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Citing and Referencing (APA) IB: Introduction

Purpose of guide

This LibGuide gives information about citing and referencing sources correctly using the referencing tools in Word (which can be found on the References tab in Word). Further guidance on basic use of these tools on both PCs and Macs is given to below-right. Oakham School 'house' referencing style is based on APA 6th edition*. Please make sure you select APA 6th edition on the References tab in Word. Note that Word does not always have the exact fields required for some of the more specialised sources, so have a look at the relevant tabs in this guide for tips and tricks to support you. Remember that the quality of the references produced will depend on the quality of information you put in, so check your references for spelling and capitalisation mistakes, just as you would the rest of your work.

The librarians would be happy to support you with any referencing queries - you will find our contact details to the right of this page. If you are working with a type of source that is not covered in this guide, then please let us know and we will try to add it.

Note that we only offer support with APA, so if your teacher or supervisor chooses to use a different referencing style, you will need to ask them for help. If your teacher does not specify a referencing style, you should use Oakham APA as described in this guide.

* Although APA 7th Edition was released in October 2019, it is not yet supported in Word, so we have chosen to stick with 6th Edition for the time being (except where there are significant improvements which can easliy be accommodated in Word).

Citing and referencing information for IB students

The IBO expect their students to use a recognised citing and referencing system. We strongly recommend APA 6th Edition because that is what we offer support with.

However, the IBO also impose a few small conditions that must be met regardless of the system chosen. This document on Effective Citing and Referencing contains a checklist (p.14), which IB students should use both while they are writing their work and when they are checking it before submission. It also contains an important grid showing exactly what kind of information is compulsory (regardless of citation system used) on p.16-17.

We recommend that all IB students are familiar with at least p.14, 16 & 17 of this document (below).

Further information

The resources below are excellent sources of information on APA style (although they won't tell you exactly how to use the tools in Word to format the reference). Both are highly recommended. We are currently using APA 6th edition (rather than 7th) because 7th is not yet supported by Word. Be aware, however, that for certain courses such as the IB DP there are a few referencing requirements that take precedence over any recognised system that you use. You are advised to check this LibGuide and consult your teachers first, before consulting external sites.


The APA style blog: Use the search box to look for your type of resource. Guidance is very clear, and there are also some excellent resources on other aspects of academic writing.

Oxford Owl

Purdue OWL: A clear, detailled and thoughtfully laid out resource produced by Purdue University, Indiana, USA, to which I am indebted for much of the material in this guide. Use the menu on the left of the site to navigate.

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