APA: how to make a reference list

When you refer to someone else's work in your paper, you need to include that source in the reference list. A reference list only contains sources that were cited or referred to in your paper. Background readings do not belong in your reference list (but they can go in your bibliography).

Compiling a reference list is necessary but hard work, so try to add sources while you are writing. That way you do not have to return to your paper after completing it to figure out where you quoted whom. You can use reference software (like EndNote or Mendeley) which will update your reference list automatically. You can also create the list manually.

Below, you can find some concrete examples of how to refer to sources in your reference list, according to APA 7th edition:

  • (E-)book with one or more authors
  • (E-)book with one or more editors
  • Contribution by an author
  • Article in an (e-)journal

 

(E-)book with one or more authors

The word 'book' carries a broad meaning in this context. It can refer to a classic (physical) book, but also to a course pack, brochure, thesis, ... or their online versions. If the source is not a book, you need to indicate which type it is between square brackets.

  • last name
  • comma (,)
  • initial(s) of the first name(s) (with space, no academic title such as "Prof.")
  • period (.)

[If the book has multiple authors, repeat these steps. Put an ampersand (&) before the last author.]

  • year of publication in round brackets, followed by a period (.)
  • title : subtitle in italics
  • number of the edition, followed by ed., in round brackets
  • period (.)
  • the form of publication in square brackets if it is a course pack, thesis, etc, followed by a period (.)
  • publisher
  • period (.)

[If it is an online publication, you add the following information]

  • DOI (preferable) or stable URL

Examples

De Loy-Hendrickx, A., Uyttendaele, M., Vermeulen, A., Jaxsens, L., & Devlieghere, F. (2018). Microbiological guidelines : support for interpretation of microbiological test results of foods. die Keure.

Raschka, S., & Mirjalili, M. (2019). Python machine learning : machine learning and deep learning with Python, scikit-learn, and TensorFlow (3rd ed.). Packt.

Todaro, M. P., & Smith, S. C. (2020). Economic development (13th ed.). Pearson.

Wang, B. (2021). The functional role of understorey herbs for litter decomposition in temperate forests. [Doctoral dissertation, Ghent University]. Online Universiteit Gent. https://biblio.ugent.be/publication/8692201/file/8692480

 

(E-)book with one or more editors

  • last name
  • comma (,)
  • initial(s) of the first name(s) (with space, no academic titles such as "Prof.")
  • period (.)

[If the book has multiple editors, repeat these steps. Put an ampersand (&) before the last editor.]

  • (Ed.). or (Eds.).
  • year of publication in round brackets, followed by a period (.)
  • title : subtitle in italics
  • number of the edition, followed by ed., in round brackets
  • period (.)
  • publisher
  • period (.)

[If it is an online publication, you add the following information]

  • DOI or stable URL

Examples

Rüegg, S., Häsler, B., & Zinsstag, J. (Eds.). (2018). Integrated approaches to health : a handbook for the evaluation of One Health. Wageningen academic publishers. https://doi.org/10.3920/978-90-8686-875-9

Damodaran, S., Fennema, O. R., & Parkin, K. (Eds.) (2017). Fennema's food chemistry (5th ed.). CRC Press/Taylor & Francis.

 

Contribution by an author

If you are using a contribution (article, chapter) from a book by a different editor, you put it in the reference list like this:

  • last name of the author
  • comma (,)
  • initial(s) of the first name(s) (with space, no academic titles such as "Prof.")
  • period (.)

[If the contribution has several authors, repeat these steps. Put an ampersand (&) before the last editor.]

  • year of publication in round brackets, followed by a period (.)
  • title of the contribution
  • period (.)
  • In
  • initial(s) of the first name(s) of the editor (with space, no academic title such as "Prof.")
  • last name of the editor
  • comma (,)
  • (Ed.).
  • title : subtitle in italics
  • open round brackets
  • pp.
  • page numbers
  • close round brackets, followed by a period (.)
  • publisher
  • period (.)

[If it is an online publication, you add the following information]

  • DOI or stable URL

Examples

Petitte, J. N. & Davis, G. (1999). Breeding and genetics. In D. C. Deeming (Ed.), The ostrich : biology, production and health (pp. 275-292). CABI publishing.

Verwoerd, D.J., Deeming, D. C., Angel, C. R. & Perelman, B. (1999). Rearing environments around the world. In D. C. Deeming (Ed.), The ostrich : biology, production and health (pp. 191-216). CABI publishing.

 

Article in an (e-)journal

  • last name
  • comma (,)
  • initial(s) of the first name(s) (with space, no academic titles such as "Prof.")
  • period (.)

[If the article has several authors, repeat these steps. Put an ampersand (&) before the last editor.]

  • year of publication in round brackets, followed by a period (.)
  • title of the article
  • period (.)
  • title of the periodical in italics
  • comma (,)
  • volume of the periodical in italics
  • comma (,)
  • number of the periodical between round brackets
  • comma (,)
  • page number(s)
  • period (.)

[If it is an online publication, you add the following information]

  • DOI or stable URL

[If the article has been retracted, you must add the following (see the APA website for an example):]

  • open round brackets
  • Retraction published
  • year
  • comma (,)
  • title of periodical in italics
  • comma (,)
  • volume of the periodical in italics
  • comma (,)
  • number of the periodical between round brackets
  • comma (,)
  • page number
  • close round brackets

Examples

Boyer, S., Kim, Y. N., Bowie, M. H., Lefort, M. C., & Dickinson, N. M. (2016). Response of endemic and exotic earthworm communities to ecological restoration. Restoration Ecology24(6), 717-721. https://doi.org/10.1111/rec.12416

Rovero, F., Rathbun, G. B., Perkin, A., Jones, T., Ribble, D. O., Leonard, C., & Doggart, N. (2008). A new species of giant sengi or elephant‐shrew (genus Rhynchocyon) highlights the exceptional biodiversity of the Udzungwa Mountains of Tanzania. Journal of Zoology274(2), 126-133.

 

Source reference

American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.). https://doi.org/10.1037/0000165-000

Pollefliet, L. (2018). Schrijven : van verslag tot eindwerk : do's & don'ts. 9e herw. dr. Gent: Academia Press.

 

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Last modified Sept. 2, 2022, 10:54 a.m.