Skip to Main Content

APA (7th ed.) Reference Style

An introduction to the APA (American Psychological Association) 7th ed. referencing system with reference formats & examples.

The Reference List

The purpose of the reference list is:

To contain all the information that a reader of your work needs to follow-up on your sources. 

The terms ‘Bibliography’ and ‘Reference List’ are often used interchangeably, however:

  • a reference list only includes items you have referenced in your assignment whereas,
  • a bibliography also includes items used to prepare your assignment (check with your lecturer or tutor which they require).

An important principle in referencing is to be consistent.


When compiling your APA reference List, you should:

  • List references on a new page with a centred heading in bold, titled: References.
  • Include all your references, regardless of format, e.g. books, journal articles, online sources, in one alphabetical listing from A - Z.
  • Order entries alphabetically by surname of author(s).
  • List works with no author under the first significant word of the title.
  • Indent second and subsequent lines of each entry (5-7 spaces).
  • Use double spacing.
  • Note that all references in APA end with a full stop except when the reference ends with a URL or a DOI.


Example of a reference list

NMU Library Website       Connect with us on: FaceBook   YouTube