APA Reference List Guide

The purpose of a reference list is to provide enough unique information so a reader can retrieve listed items easily in a library search. When in doubt provide more information rather than less. The "Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association," (Sixth Edition) was used to construct this guide.

  • Last Names, First

    One Author

    List the author by last name first, then initial(s).

    • Luby, J. L. (2006). Handbook of preschool mental health: Development, disorders, and treatment. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

    Two to Seven Authors

    With two or more names but less than eight, use an ampersand (&) before the last name.

    • Lightfoot, C., Cole, M., & Cole, S. (2009). The development of children. New York, NY: Worth.

    Eight or More Authors

    Eight or more authors, include the first six, followed by three ellipsis points (...), and add the last author.

    • Gilbert, D. G., McClernon, J. F., Rabinovitch, R. E., Sugai, C., Plath, L. C., Asgaard, G.,... Botros, N. (2004). Effects of quitting smoking on EEG activation and attention last for more than 31 days and are more severe with stress, dependence, DRD2 A1 allele, and depressive traits. Nicotine and Tobacco Research, 6, 249-267. doi:10.1080/14622200410001676305
  • Editors


    1. To refer to an edited book, put the editor's names first and enclose the abbreviation (Ed.) or (Eds.) in parentheses after the last editor.
    2. Give initials and surnames for all editors, regardless of the number of editors.
    3. When referring to a specific section of an edited book, use the abbreviation for page (p. or pp.).
    4. When an editor's name is not in the author position, write the initial(s) first, then the last name (note the placement of "M. Lewis," and "Berch, & M. M. Mazzocco" in the examples below).
    • Tate, G., & Corbett, E. P. J. (Eds.). (1988). The writing teacher's sourcebook (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
    • Yarrow, L. J., & Messer, D. J. (1983). Motivation and cognition in infancy. In M. Lewis (Ed.), Origins of intelligence: Infancy and early childhood (2nd ed., pp. 451-478). New York, NY: Plenum.
    • Donlan, C. (2007). Mathematical development in children with specific language impairments. In D. B. Berch, & M. M. Mazzocco (Eds.), Why is math so hard for some children?: The nature and origins of mathematical learning difficulties and disabilities (pp. 151-172). Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes.
  • Titles


    Write the title of a book as you would a sentence, i.e., the first word is capitalized, as are any proper names and, any words following a colon. The title is italicized.

    • Shotton, M. A. (1989). Computer addiction? A study of computer dependency. London, England: Taylor & Francis.


    Write the title of the journal in italics with each word capitalized and the volume number (which in the example below is 8). The title of the article is in sentence case.

    • Light, M. A., & Light, I. H. (2008). The geographic expansion if Mexican immigration in the United States and its implications for local law enforcement. Law Enforcement Executive Forum Journal, 8(1), 78-82.
  • Extra Information: Volumes, & Editions


    Other information necessary for identification and retrieval (e.g., 2nd ed. or Vol.4) goes in parentheses right after the title without any period or comma separating this information from the title.

    • Wing, L. (Ed.). (1976). Early childhood autism: Clinical, educational and social aspects (2nd ed.). Oxford, NY: Pergamon.


    If each issue of a journal begins with page 1, give the issue number in parentheses after the volume number. The issue and page numbers are not italicized.

    • Blanco, P. J., & Ray, D. C. (2011). Play therapy in elementary schools: A best practice for improving academic achievement. Journal of Counseling & Development, 89(2), 235-243. doi:10.1002/j.1556-6678.2011.tb00083.x
  • Publication Information


    1. Write the name of the city, and the two-letter postal code, such as NY.
    2. If outside the US write the city, followed by the country.
    3. Give the name of the publisher in a brief form.
    4. Omit unnecessary terms such as Publishers, Co., or Inc. But, keep the word Books and Press.
    5. If more than one publisher location is given, give the location listed first in the book.
    • Levine, L. E., & Munsch, J. (2011). Child development: An active learning approach. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
    • Ben-Ari, E. (1996). Japanese childcare: An interpretive study of culture and organization. London, England: Kegan Paul.
  • Dates

    Books & Journals

    Give in parentheses the year the work was published.

    • Levy, S. (2011). In the plex: How Google thinks, works, and shapes our lives. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.

    Magazines, Newsletters, & Newspapers

    Give the year and the exact date of publication (month or month and day). If the date is given as a season give the year and season separated by a comma and enclosed in parentheses.

    • Clay, R. (2008, June). Science vs. ideology: Psychologists fight back about the misuse of research. Monitor on Psychology, 39(6). Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/monitor/

    • Schwartz, J. (1993, September 30). Obesity affects economic, social status. The Washington Post, pp. A1, A4.

    No Date

    If no date is available write n.d. in parentheses.

    • O'Keefe, E. (n.d.). Egoism & the crisis in Western values. Retrieved from http://www.onlineoriginals.com/showitem.asp?itemID=135
  • eBooks


    For eBooks from an online library, such as ebrary, include the DOI or full hyperlink address:

    • Burns, M. (2007). About Teaching Mathematics: A K-8 Resource (3rd ed.). Retrieved from http://site.ebrary.com/lib/bankstreet/docDetail.action?docID=10223849

    Physical Device

    For eBooks downloaded to a physical device, e.g., Kindle, Sony Reader, or Nook include the e-reader version in square brackets:

    • Gladwell, M. (2008). Outliers: The story of success [Kindle DX version]. Retrieved from Amazon.com
    • Brill, P. (2004). The winner’s way [Adobe Digital Editions version]. doi:10.1036/007142363X
  • Mental Measurements Yearbooks

    Entire Test Description (in print)

    Brown Attention-Deficit Disorder Scales. (2001). In B. S. Plake & J. C. Impara (Eds.), The fourteenth mental measurements yearbook (pp. 183-190). Lincoln, NE: Buros Institute of Mental Measurements.

    Individual Test Review (in print)

    Kaufman, N. L., & Kaufman, A. S. (2001). [Review of the test Brown Attention-Deficit Disorder Scales]. In B. S. Plake & J. C. Impara (Eds.), The fourteenth mental measurements yearbook (pp. 183-187). Lincoln, NE: Buros Institute of Mental Measurements.

  • ERIC


    Give the ERIC ED Accession number in parentheses at the end of the entry. If the article has an EJ Accession number treat it like you would a journal in print.

    • Howe, R. W., & Kasten, M. (1992). Students at risk in mathematics: Prevention and recovery in elementary schools. Retrieved from ERIC database (ED350175)


Use the following format for an unpublished master's thesis found in the Bank Street Library.

Author, A. A. (1978). Title of master's thesis (Unpublished master's thesis). Name of Institution, Location.

  • Hartley, E. H. (2011). From applesauce to zucchini bread: A cookbook and teacher's guide for early childhood educators (Unpublished master's thesis). Bank Street College of Education, New York, NY.

More APA Help

Here are some places that give more help and examples on APA citations.

  1. OWL Purdue online Writing Lab
  2. Bank Street College of Education Graduate School. (2008). A writer's handbook. New York, NY: Bank Street College of Education.
  3. American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Call# 808.027 A512p6
  4. American Psychological Association. (2005). Concise rules of APA style. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Call# 808.027 C744r 2005