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WAC/Health Sciences

References Page Formatting

The format for your reference page is the same as for other pages within your paper (12 point font, 1” margins, etc.) as described in the APA Paper Basic Format Section, but there are a few extra rules to remember:

  • Each reference source that you refer to in the body of your paper must be cited not just in-text, but also have the full reference information listed in the back of your paper in the “References” section.  This is the last section of your paper should have its heading, “References,” centered.  Your reference page should look like this:

Screen Shot References Page

  • Use hanging indentation.  This means that the first line of the citation is aligned left (all the way to the left), and following lines are one tab (five spaces) right.  This is the exact opposite of how paragraphs are indented.
    • On MS Word: Go to Format then go to Paragraph. On the Indents and Spacing tab, in the Indentation section, set Special to Hanging.


Screen Shot Hanging Indentation

  • Use only single spaces in between each space, period, and following word.
  • Use only regular font or italics (when necessary).  Do not use bold, underlining, or “quotation marks.”
  • Do not skip lines between references.  Use the same double-spacing that you use for the rest of your paper and do not skip any additional lines.
  • List your references alphabetically according to the first author’s last name.  [APA manual 4.04, p. 219]
  • If a source has more than one author, list them in the order they appear.  Do not alphabatize the authors within a source!  They are in order of who is most important, so keep the same order.


Screen Shot Alphabetized References

To see examples of how the references page is formatted, look in the APA Manual (5th ed.) on pages 305-320.

Back to the References Page

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