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APA Bibliography: General Format
Common Core: 9-10.L.3a

APA Bibliography: General Format

Author: Sydney Bauer

This lesson introduces how to format a bibliography in APA style.

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APA Reference List: General Format

In APA format, a bibliography is called a Reference List. Each source cited within the body of your paper receives its own entry on the Reference List. The Reference List provides readers with all of the necessary information they would need to locate the sources used in your paper. Whatever you cite in your paper (whatever sources you use) need to have an entry on the Reference List, and all of the entries on the Reference List must be cited within the body of your paper. 

The specific format of the entry will depend on the type of source it is: electronic sources, articles, interviews, books, and broadcasts are all cited differently. 

The following is a list of the general guidelines for formating an APA Reference List:

  1. The Reference List appears on its own page at the end of the paper. 
  2. The page is double-spaced with one inch margins. 
  3. The title "Reference List" is centered in the header of the page. Do not italicize, bold, underline, or place quotation marks around the title of the Reference List. 
  4. The entries are arranged in alphabetical order according to the author's last name. It is important to note that the author names are inverted (meaning the last name appears first, and the initials of the author's first name appear second).
  5. To include multiple works by the same author (or authors with the exact same name) arrange the sources according to the year in which they were published with the earliest publication appearing first. 
  6. Each entry has a hanging indent: the first line is flush or aligned with the left margin and each following line is indented 1/2 inch (or five spaces). 
  7. Italicize the titles of longer works like books, journals, the name of a website, and the title of a TV show. 
  8. Do not italicize, underline, bold, or put quotation marks around the titles of shorter works such as an article, poem, chapter, or song. 
  9. Books, chapters within books, articles, and webpages appear in sentence case. Only the first word and proper nouns of the title are capitalized, along with the first word and proper nouns of the subtitle (appearing after a colon or a dash in the title). Do not capitalize the second word in a hyphenated word. When it comes to journal titles, capitalize all of the major words: The Canadian Modern Language Review.

Source: Image of Reference List courtesy of Conan Kmeicik

APA Reference List: General Format