APA (7th Edition) Referencing Guide
- Information for EndNote Users
- Authors - Numbers, Rules and Formatting
- In-Text Citations
Everything must match!
Setting out the reference list, example reference list, apa 7th reference lists.
- Books & eBooks
- Book chapters
- Journal Articles
- Conference Papers
- Newspaper Articles
- Web Pages & Documents
- Specialised Health Databases
- Using Visual Works in Assignments & Class Presentations
- Using Visual Works in Theses and Publications
- Using Tables in Assignments & Class Presentations
- Custom Textbooks & Books of Readings
- ABS AND AIHW
- Videos (YouTube), Podcasts & Webinars
- Blog Posts and Social Media
- First Nations Works
- Dictionary and Encyclopedia Entries
- Personal Communication
- Theses and Dissertations
- Film / TV / DVD
- AI software
- APA Format for Assignments
- What If...?
- Other Guides
Notes on the layout for your reference list:
Layout of page:
- The reference list starts on a new page, after your assignment and before any appendices. Place the word "References", centered, in bold, at the top of the page. APA does not require other formatting for the title of your reference page (like underlining), but check with your lecturer.
- Each entry in the reference list has a hanging indent , so that the first line of the entry is flush with the left margin, but all other lines are indented (this is the opposite of the paragraph structure in the body of your essay). Tip: You can do this easily by selecting your references, and pressing Ctrl + T on a PC, or Command (⌘) + T on a Mac. (For Word Online, see the instructions for creating a hanging indent here: https://libanswers.jcu.edu.au/faq/266638 ).
Order of references:
- For APA the reference list is arranged in alphabetical order of authors' surnames.
- Arrange by first author's name, then by second author if you have the same first author, etc. ( check the page on Authors for how to lay out the reference if you have more than one author ).
- If a reference has no author , list it alphabetically according to the title. Ignore the words 'A', 'An' and 'The' at the beginning of a corporate author or title for deciding where it fits alphabetically.
- N.B. A year without a date is considered to be "older" than a year with a date ("nothing comes before something"), so 2018 will go before 2018, September - and a month without a day will go before a month with a day, so 2018, September will go before 2018, September 12. Please note that the year only is required in-text, so you will need to follow the advice below whenever you have multiple citations in the same year.
- N.B. If you have a full date, only use the title to order the references if the date is identical. Always use 'a', 'b', etc after the year, if more than one work has been published by the same author in the same year, as this is used in the in-text referencing, e.g. (2019a, April 12), (2019b, March 23). For example:
Queensland Health. (2017a, April 9). Managing your asthma symptoms . https://www.health.qld.gov.au/news-alerts/news/managing-asthma-symptoms
Queensland Health. (2017b, August 23). Five things you might not know about asthma . https://www.health.qld.gov.au/news-alerts/news/5-things-you-might-not-know-about-asthma
Format of titles:
- APA uses sentence case for all titles except for journal titles.
- Begin each title and subtitle with a capital letter, but only names should be capitalised for all titles other than journal titles.
Below is an example of a reference list formatted in APA style. Mouse over the references to find more information about writing a reference list.
This list has been single spaced for this guide, but you will probably be asked to double-space your assignment, and that includes the reference list.
Note: the DOIs and URLs in the reference list above should be hyperlinked to the appropriate page, but the code for hyperlinking and the code for mouseover text was not compatible. In your reference list, make sure your DOIs and URLs are hyperlinked to the relevant page.
Click to play in full screen
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- Last Updated: Mar 1, 2023 5:08 PM
- URL: https://libguides.jcu.edu.au/apa
Basic Principles of Reference List Entries
A reference list entry generally has four elements: the author, date, title, and source. Each element answers a question:
- author: Who is responsible for this work?
- date: When was this work published?
- title: What is this work called?
- source: Where can I retrieve this work?
Answering these four questions will help you create a reference entry for any type of work, even if you do not see a specific example in the Publication Manual that matches it. Consistency in reference formatting allows readers to understand the types of works you consulted and the important reference elements with ease.
To learn more about content and format of the author, date, title, and source, visit the page on reference elements .
Correspondence between source and reference list entry
This figure shows the first page of a journal article. The locations of the reference elements are highlighted with different colors and callouts, and the same colors are used in the reference list entry to show how the entry corresponds to the source.
Additionally, the in-text citation for a work corresponds to the reference list entry . For example, the in-text citation for the work in the example is Botto and Rochat (2018) or (Botto & Rochat, 2018).
View the reference examples to see the basic principles of references in action.
