But how should you format them? Every reference list that you look at seems to be slightly different!
This post is not meant to be a complete guide, but it should cover the vast majority of sources of that new Psychology students will need to cite, because these tend to fall into three categories: books, journal articles, and websites.
|A reference list helps a reader to find your sources. Image by Farrukh|
Author(s), initials (year). Title of book. Place of publication: publisher.
- Example: Selye, H. (1956). The Stress of Life. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Author(s), initials (year). Title of article. Journal Title, issue number, pages numbers.
- Example: Tajfel, H. (1970). Experiments in intergroup discrimination. Scientific American, 223, 96-105.
Author(s), initials (year). Title. Retrieved (date) from (url).
- Example: Harkness, T. (2014). Does brain structure determine your political views? Retrieved 21 May 2014 from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-27437799
What about capitals and italics?
The convention is to use italics and capital letters for the title of a book or journal, and italics for the journal's issue number, as with the examples above. Otherwise just use capitals as in everyday English grammar.
Where do I find the place of publication?
Usually this detail appears just inside the front cover, before the contents page of a book.
Is this true in all countries?
This style of referencing is called Harvard Style and is used in Psychology throughout the world. The examples above are based on the British BPS format, and there are minor variations in other countries- check with your school/university, but above all, try to be consistent!
What should be in the references section?
Only things that are mentioned in an 'in line citation' during your text, e.g. "Smith, 2000". All such citations should link to a full reference at the end. Nothing else at all should appear in your reference section - it is not a general bibliography, so don't include background reading.
What if there is no name?
If the source is an organisation rather than an individual, use that instead of surname, e.g. Wikipedia (2014).
Any questions, please leave them in the comments!