APA 7th Edition is the most commonly used referencing style here at the University of Portsmouth. Below you will find general guidance on how to reference and cite using APA 7th Edition, as well as examples for the specific sources you are likely to use in your assignments. 

Your department or lecturer may prefer you to reference sources differently from the guidance given here. Always follow the requirements of your department or lecturer. 

External visitors are welcome to use this guide, but note that your institution's requirements may differ from those suggested here.

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APA classes all source that cannot be obtained by a reader or marker, including intranet documents, internal company documents, unrecorded and unpublished interviews, conversations, emails and notes you make during lectures as 'personal communications'.

APA specifies that no personal communications are included in your reference list; instead, parenthetically cite the communicator's name, the phrase 'personal communication', and the date of the communication in the format Month Day, Year in your main text only.

In-text Citation

The email stated that the company accepted an error had been made (P. Smith, personal communication, August 17, 2019).


However, there may be specific instances where your marker asks you to include them. In this situation, you may find the guidance for specific types of unpublished material here helpful. If you are in any doubt about how to reference something unpublished, please check with either your lecturer or library staff.