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APA Citations 7th Edition

General Tips

When information normally included in a reference is missing:

  • Author, use title instead. The basic reference format would be -
    • Title. (Date). Source.
  • Date, use "n.d." for "no date" within the ( ). The basic reference format would be -
    • Author. (n.d.). Title. Source.
  • Title, provide a description of the work in [ ]. The basic reference format would be -
    • Author. (Date). [Description]. Source.
  • If more than one of these elements is missing, the above can be combined. For example, if all three were missing, the basic reference format would be -
    • [Description]. (n.d.) Source.
  • Source, there would be no reference list entry because it would be handled as a personal communication.

If you want to use a specific part of a reference source, such as a table or an image, provide an entry for the entire work in the reference list. The specific part is then identified in the in-text citation. 

Basic rules for laying out your reference list:

  • start on a new page at the end of your paper
  • page numbering continues uninterrupted throughout the references list
  • center the bolded title, "References," at the top of the page
  • double-space between the title and the first source, and for the entire list
  • continue it on as many pages as necessary
  • alphabetize all citations in the list by the first word(s)
  • use a "hanging indent" for all reference list entries (first line flush left, subsequent lines indented .5 inch)

Learn how to create hanging indents automatically in Word by watching this video, or following these instructions:

  • go to the line where you want to start writing your first reference
  • click to expand the paragraph tool
  • under "Indentation - Special" select "Hanging" (this defaults to .5 inch)
  • make sure line spacing is set to double without any additional padding
  • click OK

Sample Reference List



Action for Happiness. (2016, May 13). Positive psychology with Martin Seligman [Video]. YouTube.

American Heart Association Center for Health Metrics and Evaluation. (2017). Resilience in the workplace: An evidence review and implications for practice.

Bennett, J. (2017, June 25). Learning to fail. New York Times.

Bernard, L. L. (1924). Instinct: A study in social psychology. Henry Holt and Company.

Character strengths. (n.d.) The Positivity Project.

Chin, B., Lindsay, E. K., Greco, C. M., Brown, K. W., Smyth, J. M., Wright, A. G. C., & Creswell, J. D. (2019). Psychological mechanisms driving stress resilience in mindfulness training: A randomized controlled trial. Health Psychology, 38(8), 759–768.

Duckworth, A. (2016). Grit: The power of passion and perseverance. Scribner.

Goldfinch, S. (2015, September 29). How to enjoy studying: Flow. The Pursuit of Happiness: Bringing the Science of Happiness to Life.

Hilmantel, R. (2016, May 12). 4 signs you have grit. Time.

Seligman, M. E. P. (2003a). Positive psychology: Fundamental assumptions [Editorial]. The Psychologist, 16(3), 126–127.

Seligman, M. E. P. (2003b). The past and future of positive psychology. In C. L. M. Keyes & J. Haidt (Eds.), Flourishing: Positive psychology and the life well-lived (pp. xi - xx). American Psychological Association.

Wellington, J. (2008, April 7). [Photograph showing two people at a beach jumping joyfully high]. Pixabay.