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How to Write a Reference Page for an Essay


A reference page lists the works cited in the text of an essay. You have several formats at your disposal to create a list of references. For example, APA style guidelines are very popular and easy to use. Although APA guidelines are widely used, make sure your professor approves. Depending on the course and the teacher's preferences, a different type of list such as a Chicago Style bibliography or a MLA works cited page may be required. To use APA style, write individual entries using this cheat sheet, then combine the records to create a master list.

Books with One Author

List the author's last name followed by a comma and the initial of the writer's first name.

Write the year of publication in parentheses followed by a period.

After the period, type the title of the book, underlined, followed by a period (also underlined).

Record the place of publication followed by a colon.

List the publisher and close the entry with a period.

Magazine Articles or Documents with no Named Author

List the author's last name followed by a comma and the initial of the writer's first name. If there is no no named author, write the title of the document followed by a period. If the work in question is an editorial, let the reader know by noting "[Editorial]" after the title.

Write the year and month or month and day of publication in parentheses.

Add the magazine's title followed by a comma and the volume number. Underline all these elements.

Conclude the entry with the page number or numbers and a period. Do not use "p," "pp" or "pg" to designate page numbers.

Edited Books

Write the name of the editor. List the surname first followed by the initial of the first name.

Tell the reader this is an editor by noting "Ed." or "Eds." for multiple editors in parentheses.

Follow steps 2 through 5 from the "Books with One Author" section.

Books with More Than One Author

List all the author's names in the order they appear in the book. Write first names last followed by initials. Separate the names with a comma.

Use an ampersand before the last name.

Follow steps 2 through 5 from the "Books with One Author" section.

Create the References Page

Start the list on a new page. This section belongs after your final essay, behind the endnotes.

Type "References" center-aligned across the top of the page.

List the entries you created alphabetically.

Indent the beginning of each entry with five spaces.

Warning
  • List only works cited or quoted in the paper itself.
References
  • "Keys for Writers: A Brief Handbook (2nd Edition)"; Ann Raimes; 1999
About the Author

Erica Tambien began writing professionally in 1999. She is a freelance writer and communications consultant living in Reno, Nev. Her work has since appeared on various websites and for KOLO-TV. She holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration with an emphasis in marketing from the University of Nevada-Reno.

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