A paper is as perfect as its reference list. Even the best ideas can be undermined by an improper system of referencing from the perspective of the academic audience. A well-maintained APA reference list format gives a great academic finish. Our writing service helps to format an APA reference list according to current standards.

While there are several types of referencing styles (for example, MLA, Chicago, Harvard, and Turabian, to name a few), APA is one of the most frequently used styles in the US and the UK. Interestingly, it was first introduced in 1929 and continues to receive updates from the American Psychological Association. The current version is the 7th edition. Some papers are still mistakenly formatted according to the 6th version and may receive lower grades.

Often, students get confused about the particularities of APA. Our writing company is happy to guide you through the most important aspects of writing a reference list in APA format.

The Definition of an APA Reference List and Style

APA style offers a comprehensive approach to in-text citations and directs readers toward sources. An APA reference list is the preferred formatting option for papers dealing with social work, psychology, anthropology, and other social and behavioral sciences. An APA reference list format should contain the main information about sources such as an author, publication date, and more. Ideas in this style may be quoted, paraphrased, and summarized using the material from primary and secondary sources.

The given style has the potential to reduce bias in language and helps deal with plagiarism issues. This aspect makes it critical to manage an APA format citation reference list.

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The Basics of Reference List Entries

While referenced sources may look confusing due to specific punctuation rules and information, a format for reference lists includes specific and well-defined entries. As such, an APA reference list format focuses on author-date entries as they appear in alphabetical order. These entries create a unique identifier for each source and should indicate:

  • The author (or authors). It can be one person, a few individuals, an organization.
  • The title. Regardless of its length, the title should always be fully included.
  • The type of publication. Readers need to understand whether an article, book (or a chapter), webpage, report, video, or other type is used.
  • The date of publication. This entry tells the readers if the source is relevant and current. Note most educational institutions expect to see sources published within the last 5 years. However, secondary sources may be older.
  • The publisher. This entry is important because it adds credibility. Note, the current 7th edition does not require to include the place of publication.
  • Additional details. It is essential to include volume and issue number (especially for articles) and page range.

These elements have practical uses and enable readers to find each source in search of additional information. If a reader cannot find a particular source on the list, an essay, research paper, and other assignment types lose their integrity and academic value. To prevent such an outcome, students search for help with phrases like ‘format my APA reference list,’ or ‘how to write a reference list in APA format,’ or even ‘how to format my reference page in APA.’

What Goes in an APA Reference List?

The list should follow the accepted structure and help the readers navigate through sources. When in doubt, it is better to include information that answers the main questions regarding a specific source:

  • Who created the work? The goal is to mention all responsible for a source. Note, the current edition requires specifying the names of all responsible, even if an article has 10 authors. The form et al. may be used only in the text.
  • What is the title? The title should be clearly indicated. For example, when a student writes a paper on Jonathan Swift and mentions his works, it is better to include a full title, ‘Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World. In Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and then a Captain of Several Ships’ rather than ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ to prevent misunderstanding.
  • When was a source published? A good writer always checks for new editions.
  • How to access a source? This question involves information about a publisher and a link (if available).

It is important to gather information about each source to format an APA reference list properly and make it look good. Students can always ask for help online to receive professional assistance and be sure that all formatting rules are followed to the letter.

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The Key Rules of Creating an APA References List

A quick search for the main rules on the web offers more than 60,000,000 results. Interestingly, many pages copy and paste the same information. The problem is that they may lack changes that the current edition has and offer information that is hard to read. Here is the list of rules divided by major aspects such as authors and titles to help grasp important formatting ideas.

Author. This point is essential and deserves special attention.

  • The use of inverted names. For example, if Severus Snape were to publish something, his entry would have been Snape, S.
  • The author’s initials should include first and middle names. For example, professor Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore should be referenced as Dumbledore, A. P. W. B.
  • Include up to 20 authors. Each author contributes to a published work and deserves to be mentioned.

Title. Titles can be tricky to handle and require precision.

  • Only the first letter should be capitalized. If a title includes a colon or dash, then the first letter of the first word that follows these elements should be capitalized.
  • APA is distinguished by rules that ask to avoid italics, underlining, and ‘quotation marks’ in titles.

Punctuation Rules. It is a critical and yet most neglected aspect of such an assignment.

  • Each reference entry requires a period. A full stop should appear after the author, date, title, and other elements. But, there is no need to use a period after URL or DOI.
  • When a title is shaped like a question, it should end with a question mark and not a full stop.
  • No need for a comma to distinguish between the journal volume and issue. APA prefers the use of parentheses.

Hundreds of manuals have additional information on the rules that may be consulted to format a book, article, video, dissertation, report, web page, and any other source. The problem is that such formatting requires too much time. A good solution is to use an automatic generator and deal ‘reference list APA format alphabetical order’ much faster. However, no generator is perfect, and almost every entry requires changes to make it proper. We offer professional assistance and our reputable APA reference list formatting service.

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