The Writing Center @ The University of Wisconsin - Madison
The Writer's Handbook
APA Documentation Guide

Format the references list


Title

Type the word "References" at the top of a new page, centered.

Spacing

All entries should be double-spaced, unless your assignment instructs you otherwise.

Indentation

Although the current Publication Manual advises standard (five spaces, first line) indention for the references list, this is primarily designed to make typesetting easier; the typeset version will have hanging indents (first line flush left, following lines five spaces indent).

If your final version will be turned in for a grade rather than publication, we recommend that you use hanging indents for enhanced readability. We have formatted our sample references list with hanging indents.

Capitalization

In a reference list entry for a book and for the title of a journal article (not the title of the journal, but the title of the article in a journal), capitalize only the first word of the title, the first word of the subtitle, and any proper nouns (the name of a person or a city, for example).

In a reference list entry for the title of a journal, capitalize every significant word (in other words, in the title of a journal, capitalize any word *except* for prepositions or conjunctions ["of," or "in," or "and," for example, should be lower case, unless one it's the first word of the journal's title]). For examples, see the sample reference list entries.

Punctuation

Use a comma to separate

  • surnames from initials
  • a newspaper title from p. or pp.
  • a journal title from volume number
  • a volume number from page numbers
  • when given, an issue number from page numbers
  • (Ed.) from book title
  • city of publication from state