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APA 6th ed. • MLA 8th ed. • Chicago 16th ed.

APA Style Guide

General Rules – APA Reference List

  • The list of references must be on a new page at the end of your text. The word References should be centered at the top of the page. Do not underline, bold, enlarge or use quotes for the word References. The reference list must include all references cited in the text of your paper. The only exceptions to this rule are personal communications and classical works; they are cited in text only and are not included in the Reference list.
  • Capitalization: APA Style has two capitalization methods that are used in different contexts – title case and sentence case:
    • Title case: Each word in the title is capitalized, except for articles (a, an, the), prepositions (against, between, in, of, to), conjunctions (and, but, for, nor, or, so, yet), and the infinitive to. Titles of periodicals (journals, magazines and newspapers) are in title case.
    • Sentence case: Only the first word and proper nouns in the title are capitalized. Always capitalize the first word, the first word after a colon or a dash. For further information of what nouns to capitalize.
  • Electronic sources: DOI or URL

    • DOI: If a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) is listed on either a print or an electronic source it is included in the reference. A DOI is a unique alphanumeric string that is used to identify a certain source (typically journal articles). Example: doi:10.1080/14622200410001676305. You will not have to include the URL of the article's home page or of the database from which you retrieved the article if a DOI is available.
    • URL: If there is no DOI for an article found in an online periodical or book, include the URL for the journal home page. If the article does not have a DOI, APA says to provide the homepage URL for the article or the publisher. Do not provide electronic database information, since it is not stable retrieval information.
  • Abbreviations:
    • ed. = edition
    • Ed. or Eds. = Editor(s)
    • n.d. = no date (for not date of publication)
    • p. or pp. = Page(s)
    • Vol. or Vols. = Volume(s)
    • No. = Number
  • Order: Entries should be arranged in alphabetical order by authors' last names. Sources without authors are arranged alphabetically by title within the same list. The references are arranged alphabetically, by the last name of the first author or, if author is not available - by title. Ignore the words A, An, and The when ordering by title.
  • Italics: Titles of larger works (i.e. books, journals, encyclopedias) are italicized. Italicize book titles, journal titles, and volume numbers. Do NOT italicize issue numbers.
  • Page numbers: Use the abbreviation p. or pp. to designate page numbers of articles from periodicals that do not use volume numbers, especially newspapers. These abbreviations are also used to designate pages in encyclopedia articles and chapters from edited books.
  • Indentation*: The first line of the entry is flush with the left margin, and all subsequent lines are indented (5 to 7 spaces) to form a "hanging indent".
  • Authors: If the Reference list includes two or more entries by the same author(s), list them in chronological order with the earliest first.
  • Spacing: All References should be double-spaced, and should have a hanging indent (of 5-7 spaces) for the second and subsequent lines for each entry.
  • URL break: 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.
  • Remove hyperlinks: Remember to set your Word preferences to remove hyperlinks from URLs to prevent them appearing with an underline.


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