When going through any kind of APA-level document, one thing you need to always include is an APA reference page. Without doubt, referencing is one of the most important parts of an APA paper. It shows your reader where you got your information from and where they can go to verify your information and/or learn more about the subject matter at hand. Without doubt, though, a good quality reference page is something that you should focus on creating as much as you can.
When done correctly, they will make the process of learning what you are writing about much easier for the reader of your paper. So, what matters when writing your APA reference page?
The basics of an APA reference page
So, the first thing to note with an APA reference page is that it must be laid out in a very particular manner. The first thing you should do is ensure that all references are listed in alphabetical order. Many people assume they should list them by the order the references appear in the text itself. While that might seem logical, this is not what you should do with APA referencing.
You should also look to ensure that all of the APA referencing taking part in your document is double-spaced. It should be lined out this way throughout the majority of the document, but your reference page needs to be done correctly and succinctly.
You should also look to use “References” as the title of the page, and it should come with the running head (the header that includes the name of the document and the page title).
Also, make sure you use a hanging indent in the formatting section of your word processor. This should be set to around a ½ inch. If you don’t use these factors, then you are not going to be meeting the basic needs of an APA reference page.
The annoying thing about doing APA referencing is that while it might seem easy, it’s surprisingly simple to make a mistake. And given the importance of referencing, an error-laden reference page can be a major issue for you.
Many APA citation generation tools exist, and you can find many of them online. You can also find them through some word processors. You simply need to include the source based on the URL you found the source, the journal that it was listed in (include its DOI) or the ISBN of the book that it was found in.
We would recommend always using a generator, in truth. It is going to make sure that you can lay out the whole thing much easier, and it will ensure that you avoid mistakes.
Exclusions to referencing
However, while more or less any piece of external writing and/or opinion that you use should be referenced, some things do not require a reference. This would include things like:
- Classical works or writing, including biblical content such as the Bible of the Quran.
- Personally identifiable communications addresses such as phone numbers, chat messages.
You also don’t need to put the full website if you have used it as a reference. You simply need to cite the page of the website that you used for reference.
Also, sometimes you don’t need to include a reference for what is known as ‘common knowledge’. This can be quote contentious, though, so we would recommend speaking with whoever provided you with the APA task and find out what they would deem ‘common knowledge’.
If you keep these factors in mind, you should find it much easier to write an APA reference page.