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Citing and Referencing (APA) Middle School: Introduction

What are Citing & Referencing?

Referencing is a method of writing down the sources you have used in your assignments or written work. There are many different referencing styles, but the one we use at Oakham is called APA.  Referencing is important to:

  1. acknowledge the source and give credit to the author whose ideas or words you have used
  2. avoid plagiarism (copying another person's ideas, words or writing and pretending that they are your own work)
  3. allow the reader of your paper to find the original sources you used
  4. add credibility to your work
  5. demonstrate your knowledge

1. The first component of correct referencing is citing, which is mentioning a specific source that you use in the body of your work. 

The basic elements of the citation that you need to include are:

  • Name of the author(s)
  • Year of publication
  • Page number or page range (if available)

If you quote a source directly you must include the exact page number in your citation. This is slightly different for online sources and you can find out more about those below.

2. The second part of correct referencing is a bibliography, a list of the sources you have cited in the text placed at the end of your work. 

This page gives information about citing and referencing different types of sources correctly.  You can also find this information in the Middle School Organiser.

The page called 'Guide to using the tools in Word' steps you through using the referencing tools in Word to do this. 


If you have any questions about referencing, please contact us via the email links below. 

1. Citing

For your citation, you will need certain information about the source you have taken words or ideas from.  You then put these bits of information together in a certain way to create the citation.  If you use the tools in Word, it does the hard bit and creates the citation for you.


Publication details for print sources will usually be found on the page immediately after the title page. For year published, look for the most recent date, usually after the ©.Notes:

  • For online sources, for date published, look on the particular page you got your information from, either at the top or the bottom.  If no date can be found, write n.d.  If no author can be found, leave it blank - but think about whether it is a reliable source of information if you don't know who wrote it.
  • The URL is the web address which you find at the top of the page.  Copy and paste this into your work.

For more help with using the citing and referencing tools in Word, have a look at the 'Guide to using the tools in Word' tab at the top of this page.

2. Bibliography

A bibliography is an alphabetical (by author) list of all of the sources you have taken ideas or quotes from and included in your work.  You should include all of the information you used when creating your your citations, apart from the page number, and it will end up looking like this:


BBC. (2021). Atoms, elements and compounds.

Encyclopaedia Britannica. (2011). Atom.

Oxlade, C. (2002). Atoms. Oxford: Heinemann

World Book. (2011). Atom. Chicago: World Book, Inc.


The easiest way to create a bibliography is using the referencing tools in Word. Have a look at the 'Guide to using the tools in Word' to find out how to do this.

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