Chapter 39: Creating an APA References Section

Part 6: Chapter 39

This section from Successful Writing provides detailed information about how to create the references section of your paper. You will review basic formatting guidelines and learn how to format bibliographical entries for various types of sources. This chapter is meant to be used as a reference tool while you write

Formatting the References Section: The Basics

At this stage in the writing process, you may already have begun setting up your references section. This section may consist of a single page for a brief research paper or may extend for many pages in professional journal articles. As you create this section of your paper, follow the guidelines provided here.

To set up your references section, use the insert page break feature of your word-processing program to begin a new page. Note that the header and margins will be the same as in the body of your paper, and pagination continues from the body of your paper. (In other words, if you set up the body of your paper correctly, the correct header and page number should appear automatically in your references section.) See additional guidelines below.

Formatting Reference Entries

Reference entries should include the following information:

  • The name of the author(s)

  • The year of publication and, where applicable, the exact date of publication

  • The full title of the source

  • For books, the city of publication

  • For articles or essays, the name of the periodical or book in which the article or essay appears

  • For magazine and journal articles, the volume number, issue number, and pages where the article appears

  • For sources on the web, the URL where the source is located

Purdue OWL: APA Formatting: Reference List Basics

See the following examples for how to format a book or journal article with a single author.

Sample Book Entry

Sample Journal Article Entry

The following box provides general guidelines for formatting the reference page. For the remainder of this chapter, you will learn how to format bibliographical entries for different source types, including multi-author and electronic sources.

APA General Guidelines

Formatting Reference Entries for Different Source Types

As is the case for in-text citations, formatting reference entries becomes more complicated when you are citing a source with multiple authors, citing various types of online media, or citing sources for which you must provide additional information beyond the basics listed in the general guidelines. The following guidelines illustrate how to format different reference entries.

Print Sources: Books

For book-length sources and shorter works that appear in a book, follow the guidelines that best describes your source.

A Book by Two or More Authors

List the authors’ names in the order they appear on the book’s title page. Use an ampersand (&) before the last author’s name.

 

         Campbell, D. T., & Stanley, J. C. (1963). Experimental and quasi-experimental designs for research. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.

An Edited Book with No Author

List the editor or editors’ names in place of the author’s name, followed by Ed. or Eds. in parentheses.

 

         Myers, C., & Reamer, D. (Eds.). (2009). 2009 nutrition index. San Francisco, CA: HealthSource, Inc.

An Edited Book with an Author

List the author’s name first, followed by the title and the editor or editors. Note that when the editor is listed after the title, you list the initials before the last name.

A Translated Book

Include the translator’s name after the title, and at the end of the citation, list the date the original work was published. Note that for the translator’s name, you list the initials before the last name.

 

         Freud, S. (1965). New introductory lectures on psycho-analysis (J. Strachey, Trans.). New York, NY: W. W. Norton. (Original work published 1933).

A Book Published in Multiple Editions

If you are using any edition other than the first edition, include the edition number in parentheses after the title.

A Chapter in an Edited Book

List the name of the author(s) who wrote the chapter, followed by the chapter title. Then list the names of the book editor(s) and the title of the book, followed by the page numbers for the chapter and the usual information about the book’s publisher.

A Work That Appears in an Anthology

Follow the same process you would use to cite a book chapter, substituting the article or essay title for the chapter title.

 

         Beck, A. T., & Young, J. (1986). College blues. In D. Goleman & D. Heller (Eds.), The pleasures of psychology (pp. 309-323). New York, NY: New American Library

An Article in a Reference Book

List the author’s name if available; if no author is listed, provide the title of the entry where the author’s name would normally be listed. If the book lists the name of the editor(s), include it in your citation. Indicate the volume number (if applicable) and page numbers in parentheses after the article title.

Two or More Books by the Same Author

List the entries in order of their publication year, beginning with the work published first.

 

         Swedan, N. (2001). Women’s sports medicine and rehabilitation. Gaithersburg, MD: Aspen Publishers.

         Swedan, N. (2003). The active woman’s health and fitness handbook. New York, NY: Perigee.

If two books have multiple authors, and the first author is the same but the others are different, alphabetize by the second author’s last name (or the third or fourth, if necessary).

 

         Carroll, D., & Aaronson, F. (2008). Managing type II diabetes. Chicago, IL: Southwick Press.

         Carroll, D., & Zuckerman, N. (2008). Gestational diabetes. Chicago, IL: Southwick Press.

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