APA References Page

What is a References page?
How do I format a format a References page?
How do I list sources on the References page?
Publication information
How to cite resources in APA style
Test Yourself

What is a Reference page?

The References page is the list of sources at the end of the paper. It is called by different names such as Bibliography, Works Cited, or List of Sources depending upon the citation system.

How do I format a References page?

The page setup and formatting are required parts of the References page. The same rules apply as for setting up any page in APA style with 1” margins, double spacing and only double spacing throughout, and so on except that the sources are listed in a hanging indent with the first line of each source beginning at the left margin and any second and subsequent line being indented.

There is a tool for creating a hanging indent. Type in your sources according to the APA format for that source and alphabetize them. Just left align and hit the Enter key at the end of each source. Then, highlight the list and click Paragraph/Special and scroll to hanging indent. Click OK.

The References page must have a title called References which is centered at the top of the page. The paper must have a header which includes the title of the paper in all caps which is left-aligned and Insert/Page # tabbed over to the right on the same line. The header must be created using the Header tool so that the title and the page number appear on each page.

How do I list sources in the References page?

There is a very specific way to list sources. The PHCC Library page has a file called How to cite resources in APA style which has example for how to list a variety of sources including sources from databases (LINCC Electronic Resources).

The list must be alphabetical. It should not be numbered.

You should take a look at the sample References page to see the required page setup.

The general format for listing a source is:

author’s name (last name, first initial). (year of publication). title of the source. publication information.

The problems arise with the details.


If there is a person named as an author, list the last name followed by a comma and then the first initial of teh first and middle name, if any. The year of publication follows in parenthesis.

Borman, W. (2004).

See how there is a comma after the last name. See that there is a period after the first initial. The year of publication of the source is put in parentheses. Sections of a list of references are separated by periods.

List all of the named named authors in the same order as in teh paper, separated by a comma.

Borman, W., & Hanson, M.A., Oppler, S.H., Pulakos, E.D., & White, L. (1993).

If there is an organization named as an author, list the organization first and then the year of publication.


Sources are either books or articles from journals, magazines, books, or websites. Commonly, the source may be from an article or document originially published in a journal or magazine and uploaded to an electronic database such as PsychArticles.

  • If the source is a book, the title is listed in italics. Titles of long, published works are put in italics. Note that there is a period following the title.

Psychological Measurement.

Doster, K. (2009). Psychological Measurement.

  • If the title is an article or a document or page in a website (a smaller publication which is published in a larger publication), just list the title using a capital for the first letter of the first word. Pronouns such as people’s names are always capitalized.

Implications of Piaget’s theory in the learning environment.

Marino, C., Soo I., & Lindstrom, P. (2001). Implications of Piaget’s theory in the learning environment.

Following the title of the article, the journal, magazine, or website it is published in is listed italics:

Marino, C., Soo, I., & Lindstrom, P. (2001) Implications of Piaget’s theory in the learning environment. Social Behavior.

Publication Information

In the APA style manual and the excerpt of it in How to cite resources in APA style, a handout in the PHCC library page, there is a Table of Contents at the beginning showing where the sample formats for different types of sources can be found. While the general format is author, title, how the publication information is listed depends on what type of source the publication is.

You should only include what the sample indicates. Also, note that the words volume, issue, and page or any abbreviation of these words is used. When a volume and issue are to be included, say for volume 78 issue 4, and the article is on pages 153-172, it is listed as 78(4), 153-172. Note that there is a comma after the volume and issue. If accessed through the database PsychArticles in our LINCC Electronic Resources, the listing would be as follows:

Marino, C., Soo, I., & Lindstrom, P. (2001) Implications of Piaget’s theory in the learning environment. Social Behavior. Retrieved October 23, 2009, from the PsychArticles database.

Note that the date you retrieved the article is listed.


A note about sources from LINCC (pronounced link) Electronic Resources:

LINCC stands for Library Internet Network for Community Colleges. LINCC is not a database. It does include access to databases supplied through subscription services such as EBSCO and Gale.

A list of databases and subscription services that provide the database is included in the LINCC system.

Many courses will require using this valuable resource for academic research. Many of the sources available through LINCC sources are databases of articles that were originially published in hard-copy. These articles are from scholarly journals, newspapers, magazines, and other copyrighted, reviewed, and professional prepared sources which are different from the Internet where anybody can post anything. Some sources on the Internet seem as though they have good information such as Wikipedia, but that is a wiki where people who are not necessarily professionals in the field can post information. By its own disclosure, some pages are in a state of development and have not been reviewed for accuracy or presentation of all side on a scholarly debate.

Students are subscribed to LINCC as part of their student fees. The student library ID number and pin number are needed to access the system. The ID number is available on WISE. Sometime, numbers have to be updated. If you cannot access the LINCC system, call or email the PHCC library.

To access the databases:

1. Go to: http://www.phcc.edu/library/
2. Click Electronic resources (databases, journals).
3. Be sure PHCC is listed in the drop-down menu. Enter your Borrower ID (14-digit number under the barcode of your PHCC ID/Library Card – also available in WISE) and your PIN (last four digits of your Social Security number).
4. Review the list of databases to determine an appropriate beginning point. Expand the appropriate category.
5. Click on the selected Database title.
6. Click Connect to Database.

How to cite resources in APA style – Handout from PHCC Library page