APA 6 Style

Paraphrasing - How to cite in-text in APA 6 style

Hello and welcome to the short video prepared by academic skills and today we are going to look at how to cite in-text using paraphrasing and doing it in APA 6th referencing style.

Now there are two ways if we want to reference a paraphrase in-text using APA 6th style, and the two ways are Author-focused and the second is information focused and we’re going to look at both of these today.

Now firstly, if we look at author-focused what happens if the authors name or names if there are multiple authors appear outside of the brackets. Now usually this type of citations, the author-focused will appear at the beginning or in the middle of a sentence and we use this method if we want to draw particular attention to the author that we have referenced.

Let’s have a look at some examples

Here is the original text written by Smith and we cans see that students often find referencing in the main text of their work a little difficult to understand and do correctly.

So we want to use that idea, but obviously we have to paraphrase into our own word and then reference Smith, so the first method shows that the author starts the sentence.

Smith, in brackets, (2012) argued that in-text citations could be a little confusing. That is one way to achieve that paraphrase.

The second example we have added the reporting verb first.  So, according to Smith (2012), in brackets again and then a comma, in text citation could be a little confusing.

And now the final example has moved the author further into the middle of the sentence. In-text citations can be quiet confusing, as Smith (2012) pointed out in a recent study.

So all three of these are equally valid, but just notice that Smith appears outside of the brackets in each case.

Now if we move onto information-focused style paraphrasing, in this case the authors name or names um appear inside the brackets. Now this type of citations will often appear in the middle of a sentence or at the end of a sentence. And unlike author focused referencing, this is what we use if we want to draw attention to the actual information itself.

So here are some example of how we would use information focused referencing, again we have the original text written by Smith.

Students often find referencing in the main text of their work a little difficult to understand and so correctly. So that the idea we want to use, so we need to paraphrase it and reference Smith.

So in the first example you can see that the author now appears at the end of the reference, Is has been argued that in-text citations could be a little confusing (Smith, - comma - 2012). An important feature of APA 6th referencing is that comma always appears between the author or authors and the year, so it’s important not to leave that small detail out.

Um our second example shows Smith appearing or the author in this case, Smith appearing in the middle of the sentence. In-text citations can be a little confusing, - there’s the paraphrase – (Smith, - comma - 2012) and then we have added our own comment to that – and this poses a major challenge for students.

So both of these ways are suitable. Both the author um and the information prominent um suitable um the important to remember with paraphrasing, however, as we have seen in those examples, it means keeping the original meaning of the idea and words we want to use, but putting it into our own words, that is the crucial point, that is how we avoid plagiarism. Um the other important thing to remember, now that we have both of these styles, is that using a combination of these can also help vary your writing. So instead of just of just using one author first or information first and having repetitive writing try mixing it up a little bit to give it that variety.

Anyway, that will begin us to the end of this this short video, we hope it has been helpful to you and good luck with all of your referencing.

Quotations - How to cite in-text in APA 6 style

Hello, and welcome to this short video prepared by Academic Skills. And today we are going g to look at how to cite in text using direct quotations using APA 6th referencing style. Now the rules for doing this involve the length of the quote. For quotes less than 40 words they should be included in the main sentence in a text. However, if your quote is 40 words or longer they should be presented in block format and indented, and we’ll look at examples of both of these.

Now, firstly, we have the author-focused style of direct quotes. Now the authors name or names if there are multiple authors appear outside of the brackets. Now usually this type of citation occurs at the beginning or the middle of the sentence. And we use it if we want to draw particular attention of the author we are using. So here are some examples of this using a short quote. Okay, now our original text, written by Jones is that - Students often find getting the reference list exactly correct quite difficult.

We’re going to use that direct quote word for word but in the three examples just have a look at the different in the position of the authors name.

In the first one, Jones outside of the brackets, as we said, then 2017, a comma and the p there represents page number, and we need a page number when we are direct quoting in APA 6th style.

So we have the author the reporting verb - argues - and then the direct quote.  In the second one, you can see something has changed, the reporting verb in this case - According to - comes before the author and then the quote occurs.

An finally, we have an introduction to the idea  - Many students experience great difficulty in – an then using the part of the quote that we want as Jones 2017 page 7 pointed out in a recent study.

So these are all variation of doing the same thing with direct quotes.

Now, let’s have a look at an author-focused example with a longer quote. So as we said earlier, if a direct quote is longer than 40 words it has to be presented in a different style. We have the original text this time written by two authors. Now if we look at the quote you can see that it has been presented in a different way, we have two author here as I said, so - According to McRudden and Ross, notice that both authors appear outside of the brackets and notice that we use the actual word and A N D, to referrer to them, then I have the brackets, 2017 and the page number, which is what I require for direct quotes. In this case, however, we don’t use any quotation marks it has been indented in to a block, as you can see there. So, there are no quotation marks and then I put, this is what the original text said, and I put that straight down in a block quote, indented.

Now, if I move away author-focused quotes, I can also introduce a quote with information-focus. Now in this case the authors name or names appear inside the brackets. Now we usually find this type of quotation in the middle or end of the sentence and we use it when we want to draw attention to the actual information itself rather than the author. So, example might look like this.

Again here is my original text, which I will use in my short quote under 40 words.

Students often find getting the reference list exactly correct quite difficult. Okay, so this is how it might look.

It has been argued that – and now I have the direct quote – “students often find getting the reference list exactly correct quite difficult”

A couple of things to notice here, notice that it is a double quotation mark that we used in APA 6th style and that is an important thing to remember. The other thing to notice is that the author is inside the brackets with the year this time and notice there is a comma between the two, again this is an important part of APA referencing that can’t be overlooked.

The final thing I want to draw your attention to their, is notice in our original text that was the start of a sentence. We have changed the big S to a small S to fit our sentence because we have started it with - It has been argued that-, which is what you should be doing when you are using direct quotes in your work.

Now an example of an information focused long quote, again over 40 words, so it is widely known that, and we have used the same text as last time but instead of having the authors at the beginning you can now see that the authors appear at the end of the reference there. Now, notice that both authors appear in the brackets with the year and notice what’s happened to the and. Once the and appear inside the brackets it changes to that ampersand symbol. If the authors are outside of the brackets we use the actual word and. Also notice there is the comma between the authors and the year and we also have the page number again.

 

So that begins us to the end of our short video on quotations. Remember to use those different styles to add variation to your work and we hope this has been helpful. So Good Luck with all of your referencing.

How to write a reference for journal articles in APA 6 referencing style

Hello and today we are going to look at how to write a reference for a journal article using APA 6th style. Now in order to do this we are going to need the following bits of information.

Now firstly, we are going to need to know the authors name or names. We’re going to need the year of publications, we’ll need the title of both the article and the journal that it appears in. We’re going to need the volume number, we’ll need the issue number if required, we will also need the page range, and finally we’ll need something called the DOI, which is otherwise known as a Digital Object Identifier.

So, let’s see how this information would look when we look at an example of a journal article to see where we can find it. Now firstly we’re going to need the names of the authors, so here we have two authors, so here we have their family name and we’re also going to need their initials. We are also going to need the year of publication, which is here. We’re going to need the title of the article itself that appears here. And we’re also going to need the title of the journal that it appears in, and here is the journal title here. We’re also going to need the volume number. Um we have the issue number here for use if we require it and we are also going to need the page range, which appears here. The last bit of information we need is the DOI or Digital Object Identifier, which can be found here.

So, all of the information we need for our referencing is present on the first page of the journal.

Okay, so let’s see how that information can be used to format a reference for a journal article correctly in APA 6th style. So, we’ve listed out all the information that we need here, everything from the author’s surname to the DOI. Notice that we have a red start next to the issue number, ah, as we said before we only use the issue number if required, and the reason we do this is because of something called pagination.

Now pagination is related to page numbers and how a journal issues its volumes. Now if a journal issues its volumes in separate issues that all start at page 1, then the issue number is required. So, a journal article with a relatively low page range number, so for example my journal article might appear from pages 36-44 is likely to follow format where the issue number is used. If however, the page range number is relatively high, for example 1480 to 1486, then this tells us that the journal releases its volume with continuous page numbers rather than starting at page one at each issue. Now in this case, no issue number is required, and just some information from the SCU APA 6th guide available on the library website has been included here.

So let’s how this affects our particular article, thinking of the page range, you can see that this is quite a high page range, which for the reasons mentioned earlier, tells me I will not be requiring and issue number for this particular reference.

So now that I have this information, let’s see how I format it correctly. Now what I have done here is I have copied over the template from the APA 6th referencing guide available in the library and I’ve just copied that into my Word document as a point of reference. Okay, so it’s going to tell me how to lay out all of this information I found correctly and in what order. Crucially, it’s also going to have all of the required punctuation and spacing that, and other formatting that I need, so every comma, full stop, capitals, space, brackets, italics is all provided for me if I copy that template over.

So, let’s see how this would look with the information we took off our journal article. So, here is my template here, and I am going to use this to populate my reference list. So I have followed the references as they appear on the template. So the information appears in the exact same order and I have been careful to follow all punctuation. Here in this case, we do not have the issue number because as discuss earlier the page range is quite high, okay. Notice that both are double spaced and there is still one difference, the example from the referencing guide has what we call a hanging indent. So the first line appears as normal and then every subsequent line is indented. Now to achieve this, the simplest way to do it is to simply select the entire reference and then hit control T or command T and it will set that format out for me. That’s the easiest way to go about this.

So, let’s see how this would like using another journal article as an example. So again, I need exactly the same information. I need the author’s names

I’m going to need the year. I need the title of the article which is found here. I need the title of the journal that it appears in, which is here. I have my volume number, I have my issue number if I need it and we are also have my page range, and finally I also have the DOI okay. So again I have managed to find all of that information on the first page. So I am going to go back to my template and see how I can reference it.

So again I have put all of the information I found on the front page of the Journal article into the columns that we used earlier. Everything from the authors surnames down to the DOI. Notice because of the low page range we are going to be using the issue number this times. So again let’s see how that would look in correct format. I have copied over the template again to help me and I can just put the information into the order again paying attention to all punctuation, spacing and formatting, such as italics, okay. Again, I don’t have my hanging indent so the easiest way to do this will be to select that and hit control T and now I am ready to go.

Just a word on DOI’s you will notice that the referencing guide provides three examples of these, there are different formats of DOI’s, just take which ever one appears in your particular journal article. If however, there is not DOI available you will have to use this format for electronic journal articles. You’ll have to write Retrieved from and then you will have to provide the URL of the journal homepage.

If you have any further queries about any of the referencing concepts that we have discussed today, please make an appointment with academic skills or go and visit the library.

How to write a reference for a website in APA 6th referencing style

Hi everyone, and welcome to this short video to show you how to write a reference for a website using APA 6th referencing style.

To do this we’ll need some specific pieces of information. The first thing you’ll need is either the author name or names or if you don’t know that, the organisation name. Then, you’ll need the year of publication or the date of the last update. You’ll need the title of the specific document you have found on the web or the title of the website itself, or the section of the website – whatever it is that you’ve been looking at and that you got your information from. Then you’ll need the URl and you’ll write that URL with the words ‘Retrieved from’ at the beginning and I’ll show you that shortly.

Ok, so let’s have a look at an actual example. What I’ve got here is a section of a website that’s been written by a particular person. The author name as you can see is this person – you’ve got a nice picture too, you don’t always get a picture – but her name is Samantha Morris.

After that the thing that you will need is the year of publication or the last update. Now, typically you’ll find the last update somewhere down the bottom of the site … I’m looking around, I can’t seem to see it … it does sound like pretty up-to-date information but I can’t find an actual date so, in that case, what we’re going to do is use ‘n.d.’, which means ‘no date’, and you’ll see that in the example we do shortly.

Then, the title of the specific section or the document, so this title is ‘Gold Coast’s Best Camping Spots’, and after that we need the URL and that of course is up here in the URL bar.

Now let’s see what this looks like as a reference. So what I’ve got here is the information that we just got from the website.

Now, to make our reference list in APA style we need to start on a new page with our bold, centred heading ‘References’. Then the author name – family name and initial. Then, the year. We didn’t know the year so it’s ‘n.d.’ but of course if you do know the year it goes in here. Then the title of the web document or website or the section of the website ‘Gold Coast’s best camping spots’ with only ‘Gold Coast’ capitalised, and then retrieved from the website.

Now remember it is very important to always check the referencing guide, the SCU Referencing LibGuide for where every comma, full stop, bracket, italic and so on must go. That’s all very important, or you can just come back here and check this video.

Now, there’s two more things we need to do. Anytime a reference in APA has more than one line – and this one has two – the second, third, fourth, any other line except for the first needs to be indented. That's called a ‘hanging indent’. Now, it’s very easy to do this. All you need to do is select the reference, and you can select more than one reference if you have more than one, and all you need to do is press and hold the ‘CTRL’ key on your keyboard, or ‘COMMAND’ if you use a Mac, and then at the same time press the letter ‘T’ for ‘Tom’, and you will get your hanging indent like this.

Now, I’ve still got this reference highlighted as the last thing we need to do is to make it double-spaced. So, I’m going to keep it highlighted and I’m coming up here and I’m making that reference double-spaced.

And there you go. That’s how you write your APA reference for a website. I hope this has been helpful and good luck with your studies.

How to write a reference for an online newspaper article in APA 6th style

Hi everyone, and welcome to this short video on how to write a reference for an online newspaper article in APA 6th Referencing style.

To do this, you’ll need to know a few pieces of information. You’ll need to know the author name or names. You’ll need the year of publication and the actual date of publication, the title of the article. You’ll need the name of the newspaper or the news site, and you’ll need the URL.

OK so let’s have a look at an example of an actual online newspaper article. OK this one comes from ‘The Guardian’, but what we’ll do is we’ll just go through and identify all the information that we need that we just pointed out on the previous slide.

So the first thing we need is the author name, which we can find here – ‘Michael Slezak’. After that we need the year of publication – ‘2017’ – we need the date of publication which is ‘27 July’. After that, the title of the article which we can see here, nice and prominent. After that we need the name of the newspaper which again is ‘The Guardian’. And finally, we need ‘Retrieved from …’ and the website of the article, which we can find up here in the URL bar.

Now let’s see what this looks like in an actual reference. So I’ve just written down here all the information we just got from the newspaper, from the newspaper article. Now to make our reference list in APA style, we need to start on a new page with the bold centred heading ‘References’. Then we’ve got our author name – family name first and then initial, and then the year and date of publication. Then the title with only the first word or any names such as ‘South Australia’ in capitals. Then the name of the newspaper, italics and with capital letters. ‘Retrieved from’ and the website URL or the article URL.

Ok, now just remember it is very important to always check with the SCU Referencing LibGuide for where every comma, full stop, capital letter, italic, bracket etc. must go because all that’s very important, or you could just check back here on this video again.

Now we’re almost done, now there’s just two more things that we need to do. The first thing’s what’s called a ‘hanging indent’. In APA any reference that has more than one line – and this one has four – the second, third, fourth lines need to be indented.

To do that, we just select our reference, and all you need to do is press and hold the ‘CTRL’ key on your keyboard, or ‘COMMAND’ if you use a Mac, and at the same time press the letter ‘T’ for ‘Tom’. And that’s your hanging indent. Very easy, and you can do that for one reference or if you have 20 references you can select all of them and do the same thing.

Now the last thing we need to do is we need to make this reference and all references in APA double-spaced. So to do that, it’s still highlighted so I’m just going to come up here to the spacing tool and make it double-spaced.

And that’s how you write your reference for an online newspaper article. I hope that’s been helpful, and good luck with all of your studies.

How to write a reference for a chapter in an edited book in APA 6th style

Hello. Welcome to this short video prepared by Academic Skills, and today we’re going to look at how to reference a chapter in an edited book in APA 6th referencing style.

Now, in order to do this, we’re going to need the following information. We’re going to need the author name or names of the chapter itself that we’re using. We’re also going to need the year of publication of the book. We’re going to need the title of the chapter. We’re also going to need the name or names of the editors of the book itself. After that we’ll need the title of the book we’re using. Then we’ll need the page range where the chapter starts and ends, and finally we’ll need the place of publication and the publishing company

So, here is a book that we’ve already found. This is a book we want to use, and as you can see at the moment we’ve just got the cover. We’ve got the title of the book – ‘Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis’ – and we have two names here. Now be careful – these are the names of the editors, although it’s not immediately clear that this is the case. To get further information about who has contributed to which part of our book, we have to open the book and look at the first few pages very carefully to find the information that we need.

So, if we open the book we’ll see we have the title of the book again. Then we have more information here about the editors and the series – this isn’t anything we need at the moment, but as we keep looking we’ll see confirmation that in fact these two people are the editors.

We also have a further page of more publisher information, but what we want to start with here is the contents page, and the reason we’re starting here is because this list of contents has a list of all the chapters and, importantly, as you can see, the different authors who wrote those chapters.

Now, for our particular assignment, we’re going to use … we’ve used some material from Chapter 6 here – ‘Critical discourse as a method in social scientific research’. Now the author of this chapter is Norman Fairclough, so that is the first information that we need for our reference list, so we’ll highlight that there.

Ok, now we have to go back and find the year of the publication, so we’ll have to go back to this particular page here where the copyright is here – ‘2001’. So that’s our second piece of information that we’ve found.

Then, we have to go back to get the full chapter title. Again, it’s not the title of the book we want at this stage but the title of the chapter we’re using within it. So here is the title of that chapter that we have used, so we’ll highlight that as well like that.

Now, we have to go back to the book details itself and that involves the editors’ names. In this case we have two editors from memory so we’ll go back and check that. Here we go – edited by these people here so that’s the next bit of information I need so I’ll just highlight that, and then I also need the book title itself so that’s the title there – ‘Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis’ ok?

Now the next thing I need is the page range, so this is where the chapter that I am using starts and ends. So again, we’ll go back to the contents page, and we can see from the contents page that the chapter we’re using starts on page 121 ok. Now the chapter after it starts on page 139, so logically our chapter will finish on 138 which is the previous page. So, our page range will be 121-138.

And then finally, we need the place of publication and we also need the publisher, and again I can come back to this page to find that information. So what we’ll be using is the first one here, and again we don’t need the whole address of this particular publishing house, all we’re interested in is the town or city. In this case it’s London. And then finally, the name of the publisher. The full name is ‘SAGE Publications Limited’ – we can just write ‘SAGE’, that is enough information for our referencing needs.

So now let's see how this information would look in a reference. So we have all of the information that is required in this list here, and now we’re going to see how that information is placed into the reference in the order it appears.

So, first of all we will take the author’s surname. After that we take any initials, in this case it’s only one because the author’s name is Norman. If there were two names here, we would have more than one initial. After a full stop we have the year of publication in brackets, and after that we have the name of the chapter itself, so this is the name of the chapter that will appear in the book, ok?

Now, when we are referencing a chapter in an edited book, we have the author of the chapter here, but it is the editors of the book that appear here, and you’ll notice that the order has been inverted in terms of initial and surname. So, when we’re dealing with the editors it is in fact the initial or initials first and then the surname after that. After that we put in brackets the shortening ‘eds.’, short for ‘editors’, and finally after that we have the name of the actual book that it appears in, and it is this title that is in italics in this case here.

The next piece of information that we use is the page range, so the ‘pp.’ for multiple pages, a dot, space, and the page range.

