Guide On APA Citation: A Painless Way To Format Your Essay In APA Format

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What Is A Reference List? How To Make A Reference List?

A reference list is a list of sources used in an academic paper, research project, or any other type of written work. It is also sometimes referred to as a bibliography or works cited page. The main objectives of a reference list are: 

  • To provide readers with information about the sources used in work
  • Enable them to locate the sources if they want to read them further or verify the information presented

Here are some usual rules for creating a reference list:

  • The reference list must be started on a new page succeeding the paper’s body, and it must have a title named “References” that is top-centered of the page. 
  • The sources referred must be organized or listed as per alphabetical order by the author’s last name (or, in case there is no author, use the title).
  • Incorporate necessary details of the sources, including the name of the author, the publication date of the source, and other related information.
  • The format style must be according to the formatting guidelines of APA, including italics, capitalization, and punctuation.
  • Cross-check your reference list to ensure all information is accurate, complete, and in the correct format.

There are various format styles to add a reference list, and each one differs from the others. Thus, when creating a reference list in APA style, it is better to follow its guidelines to avoid confusion. 

How To Do An In-Text Citation With Examples?

An in-text citation is a brief or small reference to a specific source that is incorporated within the text of a research paper or academic work. These citations supply the reader with information about the source being referenced, allowing them to locate the source in the reference list.

Here are some examples of in-text citations in the APA style:

  • When referencing a source with one author:

According to Smith (2020), “the study found that…”

  • When citing a source with two authors:

Previous research (Johnson & Lee, 2019) has shown that…

  • When referencing a source with three or more authors:

Recent studies (Garcia et al., 2021) have indicated that…

  • When referencing a specific page within a source:

As Jones (2018, p. 15) notes, “the results of the study suggest that…”

  • When referencing an organization as the author:

The American Heart Association (2020) recommends that individuals…

  • When referencing a source with no author:

Studies have shown that… (“Title of the Article,” 2017).

In general, an in-text citation should include the author’s last name and year of publication (Smith, 2020). If the source does not have an author, then the title of the work should be used instead (“Title of the Article,” 2017). When quoting directly from a source, the page number should also be included (Jones, 2018, p. 15).

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Know How To Cite Different Source Types With Examples

APA style provides specific guidelines for citing different types of sources, including books, journal articles, websites, and more. Here are examples of how to cite different source types in APA style:


Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle. Publisher.

Example: Smith, J. (2020). The Art of Writing: A Guide for Writers. Random House.

Journal article:

Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year of publication). Title of article. Title of Journal, volume number(issue number), page range. DOI or URL

Example: Lee, J., & Kim, H. (2019). The Impact of Social Media on Mental Health. Journal of Psychology, 23(4), 31-45.


Author, A. A. (Year, Month Day of publication). Title of webpage. Name of Website. URL

Example: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020, March 11). COVID-19 and You.

Newspaper article:

Author, A. A. (Year, Month Day of publication). Title of article. Title of Newspaper, page range.

Example: Brown, T. (2021, May 2). The Rise of NFTs in the Art World. The New York Times, A4.

Film or video:

Director, A. A. (Director). (Year of release). Title of motion picture [Motion picture]. Studio or distributor.

Example: Nolan, C. (Director). (2010). Inception [Motion picture]. Warner Bros.

These are just a few examples of the types of sources that can be cited in APA style. It is important to follow the specific guidelines provided for each source type, including any required formatting, punctuation, and order of information.


Writing an essay in APA format can be daunting if you do not have the required knowledge of citations. Students, especially, will have a hard time formatting their essays as they do not have the required resources to format their writing. If you are facing similar issues, you can take the help of this article and use it to cite your sources in the APA format easily.

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