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Referencing and Plagiarism: The Reference List

Referencing in the APA style.

Requirements for a Reference List

The requirements for a Reference List are as follows:

  • Double space all reference entries.
  • Give each entry a hanging indent, meaning that the first line of each reference is set flush left and subsequent lines are indented (5 to 7 spaces or 1.25cm)
  • Arrange entries in alphabetical order by the surname of the first author followed by initials of the author's given name.
  • The date used is the copyright/publication date.
  • Emphasise main titles in italics (not secondary titles - see the box "To Italicise or Not to Italicise" below).
  • Do not include personal communications such as private letters, telephone conversations, memoranda and informal electronic communications in the Reference List as they do not provide recoverable data. Cite these references only in text. 

An example of a book entry in the Reference List is as follows:

Brown, C.P., Green, H.W. & Snow, F.R. (2003). Economic

     sustainability in the developing countries. Milton: Wiley.

 

See  Quick Examples - End-text References for more information about the layout of different types of Reference List entries.

Some Tips to Remember for Reference Lists

  • Date of retrieval will not be required for internet websites, unless they are likely to change over time (e.g. wikis)
  • If there is no publication date, use the copyright date of the work
  • When a work is not dated it is noted as n.d. (no date).
  • Maintain the order of authors’ surnames as they are expressed in the source material. 

Alphabetizing Authors' Surnames in a Reference List

Here are some simple rules for listing authors in a Reference List:

  • Arrange entries in alphabetical order by the surname of the first author followed by initials of the author's given name.
  • Alphabetize letter by letter.

                 Example:    Singh, K         precedes Singh Siddhu, N

                                      Lopez, M.E    precedes Lopez de Molina, G

                                      Girard, J.B     precedes Girard-Perregaus, A.S

  •  Alphabetize the prefixes M', Mc and Mac literally, not as if they were all spelled Mac. Disregard the apostrophe.

                 Example:   MacArthur      precedes McAllister

                                     MacNeil          precedes M'Carthy

To Italicise or Not to Italicise?

Using italics in APA can be a little confusing.  

Generally, you should always italicise the title of the work you are referencing. 

The key thing to remember is that where there are two titles in the reference (e.g. a journal title and an article title, or a book title and a book chapter title, you must italicise the title of the main component (i.e. the journal title or book title) and not the sub component (i.e. the journal article title or the book chapter title).

For example:

Saunders, A. (2009). Lessons learned: Planning for post-disaster recovery and 
        reconstruction, The Australasian Journal of Trauma Studies, 2(4), 245-263.

Grant, K. (2011). A framework for thinking about technology pedagogy. In M. Beverly
       (Ed.), Technology for children: New trends in research. (pp. 87-103). London:
       Jossey-Bass.