APA Reference Page – Definition, Format and Example

06.08.20 APA citation & referencing Time to read: 5min

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APA is a short form of the American Psychological Association (APA). It is a style of academic writing and formatting educational documents such as books and scholarly journal articles. The style was established in 1929. It was established by a group of professionals comprising of anthropologists, psychologists, and business managers who wanted a more straightforward style of scientific writing. It is used for the formatting of academic papers in the field of social and behavioral sciences.

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APA Reference Page - FAQs

The APA reference page comes last in the APA referencing style. It should contain all the sources used in the paper arranged in alphabetical order. The indent in the APA reference page must be hanging, and the title of the page indicated as ‘References’ and formatted to the center of the page. The spacing of an APA reference page should be double or as the rest of the paper.

No, you do not number the references in an APA reference page. The references in APA are not numbered; instead, all the references cited should be listed in alphabetical order. All the references contained in the APA reference page must be mentioned in the text following the APA style in-text citation guidelines.

The American Psychological Association expects that the use of the 7th edition will gain momentum, and more people will start using the new guidelines. It estimates that from the spring of 2020 going forward, the new guidelines will begin taking effect. If you are a student, however, it is advisable that you check with your supervisor before you adopt the changes.

The 7th edition APA manual is out and can be purchased online at Amazon. Moreover, it is available in three versions as a paperback, hardcover, or spiral-bound. You can also get it as a softcopy at RedShelf.

Definition: APA Reference Page

The APA reference page is the last page of your academic paper. It must be written on a new page after concluding your work. You have to title it ‘References’ and place the headline at the top center. An APA reference page must contain all the sources cited in the paper with the authors arranged in alphabetical order, double-spaced and with a hanging indent.

APA Reference Page for a Website

Websites form a significant part of sources used hence the need to ensure you cite them correctly both in-text and on the APA reference page. When doing an in-text citation for a site in APA, you do not need to mention the complete web address. Instead, use the last name of the author of the web page and the date or the title of the web page and the year.

Example of in-text citation for a website in APA style

Format: Last name, (Year, Month Date Published). Article title or web page title. Retrieved from URL


On the APA reference page

Uri, J. (2019, June 14). Fifty years ago: Nearly one month to boots in lunar dust. Retrieved from https://roundupreads.jsc.nasa.gov/pages.ashx/1184/Fifty%%20Month%20to%20Boots%20in%20Lunar%20Dust.

In-text citation

(Uri, 2019). – If the author’s name is available.


(Psychological Development, 2017). – If the author is not given, use the title and the year of publication.

GOOD TO KNOW: Read our article about the APA Title Page!

APA Reference Page for a Book

Referencing a book in APA style comes within the text (parenthetical), where the references contain parentheses, and in the reference list. APA in-text citation comes with two components; the writer’s name and the year of publication. APA style parenthetical citation should feature immediately after the source in the paper and before any punctuation.

Structure of APA parenthetical citation for a book

(Author’ last name, year of publication)

Examples of APA style in-text citations for books:

(Brian, 2020) – One author

(Brian & Bravil, 2017) – Two authors

(Brian, Ken, Bill, Lin, & Fox, 2017) – Three to five authors

(Brian et al. 2017) – Many authors

APA Reference Page Generator

This is an online tool that one can use to generate an APA reference page. All that a user needs to do is fill in all the available information about their sources, and the generator will create the APA reference page automatically. The APA reference page generator will also generate parenthetical citations of the sources in the text where the information has been used.

APA Format Reference Page

In APA style, the reference page comes last in your paper. An APA reference page must contain a bibliography of all the sources used and cited in the article. The sources must be written on a separate page and be titled ‘References.’ Ensure that your title is formatted to the center at the top of the page. You also need to alphabetize the sources based on the first word of each reference. Finally, you should double-space the references and format with a hanging indent.

GOOD TO KNOW: Read our article about the Research Paper Outline!

APA Reference Page Example

Here is an example of an APA reference page:


In a nutshell

  • The APA style of referencing is a standard referencing format mostly used in the field of social and behavioral sciences.
  • When referencing, the central aspect is the author and year of publication, which means that they must appear in the parenthetical citation and in the APA reference page.
  • The APA referencing style requires a separate reference list where sources are listed in alphabetical order.
  • A cover page is needed and a running head is mandatory when formatting a paper in APA referencing format.
  • The latest version or the 7th edition of the American Psychological Association (APA) comes with numerous significant updates.
  • Each of the additions that feature in the version seeks to make the style more useful to all educational stakeholders, including teachers and students.
  • Among the features of the new edition are new procedures of formatting academic papers and new ways of citing sources in-text and in the APA reference page.
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