APA is often used to cite and reference sources that you use in your academic writing (an author-date reference style); another common formatting style is Chicago (CMS). With APA, there are “in-text” citations and “post-text” references. So, if you use information from a source like Steven Pinker’s “The Language Instinct”, you would cite it in the text like: (Pinker, 1994) or Pinker (1994) or Pinker (1994, p. 75) and reference it at the end like: Pinker, S. (1994). The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language. London: Penguin.
(SURNAME, YYYY) this is the default option:
… was necessary (Smith, 1988).
… was the result (Adams & Almansouri, 2013).
(ORGANISATION, YYYY) use if there are no author details:
… was necessary (UNDP, 1988).
… was the result (IMF, 2013).
(TITLE, YYYY) use if source has no author/organisation details:
… was necessary (Liquid Gold, 1988).
… was the result (Trade Imbalances, 2013).
(SURNAME, ??) if source has no date use n.d. “No Date”:
… was necessary (Jones & Marsden, n.d.).
… was the result (World bank, n.d.).
APA provides a comprehensive formatting and styling guide (the layout and structure of your writing). In fact, APA covers all aspects of the writing process, inter alia, plagiarism, language tone, construction of tables and graphs. The pages below show a sample document in APA format (pink) with good academic-style writing points (blue).
Source: Diana Hacker (Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2007).