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Citing sources in APA style 7th ed.

Crediting sources and formatting references according to the style of the American Psychological Association (APA). Based on the 7th edition of the Publication Manual of the APA.


At the end of a paper or publication the reference list is included. Here you find references of all of the publications that are cited in the text. Do not include references of publications that are not cited in the text. The reference list is named "Reference list" or "References". The references are arranged in alphabetical order. Please note however: never change the order of author names within a reference! The rules for sorting the references you find in the next box.

Some basic rules for the reference list:

  • Start the first line of a reference at the left margin, but indent the next line(s) of a reference a few positions to the right (hanging indent).
  • If there is no year, use (n.d.) instead of the year; this means: no date.
  • If there are twenty authors, then list all twenty. If there are more than twenty authors, list the first nineteen, then comma and  . . .  and list the last author.
  • Multiple editors of a book are formatted the same way as multiple authors.
  • In titles of books and articles use upper case only for the first word of the title and the first word of the subtitle. In titles of journals and serial works use upper case except for articles, prepositions, conjunction words,
  • Certain parts of a reference are given in italics (for instance the title of a book, the name and volume of a journal).
  • Insert a space after each punctuation mark unless the punctuation mark is followed by another punctuation mark. An exception is the opening parenthesis: do not include a space after the opening parenthesis. Before the opening parenthesis insert a space even if a punctuation mark is placed there.

In the next part of this module you find reference examples for different publication types. Pay attention to punctuation, use of italics, parentheses and brackets and the use of upper and lower case. These are prescribed. Not all of the rules of the Publication manual with regard to references are given here. For complete information, please use the manual.


As said, the references are arranged in alphabetical order by the surname of the first author followed by his or her initials.
Disregard any spaces, capitalisation, hyphens, apostrophes, periods, and accent marks.
Please note: never change the order of author names within a reference!

Use the following rules for special cases:

  • if references have the same first author, entries with one author precede multi-author entries.‚Äč

Kaufman, J. R. (2014).

Kaufman, J. R., & Cochran, D. F. (2012).

  • entries with the same first author but different second or third authors are arranged alphabetically by the surname of the second author or, if the second author is the same, the surname of the third author, and so on.

Kaufman, J. R., Jones, K., & Cochran, D. F. (2008).

Kaufman, J. R., & Wong, D. F. (2014).

  • references with the same author(s) are arranged by year of of publication, the earliest first.

Kaufman, J. R., & Jones, K. (2009).

Kaufman, J. R., & Jones, K. (2011).

  • references by the same author(s) and the same publication year are arranged alphabetically by title (excluding particles as A and The). Place lowercase letters (a, b, c, and so forth) immediately after the year.

Kaufman, J. R. (2010a). The control . . .

Kaufman, J. R. (2010b). Roles of . . .

  • references of authors with the same surname and different initials are arranged alphabetically by initials.

Eliot, A. L. (2014).

Eliot, G. E. (2010).

  • references from authors with the same surname and initials but different suffixes are sorted by birth order, the oldest first.

Templar, G., Sr. (2022).

Templar, G., Jr. (2016).

  • if names have prefixes, put this prefix first and keep the author's preferred capitalisation.

de Bernières, L. (2020).

De Smet, K. (1978).

d'Haenens, L. (2022).

van der Waal, P. G. (1999).