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Citation Manuals

Formatting your Reference Page

Your reference list should appear at the end of your paper. It provides the information necessary for a reader to locate and retrieve any source you cite in the body of the paper. Each source you cite in the paper must appear in your reference list; likewise, each entry in the reference list must be cited in your text.

Basic Rules

  • References should begin on a new page separate from the text of the essay
  • Label this page "References" in bold, centered at the top of the page (do NOT underline, or use quotation marks for the title)
  • All text should be double-spaced just like the rest of your essay.
  • 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 a hanging indentation. (For Microsoft Word, see "Create a hanging indent")
  • All authors' names should be inverted (last name first)
  • Give the last name and first/middle initials for all authors of a particular work for up to and including 20 authors. Separate each author’s initials from the next author in the list with a comma. Use an ampersand (&) before the last author’s name. If there are 21 or more authors, use an ellipsis (but no ampersand) after the 19th author, and then add the final author’s name.
  • 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.
  • Italicize journal titles. 
  • 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 web pages, or other sources, 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, edited collections, names of newspapers etc...
  • Do not italicize, underline, or put quotes around the titles of shorter works such as journal articles or essays in edited collections.

Please note: While the APA manual provides many examples of how to cite common types of sources, it does not provide rules on how to cite all types of sources. Therefore, if you have a source that APA does not include, APA suggests that you find the example that is most similar to your source and use that format. For more information, see page 282 of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th ed.

 

 Source: The content on this page is from Reference List: Basic Rules, from the Purdue Owl APA Guide.