What is an APA References list?

A references list is a formatted list of all sources you cited within your paper. Any time you quote, paraphrase, summarize, or include information that you’ve read from an outside source, you must include that source in your references list, correctly formatted in APA style. For help making a References list, view our Annotated References List.

For help citing different types of sources, refer to our downloadable formatting guide:

APA Reference Guide

 

See these guides if you need to format an MLA Works Cited page or a Chicago Style Bibliography page.

What information goes in an APA References list?

Each item in your references list requires general publication information, including but not limited to:

  • Author’s name
  • Year of publication
  • Title
  • Source

Because there are many types of sources, additional information may be required. You will see the most common kinds of sources in the sample references list below.

What are the key rules of creating an APA References list?

There are unique formatting rules to follow for each reference entry, but generally, remember these key rules for the whole references list:

  • Center the word “References” in bold font at the top of a new page.
  • Double spacing is used throughout this page.
  • Alphabetize entries by authors’ last names.
  • Create a hanging indent for each individual source you add to the list. A hanging indent is where the second and all the following lines of a paragraph are indented more than the first. To make a hanging indent, highlight your citation and use the keyboard shortcut CTRL+T.

References List Examples

Expand the options below for help formatting your references list entries in APA format.

Online Journal Article with DOI
Structure

Author's Last Name, Initials. (Publication Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume #(issue #), pp–pp. https://doi.org/xx.xxxxxxxxxx

For Example

Florian, R. V. (2010). Challenges for interactivist–constructivist robotics. New Ideas in New Ideas in Psychology, 28(3), 350–353. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.newideapsych.2009.09.009

Online Journal Article Without DOI, available online
Structure

Author's Last Name, Initials. (Publication Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume #(issue #), pp–pp. http://    

For Example

Cecen Erogul, A. R. (2013). Psychometric properties of the children’s automatic thoughts scale (CATS) in Turkish children with age and gender differences. Journal of Cognitive & Behavioral Psychotherapies, 13(2), 355-370. http://jebp.psychotherapy.ro/

To cite a journal article without a DOI that is located in a Library database or in print, do not include a URL.
Magazine Article in a Database
Structure

Author’s Last Name, Initials. (Publication Year, Month Day). Title of article. Name of Magazine, volume #(issue), pp-pp.  

For Example

Dafny, L. S., & Lee, T. H. (2016, December). Health care needs real competition and every stakeholder has a role. Harvard Business Review, 76-87.

Magazine Article Retrieved Online
Structure

Author’s Last Name, Initials. (Publication Year, Month Day). Title of article. Name of Magazine, volume #(issue), pp-pp. http://      

For Example

Clay, R. A. (2014, December). Taking action against Ebola. Monitor on Psychology, 45(11), 14. https://www.apa.org/monitor/2014/12/ebola

Newspaper Article in a Database
Structure

Author’s Last Name, Initials. (Publication Year, Month Day). Title of article. Name of Newspaper, Section.  

For Example

Rowe, K. (2020, January 8). Training center shut down due to termites. The San Diego Union Tribune, C3.

Newspaper Article retrieved online
Structure

Author’s Last Name, Initials. (Publication Year, Month Day). Title of article. Name of Newspaper. http://   

For Example

McAllister, J. (2017, July 5). Beaver Stadium prepares for inaugural concert. Centre Daily Times. http://www.centredaily.com/entertainment/this-weekend/article159672269.html

Only use this category if the article has an associated daily or weekly newspaper. If the article is from a news website (BBC News, CNN, Huffpost, etc.), use the format for the article on a news website in the webpages category.
Blog Post
Structure

Author’s Last Name, Initials. (Publication Year, Month Day). Title of blog post. Name of Blog. http://    

For Example

Hardy, M. (2010, October 29). E-ZPass is a life-saver (literally). Freakonomics. http://freakonomics.com/2010/10/29/e-zpass-is-a-life-saver-literally/

Digital Book with DOI
Structure

Author's Last Name, Initials. (Publication Year). Title of book. https://doi.org/xxxxxxx 

For Example

Tisha, B. (2012). Discussion-based online teaching to enhance student learning: Theory, practice, and assessment. https://doi.org/378.1/7344678  

If a digital book does not have a DOI or URL, omit that element and cite in the same manner as a print edition book.
Digital Book Without DOI
Structure

