Natural Therapies Institute

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How to Write a Paper in APA Style: Formatting the Reference

Just like APA style formats apply to the content of your paper, the same goes for the reference page of your paper. When writing a research paper, you will use in-text citations. These citations are a short-term reference to the source listed at the conclusion of your paper. When writing the APA format, this list of sources is known as the “references”, whereas with MLA we call this the “works cited”. Aside from stylistic differences, the function of the references or works cited is exactly the same. When formatting APA references, consider the source type, study formatting and use outside aids.

Consider the Source Type

When listing your sources at the end of your APA style paper, on the references page, you will need to determine what kind of source you are citing. Each source type (book, interview, article, audio, etc.) has its own APA style in which to be formatted. This information will include the important detailed information about the source, and its publication. You will need to know the source’s publisher, publication date, city of publication, author, and possibly more—again, depending on the source type. This can get to tricky, so we recommend studying APA formats, consulting style guides and using other outside aids.

Use Outside Aid

Studying the formats of APA can be good to help familiarize yourself with the expectations of the style, but no matter how confident you feel, we recommend consulting a style guide for assistance. APA formatting can have silly exceptions, and you would not want to lose points somewhere pointlessly. Other outside aids available when creating your reference page for your APA paper include citation generators. With a simple online search out will be able to locate a citation generator, a website dedicated to electronically creating your citations for you. Usually these generators can locate your source with only its title or ISBN number. These services are usually free, and have the option to export your citations in a word document for your convenience.

By considering your source type and using style guides, you will successfully create the reference page of your next APA formatted paper. With attention to detail, knowledge, and a little assistance your references page will give credit to the outside sources used throughout your term paper. You will be citing APA style in no time!


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