Transition to APA 7th referencing style

From September 2021 the standard referencing style at Sheffield Hallam University is APA 7th.

  • New students will use APA 7th from September 2021.
  • Continuing students, not expected to complete in 2021-22, may submit work using APA 6th in 2021-22 and will be expected to adopt APA 7th for 2022-23.
  • Final year students may continue to use APA 6th.
  • Students engaged on long-term projects, such as doctoral students who will not complete in 2021-22, should consult with supervisors about the appropriate referencing style to use.

This will not affect students who currently use other referencing styles for consistency with subject or professional practice. Check with your tutors to see what referencing style you are expected to use.

Correct referencing / avoiding plagiarism

Referencing is an essential part of academic writing.  If you are to avoid plagiarism you must acknowledge the work of other people when you refer to them in your work. This means properly referencing your sources and citing them in the text. Make sure you are aware of and understand the University’s Academic Conduct Regulation

APA 7th is the referencing style most used at Sheffield Hallam University; however some subject areas use different referencing styles. Check with your tutors to see what style you are required to use.

Referencing Guidance

When you write an assignment you will be drawing constantly upon information you have read in books, journal articles and other sources. You are required to acknowledge these sources through referencing.  Accurate referencing is very important because:

  • it demonstrates that you have researched or read around the subject which you are writing about
  • it provides evidence for your arguments
  • it allows any reader of your work to find the original sources you used
  • it shows that you are not passing off someone else’s research as your own thoughts

You should reference whenever you use someone else’s work in your own work; not only when you quote but also when you paraphrase or summarise someone’s ideas.

Referencing Resources

There are lots of resources to help you learn how to reference using APA 7th, including apps and online tools which make putting together a reference list quick and easier.

Referencing software can help you keep an accurate record of the resources you have used and can automatically create correctly formatted citations and bibliographies to insert into your work.  Try the online tool RefWorks or follow our guidance to help select the online tool or app that works for you

Different referencing tools and apps that use APA can sometimes produce slightly different references. To ensure consistency in your referencing, it is recommended that you use only one referencing tool / app rather than a mix of different ones.

Always check and correct your references before submitting your work. Make sure you are aware of and understand the University’s Academic Conduct Regulation.


What is plagiarism?

It is important that all students are aware of what constitutes academic misconduct, appreciate its importance and are able to avoid unintentional academic misconduct.

Plagiarism is one of a number of definitions of academic misconduct.

Plagiarism is using the ideas or work of another person (including experts and fellow or former students) and submitting them as though they are your own original work without proper referencing.

  • Self-plagiarism – is the submission of work that is the same as, or broadly similar to, assessments you have submitted previously for academic credit, without proper acknowledgment and the prior consent of the module leader for subsequent assessments.
  • Collusion – is the unauthorised collaboration between two or more students in the preparation and production of an assessment, which is then submitted by each of them as their own individual work.
  • Cheating –unfair behaviour relating to an examination where you have breached a condition of conduct outlined in the Examination Conduct Policy.
  • Contract cheating – this may take the form of buying or commissioning (including seeking to commission) either a whole assessment or part of it, for example, from internet sites, essay ‘banks’ or ‘mills’. It may also take the form of a student who sells or offers to sell their own assessed work to other students.
  • Fabrication of falsification of data – submitting work containing data measured in the field, in the laboratory or other setting, any part of which is untrue, made up, falsified or fabricated in any way.
  • Breaches of Confidentiality and/or unethical practice – failure to follow confidentiality, anonymity or research ethics protocols.
  • Dishonest or unfair practice – the use of any form of dishonest academic practice not specifically categorised above.

Make sure you are aware of and understand the University’s Academic Conduct Regulation.