How To Write A References In APA Style – Beginners Guide

The paperwork required to make your paper suitable for academic reasons is a reference citation. It provides authoritative sources for your statements, makes it easier for the reader to obtain those sources, and acknowledges that the material utilized in a work did not come from the writer.

APA reference generator, APA title page, APA referencing website, APA in-text citation are common words around people preparing academic materials and a thing every student must know how to write properly. It is so important that Purdue University on their Purdue Owl Citation page gave a deep insight on the types of references and the basics of citation.

What is the definition of an APA References list?

The author/date method of citation is used in APA style, and it involves inserting the author’s last name and the year of publication in the actual text of the paper. It is the American Psychological Association’s approved style, and it is widely used in the social sciences. 

The American Psychological Association addresses modern technological media in a distinct guidebook, which UT undergraduates can acquire in paper form or on the college’s website. A number of the examples in this guide are drawn from one of these sources. 

The American Psychological Association provides some advice and examples. The Writing Center, located on Carlson’s first floor, also assists students in writing papers.

A references list is a list of all the sources you cited in your paper, formatted in a specific way. Any time you cite, paraphrase, explain, or contain information from a third-party source, you must include it in your references list, structured correctly in APA style.

See also: How To Write A Thesis Statement Like A Pro

Expectations for APA Formatting in General

It’s all about the style when it comes to creating an APA paper. The following are typical APA formatting requirements for a research paper in an academic setting.

  • It is required to have double spacing and written (rather than handwritten) work.
  • All contributions should be printed on an 8.5 x 11-inch sheet.
  • Each section of the article should have a page header with the relevant page flush to the right. Business papers also feature a quick summary of the author’s title that is less than 50 characters long. A spinning head is what this is called.
  • On every page, one-inch margins are required. 
  • The font ought to be very legible and clear. It is suggested that you use Times New Roman in 12-point font.
  • The title page, the body, and the references must all be included in an essay. Business papers must also have an overview, as per APA 7.
  • Include a centered (horizontally and vertically) title on the title page the author’s initials should appear below the headline.
  •  The organization with which the writer is associated should be listed beneath the author’s name.
  • The professional essay’s abstract should be on the second page. It should be titled “Abstract” and should be between 150 and 200 words long. 
  • The exploratory research, hypothesis, technique, assessment, respondents, and overall analysis are all included in the abstract.
  • In the body of the text, citations must include the writer’s identity, year of release, and reference number.
  • A signal phrase followed by author, year, and page number suffices for brief quotations: “Further work on this important and urgent subject is required,” Smith says (2009, 50).
  • Blockquotes should be used for quotes longer than 40 words. Blockquotes are single-spaced, indented, and feature a lead-in sentence. They also include a reference at the end.
  • Just as you would with a quote, make sure to include the author’s name, date, and page number when paraphrasing: The current evidence, according to Smith (2009), indicates that more research is required (pg. 50).

How to Cite Sources in APA Citation Format

The List Of Reference

For references referenced in the text of a work, APA style recommends utilizing a reference list rather than a reference. Only those citations that were mentioned in the text of one’s work are included in the references section. There has to be one.

There should be a complete agreement between the two. (An example of a reference list can be found on the last page.) In a bibliography, you’ll find

all literature consulted that was “readily applicable” to the research methodology, even if the material was not “directly applicable” to the qualitative research not mentioned in one’s paper’s text

When building a reference list, it’s important to remember the following: 1.  the order of things; 

  1. emphasizing; 
  2. grammar and whitespace,
  3. punctuation.

Procedures For The Reference List 

  1. sort the entries alphabetically by the first author’s surname.
  2. Single-author items come first, followed by multiple-author entries with the same surname:
  3. R. Kaufman, (1981).
  4. R. Kaufman and D. C. Cochran (1978).
  5. Citations having the same first author but distinct second or third authors are grouped. alphabetically by the second author’s surname, and so on:
  6. R. Kaufman, K. Jones, and D. F. Cochran (1982).
  7. R. Kaufman and D. F. Wong (1978)
  8. References by year of publication are arranged by the same authors in the same order.
  9. R. Kaufman. (1977).
  10. R. Kaufman. (1980).
  11. The very first preliminary of many publications by various authors with much the same identity is used to sort them alphabetically: Eliot, A. L. (1983). Eliot, G. E. (1980). 

Examples Of Items In The Preference List

There are some minor changes in the style of books, journal papers, newspaper pieces, and other sources. A citation list’s entries should be dual. 

Also, employ suspended markings: lines should start straight left and be recessed after that. 


One author: Castle, E. B. (1970). The teacher. London: Oxford University Press. 

Two authors: McCandless, B. R., & Evans, E. D. (1973). Children and youth: Psychosocial development. Hinsdale, IL: Dryden Press.

Three or more authors: (list each author) Smith, V., Barr, R., & Burke, D. (1976). Alternatives in education: Freedom to choose. Bloomington, 


As many or more APA formatting tips can be found here. For more information, see articles like APA outline format samples and writing suggestions for APA-style research papers. 

You can go directly to the source with the American Psychological Association’s Publication Manual if you need even more thorough information about the APA style.

Share This

Leave a Comment