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APA Style: Reference List

APA Referencing

Reference List Structure

The APA reference list structure should be as follows:

  • The reference list appears at the end of the assignment or essay.
  • It is headed by the centred title References (in bold).
  • The references are double-spaced.
  • In APA, the first line of the citation falls on the left margin. Each succeeding line is indented 5-7 spaces. This format is called a hanging indent.  
  • References cited in text must appear in the reference list and vice versa. The only exceptions to this rule are personal communications and classical works (such as the Bible and Qur’an); they are cited in text only and are not included in the reference list.
  • Because the reference list needs to be in alphabetical order, invert all authors’ names (Merdian, H.). Use an ampersand (&) and not the word and to join together the names of two or more authors.
  • If the reference list includes two or more entries by the same author(s), list them in chronological order with the earliest first.
  • If the author’s or editor’s name is unavailable, use the first few words of the title of the article, book or web source, including the appropriate capitalisation and italics formatting. e.g. (“Addiction links”, 2000).

  • Arrange reference entries in one alphabetical sequence by the surname of the first author or by title or first word if there is no author. Ignore the words “A”, “An”, and “The” when alphabetising by title.
  • In titles and subtitles of articles, chapters, and books, capitalise only the first letter of the first word and any proper nouns.
  • Italicise book titles, journal titles, and volume numbers. Do NOT italicise issue numbers.
  • When the reference entry includes a URL that must be divided between two lines, break it before a slash or dash or at another logical division point.