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Special and Inclusive Education

This guide highlights the library resources available in the field of Special and Inclusive Education as well as Gifted Education.

Academic Writer

Academic Writer_Logo

Academic Writer, formerly known as APA Style CENTRAL is the official and authoritative online resource created by the American Psychological Association for writing in APA style. It provides resources to guide you through formatting and composing research papers, in-text citations and reference list in APA style

Content and resources in Academic Writer are divided into three areas – Learn, Reference, and Write.

Access Academic Writer

Go to Academic Writer. Click "Online Access" and login with your HKU Portal ID and PIN. You are recommended to use this tool with Firefox or Google Chrome. Successful access to the platform should bring you to the Academic Writer homepage shown below.


Create Your Account

You have to register for a personal account only for writing and saving papers at the Write Center and managing references library at the Reference Center.

► If you have been using APA Style CENTRAL , you may continue to access your account, including any saved papers, with your same APA Style CENTRAL Username and Password. If you have any trouble with your account, please contact

Learn Center

It provides quick guides, online tutorials, self-quizzes, and over 200 properly formatted sample materials (references, tables and figures) for learning the rules of APA style.


Sample references cover all types of references included in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, the APA Style Guide to Electronic References, APA Style blog and social media, with the exception of legal references and archival materials. APA_Publication Manual

Note that you cannot read the Publication Manual page by page within Academic Writer. All of the objects in the center are searchable using the Search the Learning Center box in the upper right of the page. Read How to access the APA Publication Manual through Academic Writer for details.

Reference Center –  is where you build up your reference library.

Create Your Account You have to register for a personal account for managing references library at the Reference Center.


There are three ways to create citations in your library:

  • import an RIS file
  • search and add citations from PsycINFO database
  • manually add references using the reference forms provided by the platform - these forms guide you through inputting elements required for a citation.

Reference Center is where you store and save your reference in the library while Write Center is for you to add references from the library to your saved paper. Read Adding References and Adding In-Text Citations for details.

Compatibility with EndNote
You can export references from EndNote library to the reference library of Academic Writer by uploading an RIS format file. Once the reference list is imported, you may need to edit it so that it conforms to APA Style guidelines. Read the steps to Import EndNote References into My References List.

Write Center - includes preformatted paper templates and specially developed toolbars for properly formatting in APA 6 regardless of paper types.

Create Your Account You have to register for a personal account for writing and saving your papers at the Write Center.

The preformatted paper templates are some common research paper types, including Empirical, Reaction, Literature Review, Theoretical, Methodological, Case Study, Meta-analysis and Multiexperiment. You can also start with a Basic Paper which is a blank template.


  1. How is Academic Writer different from reference management tools such as EndNote?
    EndNote is about referencing and citations. It allows you to manage references in other styles not just APA, including Chicago and MLA, and you can treat it as a library to save all the references you have read and quoted in your researches, whereas Academic Writer is more than a reference management tool, it aims at teaching you APA style and formatting a paper in APA style.

  2. Can the references saved at other citation management software be imported into Academic Writer?
    References can be imported as an RIS file, which can be created in major reference management software products, such as RefWorks, EndNote, Zotero, or Mendeley. Read the steps to Import EndNote References into My References List.

  3. Can I import a Word document into Academic Writer?
    Text can be copied and pasted from a Word document into a paper at the Academic Writer. Be aware that Microsoft® Word automatically adds some formatting behind the scenes, so there may be some formatting you need to correct in Academic Writer.

  4. Is the Academic Writer still available after graduation?
    You will be able to access and download your papers, references, and other content saved in your account 2 years after leaving HKU.

Read more FAQs.

Guides and Tutorials from Academic Writer (login with your HKU Portal ID and PIN)

How to Avoid Plagiarism and Self-Plagiarism
Citing References in Text
How to Title Your Work
Getting Started with APA Style
Types of Research Papers
Direct Quotations and Paraphrasing
Secondary Sources