Structure of the Reference List
Formatting Reference List Entries
The exact formatting of APA reference list entries can vary based on what types of sources are being cited. However, the general order of information included is as follows:
2. Year/date of publication
4. Publication information
5. Location or URL (link)
The very first part in a reference entry is usually the author(s) of the source. These names are written in Last, F. M. order (where F. N. represents the author's first and middle initials):
James Earl Jones --> Jones, J. E.
For multiple authors, use "&" prior to the final listed author.
Jones, J. E., & Hamill, M.
Usually, only the year is required for APA reference list entries. The year should be written in brackets and followed by a period:
For certain sources, like news articles or blog posts, a full date can be included in the order of Year, Month Day:
(2018, September 18).
The titles of shorter, partial works, like journal articles, news articles, or chapters, should be written in normal text with no extra formatting. Only the first word of the title, words after colons, acronyms, and proper nouns (e.g. Canada) need capital first letters.
Professional values: Results of a scoping review and preliminary Canadian survey.
The titles of longer, complete works, such as full books or full journals, should be formatted in italics.
Behind the shock machine: The untold story of the notorious Milgram psychology experiments.
The titles of full journals can keep the capital letters on all main words, whereas all other titles follow the same capitalization rules described for titles of shorter works above.
International Social Science Review
Any titles within titles should be formatted according to the rules above, with capital letters kept on all the main words, as shown below:
Chemistry and the science of transformation in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.
For a journal article, this usually includes the volume number, issue number, and page range where that article is located in its journal. The volume number is in italics, and the issue number is in brackets, as shown below:
International Social Science Review, 89(1), 1-2.
For a chapter in a book, the full book information will include any editors for the book, as well as the edition number and page range where the chapter is found within the same set of brackets. Note that the names of editors are in the F.M. Last order:
In G.J. Rich, U.P. Gielen, & H. Takooshian (Eds.), Internationalizing the teaching of psychology (1st ed., pp. 161 - 179).
Location or URL (Link)
For a printed source, usually the reference entry will include the city and province (or city/state, city/country) of publication, then the name of the publishing company:
Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.
For an online source, provide the most stable, permanent link possible to that source. If the source comes from an academic journal, use a doi (digital object identifier) whenever possible:
If the source does not have a doi, use the permalink instead, preceded by the words "Retrieved from":
Retrieved from https://ezproxy.agpc.talonline.ca/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edselp&AN=S0007681304001260&site=eds-live&scope=site
Links to all other types of sources follow the same formatting as the permalink:
Retrieved from https://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2012/03/how-to-capitalize-and-format-reference-titles-in-apa-style.html
For more information on general formatting rules for reference lists, see pages 180-192 (sections 6.22 - 6.32) of the APA 6th edition manual.
For another sample reference list, see page 49 (Figure 2.1) in the APA 6th edition manual.
Journal Article Template:
Author’s last name, first initial. (Year). Title of the article: Only the first letter of the first word, any words after colons, and any proper nouns like Canada are capitalized. Title of the Journal in Italics, volume #(Issue #), first page # – last page #. doi:10.1010/0001-1010.10.0.101
Article with one author:
Stultz, J. (2006). Integrating exposure therapy and analytic therapy in trauma treatment. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 76(4), 482-488. doi:10.1037/00002-94188.8.131.522
***Note that the digital object identifier, or "doi," is used instead of the www.... link - a doi is more reliable and stable. Use the doi whenever possible.***
Article with two to seven authors:
Sillick, T. J., & Schutte, N. S. (2006). Emotional intelligence and self-esteem mediate between perceived early parental love and adult happiness. E-Journal of Applied Psychology, 2(2), 38-48. Retrieved from http://ojs.lib.swin.edu.au/index.php/ejap
***Note: if there is no available doi, use the permanent link to the article instead.***
For an article with more than seven authors, list the first six authors and the very last one. Delete all other names and replace them with an ellipse (...), as shown below:
Gilbert, D. G., McClernon, J. F., Rabinovich, N. E., Sugai, C., Plath, L.C., Asgaard, G., ... Botros, N. (2004). Effects of quitting smoking on EEG activation and attention last for more than 31 days and are more severe with stress, dependence, DRD2 A1 allele, and depressive traits. Nicotine and Tobacco Research, 6, 249-267. doi:10.1080/14622200410001676305
For a doctoral dissertation published by an institution, treat the text as a full, complete document and italicize the title:
Birks, D.C. (2019). Groundwater heating and cooling: An evaluation of resilience in the context of recharge and temperature (Doctoral dissertation, University of Glasgow). Retrieved from https://ezproxy.agpc.talonline.ca/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edsble&AN=edsble.768795&site=eds-live&scope=site
Do the same for a master's thesis:
Fleet, C. (2016). Becoming a queer teacher: Perceptions of queer teacher candidates in initial teacher education programs (Master's thesis, Brock University, St. Catharines, ON). Retrieved from https://dr.library.brocku.ca/bitstream/handle/10464/10106/BROCK_FLEET_COURTENAY_2016.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
For more information on citing journal articles, see page 198 (section 7.01) of the APA 6th edition manual. For dissertations and theses, see page 207 (section 7.05).
