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Referencing Information

Referencing is the method used at University to enable the reader of your assignments to find and read the same information you have used in your assignments. 

Students studying Psychology will use the APA style of referencing

We have an online tool called Cite Them Right that will support you in referencing different sources of information in the correct way for the referencing style you need to use. 

Accessing Cite Them Right Online

On campus: go to 
You will be automatically logged on.

Off campus: login to CTRO online with your University username and password.

You will also find Cite Them Right Online listed under C in the A-Z of resources 

APA 7th Referencing


APA has updated to the new 7th edition. Staffordshire University will be using this style from September 2020 onwards. We have created a quick guide. This will help you gain an understanding of the basics of APA 7th.

We have also created a detailed guide that goes into the mechanics of APA a bit further. Both of these guides now link into the main APA 7th Style guide created by the APA..

For returning students. We have created a presentation highlighting the main changes from APA 6th to APA 7th.

Have a go at some quizzes around academic dishonesty, collusion and plagiarism

An APA Overview

This video gives you an understanding of referencing using the APA 7th Edition format. The video tells you why you should reference. It provides examples of using in-text citations. It also shows you how to quote using APA. The video explains about reference lists and also highlights tools you can use to help you organise your references.You might want to watch specific parts of this video it covers:

  • What is referencing: Gives you an introduction to referencing and how to avoid plagiarism
  • Citing your work: Gives you some examples of how to cite work with multiple authors 
  • When to quote: Provides examples of how to quote using APA 
  • Your reference list: Provides advice and examples of compiling a reference list including using reference management software 

Reference Management Software

RefWorks allows users to create personal databases and use them for a variety of research activities. References are quickly and easily imported from text files or online databases. The databases can then be used to manage, store, and share the information. Users can automatically insert references from their database into their papers and generate formatted bibliographies and manuscripts in seconds. The university subscribes to RefWorks so you can use it with your university login and password. Find out more via

Mendeley is also very similar to RefWorks. Mendeley is free to use and you are able to import references quickly and easily. You can sign up and use Mendeley yourself. Mendeley can also be used on a number of different mobile devices. Mendeley also has a dedicated help portal and this can be found at Mendeley also has a series of videos you can view available via

Tables & Appendices in APA

For help and advice around tables in APA 7th we would always recommend speaking to your tutor or your supervisor.

The APA does have these helpful guides: 

Style and grammar guidelines: tables and figures

Style and grammar guidelines: tables and figures - sample tables

This video might help. The video looks at borders and shading in Word. So you need to know how to use that tool when setting up a table.


Creating Appendices

If you need help creating appendices using APA 7th - please look at this guide. Alternatively, you can look at the 7th edition APA Publication Manual which contains detailed information. Your tutors usually set out guidance using appendices in Blackboard, so check there and ask them if you are unsure about anything.

Essential referencing information

The Library has also created RefZone to bring together all the different types of referencing and support information into one handy guide.

Indicating the sources you have used in the text of your essay (citing) and creating a list of references of sources you've used is an important part of the assignment writing process. 

Accurate referencing of all the sources you have used will help you avoid accusations of plagiarism. There are other advantages as well:

  • Referencing the sources you have used means your arguments will be clearly supported by evidence.

  • An accurate reference allows your reader to find the source you have used for themselves.

  • Your lecturer can see how widely you have read and whether you fully understand the work.

  • Including references means your work follows good academic practice.

There are two places in your assignments where you will need to acknowledge when you have used someone else’s ideas, theories etc to support your research.

  • In the body of your work – called in-text referencing or citing. 
    This is when you refer to known theories and ideas to support your own work in the body of your assignment. This might be through a direct quotation (marked out the use of "....") or by paraphrasing the original author's words.

  • At the end of your work in your Reference List or Bibliography. 
    This is where you link the in-text references or citations included in the body of your assignment to a list of all the resources you have used at the end.

Reference List or Bibliography?

Understanding the difference between a Reference List and a Bibliography can be tricky as the terms can be used incorrectly.

  • Reference List is a list of all the sources you have cited in your work
  • Bibliography is a list of the sources you have read to help you write your assignment but not cited.

In most cases you will only need to create a Reference List, but remember to check with your tutor if you are not sure what is expected.

Many people use these terms Reference List and Bibliography interchangeably so, if you are unsure about whether you need to include a Bibliography as well as a Reference List, ask your tutor.

Reference List format

Your reference list appears at the end of your assignment and should always be in alphabetical order by author/editor/corporate author, no matter what the format of the source is (book, e-book, journal, website etc.).

A bibliography would be presented in the same way as your reference list and would be a separate list following your reference list. 

All the information that you have used in your assignment which came from books, journals or websites will need to be acknowledged. This includes*:
  • Quotations: Using someone else’s written or spoken words.

  • Paraphrased text : Information converted from someone else’s ideas into your own words

  • Summaries: when you summarise someone else’s work or ideas

  • Theories or ideas

  • Statistics and other forms of data

  • Images pictures, graphs, multimedia, tables

  • Music

  • Designs or plans

* This list is not exhaustive and you may use different types of sources, so remember, if you use anything in your assignment which has been written by someone else, please acknowledge their work by referencing or citing them correctly


There are a few occasions when you do not need to add a reference:

  • When you express your own ideas, theories, arguments, or conclusions 
  • Where surveys and experiments have been designed and carried out by you 
  • When you are including very basic common knowledge: For example, London is the capital of England

But remember what is common knowledge for you, and others in your subject area, may not be common knowledge to everyone. Also, even basic statistical information such as in the following example, must also be cited:

"Birmingham is Britain's second city in terms of population with 1.074 million inhabitants." (source should be cited!)



Stuck with your referencing? Why not book a Just Referencing appointment? One of our team will help you get to grips with whichever style of referencing you need. Just click on the link below to see appointment availability and make a booking.