Professors at Confederation College will require you to format your assignments according to APA conventions and use the APA method for any paper or presentation that contains information taken from a source.
Always use the Confederation College APA Manual as a guide to ensure your work is correct.
After completing this chapter, you will be able to
- create a properly formatted reference page
- create complete reference entries for a variety of sources
The Reference Page
At the end of your paper, you need to include a References page that lists all of the sources that you cited within your paper. Each entry in the list contains information that will make it easy for your reader to find the source(s) that you used in your assignment.
The References page must be formatted according to APA style guidelines. The entries must be in alphabetical order, and you must use a “hanging indent”.
Watch this video to learn how to format a References page in Microsoft Word :
Reference Entry Guidelines
Each APA reference entry must be formatted in a very specific way to make it easy for the reader to understand the entry. Below are some general guidelines.
A reference entry will generally begin with listing the author(s) for the source you are using. The author’s name, unless otherwise stated, is always written in the following format:
Author’s Surname, Author’s 1st Initial
Example: Shannon, D.
If you are not sure which name is the author’s first name and which is the author’s last name, use the following guidelines:
|If there is no comma separating the name, the first name listed is the first name and the second name listed is the surname.||John Smith|
|If there is a comma separating the name, the first name listed is the surname and the second name listed is the first name.||Smith, John|
If you cannot decipher the difference between the first and last name, research another published work by the same author to decipher the difference between first and last name.
Sometimes your source has more than one author, two authors, three authors, or even a group author. Below are basic guidelines for referencing these types of sources:
|If you have two authors, separate the authors and using a comma and the ampersand symbol: , &||Nicholl, L., & Bourgeois N.|
|If you have three to twenty authors, separate the authors using a comma, and place & before the last author||Nicholl, L., Bourgeois, N., Shannon, D., & Cooke, C.|
|If the author is a group or organization, do not reverse the wording. State the group author’s name as it appears on its publication document.||Confederation College|
For additional information on how to format author names, consult the APA Manual.
Depending on how often the source is published, the publication date may vary. Any information you are given about the publication date should be listed in the reference entry:
|For a stand-alone source, use the copyright year as the date in the reference entry. This information should be found on the copyright page of the document.||(2020)|
|When an exact date is given and required, use the (year, month day) format. Use parentheses and write all months out in full.||(2020, September 7)|
|If only the year and month is given, use the (year, month day) format. Use parentheses and write all months out in full.||(2020, September)|
|If a combined month publication is given, use the (year, month/month) format. Use parentheses and write all months out in full.||(2020, September/October)|
|If the source is published by season or by month, use the (year, season) format.||(2020, Fall)|
|If the source does not have a publication date, type (n.d.) where the date should be in the reference entry.||(n.d.)|
APA Style uses two types of capitalization for titles of works: title case and sentence case.
The first letter of the first word and of any major words (nouns, verbs, and adjectives) are capitalized. Use title case for the following:
The Globe and Mail
New York Times
Journal of Wildlife Management
Journal of Educational Psychology
|news website titles||
In sentence case, only the first letter of the first word, and of any proper nouns, is capitalized. Use sentence case for the following:
|article titles||Oral care experiences of young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Intersections of Indigenous and environmental history in Canada
|book titles||Nursing interventions through time: History as evidence
Creative cognition: Theory, research, and applications
|report titles||Canada’s food guide.
Vaccine hesitancy in Canadian parents
|webpage titles||Human rights to water and sanitation
Skilling up: The scope of modern apprenticeship
|encyclopedia/dictionary titles||The Canadian encyclopedia
In reference entries, italics are used for the names of the following titles.
|book titles||Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire|
|report titles||Toronto and Region SPA Assessment Report|
|webpage titles||Thunder Bay area farmers dealing with losses and delays due to cold, snowy spring|
|journal titles||International Journal of Computer Engineering Research|
|newspaper titles||The Globe and Mail|
|encyclopedia/dictionary titles||The Canadian enyclopedia|
In addition to italicizing some types of titles, italics are also used for journal/magazine/newspaper volume numbers.
Boyer, Y. (2017, November 20). Healing racism in Canadian health care. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 189(46), E1408-E1409. https://doi.org/10.1503/cmaj.171234
Parentheses are used in two places in a reference entry: around the publication date and around the issue number (if provided).
Boyer, Y. (2017, November 20). Healing racism in Canadian health care. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 189(6), E1408-E1409. https://doi.org/10.1503/cmaj.171234
URL and Retrieval Statements
The URL in a reference entry must be an active link (your reader should be able to click on it). You must always click on the URL to ensure that it will bring your reader straight to the source that you have taken the information from.