Author's Last Name, Initials. (Publication Year). Title of book. http://  

For Example

Farmer, R. F., & Chapman, A. L. (2016). Behavioral interventions in cognitive behavior therapy: Practical guidance for putting theory into action. https://www.ebscohost.com/

If a digital book does not have a DOI or URL, omit that element and cite in the same manner as a print edition book.
Digital Book (Anthology, Collected Works)
Structure

Author’s Last Name, Initials. (Publication Year). Title of article or story. In A. Editor (Ed.), Title of book (edition, pp. XX-XX). Publisher name. http:// (Original work published date)

For Example

Shuhua, L. (2007). The night of midautumn festival (N. K. Mao, Trans.). In J. S. M. Lau & H. Goldblatt (Eds.), The Columbia anthology of modern Chinese literature (2nd ed., pp. 95-102). Columbia University Press. https://bit.ly/2MKKUOp (Original work published 1928)

Book (Print)
Structure

Author’s Last Name, Initials. (Publication Year). Title of book. Publisher.

For Example

Diaz–Rico, L. T. (2008). A course for teaching English learners. Pearson.

Chapter in Edited Book
Structure

Author’s Last Name, Initials. (Publication Year). Article or chapter title. In Editor First Initial. Second Initial. Editor Last Name (Ed.), Book title (# edition, page range of chapter). Publisher.

For Example

Zhang, L. F., & Sternberg, R. J. (2010). Learning in a cross-cultural perspective. In V. G. Aukrust (Ed.), Learning and cognition in education (3rd ed., pp. 16-22). Elsevier.

Above entry works if DOI is unavailable and if text is only accessible through a database or in print. If DOI is available, include at the end of the citation as a hyperlink. If no DOI is available but the text is available online (not in a database), include the URL as a hyperlink.

For any webpage or website likely to change or be edited over time, include “Retrieved Month Day, Year, from” prior to URL.

Webpage with an Author
Structure

Author’s Last Name, Initials. (Publication Date). Title of webpage. Title of website. http://

For Example

Lad, K. (2016, August 28). An overview of the colorful traditional Mexican clothing. Buzzle. http://www.buzzle.com/articles/traditional-mexican-clothing.html  

Webpage with No Individual Author
Structure

Name of Organization. (Publication Date). Title of webpage. http://  

For Example

U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2008, March). Police and detectives. http://bls.gov/oco/pdf/ocos160.pdf  

This is an example of a group or corporate author. If you can’t find an individual author but you can find an organization or group that is responsible for the content of a webpage, then treat the entity as the author.
Webpage with No Author or Organization
Structure

Title of webpage. (Publication Date). http://

For Example

Freud’s structural theory: The id, the ego, and the superego. (n.d.). http://www.vakkur.com/psy/freud.html

Report: Corporate/Government or Group Author, Retrieved Online
Structure

Name of Group. (Year, Month day). Title of report (Report number, if available) [Description, if needed]. Publisher name (omit if same as Name of Group). http://

For Example

U.S. Department of Homeland Security. (2019, July). The DHS strategic plan: Fiscal years 2020-2024 [Agency strategy publication]. https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/19_0702_plcy_dhs-strategic-plan-fy20-24.pdf

Article on a News Website
Structure

AuthorLastName, Initial. (Year, Month day). Title of article. Site name. http://

For Example

Dunn, J. (2020, January 6). Recycling collectors bothered by messy bins. CNN. http://cnn.com/article/recycling-collectors-bothered-by-messy-bins

Only use this category for news articles that are not associated with a daily or weekly newspaper. Otherwise, use “Newspaper article retrieved online.” If author name and site name are same, omit site name.
Entire Website
Structure

AuthorLastName, Initial. (Year, Month day). Title of website. Site name. http://

For Example

US Department of Health & Human Services. (n.d.). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved January 28, 2020 from http://www.cdc.gov

Avoid citing entire websites when possible. Try instead to cite specific webpages or articles. When author and site name match, omit site name.
Classroom Communications-Instructor Guidance
Structure

AuthorLastName, Initial. (Year, Date). Title of guidance [Instructor guidance]. http://login.ashford.edu

For Example

Jones, M. (2020, January 6). Writing an annotated bibliography [Instructor guidance]. http://login.ashford.edu

Use the URL provided in the example above. Because courses are not accessible without a password, include this main URL for the classroom homepage instead.
Classroom Communications-Discussion Board Post
Structure

AuthorLastName, Initial. (Year, date). Name of discussion thread [Online discussion board]. http://login.ashford.edu

For Example

Dunn, J. (2020, January 6). Week 3 discussion [Online discussion board]. http://login.ashford.edu

Use the URL provided in the example above. Because courses are not accessible without a password, include this main URL for the classroom homepage instead.
Film
Structure

Director’s Last Name, Initials (Director). (Year). Title of film [Description]. Production Company.

