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Setting Up the APA Reference Page | Formatting & References (Examples)

Published on November 4, 2020 by Raimo Streefkerk . Revised on August 23, 2022.

APA reference page (7th edition)

On the APA reference page, you list all the sources that you’ve cited in your paper. The list starts on a new page right after the body text.

Follow these instructions to set up your APA reference page:

  • Place the section label “References” in bold at the top of the page (centered).
  • Order the references alphabetically .
  • Double-space all text.
  • Apply a hanging indent of 0.5 inches.

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references or resources

References are ordered alphabetically by the first author’s last name. If the author is unknown, order the reference entry by the first meaningful word of the title (ignoring articles: “the”, “a”, or “an”).

Word processors like Word or Google Docs and citation generators can usually order the reference list automatically. However, ordering becomes challenging when citing multiple works by the same author or works by authors with the same last name.

Our in-depth article on ordering references in APA Style explains what to do in these situations.

Only include references for sources cited in the body text (with an APA in-text citation ). Don’t include references for:

  • Sources that you only consulted;
  • Personal communications (e.g., emails or phone calls);
  • General mentions of websites or periodicals ;
  • Common knowledge .

For some student papers, it’s common to describe or evaluate the source in an annotation . These annotations are placed on a new line below the corresponding reference entry. The entire annotation is indented 0.5 inches.

If an annotation consists of multiple paragraphs, the first line of the second and any subsequent paragraphs is indented an additional 0.5 inches.

APA annotated bibliography (7th edition)

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The format of an APA reference differs depending on the source type. Play around with the options in the Scribbr Example Generator to get familiar with APA Style.

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APA citation examples

Check out Scribbr’s citation examples to learn more about citing each type of source, ranging from books and journals to podcasts and tweets !


  • Journal article
  • Newspaper article

Reports and gray literature

  • Press release
  • Dissertation or thesis
  • Conference paper

Books and reference works

  • Dictionary entry
  • Encyclopedia entry

Audiovisual works

  • Movie or documentary
  • YouTube video

Online media

  • Personal communication
  • Tables and figures

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Streefkerk, R. (2022, August 23). Setting Up the APA Reference Page | Formatting & References (Examples). Scribbr. Retrieved September 26, 2023, from

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Raimo Streefkerk

Raimo Streefkerk

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  1. Reference vs Resource

    Resources vs References reference English Noun ( en noun ) A relationship or relation ( ( to) something). *, III.1.3: all these are far more eminent and great, when they shall proceed from a sanctified spirit, that hath a true touch of religion and a reference to God. A measurement one can compare to.

  2. References

    References provide the information necessary for readers to identify and retrieve each work cited in the text. Consistency in reference formatting allows readers to focus on the content of your reference list, discerning both the types of works you consulted and the important reference elements with ease.

  3. Common Reference List Examples

    For legal references, APA follows the recommendations of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, so if you have any questions beyond the examples provided in APA, seek out that resource as well. Court Decisions. Reference format: Name v. Name, Volume Reporter Page (Court Date). URL . Sample reference entry: Brown v.

  4. Setting Up the APA Reference Page

    On the APA reference page, you list all the sources that you’ve cited in your paper. The list starts on a new page right after the body text. Follow these instructions to set up your APA reference page: Place the section label “References” in bold at the top of the page (centered). Order the references alphabetically. Double-space all text.

  5. APA: Formatting Your References List

    A references list is a formatted list of all sources you cited within your paper. Any time you quote, paraphrase, summarize, or include information that you’ve read from an outside source, you must include that source in your references list, correctly formatted in APA style. For help making a References list, view our Annotated References List.