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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 word References should be at the top of the page, centered and in bold.
  • 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.
    • To do the hanging indent in Google Docs:
      • Format
      • Align and Indent
      • Indentation Options
      • Special - Hanging
  • 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 work.
  • Alphabetical arrangement of author names is generally done letter by letter
    • Descartes, R.
    • De Sica, V.
    • MacDonald, R.
    • McAllister, P.
  • 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 example: Salmonella: What is salmonellosis.
    • For periodical names, capitalize all significant words. For example: Criminal Behaviour & Mental Health.
  • Use a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) when possible instead of a url. Do not put a period at the end of the doi/url. Links can be either active (and in blue text) or inactive, but if the work is intended to be accessed online, it is recommended that the link is live.



Examples of References

See other pages under our APA 7 Style Tab for reference examples

or go to the APA webpage below.