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APA 7th ed. Style Guide

Help with using the APA 7th ed. Style Guide for writing.

Alphabetizing and Ordering Authors

What to do with...

Two authors. Same last name. Different first names. Same publication years.

Rule: Order by first initials.

  • Brown, J. (2009). Ardent anteaters. Brockton.
  • Brown, M. (2009). Capriciousness. Harvard.


What to do with...

Entry by author who also appears as one of many authors in another resource.

Rule: Single author appears first in list.

  • Alone, A. (2008). By himself. Herald Publishers.
  • Alone, A., Other, B., & Other, C. (2011). With others. Herald Publishers.


What to do with...

One author. Two publications. No dates.

Rule: Add lower case letter.

  • Carlisle, M. A. (n.d.). Erin and the perfect 
  • Carlisle, M. A. (n.d.-b). Perfect pitch 

(NOTE: If there is no date of publication, use n.d.)


What to do with...

Two resources. One author. Same year.

Rule: Arrange alphabetically by title and add lower case letters to the year.

  • Double, C. (2008a). This is arranged alphabetically by the title. Peters.
  • Double, C. (2008b). This is the second. Peters.


General guidelines for the References page

  • The References page is usually the last section of the paper.
  • Start the References on a new page after the body of your paper.
  • The References page is called 'References' however, if only one source is used, the title should read 'Reference'.
  • The title should be bolded and centered.
  • Skip a line and then begin your list of references.
  • Use a hanging indent for each entry. The second line of each entry should be indented 5 spaces or 1/2 inch. (See tips below.)
  • All sources cited in the paper must appear on the Reference page except for
    • personal communications (such as private letters or telephone conversations) and
    • general references to whole websites. However, a specific page or item on the website must be included in the References.
  • List sources in alphabetical order, beginning with the author's last name followed by their first initial.

Example of indented last name, comma, first initial, period

screen shot example (book or eBook with no DOI)

This example refers to in-text citations such as:

  • In text quotation: He wrote, “It is important to cite sources” (Smith, 2012, p. 12).
  • In text paraphrase: Good grades can be achieved through creating proposals (Smith, 2012).

20201214 - rrh

Word document set up tip:

To create hanging indent spacing In Microsoft Word:

  • highlight your reference entries
  • right click
  • choose Paragraph
  • set your indentation to “Hanging” (See screen shot below.)

screen shot of MS Word paragraph settings to special indentation hanging and line spacing double


See examples of a References list using the APA 7th ed. format in the sample papers, below.

The References page format is the same for both Student and Professional papers.

See specific examples for how to list books, journal articles, the Bible, and other types of items in the dropdown menu under References.


DOIs and URLs


A DOI is a unique alphanumeric string that identifies content and provides a persistent link to its location on the internet. DOIs can be found in database records and the reference lists of published works.


A URL specifies the location of digital information on the internet and can be found in the address bar of your internet browser. URLs in references should link directly to the cited work when possible.

For more information about the use of DOIs and URLs in APA style, go to the APA website: