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APA 7th Edition Guide: Reference Page

Reference Page

The reference list should provide enough information to retrieve work cited in the text of the paper. 

The Reference page should

  • Begin on a separate page and appear after the body of the paper
  • The first line should be centered and read Reference if there is one reference or References if there are more than one reference within the paper 
  • References should be centered bolded, but not italicized or underlined
  • References should be listed in alphabetical order by the first author's last name
  • The reference page should be double spaced.
  • Indent all but the first line of each reference (hanging indent)

Elements of a Reference

  • author - Who is responsible for the work
  • date - When the work was published
  • title - What the work is called
  • source - Where the work can be retrieved


Author refers to an individual, multiple people, a group (institution, government agency, organization), or a combination of people and groups responsible for the work. 

Formatting Author Names

  • List the author's last name first followed by their initials
    • Author Last Name, A. A. 
  • Use a comma to separate an authors initials from another author's name
    • Author Last Name, A. A., & Author Last Name, B. B.
    • Place one space between the author's initials
  • Do not use commas to separate two group names
  • When there are 2 to 20 authors use an ampersand (&) before the final author's name
  • If there are 21 or more authors, list the first 19 authors followed by an ellipse (...) then list the last author (do not include an ampersand before the last author's name) 
  • Spell the author's name as it appears in the work 
    • Include the complete last name when the name is hyphenated or the last name has two parts
  • Group names should be written out in full followed by a period, do not include the group abbreviation within the reference list entry


Date refers to the publication date of a work. Dates can appear in the reference list as:

  • year only
  • year, month, and day 
  • year and month
  • year and season

Formatting Publication Date 

  • Place publication dates inside parenthesis
  • Include year before month or day (2020, February 11).
  • When the date is approximated use ca (circa)
  • Use n.d. for works with no dates


Formatting Title

  • Works that are part of a larger work (e.g. journal articles or edited book chapters) do not italicize the title, do not place title in quotation marks,
  • Capitalize the title using sentence casing (e.g. capitalize the first word of the title and subtitle)
  • Works that stand alone (e.g. books) italicize the title and capitalize the title using sentence casing)


Source indicates where a work can be retrieved.


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