For Example

Sorkin, R. (Director). (2018). Tidewater [Film]. American Resilience Project. https://www.pbs.org/video/tidewater-mgqr0m

If film does not have URL, omit from entry.
The director should be cited as the author of a video. If a director is unknown, someone in a similar role, such as writer, producer, etc. should be used. If both a director and another similar person is known, include both in the citation.
YouTube Video
Structure

Uploader Group Name or LastName, Initial.  [Screen name if different]. (Year, Month day). Title of video [Video]. YouTube. http://

For Example

EnglishTeacherEmma. (2013, January 30). 5 tips to improve your writing [Video]. YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgkRoYPLhts  

TV Series or Episode
Structure

TV Series:

Producer, W. W., & Producer, D. D. (Executive Producers). (Date range of running series). Title of series [TV series]. Studio or distributor.

TV Episode or Broadcast:

Writer, W. W. (Writer), & Director, D. D. (Director). (Year, Month Day). Title of episode (Season X, Episode XX)[TV series episode]. In P. Producer (Producer), Series title. Studio or distributor.

For Example

TV Series:

Shore, D. (Executive Producer). (2004-2012). House [TV series]. Fox Broadcasting.

TV Episode or Broadcast:

Egan, D. (Writer), & Alexander, J. (Director). (2005, February 6). Failure to communicate (Season 1, Episode 11)[TV series episode]. In D. Shore (Executive Producer), House. Fox Broadcasting.

Music Album
Structure

Artist’s Last Name, Initials. (Copyright year). Title of album [Medium of recording]. Label.

For Example

Brooks, G. (1989). No fences [Album]. Capitol Nashville.

Single Song or Track
Structure

Artist’s Last Name, Initials. (Copyright year). Title of song. On Title of album [Medium of recording]. Label.

For Example

Brooks, G. (1989). Friends in low places. On No fences [Album]. Capitol Nashville.

If citing a recording of classical work, provide composer as author and place [Album recorded by Artist name] after Title of album.
If citing the writer of a single song or track, provide [Recorded by Artist name] after Song title.
Podcast Episode
Structure

Host’s Last Name, Initials. (Host). (Year, Month Date). Title of podcast episode (Episode #) [Audio podcast episode]. In Title of Podcast. http://

For Example

Van Nuys, D. (Host). (2007, December 19). First things first (No. 232) [Audio podcast episode]. In Shrink Rap Radio. http://www.shrinkrapradio.com/  

TED Talk
Structure

From TED website:

Speaker, A. A. (Year, Month day). Title of video [Video]. TED Conferences. http://

From YouTube:

TED. (Year, Month Day). Name of Speaker: Title of Video [Video]. YouTube. http://

For Example

From TED website:

Stevenson, B. (2012, March). We need to talk about an injustice [Video]. TED Conferences. http://www.tedtalks.com/bryan_stevenson_we_need_to_talk_about_an_injustice

From YouTube:

TED. (2012, March 5). Bryan Stevenson: We need to talk about an injustice [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2tOp7OxyQ8

Image with an Author
Structure

Photographer/Publisher Name. (Year). Title of image [Image type]. Title of site of image. https://  

For Example

Sijgers, H. (2014). Sidewalk [Photograph]. Flickr. https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5024/5691941274_0819b1e5a3.jpg

Note about copyright laws: As long as there is no intention of publication, a student can use images in a course paper without obtaining written permission. There are copyright laws for using questionnaires, surveys, or other materials from a published source that is not public domain, so be sure to refer to the rules if you have questions about whether or not you can reprint any materials.
Image with no Author
Structure

Title of work [Type of image]. (Year). Title of image site. http://

For Example

Flu epidemic [Photograph]. (1919). History.Net. http://www.history.net/photo/flu-epidemic-art/collections  

Image with no Author, Title, or Date
Structure

[Subject and type of work]. Title of image site. http://

For Example

[Untitled illustration of a sleeping dog]. Pix. http://www.sleepinganimals/pix.com  

For information on citing legal materials, see our Citing Legal Sources page.

