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APA Citation Style 7th ed.: Reference List Citations

Reference List Citations

Allow your reader to find and read the sources that influenced your work, those that supported or contradicted your argument.

Think about how readers will access these works. Using a specific reference list style allows your readers to tell which type of source each citation is. That requires following some very tedious and specific rules for creating reference lists.

Here's the start of a reference page:

top of a Reference page

Four Parts of a Citation

Author, A. (date). Title of thing. Publication info.

All reference list citations follow this general format.


Personal authors are cited as LastName. FirstInitial. SecondInitial. List all authors of a single article in the Reference List., up to 20. 

Ex. Padden, C. A.

For group author or organization names, capitalize all important words. Do not abbreviate.

Ex. National Institute of Mental Health.


Include the date in parentheses. For most publication types, only include the year.

Ex. (2015).

For newspapers or magazines, use the most specific date you can find.

Ex. (2015, Spring). or (2015, November 3).


For all titles, all words should be lowercase except for the first word of the title and the first word after a : or a . or a ? Also capitalize proper nouns.

Ex. Ready to pounce: After years of favoring dogs, researchers are finally probing the secrets of the feline mind.

Book titles should be italicized.

Ex. Unleashed fury: The political struggle for dog-friendly parks.


The publication section varies the most depending on the type of source. It gives more specific details on how to find the source, so it may include links to find a web page or a book's publisher or a film's production company. See the details below for what to include in each publication section and when to italicize and capitalize.

Reference List Citation Examples



Web Sources

Legal Sources

Other Sources


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Merrie Davidson
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