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APA (6th Edition) Referencing Guide

Referencing Guide based on the 6th Edition of APA style

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, at the top of the page. APA does not require other formatting for the title of your reference page (like bold or underlined), 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). You can do this easily by selecting your references, and pressing Ctrl + T on a PC, or Command (⌘) + T on a Mac.

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.
  • 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. (2001a), (2001b). For example:

Queensland Health. (2017a). Five things you might not know about asthma. Retrieved from

Queensland Health (2017b). Managing your asthma symptoms. Retrieved from

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.


Oshima, A., & Hogue, A. (2007). Introduction to academic writing. White Plains, NY: Pearson/Longman.
Rose, J. (2007). The mature student's guide to writing. Basingstoke, England: Palgrave Macmillan.
Soles, D., & Soles, D. (2005). The academic essay: How to plan, draft, revise, and write essays. Somerset, United Kingdom: Studymates.

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