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Referencing with APA: Terms and Abbreviations

Common Referencing Terms

is a list of documents consulted but not necessarily referred to in a specific essay or assignment. A bibliography can also be a comprehensive list of works on a specific subject, for example, The Bibliography of Bioethics. When researching a topic it is a good idea to prepare a bibliography for your own use, even if in your essay you need to cite only some of these items in a Works cited or References list.

Citation or referencing style
is the method used to format your citations. Some commonly used formats are MLA, Chicago, APA, Vancouver and Footnote.

Descriptive elements
are the necessary parts of a reference. A few examples of these elements are: author, title, edition, date of publication, internet address, etc.

is a generic term used to describe documents available from the internet or from databases or published in a digitised format.

In-text citations
are a method of signalling to the reader of your work that the words or ideas quoted or referred to at that point are not your own. The method for acknowledging the source document will vary according to the citation style you are using. Enough information is given to locate the full reference in the Works cited or References list.

are an accurate and complete description of a document. A document may be a book, a journal article, a videorecording, an email, or an internet site, to name a few. The reference should include sufficient descriptive elements to identify and locate the document.

Works cited or References list
is a list of all the documents you have referred to in your assignment or project. It is usually included at the end of your work. It may be arranged alphabetically or numerically and formatted according to one of the citation styles.

Standard APA Abbreviations

A list of acceptable, commonly used abbreviations can be found in the Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th ed., p. 180.  Some of the more often used examples are listed here:

chap. Chapter
ed. Edition
Ed.(Eds.) Editor(s)
et al. and others (from Latin et alii, et aliae)
n.d. No date of publication
No. Number
p. (pp.) Page(s)
para. Paragraph
Pt. Part
Rev. ed Revised edition
Suppl. Supplement
Tech. Rep. Technical Report
Trans. Translator(s)
Vol. Volume (as in Vol. 4)
vols. Volumes (as in 4 vols.)