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APA 6th Edition Citation Style: Reference list


The APA manual provides many examples of how to cite common types of sources, BUT it does not provide rules on how to cite all types of sources. 

Therefore, if you have a source that APA does not include, APA suggests that you find the example that is most similar to your source and use that format. 

For more information, see page 193 of the Publication Manual available at USEK Library .

Basic Rules

  • All lines after the first line of each entry in your reference list should be indented one-half inch from the left margin. This is called hanging indentation.

  • Authors' names are inverted (last name first); give the last name and initials for all authors of a work for up to and including seven authors.

  • If the work has more than seven authors, list the first six authors and then use ellipses after the sixth author's name. After the ellipses, list the last author's name of the work.

  • Reference list entries should be alphabetized by the last name of the first author of each work.

  • For multiple articles by the same author, or authors listed in the same order, list the entries in chronological order, from earliest to most recent.

  • Present the journal title in full.

  • Maintain the punctuation and capitalization that is used by the journal in its title.

  • Capitalize all major words in journal titles. Academic journal titles have all major words capitalized, while other sources' titles do not.

  • When referring to the titles of books, chapters, articles, or webpages, capitalize only the first letter of the first word of a title and subtitle, the first word after a colon or a dash in the title, and proper nouns.

  • Italicize titles of longer works such as books and journals.

  • Do not italicize, underline, or put quotes around the titles of shorter works such as journal articles or essays in edited collections.

  • If a reference has no author, it is cited by title, and included in the alphabetical list using the first significant word of the title.

  • References should not be numbered.

  • If there is no date, the abbreviation n.d. may be used.