Mastering APA Style #3: Reference List - Breaking the Code

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The "Reference List" is usually written as a new page at the end of your written paper or report.  The above sample of a reference is a common one that you might see.  This is an example of a reference for a journal article.
Do note that there are many other types of references that you might see. There is actually a lot, with the most common ones among students being journal articles, books, and websites.

So what are the parts in a reference to watch out for when writing a reference?
  • Number of Authors -  Authors' names are in the order of  "Last name/Surname,  initials", e.g. "Andrew, B.".  
    • The number of authors may affect the way it is being presented.  For 7 or less authors, make sure to have an "&" between the last and second last authors.  If the work has more than 7 authors, list the first six authors and then use "..."(Yes, seriously), followed by the last author's name.
  • Title of Article / Chapter - This is usually the part written straight after the year of publication.  It is usually not italicized and presented in sentence case.
    • Using sentence case means that only first letter of the title (and subtitle), the first letter after the colon or dash, and proper nouns, i.e. names of countries, are capitalized. 
  • Title of Journal /  other publication (e.g. book) - The journal or publication title is usually written with the first letter of major words in capitals, and italicized.  Always present the journal title in full, e.g. "International Journal of Psychology" rather than "IJP".  Students tend to just use the short form as it might be presented that way in the journal.
    • Maintain the punctuation and capitalization that is used by the journal in its title.  For example: "ReCALL" not "RECALL", or "Knowledge Management Research & Practice" not "Knowledge Management Research and Practice".
    • The presentation of a journal reference and a book reference is different, as the latter might include editors' names or multiple editions.
  • Other information - This include volume number, issue numbers, page numbers, and/or publisher information.  
    • For journals, the volume numbers are usually italicized, with the rest being in the above format.  Please include doi (digital object identifier) for journal articles when available.  You can check with for the doi.  
    • For books, the publisher city and publisher name has to be presented in the format of "City: Publisher name".  
According to Purdue Owl, here are some more basic rules that you have to follow: (these rules are adapted from their website)
  • Always do hanging indentation.  This is where all the lines after the first line of each entry in your reference list is indented one-half inch from the left margin. 
    • This can be usually done in your Microsoft word under the function of "Paragraph" (just right-click and you will see it).
  • 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.
To be continued...
If you wish to learn about in-text citations, please read Mastering APA style #2: In-text Citations.

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