Online Dictionary, Encyclopedia, or Other Reference Work
Structure

Title of Dictionary. (Year). Title of online dictionary. http://

For Example

Merriam-Webster. (2020). Merriam-Webster.com dictionary. http://www.merriam-webster.com/  

Single Entry in Online Dictionary, Encyclopedia, or Other Reference Work
Structure

Author Name, Initial. (Year). Title of entry. In A. A. Editor (Ed.), Title of dictionary/encyclopedia (edition). Site name or publisher. http://

For Example

Centanni, L. (2015). Donnybrook. In M. Jones (Ed.), Encyclopedia of terminologies (2nd ed.). Stansbury University. http://www.stansbury.edu/encyclo_terms/donnybrook/

If author and year are unavailable, omit those portions and begin with Title of entry. If editor name is unavailable, omit that portion and simply note the Title of dictionary/encyclopedia.
Wikipedia (or other Wiki) entry
Structure

Title of listing. (Publication Date). In Title of Wiki. http://  

For Example

User experience. (2016, January 13). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_experience&oldid=836732966

Many wikis have what is called a permanent link. This is the link to the specific version of the page you are using. When citing sources that change often, it is recommended that you use the permanent link on your references list. For example, when citing a Wikipedia page, click on “Permanent Link” within the left navigation menu to populate the permanent URL. This is the URL you’ll use for your references list.
Conference Paper Presentation
Structure

Author’s Last Name, Initials. (Publication Year, Month Date). Title of presentation. [Paper presentation]. Title of Conference, City, State, Country.

For Example

Fraenza, C. & Nagle, L. (2015, March 2-4). The use of plickers to increase student achievement and engagement: An informal implementation. [Paper presentation]. Teaching of Psychology Conference, Farmingdale, NY, United States.

Dissertation or Thesis from a Database
Structure

Author’s Last Name, Initials. (Year). Title of dissertation or thesis [Doctoral dissertation or Master's thesis, Name of College]. Database Name.

For Example

Hoy, C. A. (2010). The adult learner in the online writing course. [Doctoral dissertation, University of Minnesota]. Proquest Digital Dissertations.

Mobile App
Structure

App Creator. (Year). Title of app or software (Version number) [Mobile app]. App Location. http:// 

For Example

Gowalla. (2011). Groupon (Version 16.15) [Mobile app]. App Store. http://itunes.apple.com 

Citing 21+ Authors
Structure

Author, A. A., Author, B. B., Author, C. C., Author, D. D., Author, E. E., Author, F. F., Author, G. G., Author, H. H., Author, I. I., Author, J. J., Author, K. K., Author, L. L., Author, M. M., Author, N. N., Author, O. O., Author, P. P., Author, Q. Q., Author, R. R., Author, S. S., ... Author, Z. Z. (Publication Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume #(issue #), pp-pp. https://doi.org/xx.xxxxxxxxxx

For Example

Rosenthal, E. L., Brownstein, J. N., Rush, C. H., Hirsch, G. R., Willaert, A. M., & Scott, J. R.(2010). Community health workers: Part of the solution. Health Affairs29(7), 1338-1342. https://doi.org/10.1377/hlthaff.2010.0081

When citing two to 20 authors, list last name followed by a comma and initials for each one, and precede the final author’s name with an ampersand (&). When citing 21 authors or more, list the first 19, then precede the name of the final author with an ellipses (. . .).
Tweet
Structure

Name of Group or Author, A. A. [@username]. (Year, Month day). Tweet text [Note thumbnail, image, or link, if in original Tweet] [Tweet]. Twitter. http://

For Example

Macdonald, N. [@normmacdonald]. (2020, January 23). My mother and I are doing a Q and A on Instagram! Follow me and ask us anything! [Link provided] [Tweet]. Twitter. http://www.twitter.com/normmacdonald

Only include first 20 words of Tweet.
Facebook Post or Other Social Media Post
Structure

Name of Group or Author, A. A. [Username, if group]. (Year, Month day). Content of post up to first 20 words [Description]. Facebook. http://

For Example

Douglas, D. (2020, January 23). Why is it that when I do everything that is asked of me, including sitting quietly through a work week [Image attached] [Status update]. Facebook. http://www.facebook.com/douglasd2016

This format can be applied to other sites such as Instagram or LinkedIn.