What is RefME’s APA Citation Generator?

If you are working on a paper in the APA style, you know that formatting APA citations can be a complicated task that requires a lot of patience. Fortunately, referencing has never been so easy. Introducing your new best friend: RefME’s APA citation generator. Using this automated citation machine to create accurate citations allows students to work smarter, leaving them more time to focus on their studies.

RefME’s powerful open-access generator fully-formats all of your APA citations in just a click. So if you’re unsure how to accurately create your citations in the APA format, or you need to cite all of your sources in record time, using RefME’s accurate and intuitive generator will ensure you don’t lose valuable points on your work unnecessarily.

This guide provides you with everything you need to know to ensure you get the grade that reflects all your hard work. Read ahead for tips on how to structure and present your work according to the APA formatting guidelines, how to avoid charges of plagiarism, and how to cite sources both in-text and in your reference list and bibliography.

Why do I Need to Cite?

Essentially, citing is the crediting of sources used in academic work. When another source contributes to your work you must acknowledge the original author with an accurate reference, unless it is common knowledge (e.g. Barack Obama is the first American of mixed race to be elected president). Failing to cite all of your sources or citing them incorrectly constitutes plagiarism, which is considered a serious academic offense. It is important to remember that information doesn’t just belong to anyone who happens to stumble upon it. If you are caught plagiarizing it is more than likely that you will lose points on your assignment, or even face expulsion from your university.

Aside from avoiding plagiarism, attributing your research is crucial in ensuring that your work is firmly anchored in academic tradition. Correctly citing your sources validates the statements and conclusions you make in your work by providing supporting evidence. For many students, citing can be a frustrating process, but it’s an excellent way to enhance the quality of your work and inject it with authority.

Imagine if all the stress of referencing simply vanished. Well, RefME’s APA citation generator is here to help you - now you can create in-text citations and reference lists in the APA format without all of the usual frustrations of referencing.

What is the APA Citation Style?

The APA citation style (6th Edition) is a parenthetical author-date style, so you need to put the author’s last name and the publishing date into parentheses wherever another source is used in the narrative.

The APA format consists of in-text citations and a reference list, along with guidelines for formatting the paper itself. Both the in-text citations and the reference list can be created in the blink of an eye using RefME’s APA reference generator.

Although primarily used by social and behavioural sciences, the APA format is used amongst other scientific publications for its editorial efficiency. RefME’s APA citation generator uses the latest (6th) edition of the APA format, ensuring ultimate accuracy whether you are using the APA format generator for university assignments or are preparing research projects for publishing.

Aside from the APA format there is a plethora of different citation styles out there - the use of which depends on your discipline, university requirements, your professor’s preference or the publication you are submitting the work to. It is important to make sure that you are using the correct style - so if you’re unsure, consult your department and follow their guidelines exactly.

The citation generator above will generate your references in APA format as standard, you can also sign up to RefME to select from over 7,500+ styles, including individual college variations. So, whether your professor prefers that you use the MLA format, or your discipline requires you to adopt the Chicago style citation, your referencing will be supported. RefME also provides open generators and handy guides for styles such as ASA, AMA or IEEE.

How do I Create and Format My Citations?

When you reference a source within an APA style paper; whether it is using a direct quote, repurposing an image, or simply referring to an idea or theory, you should:


  • Insert an in-text citation (the author’s surname and the date of publication within parentheses) straight after a direct quote

  • Insert an in-text citation at the end of the sentence where a source has contributed, but was not a direct quote

  • If you have already mentioned the author’s name in the sentence, you only need to insert the date immediately after their surname

  • Include page numbers within the parentheses (after the date), if referring to a particular page or section of the source

  • When citing a source with three to five authors, include all surnames for the first in-text citation, then use the first author’s surname followed by et al. for subsequent citations

  • When citing six or more authors - use the first author's surname followed by et al. for all citations

  • If you are mentioning both the year and author in the text, don’t include an additional citation in parentheses - unless you are referring to a particular section of the source, in which case you should cite the page number

  • Provide an alphabetical list (ordered by author's surname) of all sources used, titled ‘References’, on a separate page at the end of the narrative

  • Inclusive page numbers for the electronic version of a print source (i.e. a PDF)

  • Provide your appendices on a separate page after the reference list

  • Use ‘&’ in place of ‘and’ in both in-text citations and full references

Use RefME’s APA citation maker to create citations with ease; this will allow you to add citations to your project, edit on the spot, and export separate in-text citations as well as fully-formatted reference lists.

APA Citation Examples (6th Edition)

In-text citation examples:


  • Page specified, author mentioned in text:

  • Lutz & Huitt (2010, p. 4) argue that “the statistical significance of ...”

