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Referencing: Reference List

Reference List: Guidelines

The reference list is a list of all of the sources you have cited in your work. Each entry is formatted as an end-text reference, and provides enough information for the reader to identify and locate the source for themselves.

Every in-text citation (other than personal communication) should correspond to an end-text reference found in the reference list, and every reference list entry should have at least one in-text citation.

  • The reference list starts on a new page.
  • The heading "References" is centred at the top of the page in bold.
  • Use a hanging indent for your references. This means that each entry begins at the left-hand margin of the page, with every line after the first line indented by 1.27cm. See the box below for help creating a hanging indent in MS Word.
  • Make sure your references are left-justified for correct spacing between words.
  • The reference list is double-spaced, both between entries and within an entry. Note that this is an APA style requirement, but some unit coordinators would prefer that you use the same spacing as the rest of your document. Check to see what is required for your assignment.


Order of entries in the reference list:
  • Each entry is in alphabetical order according to the family name of the author or editor.
    • If the author is an organisation, use the first main word of the group name (not 'a' or 'the').
    • If there is no author, list according to the first main word of the title.
  • If the surname is identical, order them by first initial(s); if that is also the same, order by date, then title.
  • For two entries with the same first author, or the same (multiple) authors in the same order: order them chronologically by year of publication, with the earliest entry first.
    • A entry with just the year comes before an entry from that year that includes the month and day.
    • Works with no date come first; works "in press" (accepted by a publisher but not yet published) come last.
  • If the author and date are the same, order entries alphabetically by title (excluding 'the', 'a', or 'an'), and expand the box below for more information.

For more clarification, see sections 9.44 to 9.48 in the APA 7th publication manual.

In order to ensure that each work cited has a unique in-text citation, works with the same author and year of publication must be differentiated in some way. In APA style, this is done by adding a lower-case letter to the year of publication in the reference list. The same letter will then be used as part of the date in each work's in-text citation.


Same author, same year: reference list

Caro, J. (2019a). Accidental feminists. Melbourne University Press.

Caro, J. (2019b, June 19). Nothing left to prove in fun and moving 'final' show [Review of The Monkees concert]. The Guardian.

Caro, J. (2019c, August 29). The greatest gifts I received from my father. The Sydney Morning Herald.

Follow the same instructions if you are citing a different author with the same family name and first initials who wrote a work in that year. For instance, if a different J. Caro wrote a book in 2019 entitled Book Title, it would become the work labelled 2019b ("Book" comes after "Accidental" alphabetically, but 2019 is ordered before a more specific date), and Jane Caro's articles would then become 2019c and 2019d.


Same author, same year: in-text citation

...according to a Guardian review of the concert (Caro, 2019b).


If the date uses letters instead of a year, use a hyphen to avoid confusion:

Beyond Blue. (n.d.-a). Our history.

Creating a Hanging Indent in MS Word

View step-by-step instructions for creating a hanging indent in MS Word.

You can also use the keyboard shortcut Control-T (Windows) or Command-T (Mac).

Sample Reference List