Arranging your APA reference list in the proper format is an important part of completing your research paper. As you prepare and write your paper, you should compile a preliminary reference list or bibliography that contains all the information you need for your citations. Make sure all your citations are accurate and lead your reader directly to the same source you used for your paper.
APA Reference List Elements
Each source you include in your reference list should contain this information, following the proper citation formatting style.
- Author name
- Publication date
- Publication information
Basic Formatting of an APA Paper
Format your APA paper according to the following guidelines:
- Double space everything, even the citations in your reference paper.
- Utilize 1-inch margins all around: top, bottom, left, and right.
- Type in Times New Roman, 12 point font.
- Do not justify lines; use flush-left style.
- Indent the first line of paragraphs by five spaces.
Order of Pages
The pages of your APA paper should be numbered starting with the title page. Each page contains a running head, which is a shortened version of the full title.
*author note is a brief author bio or acknowledgements
References (new page)
Reference List Format
While formatting your reference list, follow the same format guidelines as the research paper.
Do not bold, underline or capitalize.
Include the running head.
Continue the page numbering.
Arranging the Order of References
To put it simply, arranging your APA reference list is very straightforward. Simply alphabetize the entries letter by letter. More specifically, reference list entries are arranged using the author’s last name first, then their first name initials.
Often you will find the names of the same researchers and writers, as they specialize in certain fields. For example, Paul Jaeger, is a well-known expert in the field of library information and has several articles published by himself and with other experts. In this case, you will alphabetize by the order of the author’s name as listed in the publication.
APA style has acceptable abbreviations for editions, volumes, and so forth. Use these abbreviations in your reference entries:
|Rev. ed.||Revised edition|
|2nd ed.||second edition|
|Ed. (Eds.)||Editor (Editors)|
|Vol.||Volume (ex: Vol. 8)|
|Vols.||Volumes (ex: Vols. 3-8)|
|Tech. Rep.||Technical Report|
Source: Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition.
Getting Everything in Order
Arranging your APA paper and reference list correctly is important. However, just read your assignment rubric, follow these instructions, and you’ll be sure to do a good job on your paper. Your final task is to make sure that every in-text citation corresponds to a reference list citation.