What is a reference?


There are three things you should know about references in APA style:

1) A reference has 4 basic parts

A reference gives your reader information about a source used in your writing: 1) who wrote it (the author); 2) when it was published (the date); 3) what it’s called (the title), and 4) where it can be located (the link or publisher). Each part is separated by a period or full stop:


2) References have details and formatting differences that depend on the format, i.e. whether the source is a book, webpage, or other type of information.

Here is a reference for a government report on a website:

Here is a reference for a print book:

You can find these differences by searching in the library's help page:


3) References are listed on a separate page at the end of your assignment in alphabetical order. 

All sources that you quote or paraphrase in an assignment must have both a citation and a reference:



  • Last Updated Mar 09, 2024
  • Views 1472
  • Answered By Library Staff

FAQ Actions

Was this helpful? 2 0