APA style Content Notes and References list

APA style Content Notes and References list

APA style for content notes

Content notes (or footnotes) expand upon or supplement the information in a paper. Use APA-style content notes to clarify, illustrate, or explain an idea or to provide definitions and identify individuals and events. Make these notes as brief as possible so that they do not distract the reader from the text.

Use a superscript Arabic number in the text immediately after the term or passage to be footnoted. Number any content notes superscripts consecutively throughout the paper so they correspond to the notes themselves, which are typed on a separate page and placed at the end of the paper immediately before the list of reference. Head this page “Footnotes.”

To format content notes, indent five spaces and place the superscript number followed by the note. Double-space within and between the notes and place them in numerical order.


The age of the women involved, their marital status, and their economic well-being were important elements considered in designing the follow-up questionnaire.


Susan Crawford and FriscillaDenby, both of whom have extensive involvement with women’s issues and social programs, provided helpful input and feedback throughout the study.

APA style for the References list

APA style requires that all the sources of borrowed material in a paper be listed on a separate page at the end of the paper. This separate listing is called the “References.” The References list should include only material that was used in the research and preparation of the paper.

Following the last page of the paper (but before any concluding notes or appendices) begin the list with the title “References” without quotation marks or underlining, centered, and an inch from the top of the page. The References list is paginated as the rest of the paper. Double-space between the title and the first entry on the list.

Arrange the citation entries in alphabetical order by authors’ last names. If a source is anonymous, alphabetize it by using the first major word in its title (not a, an, or the). Begin each entry flush with the left margin, but indent all subsequent lines three spaces. Double-space within and between entries.


A standard APA entry for a book consists of four elements: author, date of publication, title, and publication information. These four elements are separated from one another by a period. The entry concludes with a period. (Note that these formatting instructions are for preparing student papers. If you are submitting a paper to a journal for publication, refer to the APA Publication Manual for formatting guidelines.)

Keep the following guidelines in mind when preparing book entries for the References list.

  1. Author: An author’s name should appear the last name first, followed by a comma and first and middle initials. Put a period after the author’s name.
  2. Year of publication: Enclose the year of publication in parentheses and follow with a period.
  3. Title: Underline the title and capitalized the first word of the title, the first word of the subtitle, and any proper nouns. Separate the main title from the subtitle with a colon. Put a period after the complete title.
  4. Publication information: Include the city of publication and the publisher, separated from one another with a colon. If two or more location is given for the publisher, either give the location that is listed first on the title page or gives the site of the publisher’s home office. If the name of the city is not well known or if it is confusing, include a state or country abbreviation following a comma. Omit the word Publisher and abbreviations such as Inc. and Co. from the publisher name. However, include the complete names of university presses and association. Put a period after the publication information.
  1. Book with one author

Emerson, G. (1976). Winners and losers: Battles, retreats, gains, losses, and ruins from the Vietnam War. New York: Norton.

  1. Book with two or more authors

List the book’s author’s entire last name first followed by initials. Commas separate the authors’ names. An ampersand connects the final two names. Lichtenstein, G. & Danker, L. (1993). Musical gumbo: The music of New Orleans.

New York: Norton.

  1. Book with an anonymous author

Begin the entry with the title. Alphabetize the entry using the first main word in the title (not a, an, or the). If “Anonymous” appears on the title page, then begin the entry with the word Anonymous and alphabetize the entry as if “Anonymous” were the author’s name.

  1. Book with an editor

Place the editor’s name where an author’s name would be placed. Note that the number of the cited volume is placed in parentheses after the title.

  1. Selection from an anthology

Begin with the name of the author(s), the year of publication, and the title neither of the article or chapter neither underlined nor in quotation marks. Follow with the editor(s) listed in normal order with the abbreviation Ed. Or Ends, In Parentheses. Conclude the entry with the title of the book, the page numbers for the article or chapter, and the publication information.

  1. Book with a corporate author

Begin the entry with the corporate or group name and alphabetize the entry by the first major word in the name. When the same group is listed as both author and publisher, use the word Author at the end of the entry in place of the publisher’s name.

  1. Multivolume book

Include the abbreviation Vol. or Vols. And the number of volumes used in the paper. Place this information after the title, enclosed within parentheses, and place a period after the closing parenthesis. The following example indicates that both volumes were used in the paper.

  1. Translation

Include the names of the translator(s) in parentheses immediately following the title.

  1. Revised edition

Indicate the appropriate edition in parentheses immediately after the title. Use the abbreviation Rev. ed. If the title page lists the book as a “Revised edition.”

  1. Republished book

Cite the date of original publication in parentheses at the close of the entry. The in-text citation should include both the publication date (Veblen, 1899/1953).

  1. Two or more books by the same author

Begin each entry with the author’s name followed by the year of publication. Arrange the entries chronologically, the earliest first.

For two or more works by the same author published in the same year, arrange the entries alphabetically by the first main word in the title. Add lowercase letters (starting with a) to the entries (after the dates) to distinguish them from one another.

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