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APA (7th Edition) Referencing Guide

Guide to APA citation style using the 7th Edition of the APA Style Manual.

Everything must match!

Coins showing Heads and TailsRemember, you have to cite every piece of information that came from another source, whether or not it is in your own words. Everything cited in the text must appear in the reference list, and everything in your reference list must be something you have referred to in text. Make sure you don't have anything in one place that isn't in the other.

Setting out the reference list

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:

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.
  • If there are two references by the same author, list them in order of publication date with the older one first.
    For example:
    Bloggs, J. S. (n.d.)...
    Bloggs, J. S. (2016)...
    Bloggs, J. S. (2018a)....
    Bloggs, J. S. (2018b, September)...
    Bloggs, J. S. (in press)...
    • 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.
  • If references by the same author have been published in the same year, list them alphabetically by title. Letters 'a', 'b', etc. are placed after the year, e.g. (2019a), (2019b).
    • 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.

Queensland Health. (2017b, August 23). Five 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.

Example reference list

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.


Cismas, S. C. (2010). Educating academic writing skills in engineering. In P. Dondon & O. Martin (Eds.), Latest trends on engineering education (pp. 225-247). WSEAS Press.

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.

APA 7th reference lists

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