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Education: Citing references

A guide to finding information in education. Includes links to key resources and sources of help.

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.

Get help from the ITT, SKE, TAEDS Librarian

Rachel Redrup's picture
Rachel Redrup
Call and meet me at The Learning Hub (L24), London Road on Mondays in term, 09:00-15:30, or email me for an appointment at the University Library or some 'remote' help!
0118 378 7142

Get help from the Learning Hub Manager / EBP, PG & CPD, and Special Educational Needs Librarian

Guides to APA referencing

At the University of Reading, our Institute of Education usually requires references in APA (6th edition) style. Consult your course handbook for more information (eg ITT handbook appendix).

The Library holds several print copies of American Psychological Association (2010) Publication manual (6th ed.). Washington DC : American Psychological Association. 4th Floor 808.066-AME. See chapters 6 and 7.

The Library has not been able to buy an online version. However, individuals can buy a Kindle version of the APA Publication manual through Amazon.

The APA's own website includes some tips. Try its online tutorial - especially useful on journal articles from screen 13 onwards.

Other organisations provide good APA referencing guides

Microsoft Word includes a facility to save and order your references in APA. From the 'References' ribbon, select 'style' as 'APA 6th edition'. Insert references as you write - Word will remember them to create your bibiography or list of cited references.

EndNote online and Desktop versions can also save and reproduce your references in APA . See further info in the box on this page.

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! 


EndNote logoWhen 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: