5 Days of Referencing: Day 1. Referencing Books

Welcome to this short online course which will run over the next 5 days.  Although this is specifically tailored for those in the School of Management there are tips which any student using APA style of referencing can use.

We will cover the basics to help you get started with APA style referencing and give you some advice on tools you can use to help you.  The APA 6th edition style of referencing is a widely recognised style and has clear rules around how to reference different types of material.

APA is an author/date style of referencing. This means that you cite the author(s) surname(s) and the date of publication in the text of your assignment and then the full details of the resources you used (books, journal articles, online documents) in an alphabetical list at the end called a reference list.  There is a full and comprehensive APA referencing guide available on Library Guides. There is also a short APA guide available online with paper copies in the library.

Why do I have to reference?
Referencing is a very important part of your academic course.  If you use someone else’s work without acknowledging them you will be committing plagiarism.  Referencing correctly will not only give the author of the work full recognition but also demonstrate to your lecturer you have read academic sources and read widely.  The key to referencing well in an assignment is to always use good reliable sources.  Finding stuff on the internet is easy; finding good reliable stuff on the internet is a little more challenging.

We would always recommend you start by looking at the reading list provided to you by your lecturer on Blackboard.  Look to the left of the screen in any Blackboard module and you can see a link to the interactive reading list.

Each resource in the reading list will allow you to click on it and it will take you back to iFind, the library catalogue.  The library catalogue will give you enough bibliographic information to be able to reference the resource you need.

Referencing Books
Let’s start with referencing a book today. As an example, we’ll use the book Economics which is written by Michael Parkin, Kent Matthews and Melanie Powell.

The main sections you need to make a note of in order to reference a book correctly are:

  • Author(s) or Editor(s)
  • Year of publication
  • Title of book
  • Edition (if applicable)
  • Place of publication
  • Publisher

If you have the book in front of you, you can normally find this information on the cover and inside the title page.

This is how this book would look in the reference list
Parkin, M., Matthews, K., & Powell, M. (2014). Economics. (9th ed.). Harlow: Pearson.

To help you, there’s a Citation option in the Actions menu on iFind (see below).


You might need to make a few changes to the citation from iFind, though. Can you see the mistakes in the reference below?

ifind citation

In text citation
If you want to cite this book in text, there are 2 ways you can do it:

At the start of the sentence
According to Parkin, Powell and Matthews (2014) the study of economics is not just about money, but about the motivation and consequences of making choices.

At the end of the sentence
The study of economics is not just about money, but about the motivation and consequences of making choices (Parkin, Powell & Matthews, 2014).

Note: Link the two authors’ names with and when cited outside parentheses. Link with an ampersand (&) inside parentheses.



If you have any questions so far let us know using the comments section in the blog or via twitter using #su5dor. You can also email buslib@swansea.ac.uk.


Tomorrow we’ll look at journal articles.

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