Advice on referencing and the APA style used in most courses here at Lincoln University.
This page covers both the why, when and how of referencing in your academic work based on the APA style used in most courses here at Lincoln University. You may also want to review our advice on Copyright and our page on using Paraphrases, summaries and quotes. You may also want to use a tool such as EndNote.
The APA 7th style guide is here.
Referencing is very important to your success at university. It is a vital academic skill and you have to get your head around it. Referencing well will improve the quality of your work and get you higher marks.
|Show your argument is supported by evidence||Acknowledge you have used the words or ideas of another person||Allow readers to find the original source of your information|
Shows you have read widely to develop your ideas
|Gives credit where it is due||Allows the readers to assess the validity and reliability of the evidence|
|Shows your ideas are supported by the work of others||Avoids plagiarism (claiming someone else's work as yours)||Allows the reader to find more detail for themselves|
All academic writing draws on the ideas and findings of other researchers and writers. Whenever you use an idea, image or section of text that you found somewhere else, you need to make it clear where that information came from. When in doubt reference!
|You must reference when you:||You usually don't reference when you:|
|Quote exact words||Use your own knowledge (eg personal experience, your own experimental data)|
|Paraphrase or summarise (refer to or use someone else's ideas in your words)||Refer to common knowledge (eg the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840)|
|Use factual data from other sources (eg statistics)||Use general subject knowledge in your own words|
|Reproduce a chart, image or diagram|
|Want to show you have evidence for a statement or argument you are making|
Referencing always has two parts: an in-text citation and a reference:
At the end of the piece of writing, there is a list of all the sources used. Here is how to write reference list entries for the three most common types of source. (Note carefully the punctuation.)
It is critical to correctly capitalise your reference entries. In many cases you will need to correct the capitalisation, as the source of the work will not use correct capitalisation.
When entering titles we may need to use either title case, sentence case, or use the title and subtitle, depending on the specifics of the work you are referencing.
Original Title on the website. STRANDED AT THE TOP OF THE HIMALAYAS—DISASTER ON MT EVEREST
Title Case: capitalise the first word and all other words except connective words like “in, of, it, and, the”.
Stranded at the Top of the Himalayas—Disaster On Mt Everest
Sentence Case: capitalise the first word and also proper nouns such as the names of people, places, organisations and species. All other words are lower case.
Stranded at the top of the Himalayas—disaster on Mt Everest
Titles with Subtitles: separate the title and subtitle using a colon : the subtitle is capitalised as a new
Stranded at the top of the Himalayas: Disaster on Mt Everest
Always capitalise authors exactly as written, even if it does not conform to standard English conventions or includes non-standard characters.
E.g. “de Villiers”, “InfoTECH”, or “!Kung ” are always written this way in the reference list and citation.
Names are always written as: Family name, Initials. E.g. Sarah Louise Taylor is written as Taylor, S. L.
Titles such as Doctor, Professor, Sir, Dame, PhD, DSO etc. are never included in the name entry.
If you cannot determine which is the family name the following general rules can help:
- If the name is written as several names in a row, the final name is usually the family name.
E.g. Winston Eugene Roland McDairmand becomes McDairmand, W. E. R.
- If the name is written with a comma in it, the name(s) preceding the comma is the family name.
E.g. De Reuyter, Marcella Patricia becomes De Reuyter, M. P.
We recommend that undergraduates use the following series of steps when including an image in your document.
- Insert the image into your document
- Above or below the image place a figure number, assigned in order from the start of the document; e.g. Figure 1:, Figure 2: …
- Next to the figure number give the title of the image; e.g. Figure 3: Wainoni landscape
- Directly below the image add explanatory notes or description, including the citation and any creative commons licence information needed. If the creator of the photo is different from the author in the reference list, give both names using the “Citing a Source within another source” rule in the APA guide
- In your reference list create a reference entry for your image.
- When discussing the image in the body of the text, refer to it by the figure number.
Example: – in text
Figure 7: Ship Portrait – “USS Texas”
When discussed in text
In Figure 7 we can see a classic example of large scale war memorials, which are common throughout the United States.
In the reference list
Vest, L. (2006, November 18). Ship portrait – “USS Texas”. Flickr. https://flic.kr/p/t5LyL
Whether to add information to a new study or illustrating why a course of research wasn’t taken through citing negative research data, using data from another researcher’s study is becoming more commonplace. Lincoln University uses APA style.
For datasets with a DOI (digital object identifier):
Author/Rightsholder. (Year). Title of data set (Version number) [Description of form]. doi:10.###/###
Skinner, E.-T. & Fitchett, D. (2013). Basic data management practices. doi:10.6084/m9.figshare.781296
For datasets without a DOI:
Author/Rightsholder. (Year). Title of data set (Version number) [Description of form]. Retrieved from URL
Pew Hispanic Center. (2004). Changing channels and crisscrossing cultures: A survey of Latinos on the news media [Data files and code book]. Retrieved from http://pewhispanic.org/datasets
For purchased datasets:
Rightsholder, A. A. (Year). Title of dataset (Version number) [Description of form]. Publication Location; Name of producer if different from rightsholder.
Davis, J. (1988). Familiar birdsongs of the Northwest [Sound cassette]. Portland, OR: Portland Audubon Society.
For unpublished or personal datasets:
Author, A. A. (Year). [Description of study topic]. Unpublished raw data.
Jones, A. W. (2012). [Personnel survey]. Unpublished raw data.
New Zealand Legal Statutes and Cases
Please follow the guidance of your course examiner as to how they would like laws cited. This may require referencing your document in the New Zealand law style guide or another style that they specify. You may find this guide prepared by Francis White and Hamish Rennie useful when interpreting the New Zealand law style guide.
If your examiner does not require another style the advice below is appropriate for LU students needing to cite the occasional Act or case in APA style.
Statute / Act
Include the URL/Web address if one is available. NZ laws and statutes are available online from New Zealand Legislation
Reference list entry:
Immigration Act 2009. http://legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2009/0051/latest/DLM1440303.html?src=qs
In text citation:
Recent legislation (Immigration Act 2009) has …
Section in a statute
Reference list entry:
Resource Management Act 1991. http://legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1991/0069/latest/DLM230265.html?src=qs
In text citation: Include the section in the citation.
…when applying to the Environment Court (Resource Management Act 1991, s. 87G).
Case reported in the New Zealand Law Reports
Reference list entry:
Hunt v Muollo  2 NZLR 322.
In text citation:
The case Hunt v Muollo  2 NZLR 322 shows…
You may find the following tools and styles helpful when referencing at Lincoln.
- APA 6th this is the previous edition of APA style
- EndNote: Lincoln’s supported bibliographic management software
- Royal Society of New Zealand style
- Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide
- Harvard style links to University of Birmingham style
- NoodleBib Express a simple online tool that can help you build references step by step