Skip to Main Content

APA 7th ed. Style Guide: Formatting an APA Paper

APA Formatting Guidelines

Format of the Reference List

  • Begin the reference list on a new page after the text.
  • Place the section label "References" in bold at the top of the page, centered.
  • Order the reference list entries alphabetically by author (as described in Sections 9.44 to 9.48)
  • Double-space the entire references list (both within and between entries).
  • Apply a hanging indent of 0.5 in. to each reference list entry, meaning that the first line of the reference is flush left and subsequent lines are indented 0.5 in. from the left margin. (see video below for how to create a hanging indent in Word)
  • when ordering multiple works by the same author, include the author's name in each entry and arrange by year of publication, the earliest first. References with no date precede references with dates. (Section 9.46)
  • to differentiate references with the same author and year, put a lowercase letter after the year in both the in-text citation and the reference list entry. (Section 9.47)
  • Before treating a work as though it has no author, consider whether a group or organization is the author (Section 9.11). If the work is signed "Anonymous," begin the entry with the word "Anonymous," and alphabetize the entry as if Anonymous were a true name.
  • If there is no author and the work is not signed "Anonymous," the reference begins with the work's title (see Section 9.12); alphabetize the entry by the first significant word of the title (i.e., ignoring the words "A," "An," and "The" at the beginning of the title).
  • Example of reference list format