How to present a reference list

Important: Confirm with your lecturer whether you are using APA 6th or APA 7th as they are slightly different.

How to set up the list in Microsoft Word

  • Begin the list on a new page at the end of your work.
  • Give the list the centred heading ‘References’.
  • Use double line-spacing and a hanging indent (approx. 0.75 cm or 4-5 spaces).
  • In Word, select your references and use Ctrl+2 (Command+2 on a Mac) to double-space lines.
  • Select your references and use Ctrl+T (Command+T on a Mac) to format with a hanging indent, then (while the text is still selected), right-click on the highlighted text to get a pop-up menu, select Paragraph, and you can set the size of the hanging indent.
  • Do not add line breaks manually to the hyperlink; it is acceptable if your word-processing program automatically adds a break or moves the hyperlink to its own line.

What to include

  • Give an entry for every source you have cited in the text.
  • Do not add entries for material you have not used, however relevant.

How to arrange the entries

  • List entries alphabetically by author.
  • If there is no author, list by title. (Ignore ‘A’ or ‘An’ or ‘The’ as first words.)
  • If you have more than one entry with the same author, list by year (earliest first).
  • If you have more than one entry with the same author and year, list alphabetically by title, and add a lower case letter to each year; e.g., ‘a’ for first, ‘b’ for second

Example of a reference list


Anderson, T.D. (1985). Panel data: A primer. Paragon.

Baird, J. (2016, November 05). There’s no such thing as ‘just a nurse’. The Age.

Brack, J. (1955). The fish shop [Oil on composition board]. Museum of Modern Art.

Brown, T. L., LeMay, H. E., Bursten, B. E., Murphy, C. J., Langford, S. J., & Sagatys, D. (2010). Chemistry: The central science: A broad perspective (2nd ed.). Pearson.

Cohen, H. (Presenter). (2013, December 29). Casualties in the supermarket war. Background briefing [Audio podcast].

Destounis, S. V., Arieno, A. L., Morgan, R. C., Cavanaugh, D., Seifert, P. J., Murphy, P. F., & Somerville, P. A. (2014). Comparison of breast cancers diagnosed in screening patients in their 40s with and without family history of breast cancer in a community outpatient facility. American Journal of Roentgenology, 202(4), 928-932.

Early Childhood Australia. (2016). Early childhood Australia’s advocacy: Advocacy goals.

Felton, A., & Royal, J. (2015). Skills for nursing practice: Development of clinical skills in pre-registration nurse education. Nurse Education in Practice, 15(1), 38-43.

Hillsdon, M. (2002). Statistical analysis primer. Lansdowne.

Hillsdon, M. (2002a). Basic econometrics (4th ed.). Hill.

Hillsdon, M. (2002b). Computational methods. Lansdowne.

Informit EduTV. (2016, May 31). Revolution School: Ep. 1 of 4 [Video file].

Johnson, A. & Hanson, S. (1995). Determinants of capital structure: theory vs practice. Scandinavian Journal of Management, 11(2), 91-102.

Kirkwood, R., & Goldsworthy, S. (2013). Fur seals and sea lions. [PDF].

Mental Health Act 2014 (Vic) s. 115.1.

Parks Victoria. (2004). Fire ecology in the Grampians [Brochure].

Pastorino, E., & Doyle-Portillo, S. (2016). What is psychology?: Foundations, applications and integration. Cengage Learning.

Primal Pictures. (2014, September 19). Primal’s 3D atlas of human anatomy [Video file].

Schirm, V. (2013). Quality of life. In I. M. Lubkin & P. D. Larsen (Eds.), Chronic illness: Impact and interventions (8th ed., pp. 183-206). Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Sullivan, E. J. (2013). Becoming influential: A guide for nurses (2nd ed.). Pearson.

Wang, H. (2015). Protein degradation pathways in hepatic ER stress and insulin resistance. (Doctoral dissertation).

West, K. [kanyewest]. (2013, December 9). Thank you, Mandela, for your life's work and may it serve as a guiding light to illuminate our future [Tweet].