Reference List: General Overview

  • The reference list:
    • appears at the end of the paper, and is the last portion of the “Main Body” of the paper
    • provides the full information for all references that were cited within the paper
    • begins on a new page
    • is labeled References in the center at the top of the page – do not bold, underline, italicize, or use quotation marks
  • All font, spacing, and margins are the same as the body of the paper.
  • When including page numbers, remember the following: 
    • “p.” indicates that only one page was referenced
    • “pp.” indicates that multiple pages were referenced
  • Utilize hanging indentation: All remaining lines after the first line of each entry are indented ½ inch from the left margin.
  • Reference lists are always alphabetized.

Reference List: How to Cite Authors

  • Authors’ last names always come before their first, separated by a comma
    • Only the author’s last name is fully spelled, but the first and middle initial (if provided) are used.
                 Example: Doe, J.A. or Doe, J.
  • Only list up to seven authors; if the work being referenced has more than seven authors, list the first six followed by “et al.”
    • Example (seven authors total):
      First, A.B., Second, A., Third, B.C., Fourth, E., Fifth, F., Sixth, G., & Seventh, A. (2014).
    • Example (more than seven authors):
      First, A.B., Second, A., Third, B.C., Fourth, E., Fifth, F., Sixth, G., et al. (2014).
  • If the same first-author is cited multiple times, list entries in chronological order from earliest to most recent. Below is an example:
          Doe, J. (2000).
          Doe, J. (2014).
  • Note: Sometimes an organization, such as the American Psychological Association, is the author of a work being referenced. Include the entire name of the organization in place of the author’s name.
            American Psychological Association. (2000).

Reference List: Journals and Periodicals

  • How to create a reference from a journal/periodical:
    • Use the reference guidelines for authors as already stated previously: Last name, first initial.
    • Publication year in parentheses and a period.
    • The title of the article.
      • Only the first word of the title and proper nouns are capitalized.
  • The title of the journal/periodical (italicized).
  • Volume number (italicized).
  • Issue number.
  • Page(s).
  • If a DOI has been assigned, include at the end.
    • If no DOI was assigned, but the article was accessed online, use the URL in place of the DOI.
           Author, A., Second, B.B., Third, C.C., & Fourth, D. (Year of publication). Title of article. Title of Periodical or Journal, volume number(issue number), pages. DOI or URL.
    • Sometimes, a reference may be from a magazine or newspaper, in which the following reference style is utilized:
           Author(s). (Year of publication, Month[spelled out] day). Title of magazine/newspaper article (only the first word is capitalized). Magazine/newspaper title, volume number, page(s). 
    • If a review is being referenced (i.e. a review of a book), the following format is used:
           Author(s). (Year of publication). Title of the review [Review of the book Title of the book, by Author(s)].Journal or Periodical Title, volume number, pages.

Reference List: Books and Printed Sources

  • In a reference list, books are referenced in the following basic format:
    Author(s). (Year of publication). Title of book: Subtitle if applicable.
    Location: Publisher.
  • The location is the city and state (two letter abbreviation without periods).
    • Example: New York: NY.
  • If the referenced work was republished, both dates should appear in reference.
  • If a later edition of a book is used, be sure to include the edition that is being referenced, not the first edition. Below is an example: 
    Author(s). (Year of publication). Title of book (Number ed.). City, State: Publisher.
  • If only an article or chapter is being referenced from an edited book, follow this format:
    Author(s). (Year of publication). Title of chapter. In A. Editor & B. Editor (Eds.), Title of book  (pages of chapter or article).
    Location(State is abbreviated): Publisher.
  • If a reference is being cited from a multivolume work, use the following format:
    Authors(s). (Ed.). (Year of publication). Title of work (Vols a-b). Location        
             (State): Publisher.
  • If a reference is being cited from an entry in an encyclopedia, the format will go as follows:
    Author(s). (Year of publication). Title of encyclopedia entry. In Title of Encyclopedia. (Volume 
              number, page[s]). City of publication, State of publication (Two letter abbreviation):     
  • Sometimes work is discussed in a secondary source (i.e. an article that is cited within another article), which holds different formats for the in-text citation and the citation in the reference list. Give the secondary source in the references list, but in-text, name the original work, and cite the secondary source in parentheses. Follow this example:
    • There is Article A by Doe, J. (1998), and Article B by Smith, A. (2004). Article A is cited in Article B, and the information from Article A is being used in the paper.