Now, the last bit of information we need is the place of publication and the publisher. Now, depending on where this book is published, this is going to be different in APA 6th style. As this particular book was published outside of the USA, we have the name of the city or town, which in this case is London, and then a comma and the country – ‘UK’. We then have a full colon and the name of the publisher ‘SAGE’.

If, however, this were published within the United States, we would have the name of the city or town and then a commando the abbreviation of the state within the United States. So let’s say for example this was published in Boston, that would read ‘Boston, MA’ for Massachusetts, ok? So, this information, you’ll be able to find it where we have found this other information that we have used, however just be aware of the difference between whether something is published within the United States or outside of the United States.

Now the last thing we have to do as well, or two more things we have to do actually, is all of our APA 6th references require a hanging indent, and what we mean by that is that the second or any lines thereafter should be indented slightly below the first one. Now, the easiest way to go about this is to select the entire reference and just keep in mind that if you have multiple references in your reference list you can do this in one action by selecting all of them. We’re only going to do this with one reference for today so I’ll select the entire reference, and what I’m going to do now is I’m going to select ‘CTRL’, ‘T’, and that will automatically align it for me.

Now, in terms of APA 6th referencing, one last thing that I have to consider – each of my individual references need to be double-spaced, so the easiest way to do it is once you have selected everything to do your hanging indent with ‘CTRL + T’, keep it selected and then go up to the line spacing which we’ll find here. So when I click on that I can see that these are the options I have, and I want double line spacing so I will select ‘2.0’ and once I’m happy with that I will click that.

So, as you can see we now have all of the information, we have the APA 6th reference with the hanging indent from ‘CTRL + T’ and double-spaced, and that is exactly how it should look.

So, I hope this has been very helpful, and all the best with your referencing.

How to write a reference for a book in APA 6th style

Hello, and welcome to this short video prepared by Academic Skills. Today we’re going to look at how to write a reference for a book using APA 6th referencing style.

Now, in order to do this, we’re going to need the following information, and this is the information we’ll need in the order it that it will appear in the reference. We’re going to need the author’s name or names if there are multiple authors. We’ll need the year of publication, the title of the book, the place of publication and the publishing company.

So if we have a look at an example of a book that we want to reference, as you can see on the cover all we have is the title of the book and the authors’ names here. However, we also need other information which is often found in the first few pages of each book – it will vary from book to book. So, as we open the book and look through the first few pages, we’ll start to see more information arriving.

So, first of all what we need is the name of the authors, so here have the authors’ names here, and then after that we’re also going to need the year of publication, so if we keep looking through the first part of the book we’ll see that the year of publication is around here with the copyright section, so 2007.

What we’ll need next is of course the title of the book, so we can go back to our page previous and see the title is there, and then the next information we’re going to need is the place of publication and the publisher. And we can go back to this page and have a look at the information around here, and as we can see the first address given there is the place of publication. Obviously we don’t need the whole address of this particular UK address here – all we need is the name of the town or city it was published in. In this case it happens to be Abingdon.

The final piece of information we need is the name of the publisher and that is provided at the top there with Routledge.

So, as you can see within the first few pages, all the information that we need is going to be there.

So, let’s see how this information would look in a reference. Now, as you can see we have all the information here and we’re going to put it into the reference in the order it should appear. First of all, with a reference list always note that it should be on a completely new page and it is titled with the bold, centred title ‘References’, so just make sure that is in the middle of the page.

Now, with the reference itself, first of all we’re going to need the surname and then the author’s initials, of both authors. Now, note that the authors appear in the order they appear on the cover of the book. So, in this case Marilyn A. Stone appears first so it’ll be ‘Stone’ comma, ‘M’ full stop, space ‘A’ full stop, and ‘Desmond’ comma ‘J.’ Notice that we use the symbol – the ampersand – instead of the word ‘and’ there.

The next information we need is going to be the year of publication, and that appears in brackets. After that, we have the title of the book itself and notice that this is always in italics. Also notice that it is only the first letter of the first word that is in capitals here.

