  • Who is responsible for the work eg. the author, designer
  • The name of the work eg. a title
  • When it was produced eg. the publishing date
  • When you accessed the information eg. for material from the web

You may find it useful to use bibliographic management software like EndNote to manage your references and citations.