This guidance is the same as in the 6th edition.
- Common Reference Examples Guide (PDF, 147KB)
- Creating an APA Style Reference List (PDF, 179KB)
- Scaffolded Reference Elements Worksheet (PDF, 150KB)
Punctuation in reference list entries
Use punctuation marks in reference list entries to group information.
- Ensure that a period appears after each reference element—that is, after the author, date, title, and source. However, do not put a period after a DOI or URL because it may interfere with link functionality. And if a title ends with a question mark, the question mark replaces the period.
- Use punctuation marks (usually commas or parentheses) between parts of the same reference element. For example, in a reference for a journal article, use a comma between each author’s last name and initials and between different authors’ names, between the journal name and the volume number, and between the journal issue number and the page numbers.
- Do not use a comma between the journal volume and issue numbers. Place the issue number in parentheses directly after the volume number instead.
- Italicize punctuation marks that appear within an italic reference element (e.g., a comma or colon within a book title). Do not italicize punctuation between reference elements (e.g., the period after an italic book title or the comma after an italic journal title).
Some works contain suggested citations. These citations often contain the information necessary to write an APA Style reference but need editing for style. For example, you may need to change the capitalization of the title or the punctuation between elements. You may also need to put elements in the proper order of author, date, title, and source.
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APA Formatting and Citation (7th Ed.) | Generator, Template, Examples
Published on November 6, 2020 by Raimo Streefkerk . Revised on August 23, 2022.
The 7th edition of the APA Publication Manual provides guidelines for clear communication , citing sources , and formatting documents. This article focuses on paper formatting.
Generate accurate APA citations with Scribbr
Throughout your paper, you need to apply the following APA format guidelines:
- Set page margins to 1 inch on all sides.
- Double-space all text, including headings.
- Indent the first line of every paragraph 0.5 inches.
- Use an accessible font (e.g., Times New Roman 12pt., Arial 11pt., or Georgia 11pt.).
- Include a page number on every page.
Let an expert format your paper
Our APA formatting experts can help you to format your paper according to APA guidelines. They can help you with:
- Margins, line spacing, and indentation
- Font and headings
- Running head and page numbering
Table of contents
How to set up apa format (with template), apa alphabetization guidelines, apa format template [free download], page header, headings and subheadings, reference page, tables and figures, frequently asked questions about apa format.
References are ordered alphabetically by the first author’s last name. If the author is unknown, order the reference entry by the first meaningful word of the title (ignoring articles: “the”, “a”, or “an”).
Why set up APA format from scratch if you can download Scribbr’s template for free?
Student papers and professional papers have slightly different guidelines regarding the title page, abstract, and running head. Our template is available in Word and Google Docs format for both versions.
- Student paper: Word | Google Docs
- Professional paper: Word | Google Docs
In an APA Style paper, every page has a page header. For student papers, the page header usually consists of just a page number in the page’s top-right corner. For professional papers intended for publication, it also includes a running head .
A running head is simply the paper’s title in all capital letters. It is left-aligned and can be up to 50 characters in length. Longer titles are abbreviated .
APA headings have five possible levels. Heading level 1 is used for main sections such as “ Methods ” or “ Results ”. Heading levels 2 to 5 are used for subheadings. Each heading level is formatted differently.
Want to know how many heading levels you should use, when to use which heading level, and how to set up heading styles in Word or Google Docs? Then check out our in-depth article on APA headings .
The title page is the first page of an APA Style paper. There are different guidelines for student and professional papers.
Both versions include the paper title and author’s name and affiliation. The student version includes the course number and name, instructor name, and due date of the assignment. The professional version includes an author note and running head .
For more information on writing a striking title, crediting multiple authors (with different affiliations), and writing the author note, check out our in-depth article on the APA title page .
The abstract is a 150–250 word summary of your paper. An abstract is usually required in professional papers, but it’s rare to include one in student papers (except for longer texts like theses and dissertations).
The abstract is placed on a separate page after the title page . At the top of the page, write the section label “Abstract” (bold and centered). The contents of the abstract appear directly under the label. Unlike regular paragraphs, the first line is not indented. Abstracts are usually written as a single paragraph without headings or blank lines.
Directly below the abstract, you may list three to five relevant keywords . On a new line, write the label “Keywords:” (italicized and indented), followed by the keywords in lowercase letters, separated by commas.
APA Style does not provide guidelines for formatting the table of contents . It’s also not a required paper element in either professional or student papers. If your instructor wants you to include a table of contents, it’s best to follow the general guidelines.
