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Make a list of references according to APA 2017 standards

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In your list of references, you must write all the bibliography that you have used in your TFG, TFM or thesis. The list of references is located at the end of your document, just before the appendices.

APA 2017 has specific rules on how you should cite your bibliography and what the reference list should look like.

Basic rules for a list of references in APA
The list of references should only include the bibliography you used while writing your work. Write each source once, even if you have used it several times throughout your work.

The design of the bibliography has to follow APA 2017 standards. Different types of sources require different designs.

Authors according to APA 2017 standards


Always quote all the authors of the relevant sources in your list of references. For the order of the names, use the one that the bibliography itself has used, not alphabetically.

It always starts with the author’s last name followed by a comma and then the initial (s) of his name. If the author uses a prefix in his surname (eg “from”), write it after the initials. If a source has more than two authors, put a comma between the names of these and add “and” between the last two names.

Appointment appointment


You may find that you want to use a bibliographic citation that appears within another appointment. This is called an indirect reference, and the APA has a specific standard for it.

APA generator


We have developed an APA Generator so you do not have to learn the design of each type of source. By filling in the information in the APA Generator, you can easily generate the bibliographic citation from your source.

Exceptions in the list of references


There are three exceptions where you do not need to write the bibliography in the list of references, even if you used the source when writing your work. These sources are cited directly in the text:

  • Classical works like the Bible
  • Personal communications such as e-mails, private letters, telephone conversations and chat messages
  • A website in its entirety
  • Alphabetical list of references
  • The bibliography in the list of references must be ordered alphabetically. With the APA Generator, you can sort the sources alphabetically.

Differences between a list of references and a bibliography


As you can see, we have not used the word “bibliography” to refer to the final section of your work where the referenced sources are added, but we have used “list of references”. A bibliography is not the same as a list of references. With a bibliography, you not only write down the sources you mentioned in the text, but also those you have consulted while writing your work.

For example, in a bibliography you would add the diary you have been reading to find a topic for your work. According to the APA standards, these sources should not be added to the list of references.


Format of the list of references according to APA


After having made a list with all the bibliography in the list of references and you have ordered it alphabetically, one last step remains. According to APA 2017 standards, in the sources that occupy more than one line, you must add indentation starting with the second line.

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