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APA Manual Style Guides

APA Manual 7th Edition

Preparing the Reference List

The reference list is a list of sources used in the research paper.  Sources on the reference list must be cited in the paper's text.  References specifically support the paper and provide the infomation needed to identify and locate each source.  The reference list appears at the end of the paper.  References should begin on anew page separate from the text of the essay and be labeled "References" centered at the top of the page. All text should be double-spaced.

Basic Rules

  • All lines after the first line of each entry in your reference list should be indented one-half inch from the left margin. This is called hanging indentation.
  • Authors' names are inverted (last name first); give the last name and initials for all authors of a particular work for up to and including seven authors. If the work has more than seven authors, list the first six authors and then use ellipses after the sixth author's name. After the ellipses, list the last author's name of the work.
  • Reference list entries should be alphabetized by the last name of the first author of each work.
  • For multiple articles by the same author, or authors listed in the same order, list the entries in chronological order, from earliest to most recent.
  • Present the journal title in full.
  • Maintain the punctuation and capitalization that is used by the journal in its title.
    • For example: ReCALL not RECALL or Knowledge Management Research & Practice not Knowledge Management Research and Practice.
  • Capitalize all major words in journal titles.
  • When referring to books, chapters, articles, or webpages, capitalize only the first letter of the first word of a title and subtitle, the first word after a colon or a dash in the title, and proper nouns.
  • Italicize titles of longer works such as books and journals.
  • Do not italicize, underline, or put quotes around the titles of shorter works such as journal articles or essays in edited collections.


APA Quiz

Test your ability to use APA format in this quick, interactive exercise!