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Citing Sources: Formatting a References Page

A guide to citing sources in MLA, APA, and Chicago format.

References Page

The References page is an alphabetical list of all the sources you cite in your paper. 

Here are some basic rules to follow when creating your References page:

  • The References page should be placed at the end of your paper and should have a page number, continuing on from the paper.
  • The References page should begin on a new page.
  • The References page should be double spaced and the second line of each entry should be a hanging indent. To get this in MS Word:
    • Select all text, and then right-click it.
    • From the pop-up menu, select Paragraph.
    • To double-space the text, under Spacing, Line Spacing, select Double.
    • To add a hanging indent, under Indentation, Special, select Hanging. This indents the lower lines of each entry 0.5” from the left.
  • Alphabetize each entry/reference on your References page by author’s last name, or if the author’s name is not given, by the title of the first work.
  • Alphabetical arrangement of author names is generally done letter by letter. Alphabetize the prefix Mc and Mac as if they were both spelled Mac.
    • Descartes, R.
    • De Sica, V.
    • McAllister, P.
    • MacDonald, R.
  • If there are multiple works by one author, the date should distinguish the works. 
    • Dr. Seuss (1985)
    • Dr. Seuss (1988)
  • Capitalize only the first word and the first word following punctuation as well as proper names in the title of the work. For periodical names, capitalize all significant words. For example: Criminal  Behaviour & Mental Health.
  • The running head should be in the top left corner in the header. 
  • The page number should be in the top right corner in the header.


Example References page

FAST FOOD                                                                                 7 



Davis, B. (2009). Proximity of fast-food restaurants to schools

and adolescent obesity. American Journal of Public

Health, 99(3), 505. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2008.137638

Food Fight: Childhood obesity and the food industry. ABC News

Productions. (2006). New York, N.Y.: Films Media Group,

[2006], c2003.

Lin, B., Guthrie, J., & Frazao, E. (2001). American children's

diets not making the grade. Food Review, 24(2), 8-17.

Overweight and Obesity: A growing problem. (2012, April  27).

            Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved

   June 20, 2012, from: /obesity/childhood/problem.html