Author last name, First initial. (Date). Article title. Magazine/Newspaper Name, Volume(Issue), firstpage-
Perina, K. (2008, September/October). Clothes encounters. Psychology Today, 41, 7.
Online Magazine Article:
Masters, C. (2006, December 17). The takeaway diet of 2006. Time. Retrieved from
Online Newspaper Article:
Swanson, A. & Bradsher, K. (2019, November 7). U.S. and China agree to roll back some tariffs. New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/07/business/china-trade-trump.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage
Spielberg, S. (Director). (1982). E.T. the extra-terrestrial [Motion Picture]. United States: Universal Pictures.
David, L., & Seinfeld, J. (Writers). (1995). The soup Nazi [Television series episode]. Seinfeld. New York, NY: NBC.
Lockergnome. (2009, Oct. 19). How to improve reading comprehension [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aK2JscwKkHA
The Beatles. (1967). Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club’s Band [LP]. United States: Capitol Records.
Singleton, C., & Snyder, E. (1966). Strangers in the Night [Recorded by F. Sinatra]. On My Way: The Best of Frank Sinatra [Cassette]. United States: Warner. (1996).
Spoken Word Recording:
Darling, S. (Speaker). (1988). To Kill a Mockingbird [Cassette recording]. United States: Recorded Books.
Beethoven, Ludwig van. (1932). Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92. Boston: Oliver Ditson.
The Nutcracker. (2006, December 2). Butler Ballet. Clowes Memorial Hall, Indianapolis.
Van Nuys, D. (Producer). (2007, December 19). Shrink rap radio [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from http://www.shrinkrapradio.com/
For more information on citing audiovisual materials, see page 209 (section 7.07) of the APA 6th edition manual.
Online Resource (Template)
Author last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Date of Publication). Web page title. Title of Website. Retrieved from http://www.website.com
If no author is listed, begin entry with the web page sponsor or the web page title, as shown in the examples below:
United Nurses of Alberta. (2009). Member resources: Professional responsibility. Retrieved from http://www.una.ab.ca/memberresources/professionalresponsibility
Tab on a website
Environment Canada. (2009). Climate change science and research. Climate change. Retrieved from http://www.ec.gc.ca/sc-cs/Default.asp?lang=En&n=56010B41-1
Crosby, B. (2019, October 2). Africa’s plastic bag ban seems to be working, and a STEM challenge idea [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://www.learningismessy.com/uncategorized/africas-plastic-bag-ban-seems-to-be-working-and-a-stem-challenge-idea/
Online Forum or Discussion Group
Filmfreakspicture. (2014, July 31). The funniest internet reviewers? (movies/games) [Online forum post].
Retrieved from http://www.imdb.com/board/bd0000001/thread/232859999
goodreads. (2014, August 1). What is the best attribute in a sidekick: Loyalty, mischief, or strength? Join the
discussion ow.ly/ztcTE. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/goodreads/status/495198612650229761
Facebook Status Update
Harper, Stephen. (2014, July 24). Our Conservative Government is taking action to protect law-abiding gun
owners from having their firearms reclassified overnight. Sign your support http://cpcp.cc/6rsqq
[Facebook status update]. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/pmharper
For more information on citing web sources, see page 214 (section 7.11) of the APA 6th edition manual.
Template (with an author):
Last name, F. (Year). Title of entry. In Title of full reference work (#th ed.). Retrieved from http://www.website.com
Template (without an author):
Title of entry. (Year). In Title of full reference work (#th ed.). Retrieved from http://www.website.com
Online reference work with an author:
Faller, J. E., Nordtvedt, K.L., & Cook, A.H. (2019). Gravity. In Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/science/gravity-physics
Online reference work with no author:
Heuristic. (n.d.). In Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary (11th ed.). Retrieved from http://m-w.com/dictionary/heuristic
For more information on citing dictionaries and encyclopedias, see page 204 (items 27 - 30) of the APA 6th edition manual.
Lecture/PPT Slides Template
Author, F. M. (year). Title of presentation [Format]. Retrieved from www.link.com
Bailey, K. (2019). Information literacy skills for the college setting [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from http://www.gprc.ab.ca/library/presentations.
***Note: cite class notes or information that is not recoverable (e.g., if your instructor said it to you but there is no record of it) as personal communications (see "In-Text Citations" section for more).***