Technically, there is no such thing as a "bibliography in APA format". A traditional bibliography is a list of all the sources consulted when researching and writing. However, some people use the term "bibliography" more freely to refer to the list of works cited in an article. In an article in APA format, you must provide a list of the works that you directly cite. In the APA format, this list is called the "references" page.
Method 1 of 3: Create APA References Manually
Step 1. Include the author's last name
Each font must have the author's last name and initials. Use a comma to separate the author's last name from the initials. Then put a period after the initials. If you need to include two authors for the same source, use an et sign between the names of both authors instead of using the word "and". If you need to include three to seven author names for a single source, put commas between the author names and an et sign before the last author's name. To include more than seven authors, place a comma between the authors 'names and then use an ellipsis to replace the authors' names between the sixth and last. Put an et sign before the last author's name.
- Example of a single author source: Krauss, L. M. (1993).
- Example of a source with two authors: Wegener, D. T., & Petty, R. E. (1994).
- Example of a source with three or more authors: Kernis, M. H., Cornell, D. P., Sun, C. R., Berry, A., Harlow, T., & Bach, J. S. (1993).
- Example of a source with more than seven authors: Miller, F. H., Choi, M. J., Angeli, L. L., Harland, A. A., Stamos, J. A., Thomas, S. T.,… Rubin, L. H. (2009). Title of the book. New York, NY: BasicBooks.
Step 2. Include the publication date
After the author's name, put the date the copyright was registered. For unpublished works, enter the date the material was written. Write the entire year in parentheses followed by a period.
- Example of the date for a book: (1999).
- Example of the date for a newspaper, magazine or newsletter: (June, 1993).
- Example of the date for daily or weekly posts: (September 28, 1994).
- Example for an undated work: (s.f.).
Step 3. Include the title of the source
After the date, the next element in each of the references should be the title of the source followed by a period. Also make sure that only the first word of the title is capitalized.
- Italicize book titles (for example, Call of the Wild).
- Do not italicize the headlines of newspaper, newspaper or magazine articles. Just include them as regular text (for example: "Getting good grades in chemistry: a story of trial and error").
Step 4. Include the place of publication and the name of the publisher
You only have to include the place of publication and the name of the publisher for the books. After the title of the book, include the place of publication. Include the city and state for US publications or the city, state (or province), and country name for non-US publications, then enter a colon and then the publisher's name. Put a period after this.
- Example: Boston, MA: Random House.
- Example: New York, NY: Scribner.
- Example: Palmerston North, New Zealand: Dunmore Press.
Step 5. Write the full name of the posts
After the title of an article, include the name of the publication. Use the full name of the magazine, newspaper or newspaper and use the same capitalization and punctuation as the publication. The full name should be italicized, and if the name is in English, capitalize all important words.
- For example, write ReCall instead of RECALL and Knowledge Management Research & Practice instead of Knowledge Management Research and Practice.
- Use the et sign if the magazine uses it instead of writing the word "y" or "and" in English.
Step 6. For periodicals, include the volume, edition, and page number
After the publication name, include the volume number, then the edition number in parentheses, and then the page numbers of the section you referenced in your essay. Be sure to italicize the volume number but not the edition or page numbers. Place a period after the last page number.
- Example: Publication title, volume number (edition number), referenced pages.
- For example: "Psychology Today, 72 (3), 64-84" or "The Statesman Journal, 59 (4), 286-295".
Step 7. Add the address for the online posts
When citing an article or other source that you found online, it is helpful to include the address. At the end of the reference, include the words "Retrieved from" and then provide the address.
- Example: Eid, M., & Langeheine, R. (1999). The measurement of consistency and occasion specificity with latent class models: A new model and its application to the measurement of affect. Psychological Methods, 4, 100-116. Retrieved from
- You do not need to include the access date for references in APA format.
Method 2 of 3: Create references in APA format with an online generator
Step 1. Choose an online generator
There are many good generators online that will automatically format your references. Most of these are free services. Free generators that instantly provide APA-formatted references include Bibme and Citation Machine. Find a generator and click on the box that says "APA."
- Some generators require you to provide your email address for referrals to be sent to you. However, they are best avoided because they could sell your information to companies that will fill your inbox with spam.
- Many indexed library databases also provide references in multiple formats, such as EBSCO. If you are going to use your university library databases, you should have the option of obtaining an APA reference for the source from the article page in the database.
- Just remember to check the references you get from an online generator because there could be errors.
Step 2. Select automatic fill mode or manual input mode
Most online generators default to auto-input mode but you should check to make sure you are in the correct mode. If, instead, you want to use the manual method, check that option. Using any of these options is a matter of preference.
- The autofill method will provide much of the information instantly, which you will then need to verify to make sure it is correct.
- The manual entry method will give you a form that you must fill out yourself where you will manually enter the authors' names, dates, and other relevant information.