      For the in-text citation: Note Article A, but cite Article B:
            In Doe’s (1998) study (as cited in Smith, 2004),…

      For the reference list: List the source the work was discussed in:

Smith A. (2004). Title of work. Title of Journal, volume number, pages.

  • It is possible to cite a dissertation, but as a rule of thumb, this should not be a regularly used source.
      • To cite a published dissertation:

Author. (Year of publication). Title of dissertation (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from Name of
          database. (Accession or Order Number).

      • To cite an unpublished dissertation:

Author. (Year). Title of dissertation (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Name of Institution,

  • If a reference is being cite from a government document, use the following format:                                                                                                   

Government Organization. (Year of publication). Title of government
          document: Subtitle if applicable
(Publication number). City, state:   U.S. Government printing office.

  • If a reference is being cited from a private organization, format the following way:

Name of Organization. (Year of publication). Title of document: Subtitle if
(Ed.) City, state of publication: Author.

Reference list: Electronic, web-based, and non-print sources

  • If no DOI was assigned, the URL from which the article was retrieved must be included. Example:
    • If the reference is from an online periodical, follow the same guidelines for printed articles, including the page range and DOI (if applicable).

Author(s). (Date of publication). Title of article. Title of Online Periodical,
          volume number
(issue number), page range (if applicable).  DOI.

Author(s). (Year of publication). Title of article. Title of Online Periodical,
          volume number
(issue number), page range. Retrieved from

  • If only an abstract is cited, but the full text of the article is available online, cite the abstract as any other online citation
    • Add “[Abstract]” after the article/source name.
    • If the full text is not available, it is permitted to use the abstract as a secondary source

Author(s). (Year of publication). Title of article: Subtitle if applicable
          [Abstract]. Title of Journal, volume number(issue number), page     range.

Author(s). (Year of publication). Title of article: Subtitle if applicable. Title
          of Journal, volume  number
(issue number), page range. Abstract
          retrieved from Title of Abstract database. (Accession No. ______)

  • If a reference is being used from an online newspaper article, use the following format:

Author(s). (Year, Month Day). Title of article. Title of Newspaper. Retrieved

  • Electronic books may include books from websites, databases, or audio form.
  • Only use the following format if the book is only available electronically, or is difficult to find in print.
    • If a book is available in both print and electronic form, include the year of publication in reference (in parentheses, after author’s name).
    • If there is no available publication date, put “(n.d.). after the author’s name, where the year of publication would normally go.
    • If a DOI is available, include it at the end of the reference.
  • If the work is not directly available or must be purchased, used “Available from” rather than “Retrieved from”
  • To reference an e-book (e.g. Kindle books), the following information is needed:
    • The author
    • Date of publication
    • Title
    • E-book version
    • DOI (if assigned) or place where book was downloaded (This information is used in place of publisher information)

Author(s). (Year of publication). Title of book. [E-book version]. Retrieved

  • If only a chapter or section of an online document or book chapter is being referenced, use the following format:

Author(s). (Date of publication). Title of article. In Title of book or document (chapter or section number). Retrieved from

  • If referencing an online book review, cite the information as would normally be for the work being referenced
    • Include [Review of the book Title of reviewed work]
    • If the review is available to anyone, include “Retrieved from”; if the review is from a subscription or database, include “Available from” with the URL.

Author(s). (Year of publication, Month day). Title of review [Review of the
          book Title of book]. Retrieved from

  • If an online encyclopedia or dictionary is being referenced, there is often no bylines. When this is the case:
    • Move the entry name to the front of the citation
    • Provide publication dates (if applicable) or specify no date is present in the entry by including “(n.d.).”

Entry Name. (n.d.). In Name of Encyclopedia or Dictionary online. Retrieved from

  • If referencing a data set, use the following format:
    • If raw data are available through a website, include “Retrieved from”
    • If the data are only available through a general place that has data on the site, include “Available from”

Author/Organization. (Year of publication). Title of data set [Data file]. Retrieved from

  • Although heavy discretion is advised when considering referencing a nonperiodical web document, use the following information if the work is deemed acceptable:
    • Sometimes not all of the information is available; provide as much as possible

Author(s). (Date of publication). Title of document. Retrieved from

(All information derived from and