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APA Referencing - Education & Counselling students: Reference lists

This guide provides information on how to reference using the APA 6th edition referencing style. PLEASE NOTE: Theology students should use Chicago Footnote Style

Reference Lists

Reference List Rules

The reference list is located at the end of your assignment and should include all the details of every source you have referred to in your assignment. NB: APA Style does not use bibliographies (all sources you read) but a reference list (only sources you refer to in your assignment). 

Reference lists should be organised alphabetically, according to authors' names, and then chronologically if there is the same author for two or more references e.g.

Ames, M. (2013). Engaging "apolitical" adolescents: analyzing the popularity and educational potential of dystopian literature post-9/11. High School Journal, 97(1), 3-20.

Arnold, M., & Kunzel, B. (2007). Speculative fiction: classroom must-reads. English Journal, 97(1), 118-122.

Board of Studies NSW. (2012). Suggested texts for the English K-10 syllabus.  Sydney, NSW: Author.

Board of Studies NSW. (2014). English Stage 6 prescriptions: area of study, electives and texts: Higher School Certificate 2015-2020. Sydney, NSW: Author.

Note that the title of the book or journal article should be italicised and hanging indents should be used (i.e. if the reference goes onto a second line, the second line is indented).


There are acceptable abbreviations in the reference list for parts of the books:

Abbreviation Book or publication part
ed. edition
Rev. ed. Revised edition
2nd ed. Second edition
Ed. (Eds.) Editor (Editors)
et al. and others
n.d. No date
No. number (series)
p. (pp.) page (pages)
para. paragraph
Pt. part
Vol. Volume (not used for journals)

Sample Reference List

Sample Reference List

Formatted in MS Word


Hanging Indents

Hanging indents are used to align the first author's surname with the margin and wrap the second and subsequent lines of the reference using an indent. The instructions for hanging indents in MS Word are:

  1. Select the text of the reference list
  2. Select Paragraph Settings
  3. Select the drop-down list under Special
  4. Choose Hanging
  5. Type a measurement, e.g. 1.27 cm. This is the size of the indentation of the second and subsequent lines from the margin.
  6. Click OK


The reference list uses the same line spacing as the body of your assignment (1.5 or double-spaced). A blank line between entries is optional.


Several works by different authors with the same surname are ordered by first initial:

Mathur, A. L., & Wallston, J. (1999)
Mathur, S. E., & Ahlers, R. J. (1998)

References by the same author with the same publication date are arranged alphabetically by title (excluding or The). Place lowercase letters--a, b, c, and so forth--immediately after the year, within the parentheses:

Baheti, J. R. (2001a). Control ...
Baheti, J. R. (2001b).  Roles of ...

(American Psychological Association, 2010, p. 182-183)

No author or group authors

If an organisation or group is given as the author, i.e. there are no individual author names given, write the organisation's name in full as the author. Write Author as the publisher if the organisation is also the publisher. For Endnote users, type a comma at the end of the organisation's name in the author field to stop Endnote abbreviating the organisation's name as though it is an individual's name.

If there is no author, use the title in the place of the author and alphabetise by the first significant word in the title.

(American Psychological Association, 2010, p. 183)

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