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APA Style Guide, 7th ed.

This guide provides tips and examples for APA style formatting of papers and citations.

References List

For every source that you use in your project, you must include a full citation in a list of references. Here are instructions for compiling your references list and for structuring each citation. Click the teal menu buttons to see examples of citations for different types of sources.

  • The list of references should be located at the end of your paper.
  • The list should begin on a new page with the title, References, centered at the top of the page, not bolded.
  • The references should be arranged in alphabetical order based on the first part of the citation (usually the author’s last name).
  • The list should be double-spaced.
  • For citations longer than one line, the second and all subsequent lines should have a hanging indent of one inch from the margin.
  • Never use the author’s first name. Use only first and second initials.
  • In parentheses, give the year the work was published; for magazines, newspapers and other periodical publications include the year and the exact date of publication.
  • Italicize the titles of books and the titles/volumes of journals.
  • Capitalize all the major words in a journal title, but only the first letter of the first word in a book title, article title, or web page. Subtitles and proper nouns should also be capitalized.

Exceptions: There are two situations where a source needs to be cited in-text only (in the body of your paper). If you are describing an entire website, but not referring to a specific fact or idea from the site, it is OK to simply list the URL in an in-text citation. You do not need to include it in your list of references. Any personal communication or experience like an email, interview you conducted, or referencing a live performance is cited in-text only (in the body of your paper). The reason for this is that your references are designed to point the reader to the original source so they can explore it further. In these cases, your reader wouldn’t have access to your personal email or experiences, so it’s not appropriate to include the information in your list of references.

Hanging Indents

Most citation styles ask that you list sources with a "hanging indent." This means that the first line is in line with the margin and all other subsequent lines are indented. It makes it easier for your reader to see where each citation begins and ends.

Hanging Indent in Microsoft Word

Highlight the text you want indented. You can select a single citation or multiple citations at a time.

  1. Click the arrow in the bottom right corner of the "Paragraph" from the menu at top
  2. In the middle "Indentation" panel under "Special:" select "hanging" from the drop-down menu
  3. Click OK

Screen shot of word showing step one above.


Screen shot of Word showing steps 2-3 above.

Hanging Indent in Google Documents

Highlight the text you want indented. You can select a single citation or multiple citations at a time.

  1. On the ruler at the top of the page, drag the Left Indent (light blue inverted triangle) to the right five spaces. You will notice, the First Line Indent marker (light blue rectangle above the triangle) will come along for the ride and the entire citation will move to the right.
  2. Drag that First Line Indent marker (light blue rectangle above the triangle) back to the left margin. It should move independently of the triangle and will create your hanging indent.

Screen shot of Google Doc showing steps 1-2 described above.

Hanging Indent in Macintosh Pages

Highlight the text you want indented. You can select a single citation or multiple citations at a time.

  1. Click "View" in the top menu - then "Show Ruler"
  2. On the ruler at the top of the page, drag the Left Indent (light blue inverted triangle) to the right five spaces. You will notice, the First Line Indent marker (light blue rectangle above the triangle) will come along for the ride and the entire citation will move to the right.
  3. Drag that First Line Indent marker (light blue rectangle above the triangle) back to the left margin. It should move independently of the triangle and will create your hanging indent.