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Referencing styles 

This page is about the different referencing styles used to refer to literature in your assignment. 

You need to make references to the literature used in your assignments. This applies in the text itself, in notes and in the bibliography (see also References and bibliography). 

Some teachers prefer specific, internationally approved referencing styles for literature references. 

  • Ask your teacher which style to choose. 

  • In some cases, you are free to use the system that suits you best. 

  • Use it consistently throughout your assignment. 

AU Library has made a page with information on reference management. 

APA style

One of the referencing styles is APA (American Psychological Association). 

  • It is often used in publications in the social sciences, but has also gained ground in the humanities. 

  • The APA style provides guidelines for referencing in scientific articles and assignments with regard to format, citation use, note system and bibliography. 

Specifically for APA 

  • The year of publication is placed early in the reference. 

  • Detailed descriptions are provided of how to refer to online publications. 

Examples of references in the APA system 

Book, one author: 

Andersen, I. (2002). Den skinbarlige virkelighed. Copenhagen: Samfundslitteratur. 

Book, multiple authors: 

Rienecker, L., Kock, Chr., Hegelund, S., Jørgensen, P.S. (1999). Den gode opgave – arbejdsprocesser og kvalitetskriterier i opgaver på humaniora. (4th print). Copenhagen, Gyldendal. 

Journal article: 

Harlow, H. F. (1983). Fundamentals for preparing psychology journal articles. Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology, 55, 893-896.

MLA style

Another referencing style is the MLA style (Modern Language Association System). 

  • MLA is often used for scientific publications in the humanities, especially for historical or literary subjects. 

  • The MLA style provides guidelines for referencing in scientific articles and assignments with regard to format, citation use, note system and bibliography. 

Examples of references in the MLA system 

Book, one author: 

Andersen, Ib. Den skinbarlige virkelighed. Copenhagen: Samfundslitteratur, 2002. 

Book, multiple authors: 

Rienecker, Lotte, Christian Kock, Signe Hegelund, og Peter Stray Jørgensen. Den gode opgave – arbejdsprocesser og kvalitetskriterier i opgaver på humaniora. 1997. Copenhagen: Gyldendal, 1999. 

Journal article: 

Harlow, Harry. ”Fundamentals for preparing psychology journal articles.” Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology, 55 (1983): 893-896. 


Use a reference management tool

Reference management tools can help you organise your references and make it easier to use them in your text document. Students and staff at AU can download the Endnote reference management program free of charge. 


APA style guidelines

There is a range of guidelines describing the APA referencing style with regard to text references, citations and the bibliography in written assignments. For example, use the Curtin University guide, the guide developed by University College Absalon (in Danish) or Kildekompasset (in Norwegian).


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The information about formalities is general guidelines. They do not replace the provisions in your academic regulations, your lecturers ' guidance or information on your course's website. First, please contact the above-mentioned locations. If in doubt, ask your supervisor.