APA References | 6th Edition

Documenting Sources at the End of Your Paper

Every cited source from your essay should appear in your References page, which comes at the end of the essay.

The References page must conform to the following rules:

  • Begin on a separate page at the end of your essay, using the same format as your essay (i.e., one-inch margins, running head, and page number).
  • Entries in your list of references should be alphabetized by the authors’ last names. Use the title, if a work does not have an author.
  • Center the word References at the top of the page.
  • Double-space all references.

Click on the following pages to view information on how to create a specific reference entry for your source type.

In this video on APA format, you’ll see a sample references list with some tips on creating a references list of your own.

Video Transcript
This APA video will provide you with the basic information for formatting your References page. Before we look at a couple of examples, here are some things to remember about your references list:

No source should appear on your references list that is not cited in your paper with in-text citations.

  • Your sources should be listed in alphabetical order by the first word of each entry.
  • Each source type has its own structure, so a book has a certain structure, as does a journal article, a magazine article, etc.
  • You cannot memorize the structures. You simply have to look up the formatting each time you begin putting together your references. The APA References page in the OWL provides you with visual support and clear examples for each source type.

Pay close attention to the capitalization rules in your references, as APA does not follow what you might perceive as “standard” capitalization for some titles. For example, in article titles, you should capitalize only the first word, any proper nouns, and the first letter of the subtitle, which is found after the colon.

When you begin your References page, you will notice that it is simply another page in your document, so you should have your Running head at the top left and the page number at the top right.

You should center the word References at the top of your page and then begin your entries. Keep your line spacing at double-spaced.

In this short video, we cannot address all the many types of sources you might encounter, but the first three sources shown here provide you with an example of an article from the web, a chapter from an edited book, and a journal article.

A nice thing about following APA formatting carefully is that your readers can tell by simply looking at your references list what kinds of sources you used because of the structure and order of information. This can help your readers note your diverse and credible sources even at a glance.

Remember, it is important to keep a good APA resource handy as you create your references list. You may rely on the APA Manual, 6th edition or the helpful APA resources in Excelsior College Online Writing Lab.

VandenBos, G. R. (Ed). (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
NOTE: The new 7th edition of the APA Publication Manual has just released. OWL staff are working on updating our content. As always, please follow the guidelines in your course.

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