Place the table of contents on a separate page between the abstract and introduction. Write the section label “Contents” at the top (bold and centered), press “Enter” once, and list the important headings with corresponding page numbers.
The APA reference page is placed after the main body of your paper but before any appendices . Here you list all sources that you’ve cited in your paper (through APA in-text citations ). APA provides guidelines for formatting the references as well as the page itself.
Creating APA Style references
Play around with the Scribbr Citation Example Generator below to learn about the APA reference format of the most common source types or generate APA citations for free with Scribbr’s APA Citation Generator .
Formatting the reference page
Write the section label “References” at the top of a new page (bold and centered). Place the reference entries directly under the label in alphabetical order.
Finally, apply a hanging indent , meaning the first line of each reference is left-aligned, and all subsequent lines are indented 0.5 inches.
Tables and figures are presented in a similar format. They’re preceded by a number and title and followed by explanatory notes (if necessary).
Use bold styling for the word “Table” or “Figure” and the number, and place the title on a separate line directly below it (in italics and title case). Try to keep tables clean; don’t use any vertical lines, use as few horizontal lines as possible, and keep row and column labels concise.
Keep the design of figures as simple as possible. Include labels and a legend if needed, and only use color when necessary (not to make it look more appealing).
Check out our in-depth article about table and figure notes to learn when to use notes and how to format them.
The easiest way to set up APA format in Word is to download Scribbr’s free APA format template for student papers or professional papers.
Alternatively, you can watch Scribbr’s 5-minute step-by-step tutorial or check out our APA format guide with examples.
APA Style papers should be written in a font that is legible and widely accessible. For example:
- Times New Roman (12pt.)
- Arial (11pt.)
- Calibri (11pt.)
- Georgia (11pt.)
The same font and font size is used throughout the document, including the running head , page numbers, headings , and the reference page . Text in footnotes and figure images may be smaller and use single line spacing.
You need an APA in-text citation and reference entry . Each source type has its own format; for example, a webpage citation is different from a book citation .
Use Scribbr’s free APA Citation Generator to generate flawless citations in seconds or take a look at our APA citation examples .
Yes, page numbers are included on all pages, including the title page , table of contents , and reference page . Page numbers should be right-aligned in the page header.
To insert page numbers in Microsoft Word or Google Docs, click ‘Insert’ and then ‘Page number’.
APA format is widely used by professionals, researchers, and students in the social and behavioral sciences, including fields like education, psychology, and business.
Be sure to check the guidelines of your university or the journal you want to be published in to double-check which style you should be using.
Cite this Scribbr article
If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.
Streefkerk, R. (2022, August 23). APA Formatting and Citation (7th Ed.) | Generator, Template, Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved March 5, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/apa-style/format/
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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.
References provide the information necessary for readers to identify and retrieve each work cited in the text. Consistency in reference formatting allows readers to focus on the content of your reference list, discerning both the types of works you consulted and the important reference elements with ease.
The reference list starts on a new page, after your assignment and before any appendices. Place the word "References", centered, in bold, at the top of the page. APA does not require other formatting for the title of your reference page (like underlining), but check with your lecturer.
The locations of the reference elements are highlighted with different colors and callouts, and the same colors are used in the reference list entry to show how the entry corresponds to the source. Additionally, the in-text citation for …
APA references The basics. APA references generally include information about the author, publication date, title, and source. Depending on the type of source, you may have to include extra information that helps your reader locate the source. Reference examples. Citing a source starts with choosing the correct reference format.
A references list is a formatted list of all sources you cited within your paper. Any time you quote, paraphrase, summarize, or include information that you’ve read from an outside source, you must include that source in your references …
Reference List: Basic Rules; Reference List: Author/Authors; Reference List: Articles in Periodicals; Reference List: Books; Reference List: Other Print Sources; Reference List: Electronic Sources; Reference List: Audiovisual Media; Reference List: Other Non-Print Sources; Legal References Footnotes & Appendices Numbers & Statistics Additional ...
The guidelines on this page will help get you started. Consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th edition (in print: PE 1475 A52 2020), the APA style website, and the rest of this guide …
The word References should be centered and bold at the top of the page. Double-space your reference list. For each author, list the last name first followed by the initials for their first and middle names. Arrange your reference list alphabetically by the last name of the author.
Reference page. The APA reference page is placed after the main body of your paper but before any appendices. Here you list all sources that you’ve cited in your paper (through APA in-text citations). APA provides guidelines for formatting the references as well as the page itself. Creating APA Style references