APA Reference List: Basic Rules For Citing and Referencing


Reference List: Basic Rules

The reference list is included at the end of the paper. The APA reference list basic rules contains the information that the reader can use to find and retrieve the sources cited within the paper. All the sources cited in the paper have to be included in the reference list. Similarly, all entries in the reference list have to be cited in the paper.

The reference list should be on separate page at the end the essay, and should be labeled as “References”  and be centered. Do not underline or bold. Double-space the references (just like in done with the essay).

General Rules

  • Indent all the lines of the entry after the first line by one-half inch from the left margin (this is referred to as hanging indentation).
  • Start with the last name of the author, and the initials. When the authors are less than six include them all. However, if they are more than seven, include the first six and thereafter include ellipses and then include the last author’s name.
  • The reference list should be arranged alphabetical based on the last name of the author include in the reference list.
  • When listing multiple works from the same author, start with the earliest to the most recent.
  • Write the a full entry of a journal title
  • Keep the punctuation and capitalization style of the journal title. (For instance Management Research & Leadership not Management Research and Leadership).
  • All key words in the journal titles should be capitalized
  • Long titles of journals and books should be italicized
  • When referencing books, articles, chapters and webpages, capitalization should be done to the first letter of first word the title or subtitle. In addition capitalize the first word coming after a colon, a dash and a proper noun.
  • Do not underline, put quotes or italicize the short titles of works like articles, essays or journal in edited works.

Note: Whereas the APA manual offers example on citing commonly used works,  it does not offer rules on the way to cite all forms of sources. As such, supposing you want to cite a source that has been explained in the APA manual, it is suggested that you look for APA Example Paper that is most comparable to your source and copy the format.