Whenever you refer to another person's work in your own essay, dissertation or article you must acknowledge them and give full details of your source. You risk being accused of plagiarism if you fail to do so. For general information on referencing, including an explanation of different citation systems, and guidance on citing specific types of publication, see our Citing references guide.
Different departments at the University of Reading favour different referencing styles. Our Institute of Education usually specifies APA. For help with citing specific types of publication contact your subject librarians.
For advice on using references in your work, and how to use them to support your arguments, consult the guidance on the Study Advice website or make an appointment with them.
At the University of Reading, our Institute of Education usually requires references in APA 6th edition style.
APA 7th edition style was published for 2020. See:
Chapters 9 & 10 in American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association: the official guide to APA style. (7th ed.). Washington, DC : American Psychological Association.
The University Library has several copies, 4th Floor 808.066-AME.
Other organisations provide good APA referencing guides:
Beware of APA's limitiations. For example, only US legislation is in the APA manual and UK students need to extrapolate what to do here. Also, APA does not specify putting the date retrieved for websites and this information is actually useful - many people just add it in. There are also 'inconsistencies' such as the need to add pp for book page numbers but not journal references. Just keep checking and practicing!
When you do your dissertation you could consider using EndNote to manage your references. This bibliographic management package can be used to store references, and then insert the citation in your Word document, automatically building the bibliography for you in the correct style.
Find out more on our EndNote webpages:
For information on other options for electronic management of your references see our guide to Managing references: