APA Style, 7th Edition


Each of the sources you cited in your paper also require a reference. References are more detailed than citations and help your reader to find and view the sources you used.

All references are made up of 4-5 key parts:

     • Part 1: Author

     • Part 2: Date

     • Part 3: Title

     • Part 4: Container

     • Part 5: Publisher/URL

These 4-5 parts are written side by side in an alphabetical list on the last page of your paper.

The author might be a group, or one or more people.

Individual author(s)

List the author's last name first, followed by a comma, a space, and the initials of their first and (if given) middle name. Leave a space between the initials if a middle name is provided.

If there is more than one author, they should be listed in the order they appear on the source. 

Group author

List the full name of the group in your reference.


The following table shows how authors are listed on a source, and how these names should be listed in a reference:

No. of authors Authors as listed on source Authors in a reference
1 author Chelsea Vowel Vowel, C.
1 author w/ middle name Ruth L. Ozeki Ozeki, R. L.
2 authors Giulia Poerio¹ and Peter Totterdell² Poerio, G., & Totterdell, P.
3 to 20 authors  Elia Abi-Jaoude MSc MD, Karline Treurnicht Naylor MPD MD, Antonio Pignatiello MD Abi-Jaoude, E., Treurnicht Naylor, K., & Pignatiello, A.
Group author Canadian Blood Services Canadian Blood Services.

Note: Do not include professional titles (Dr.) or academic licenses/degrees (MD) in a reference. Include suffixes such as "Jr." and "Sr." after the initials.


The date of a source's publication follows the author in rounded brackets.

Date listed

The date of publication follows the author and is placed in rounded brackets. Include the month and day if it is provided.

No date listed

If no date is provided, write "n.d." to indicate that no date was found. Do not use the copyright date listed on web pages.


The following table provides examples of how to include publication date information in a reference:

Information on source Date in reference
Year (2018).
Year, Month Day (2020, April 4).
No date (n.d.).

Note: If a webpage provides multiple dates, use the 'last updated' date. Do not use the 'last reviewed date' or the copyright (c) year listed at the bottom of a webpage. 

The third part of a reference is the title of your source. Titles are formatted in sentence case and are usually italicized.

Sentence case

Titles are always written in sentence case. This means that you should only capitalize:

       • The first word of the title

       • The first word of a subtitle (i.e., when a ":" is written before an additional title),

       • Proper nouns (a specific, not generic, name for a particular person, place, or thing)


The italicization of a title is determined by the following rules:

       • If a work stands alone, the title is italicized. 

       • If a work was published inside a larger container, the title is not italicized. Instead, the container (part 4 of a reference) is italicized.

The following table identifies which types of sources require an italicized title:

Work stands alone (italicize title) Work has a container (do not italicize title)
Book or eBook  Chapter in an edited book (e.g. a textbook)
Webpage  Journal article/magazine article
Webpage on a news site without an associated daily/weekly paper (e.g., CBC News, BBC News, CNN) News article with an associated daily/weekly paper (e.g., The New York Times; The Calgary Herald)
Government /nonprofit report Podcast episode
Film; movie; YouTube video; Ted Talk Episode of a television show
Webinar Blog post
Full album Song
Government report; annual report  
Social media post  


The following table demonstrates how titles for different types of sources should be formatted in a reference:

Source type Title as written on source Title correctly formatted for a reference
Journal article Sociodemographic Diversity and Distance Education: Who Drops Out from Academic Programs and Why? Sociodemographic diversity and distance education: Who drops out from academic programs and why
Book chapter Teacher Beliefs and Classroom Practices: A Case Study of an ESL Teacher in Canada Teacher beliefs and classroom practices: A case study of an ESL teacher in Canada
Entire book Language, Teachers, and Teaching: Global Perspectives, Local Initiatives  Language, teachers, and teaching: Global perspectives, local initiatives
Report Cohesive, Collective, Collaborative: Advancing Mental Health Promotion in Canada Cohesive, collective, collaborative: Advancing mental health promotion in Canada
Website HARM REDUCTION Harm reduction

If your work is found within a larger container, the container is listed after the title in mixed case and italics. Examples of containers include scholarly journals, trade magazines, textbooks, and podcasts. 

Title case

Since the container is a name, it should be written in title case. This means that most words should be capitalized. Do not capitalize:

      • Conjunctions that are three letters or fewer (and; but; for; nor; or; so; yet)  

      • Propositions (at; around; by; after; along; for; from; of; on; to; with; without)

      • Articles (the; a; an)


If the work is inside a container, the container name is italicized instead of the title of the work itself. 

The following table provides examples of how containers should be written in a reference:

Container type Name of container (in sentence case and italics)
Journal Canadian Medical Association Journal
Magazine The Medical Post
Edited book Canadian Fundamentals of Nursing
Podcast Front Burner

The final part of a reference entry is the publisher and/or the URL.

Physical sources

Physical sources are not online, so their reference entries will only include a publisher. Print books, DVDs, and print magazine and newspaper articles are examples of sources that do not have a URL.

Electronic source

Electronic sources are online, and usually have a URL that will help your reader to get back to the source.

Ebooks and journal articles are often assigned a Digital Object Identifier (DOI). A DOI starts with "https://doi.org/" and is followed by a string of numbers, letters, and symbols.


The following table provides examples of what publication and URL information to provide in a reference:

Type of source What to include Example
Webpage Site Name. URL CBC News. https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/china-lift-hubei-lockdown-1.5507908
Print book Publisher. Nelson.
Print book with DOI Publisher. DOI Ohio Press. https://doi.org/10.26818/9780814214282
Print book with no DOI Publisher. Routledge.
Journal article DOI  https://doi.org/10.5093/pi2019a16

Note: DOIs and URLS should be live (i.e., hyperlinked) in assignments that you submit online, such as through D2L.