How to Format an APA Reference Page

Contributor: Melissa Kowalski. Lesson ID: 11925

If you cited sources in your essay, you must have found the information important. Others may want to read for themselves, so you need a reference page with complete information. Here's the APA way!



English / Language Arts
learning style
personality style
Grade Level
High School (9-12)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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"Hmmmm . . . This writer made an interesting point in this essay. I wonder where the writer got this information? I'd like to read more." Read more about how and where to use the reference page in an APA-style essay!

The reference page is the final page in an APA-style essay.

For instruction on formatting the APA-style essay itself, view the Elephango lesson under Additional Resources in the right-hand sidebar.

  • It is placed after the last page of the essay.
  • On this page, the full citations are included for all of the sources cited in the text of the essay.
  • A source must have at least one in-text citation in order for it to be placed on the reference page when using the APA formatting style.
  • The following steps should be followed to format the reference page correctly:
  1. The reference page starts on a new page after the end of the essay.
  2. The title of the paper is left-justified (this means flush to the left-hand margin) in the header on the reference page.
  3. The page number is right-justified (this means flush to the right-hand margin) in the header on the reference page.
  4. The title, "References," is centered at the top of the page. The title is written in Times New Roman 12pt font and is written in regular font with no bolding, underlining, italics, or "quotation marks."
  5. The sources cited in the paper have their full citations listed in alphabetical order from A-Z on the page.
  6. Citations are alphabetized using the first letter of the last name of the source's author. If the source has no named author, the first letter of the source's title is used for alphabetization purposes.
  7. The citations are double-spaced with no extra space between citations.
  8. Citations longer than one line use the hanging indent format where the first line of the citation is flush to the left-hand margin and subsequent lines are indented by one tab (if typing) or one half-inch (if handwriting).

To view an example of a correctly-formatted APA-style reference page, see References from Jefferson Community and Technical College. Take any notes about this page that you find useful; you may even want to print out this sample APA reference page as a reference for yourself.

Why do you think the reference page uses the hanging indent format for sources longer than one line? Tell your parent or teacher your answer, then move on to the Got It? section to see if your hunch was correct!

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