Nelson, L. E. (2018, January 15). Racism and health care. The Globe and Mail. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/what-its-like-to-deal-with-racism-in-canadas-health-caresystem/article37600473/
You only need to include a retrieval date if the source you’ve used is a website that is continually updated and so the content may change frequently. To include a retrieval date statement, include the phrase before the URL: Retrieved Month day, year, from www……
Note: You do NOT need to include a retrieval date for most sources.
Government of Canada. (2020, March 13). Government of Canada takes action on COVID19. Retrieved May 6, 2020, from https://www.canada.ca/en/publichealth/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/canadas-reponse/governmentcanada-takes-action-covid-19.html
Test your understanding of APA general formatting guidelines by answering the following questions.
Reference Entry Examples
Below are the basic reference entry structures for commonly used sources. Remember to consult the APA Manual for additional examples.
If you have taken information from an eBook, you must include the DOI or URL that links directly to the online copy of the book at the end of the reference entry. You can add the URL or DOI to the end of any “Book”. Use the following format for a book written by one author.
Author’s Surname, 1st Initial. (Copyright Year). Title of the book. Publisher’s Name. DOI or URL.
Thompson, S. J. (2012). Homelessness, poverty, and unemployment. Nova Science Publishers. https://ebookcentral-proquest-com.confederation.idm.oclc.org/lib/confederation-ebooks/detail.action?docID=3019398
If you have taken information from an article by one author that was published in a periodical (peer-reviewed journal), use this format to create the reference entry. If you access articles using the college databases, be sure to use the permalink for the article.
Author’s Surname, Author’s 1st Initial.(Year, Month/Issue format). Title of the article. Title of the Periodical, Volume #(Issue Number), page range # – #. DOI or URL
Leydet, D. (2019, Summer). The power to consent: Indigenous peoples, states, and development projects. University of Toronto Law Journal, 69(3), 371-403. https://ra.ocls.ca/ra/login.aspx?inst=confederation&url=http://search.ebscohost.com/lo gin.aspx?direct=true&db=rch&AN=136789668&site=eds-live&scope=site
If you have taken information from a magazine article written by one author, use this format to create the reference entry.
Author’s Surname, Author’s 1st Initial. (Year, Month/Issue format). Title of the article. Title of the Magazine, Volume #(Issue Number), page range # – #. DOI or URL
Alter, C. (2020, April 20). A shift with Medic 61. Time, 195(14), 36-39. https://ra.ocls.ca/ra/login.aspx?inst=confederation&url=http://search.ebscohost.com/lo gin.aspx?direct=true&db=fth&AN=142644688&site=eds-live&scope=site
If you have taken information from an article in a printed newspaper, use this format to create the reference entry.
Author’s Surname, Author’s 1st Initial. (Year, Month Date). Title of the article. Title of the Newspaper, page #.
Mascoll, P., & Rankin, J. (2005, March 31). The day black police officers told Toronto’s police chief: ‘Racial profiling exists’. Toronto Star, A20.
If you have taken information from an article in an online newspaper, use this format to create the reference entry.
Author’s Surname, Author’s 1st Initial. (Year, Month Date). Title of the article. Title of the Newspaper. URL.
Shapiro, E. (2020, September 21). Finally, some students will return to New York city’s classrooms. New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/21/nyregion/prekschool-reopeningnyc.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage
If you have taken information from an article/webpage from an online news website, use this format to create the reference entry. If the webpage/article is continually updated, you need to input a retrieval date statement before the URL. Notice that in this case, the article title is italicized while the news source is not italicized.
Author’s Surname, Author’s 1st Initial. (Year, Month Date). Title of the article. Title of the News Website. URL
Evans, P. (2020, May 6). Shopify surges to within $1B of Royal Bank for title of most valuable company in Canada. CBC. https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/shopify-earnings-1.5557473
Government/Corporate Documents – Group Author
If you have taken information from an article/webpage from a government’s website, use this format to create the reference entry. If the webpage/article is continually updated, you need to input a retrieval date statement before the URL.
Author’s Surname, Author’s 1st Initial OR Group Author. (Year, Month Date). Title of the work. Publisher’s Name. URL
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, January 27). World NTD Day 2022: Care for the neglected—How CDC helps those with lymphatic filariasis. https://www.cdc.gov/globalhealth/ntd/features/NTD_feature_2022.html
If you have taken information from an online dictionary or encyclopaedia, use this format to create the reference entry.
Group Author. (Copyright Year). Entry title. In Title of the online dictionary. Publisher’s Name. Retrieval date, URL
Oxford University Press. (n.d.). Canadian colleges. In Oxford learner’s dictionaries. Retrieved May 5, 2020, from https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/literacy
Remember to consult your APA Manual every time you make a citation and reference. There are a lot of small rules to follow, and no one can remember them all. What you need to remember is to check your manual for each source to make sure you are including the correct information and that you’ve formatted that information correctly.
Many teachers recommend the OWL Purdue website. It has lots of information and examples to strengthen your understanding of APA guidelines.