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Reading Writing Lab

APA References Page Formatting


  • 1" margins on all sides.
  • ½" margin before the header.
  • The second and subsequent lines of each entry should have a ½" hanging indent.


  • The entire paper is aligned left. Do not "justify"—the right margin should be ragged.
  • The header, however, is always in the top right corner of the page.
  • The word "References" is at the top and centered.


  • 12pt font size
  • Times New Roman is the generally accepted font (ask instructor for preferences).
  • 12pt double-space throughout unless otherwise directed.
  • The title ("References") will be the same font and size as the rest of the text. Do not underline, italicize, bold, or enclose it in quotation marks.
  • There is no extra space between entries (Press "Enter" only once).

    • List the authors in order of surname.
    • If there are several sources from an author, list them chronologically.
    • Check OWL Purdue for further explanation.
    • Frequently Asked Questions:

      1. What if I cannot find all of the information required in a citation (IE: the work has no author?) You can only list whatever information the source makes available, so if the information is missing, you have no choice but to leave it out and include what you can. Especially with online sources, the most frequent missing piece of information is the name of the author. In this case, the next information to be listed will be the title of the work, so this, instead of the missing author's name, will begin the entry. Sometimes, publication information may also be missing. Please refer to the MLA Handbook for standard abbreviations that fill in for this missing information. 2. In what order should I list my sources? Alphabetical order, even if a cited series is listed out of order, or if cross-referenced entries are placed before the overall work. 3. How do I do a hanging indent? In Microsoft Word, open the "Paragraph" window, which can usually be found by right-clicking somewhere around the document. Under the tab, "Indents and Spacing," and the category "Indentation,"use the drop-down menu for "Special" indentation to find the option "Hanging." Set the distance to 0.5". 4. What if I use multiple sources by the same author? Arrange the sources by the year of publication, listing the one published earliest first. Hewlett, L.S. (1996) Hewlett, L.S. (1999) Also, one-author entries come before multiple-author entries: Alleyne, R.L. (2001) Alleyne, R.L., & Evans, A.J. (1999) References that begin with the same author, but have different second or third authors should be arranged alphabetically. Gosling, J.R., Jerald, K., & Belfar, S. F. (2000) Gosling, J.R., & Tevlin, D. F. (1996) Hayward, D., Firsching, A., & Brown, J. (1999) Hayward, D., Firsching, A., & Smigel, J. (1999)