- Make sure you choose the type of work you are going to cite. The BibMe generator has five main boxes: "magazine", "website", "book", "video" and "other". Click on the box that corresponds to the type of work you have to cite.
Step 3. Enter the title or web address
Depending on the type of source you need to cite, you could have a title or a web address. You can enter either the title or the address in the generator's text input box.
- For a magazine, enter the title.
- For a website, enter the address or a keyword. Usually using the address for the source will provide more accurate results.
- For a book, enter the title, author name, or ISBN. You can find the ISBN on the cover of the book, usually next to the price and the barcode. The ISBN will provide the most complete information.
- For a video, enter the address or a keyword. Management will provide more specific results.
- If you choose "Other", you will see a long list of alternative formats to choose from. Select the correct one (for example, "magazine article", "blog or podcast", "painting or artwork") and follow the instructions to manually enter the publication details.
Step 4. Locate the correct work in the list provided
The generator will provide you with a list of possible alternatives that fit the work you have to cite.
- If you provide specific information (like a web address or ISBN), this list will be short.
- If you enter less specific information (such as a keyword), you will get a longer list. The font may or may not be included depending on whether the generator finds it or not. If the source is not listed, try providing more specific information or using manual input mode.
- If you enter a common book title, you will see a list of options. Check the author and date to make sure you choose the correct one. For example, the title Nemesis will give you a list of 20 books, each by a different author.
Step 5. Click on the correct title
The generator will provide you with a form with all the possible details that you might have to provide for that type of work. The generator will fill in the relevant information for you, although you may have to fill in some blank boxes.
References should always include title, author, date of publication, place of publication, and publisher. If any of these elements are missing, you will have to consult the work itself to find this information
Step 6. Click "Create Reference"
There should be a button at the bottom of the form that leads you to create the reference. When you choose "Create Reference", the generator will place the reference in APA format.
- Copy and paste the generated reference if you want to add it manually to your list of references.
- Keep entering more works if you want the generator to compile a list of all your references in alphabetical order.
Step 7. Save the references as soon as you generate them
If you choose to create multiple references, most online generators will put the entire list together for you, and you can copy and paste (or download) it when you're done. However, it's a good idea to copy and paste them to a temporary list as you go along to avoid losing everything.
Step 8. Check your work
When you've compiled the references, read them to make sure there are no mistakes. The OWL Purdue Online Writing Lab website has an extensive list of style guides for the APA format, which you can check against your reference list to make sure everything is correct.
- Check for glaring misspellings or omissions, such as dates or author names.
- Check to make sure you've included all the fonts you wanted.
Method 3 of 3: Format Your References and Sort Them
Step 1. Create your "References" page
Your reference page should be a new page after the last page of your essay. Write the word "References" on the first line of the page and center it.
- Don't use bold, italic, or quotation marks around the word "References."
- The entire page must be double spaced.
- Do not add an extra line between the title "References" and the first reference.
Step 2. Use French sangria
When writing references, all lines must be indented except the first. The first line should be glued to the left margin. The second and subsequent lines of the reference should be indented 1.5 inches from the left margin. In your word processor, you can indent the entire list of references.
- To set the French indentation, open the "Paragraph" dialog box by clicking the little arrow to the right of the "Paragraph" section near the top of your MS Word document.
- After the dialog box opens, find the "Indentation" section.
- Click on the "Special" drop-down menu in this section and choose "French Sangria."
- References will now be French indented automatically.
Step 3. Put the fonts in alphabetical order
List your sources in alphabetical order using the author's last name. If the source has two or more authors, use the last name of the first author in the reference.
- Sort the references letter by letter. Remember that "nothing precedes something" or, in other words, the shorter version of two similar names must come first. For example, "Brown, J. R." I'd go before "Browning, A. R."
- Arrange the prefixes "M '", "Mc" and "Mac" exactly as shown. Don't order them as if they are all spelled "Mac".
- Ignore the apostrophes in the names. For example, "MacNeil" would go before "M'Carthy".
Step 4. Sort the sources by the same author chronologically
If you have two or more works by the same author (or two authors with the same name), arrange them chronologically by placing the oldest publication first and the most recent publication last.
Put single author references before multiple author references when the first author is the same. For example, "Alleyne, R. L. (2001)." would go before "Alleyne, R. L. & Evans, A. J. (1999)."
Step 5. Sort the authors in a group as you would the individual authors
The authors of a group (or references without authors) are ordered by the first important word of the name. Use the official full name of the group or organization. A parent company or organization must appear before its subsidiaries.
- For example, the "American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals" should be spelled like this, not "ASPCA."
- For example, you should write "University of Michigan, Department of Psychology" instead of "Department of Psychology, University of Michigan."
Step 6. Use the title of the book if it has no author
When there is no single author or group for a publication, the title of the work is placed in the position of the author in the reference. Sort these references by the first important word in the title.