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APA 7th Edition Referencing Guide1

A Wintec Library guide to referencing in APA 7th edition style

Reference list

While the in-text citations in your assignment include just a few basic details (author, date, page/para.), the reference list provides much more information so your tutors/readers can locate the sources you have used. Reference list entries might include the full title and publication details of printed works, the names of editors (where applicable), a URL or DOI for electronic resources, and other information.

What's the difference between a bibliography and a reference list?

A bibliography is a list of all of the sources you read and which may have influenced or directed your research, whether or not you actually quote or paraphrase information from them in your work.

A reference list is a list of ONLY the sources whose information you quote directly or paraphrase in your work. Your tutors will usually only require you to include a reference list with your assignments.

Formatting the reference list

These guidelines will help you properly format your reference list in APA style:

  • Begin the reference list on a new page at the end of your assignment.
  • Title the reference list References in bold and centred at the top of the page.
  • Order your reference list alphabetically by author
  • Apply a hanging indent to each reference list entry. This means that the first line of each entry is left aligned, while the second and subsequent lines are indented (the Publication Manual recommends 0.5" or 1.27cm—the default in Microsoft Word).
  • The Publication Manual also recommends double-line spacing within and between reference list entries, but check your tutor or department's preferences.
  • Make all links to websites or DOIs live (hit the space bar after each entry).


A short sample reference list showing the correct title placement, alphabetisation, hanging indent, and double-spaced format:


Hales, M. (2015). Community health nursing. In A. Berman, S. Snyder, T. Levett-Jones, T. Dwyer, M. Hales, N. Harvey, Y. Luxford, L. Moxham, T. Park, B. Parker, K. Reid-Searl, & D. Stanley (Eds.), Kozier and Erb's fundamentals of nursing (3rd Australian ed., Vol. 1, pp. 127–141). Pearson.

Hubbard, J., Thomas, C., & Varnham, S. (2010). Principles of law for New Zealand business students (4th ed.). Pearson.

Stulz, J. (2006). Integrating exposure therapy and analytic therapy in trauma treatment. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 76(4), 482–488.

Formatting your reference list in Microsoft Word

Having entered and alphabetised your reference list entries in your document, highlight them all and click the little arrow in the paragraph section of the top ribbon to display the paragraph formatting dialog.

In the indentation section, select 'hanging'. Under spacing, set the line spacing on 'double'.


Click OK to save the settings. Your reference list should now have hanging indents and double line spacing!

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