Seventy-seven % of all of the writers whom presented to us in 2012 didn’t format the “References” heading correctly or failed to consist of one in the place that is first.


Seventy-seven % of all of the writers whom presented to us in 2012 didn’t format the “References” heading correctly or failed to consist of one in the place that is first.

Guide List

This outcome is nearly the same as usually the one concerning the “Abstract” heading because those two kinds of headings are formatted within the same manner.

Guidance: Before even composing your sources, make sure that always you have got a “References” going. It ought to be formatted and centered similar to the other countries in the text.


The information analysis implies that 90.9% of all of the authors made three or even more mistakes when formatting their recommendations. While this quantity is quite impressive, it provides an amount of APA design mistakes such as for example: incorrect utilization of commas, full stops, ampersands, italics, or general wrong formatting regarding the various kinds of recommendations.

Information: The easiest method to prevent errors within the guide list is to utilize referencing software- there are lots of freeware programs that will do an excellent task writing an introduction paragraph. They’re going to help save you plenty of frustration and make it easier also for you yourself to organize your sources. You can examine our post that presents a comparable system. That you understand how to format the various kinds of recommendations (age.g in the event that you nevertheless desire to format the guide list all on your own, make certain. books, journal articles, dissertations). A lot of the other guidelines, like the usage of punctuation markings and formatting the name, stick to the exact same logic and are relatively simple to discover. Below are a few extremely typical errors in this category:

  • Something that lots of pupils do would be that they capitalize all words that are major the name associated with guide. You ought to keep in mind that just the very first term should be capitalized. The word immediately after it should also be capitalized if the title contains a colon or dash.
  • Try not to omit the ampersand whenever writing the guide for a ongoing work authored by 2 or higher writers.
  • Make certain you utilize periods correctly- particularly when composing the writers’ initials.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Of all of the papers we received in 2012, 88.6% had one or even more omitted DOIs. Providing DOIs for journal articles might seem such as for instance a trivial thing to do and that’s probably one of many explanations why lots of pupils neglected to do this.

Guidance: Journal articles which are posted online usually provide a DOI in the first web page. Additionally, most publishers that are journal this type of home elevators their site. Plenty of articles which were posted within the last few ten to fifteen years as a rule have DOIs, however it’s most readily useful if you check whether each article you might be referencing has one. It is possible to find out more about DOIs here.

In addition, there are a few other less APA that is common style in referencing sources, as presented in Figure 2.

Figure 2. Other typical APA design errors into the guide list.

Talking about errors created by pupils when you look at the area of the sources could be the failure to list all cited sources into the reference list. This blunder can go unnoticed when easily you cite sources, but keep composing the recommendations for later on. The way that is easiest in order to avoid this blunder is always to supply a guide for the cited source immediately. Additionally, the search can be used by you motor in term to see if all cited sources come in the guide list (and the other way around). This plan is also helpful for finding spelling inconsistencies between in-text citations additionally the guide list, an error that some 45% of this writers did.

Whilst the proper formatting of the sources is very important, it’s also wise to look closely at the basic design formatting associated with the guide list. As an example, it will start on a page that is new the recommendations must certanly be formatted with hanging indentation (see APA, 2009).

Furthermore, be sure that the recommendations are bought precisely. They must be bought 1) alphabetically and 2) in accordance with the quantity of writers and 12 months of book (if relevant).


With therefore rules that are many keep in mind, formatting your paper in APA design may be tricky. Nonetheless, having a small patience and experience you certainly will quickly grasp the essential guidelines. Should you ever need help having an APA design question, you can ask it within the APA style Q&A section of your internet site.


I wish to thank the JEPS associates, and particularly Ezra Bottequin, whom assisted me gather the info with this post.


United States Emotional Association. (2009). Publication manual associated with the United states Psychological Association (6 th ed.). Washington DC: Author.

Martin Vasilev

Martin Vasilev is a final year undergraduate student of Psychology in the University of Sofia, Bulgaria, as well as the composer of several of the most popular posts on JEPS Bulletin (see as an example, their post regarding the most typical errors in APA design ended up being the absolute most read in the JEPS Bulletin in 2013 and their post on composing literary works reviews, that was reprinted into the MBA Edge, a mag for prospective postgraduate pupils in Malaysia)