Now, the final bit of information that I need to complete the reference is the place of publication and the name of the publisher, and this always appears in this format with the place, colon, and then the name of the publisher. However, something different happens according to where the book is published. If, as in this example, the book is published outside of the United States, I will need the name of the town or city followed by a comma, and then the country, so in this case it happens to be Abingdon, UK. I then have a colon and the name of the publisher, which is Routledge. Now, something different happens if it was published within the United States of America. What we will need then is the town or city it was published in, and then the abbreviation for the state instead of the country. So for example, if this were published in Boston, it would be ‘Boston, MA’, which is short for Massachusetts, and then colon and the publishing company. If this were an American edition, ‘Boston, MA’ would appear in the details of the cover, so you would be able to find that information.

Now, we’ve nearly finished here but there are a couple of final touches we have to make. Now first of all, with our APA 6th referencing style we have to have a hanging indent. Now what this means is that each second, third and fourth line if you need them, should be indented in from the first line. Now the easiest way to do this is to select your entire reference, and once I’ve done that I will press ‘CTRL + T’, so that’s ‘T’ for ‘Thomas’, and that gives me the hanging indent automatically. Note that you can do this for all your references at once, so if my reference list is complete with let’s say 10 references, I can select all of those and hit ‘CTRL + T’ to give them all the hanging indent.

There is also one final thing to do in terms of the format of these references – APA 6th references should be double-spaced. So, I’ve already selected my reference and hit ‘CTRL + T’ to get the hanging indent – I’m going to leave it selected and then I’m going to go up to the spacing here at the top of the Word bar, line and paragraph spacing, and I click on that and I select ‘2.0’ for double-spacing. Likewise, this can be done with multiple references.  

So, there you have your book referenced and ready to go. Just, as always with all referencing, it’s worthwhile having a final check over the APA 6th referencing guide just to make every comma, space, full stop, every bracket, anything that should be in italics or shouldn’t be in italics, is as it should be.

I hope that’s been very helpful, and best of luck with all your referencing.

How to use Apostrophes

Hello, and welcome to this short video prepared by Academic Skills, and today we’re going to look at how to use an apostrophe because surprisingly it is one of the most common mistakes that students tend to make.

Now, there are two main ways that we would use an apostrophe in our writing. The first of these is contraction – to shorten words – and the second is possession or ownership of a noun, and we’re going to look at the rules that govern how we use these with singular nouns and plural nouns.

Now, the first way that we can use an apostrophe is when we are using contraction. So, basically, this replaces missing letters, the sort of thing we do when we are speaking. So, is not becomes isn’t, does not becomes doesn’t. In an academic writing sense most students probably won’t need to use this because contractions are not a convention of academic writing.

How apostrophes are used in academic writing, however, is when they relate to possession or ownership of something, and there are separate rules according to whether it is a singular or plural subject. So firstly, if we look at the first rule, when we’re dealing with a singular – one boy with one toy – the apostrophe appears before the –s. So – The boy’s toy is blue. It belongs to the boy.

However, if we look at the second example, we suddenly have two boys and more than one toy. In this case the apostrophe goes after the –s to reflect that there is in fact more than one boy. Also, be aware of the verb ‘to be’ in the grammar there. In the first example there – The boy’s toy IS blue – there is only one of them. In the second example – The boys’ toys ARE blue. So, just those small errors tend to crop up a lot in academic writing.

Now, there are some other rules to be aware of when we are using apostrophes to discuss possession or ownership and, simple rules to follow, if the word in singular and ends in an –s, then add an –’s. So a good example of this is – It was my boss’s fault – so I would add the apostrophe and the –s, even though it ends in two –s. That is the rule to adhere to in that case. If the word is plural and ends in –s, then we only add the apostrophe. So a good example is – My neighbours’ houses are all very nice. So, we have more than one neighbour and we just put the apostrophe after the –s, there is no need for another –s.

We hope that has been helpful and that that will clear up any problems you have with using apostrophes.