  • Page specified, author not mentioned in text:

  • The results were consistent throughout the study (Fernández-Manzanal, Rodríguez-Barreiro, & Carrasquer, 2007).

  • Six authors:

  • The study found that … (Sania et al., 2011)

  • No author:

  • The data presented .... (“How sleep enhances memory retention”, 2015).

Reference examples:

  • Book, one author, multiple editions:

  • Hawking, S. W. (1998). A brief history of time: From the big bang to black holes (10th ed.). New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group.

  • Ebook, online only:

  • Tyler, G. (n.d.). Evolution in the systems age. Retrieved from http://www.onlineoriginals.com/showitem.asp?itemID=142&action=setvar&vartype=history&varname=bookmark&v1=1&v2=46&v3=2

  • Journal article, three authors, with a DOI:

  • Fernández-Manzanal, R., Rodríguez-Barreiro, L., & Carrasquer, J. (2007). Evaluation of environmental attitudes: Analysis and results of a scale applied to university students. Science Education, 91(6), 988–1009. doi:10.1002/sce.20218

How do I Format My Reference List?

Drawing on a range of relevant sources in your work proves that you have read widely around your chosen topic, so it’s a surefire way to impress your reader.

To ensure your reader’s ease of comprehension you must adhere to the style’s formatting guidelines. In APA format, a list of all the sources that have directly contributed to your work should be placed on a new page at the end of the narrative and titled ‘References’ (center align the title). The references should all have a hanging indentation - the second and subsequent lines of each reference should start ½ inch from the margin.

You may also be required to provide a full bibliography. This is a comprehensive list of all the source material you used to complete the assignment, even if it was not cited in the text. It should include any book, journal, article etc. that you may have consulted throughout your research and writing process in order to get a deeper understanding of the subject at hand.

Example:

Fernández-Manzanal, R., Rodríguez-Barreiro, L., & Carrasquer, J. (2007). Evaluation of environmental attitudes: Analysis and results of a scale applied to university students. Science Education, 91(6), 988–1009. doi:10.1002/sce.20218

Sound like a lot of work? Although the style guidelines are strict in regard to how references should be formatted, RefME’s APA citation machine takes the weight off your shoulders by accurately compiling your reference list and bibliography in a matter of seconds.

Sign in to your RefME account to save and export your bibliography straight into Microsoft Word, Evernote, EndNote and more. Or save even more time by upgrading your account to RefME Plus - now you can cite as you write within your document with RefME for Word.

APA Style Paper Formatting Guidelines (6th Edition)

When following the APA format guidelines, you must pay attention to presentation details such as font type, line spacing, margins and page headers to ensure your work is easily legible.


  • 1 inch margins on all sides

  • Easily readable font - Times New Roman recommended, 12pt. size

  • Double-space the entirety of the paper

  • Page numbers in the header, aligned to the right

  • Title of the paper in all capitals, 50 characters or less, in the header on each page of the body (the ‘running head’), aligned to the left

  • The paper should typically include four major sections - Title Page, Abstract, Main Body and References.

  • If infographics (tables, charts) were used in the narrative you should also add Appendices as a separate section at the end of the paper.

A Brief History of the APA Format

APA stands for American Psychological Association, the scientific organisation that assembles the publishing manual of the APA format. The style was developed in 1929 by a group of scientists to standardize scientific writing. It was created in the hopes that it would provide a coherent and professional manner of citing sources for students and researchers in the fields of social and behavioural sciences.

The first publication manual of the APA format was published in pursuit of a neat and efficient research formatting style, mainly for editorial purposes. Although some contemporary scientists argued that having such strict regulations restricted personal writing styles, the format has since become one of the most popular referencing styles. Today it is adopted in term papers, research reports, literature reviews, theoretical articles, case studies etc.

How do I Create Accurate Citations with RefME’s APA Generator?

Referencing giving you a headache? Let RefME’s APA format generator remove the stress caused by citations by turning any of your sources into a fully-formatted citation in an instant. The generator will create your reference in two parts; an in-text citation and a full reference that is ready to be copied straight into your work.

To unlock the full potential of the APA citation maker simply sign up or login to RefME’s multi-platform tool. Use the web platform to add and edit citations, export full projects and individual entries, utilize the add-ons and save all of your citations in the cloud. Or make use of RefME for Chrome – the browser extension for Google Chrome that allows you to instantly create and edit a citation for any online source, without leaving the web page you’re viewing.

Carry RefME in your pocket; download the iOS or Android app to generate an accurate APA citation in a flash with your smartphone camera anytime, anywhere.

RefME gives students the confidence to achieve their full academic potential by encouraging them to research and cite diverse sources. There are no limits to what sources you can cite using the APA citation generator; whether it be a PDF report, podcast, a musical score or many more.

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