1. Components of Term Paper
  1. Guidelines for Preliminaries
  1. Guidelines for Text
  1. Guidelines for Reference Materials (English)
  1. Guidelines for Reference Materials (Chinese)
  1. Further Readings
  1. Full Copy Download in PDF

Guidelines for Term Paper Writing: Elements and documentation

       4. Guidelines for Reference Materials (English)  

Different institutions have developed different styles of documentation. No matter which one you use for your paper, the principle is to be consistent. The format system provided. Here comes from the American Psychological Association (APA system).

4.1. Parenthetical Reference

A term paper must have a clear documentation of all reference materials used in the text. This requires that your paper must indicate from where you obtained:

  1. direct quotations
  2. borrowed ideas (including paraphrases and summaries)
  3. data and cases (if they did not come through your own research)

i. One work by one author

If the author's name appears in the text,

Walker (2000) compared reaction times


If not,

In a recent study of reaction times (Walker, 2000)

ii. One work by multiple authors

First citation in the text:

Wasserstein, Zappulla, Rosen, Gerstman, and Rock (1994) found


First next citation in the text:

Wasserstien et al. (1994) found

iii. One work by group as author

Use the name of the group as the author

Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department (1997) found

iv. Authors with the same surname

For one work by one author, show author's initials in all text citation:

R. D. Luce (1959) and P. A. Luce (1986) also found


For one work by multiple authors, show the first author's initials in all text citation:

J. M. Goldberg and Neff (1961) and M. E. Goldberg and Wurtz (1972) studied

v. Two or more works within the same parenthese

By different authors:

Several studies (Balda, 1980; Kamil, 1988; Pepperberg & Funk, 1990)


By the same author:

Past research (Gogel, 1984, 1990)


By the same author in the same year:

Several studies (Johnson, 1991a, 1991b, 1991c)

vi. Specific parts of a source

One specific page:

(Cheek & Buss, 1981, p.332)


More than one page:

(Cheek & Buss, 1981, pp. 332-333)


A specific chapter:

(Shimamura, 1989, chap.3)

4.2 Notes

The notes at the foot of each page are called as footnotes. The notes at the end of each chapter or at the end of the paper before other reference materials are called as endnotes. But, both formats and functions are the same.

  1. Documentation notes
    Footnotes or endnotes for reference documentation is seldom used now. In APA system, it is replaced by the parenthetical documentation form. If you would like to know how to use footnotes or endnotes for reference documentation, see The research paper: Process, form, and content by Roth (1986, chap. 8) or Assignment and thesis writing by Anderson and Poole (2001, chap. 11).

  2. Content notes
    However, it remains common to use footnotes or endnotes for providing additional content in the text. Such footnotes or endnotes may:
    1. include material which is not strictly relevant to the main argument while yet is too important to be omitted.
    2. explain, supplement, amplify material that is included in the main text.
    3. give cross-reference to other sections of a paper

4.3. Appendix

The purpose of appendix is to provide reader with detailed information which would be distracting to read in the main body of the paper. Usually, the information in an appendix is a large table, a long cross-reference to the text, a sample of a questionnaire or other survey instrument used in the research.

If your paper has only one appendix, you should simply label it Appendix; if your paper has more than one appendix, you need to label each one with a capital letter (Appendix A, Appendix B, Appendix C, etc.)

4.4. English References

At the end of your paper, you must provide a reference list in an alphabetical order by the surname of the author. If you use the title Bibliography, you can list out both references cited in the text and the relevant works which have been consulted. If you use the title Reference, you should only list out the references cited in the text.

General forms:

i. Book reference

Author's name. (Year). Title of work. Location: Publisher

ii. A chapter or an article in an edited book

Author's name. (Year). Title of chapter or article. In Editor's name (Ed.), Title of book (page numbers). Location: Publisher.

iii. Periodical (e.g., journal articles)

Author's name. (Year). Title of article. Title of periodical, Volume Number, Page.

iv. Daily newspaper report or article

Heading of the report or the article. (year, month and date). Title of the newspaper, page.

Sample: Book reference

i. A reference to an entire book

Beck, C. A. J., & Sales, B. D. (2001). Family mediation: Facts, myths, and further prospects. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

ii. Book in new edition (second, third, etc.)

Mitchell, T. R., & Larson, J. R. (1987). People in organizations: An introduction to organizational behavior (3rd ed.). New York: Mcgraw-Hill.

iii. Edited book

Gibbs, J. T., & Huang, L.N. (Eds.). (1991). Children of color: Psychological interviews with minority youth. San Francisco: Jossey-bass.

iv. Translated work

Laplave, P.-S. (1951). A philosophical essay on probabilities (F. W. Truscott & F. L. Emory, Trans.). New York: Dover. (Original work published 1814)

v. Book, group author as publisher

American Bureau of Statistics. (1991). Estimated resident population by age and sex in statistical area, New South Wales, June 1991 (No. 3209.1). Canberra, Australian Capital Territory: Author

Note. When the author and publisher are identical, use Author as the same of the publisher.

Sample: A chapter or an article in an edited book

Bjork, R. A. (1989). Retrieval inhibition as an adaptive mechanism in human memory. In H. L. Roediger III & F. I. M. Craik (Eds.), Varieties of memory & consciousness (pp. 309-330). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Sample: Periodical

Mellers, B. A. (2000). Choice and the relative pleasure of consequences. Psychological Bulletin, 126, 910-924.

Sample: Daily newspaper report or article

New drug appears to sharply cut risk of death from heart failure. (1993, July 15). The Washington Post, p. A12.



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