Writing A Term Paper In APA Format: Tips On The References

When you are writing a term paper in APA format you need to be careful with your references. Everything that you use as a direct quote or even a paraphrase needs to be referenced. And not just once. You need to reference the source inside of the text and in the reference page. The citation inside of the text is intended to direct the reader to the corresponding citation in the reference page. For APA format you want to include the last name of the author or authors for the in text citation or the first few words of the title if there is no author name. After this you need the date and the page number. This helps the reader to refer to your reference page and search by last name and then by date. The date is helpful if you have multiple publications by the same author. If there is no author then you include the first few words of the title of the publication because that will be listed first in the reference page.

When you finish writing your term paper it is best to double check all of your citations by reading the term paper and stopping each time you come across a source. You should refer to your reference sheet and make certain the source is correctly annotated and can be found easily. Once this is done for all of the sources you should make sure that you have used correct APA format for each citation both in text and in the reference page.

For all of your references your citation in the reference page will begin with:

  • The author’s name or names *Note that if there are more than seven authors for your source you can list the first and the last author name in between which you can put “et al.” to refer to the remainder of the authors
  • Followed by the title of the article or book or item which should be in quotes
  • Followed by the name of the publication or journal in which the item is found which should be italicized
  • Followed by the date of publication
  • Followed by the page numbers for the source
  • Followed by the date you accessed it (if it is an online source)

If any of these items are missing-for example there is no author listed-then you start with or continue with the next item. So if there is no author name you can start with the title. If there is a title but no date of publication then you put “no date” and move on to the page numbers.


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