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APA Citation Style Guide (7th ed.): Paper Format Guidelines

Tips for Writing the Reference List

  • The reference list should be on a new page after the text and before any tables, figures or appendices. 
  • The word References should appear centered at the top of the page and in bold.
  • Double space all entries in the reference list -including between and within references.
  • Use a hanging indent for all references (meaning indent the second and subsequent lines of an entry 5-7 spaces.
  • Entries are arranged alphabetically by the surname of the author(s).  Works with no author are listed under the first significant word of the title.
  • If several references have the same author(s), list them in the order they were published, earliest first.
  • Include all references in one alphabetical listing from A-Z.

Paper Formatting

Font and size - Use the same font throughout the text of the paper.  Check with your instructor for their preferences.  APA recommends " a sans serif font such as 11-point Calibri, 11-point Arial, or 10-point Lucida Sans Unicode or a serif font such as 12-point Times New Roman, 11-point Georgia, or normal (10 point) Computer Modern." 

Line Spacing - Double space throughout the entire document, including the title page, reference. list, and block quotations.  There are a few exception such as table body and figure image.

Margins - use 1 inch margins on all sides -top, bottom, left and right.  

Page Numbers - the page numbers should be located in the right corner of the header, including the title page.

Paragraph Indentation - Paragraphs should be indented 1/2 inch.

For further information, see pages 283-301 of the Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th ed.,  pp. 44-45.

Annotated Bibliographies

An annotated bibliography is a list of citations of books, articles, and other sources, along with an evaluative summary (usually a few sentences) that you have written for each. The summary offers critical analysis of the source and your reasons for selecting it for your research.

For more details on how to write such a summary and how to format the list, see the excellent How to Prepare an Annotated Bibliography from Cornell University.