Seventy-seven per cent of all of the writers whom presented to us in 2012 didn’t format the “References” heading precisely or failed to add one out of the beginning.

Seventy-seven per cent of all of the writers whom presented to us in 2012 didn’t format the “References” heading precisely or failed to <a href=""></a> add one out of the beginning.

Guide List

This outcome is nearly the same as the one concerning the “Abstract” heading because those 2 kinds of headings are formatted within the same manner.

Advice: Before even writing your recommendations, be sure you have a “References” heading. It ought to be formatted and centered just as the remaining portion of the text.


The information analysis reveals that 90.9% of all of the authors made three or higher mistakes when formatting their sources. Although this quantity is quite impressive, it provides lots of APA design errors such as for example: incorrect utilization of commas, complete stops, ampersands, italics, or general wrong formatting associated with several types of recommendations.

Guidance: The way that is easiest in order to avoid errors within the reference list is by using referencing software- there are a few freeware programs that may do a good task. They are going to help save you a large amount of frustration and make it easier also for you really to arrange your recommendations. You should check our post that presents a comparable system. That you understand how to format the various kinds of recommendations (age.g if you still desire to format the reference list on your own, make certain. books, journal articles, dissertations). Almost all of the other guidelines, including the usage of punctuation marks and formatting the name, proceed with the logic that is same are relatively simple to master. Below are a few extremely common errors in this category:

  • Something that lots of pupils do is that they capitalize all major terms in the name associated with guide. You need to understand that just the very first term should be capitalized. In the event that title has a colon or dash, the term just after it must additionally be capitalized.
  • Try not to omit the ampersand when writing the guide for the work compiled by 2 or even more writers.
  • Ensure that you utilize periods correctly- particularly when composing the writers’ initials.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Of all of the documents we received in 2012, 88.6% had one or even more omitted DOIs. Providing DOIs for log articles might seem such as for instance a trivial thing to do and that is probably one of many reasons why plenty of pupils neglected to do this.

Guidance: Journal articles being posted online frequently provide a DOI regarding the very first page. Additionally, most journal writers provide this type of informative data on their site. Plenty of articles which were posted within the last few ten to fifteen years ordinarily have DOIs, however it’s well in the event that you check whether each article you are referencing has one. It is possible to find out about DOIs right here.

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

Figure 2. Other typical APA design errors when you look at the reference list.

Talking about errors created by students into the element of the sources could be the failure to list all cited sources into the guide list. This error can go unnoticed when easily you cite sources, but leave writing the recommendations for later on. The easiest method in order to prevent this error is always to supply a guide for the cited source straight away. Additionally, you should use the search motor in term to see if all cited sources come in the guide list (and the other way around). This tactic can be helpful for finding spelling inconsistencies between in-text citations plus the guide list, a blunder that some 45% for the authors did.

Whilst the proper formatting of the recommendations is very important, its also wise to look closely at the general design formatting regarding the guide list. As an example, it should start on a brand new web page and the recommendations is formatted with hanging indentation (see APA, 2009).

Furthermore, be sure that the sources are purchased precisely. They must be bought 1) alphabetically and 2) based on the wide range of writers and of publication (if applicable) year.


With therefore numerous guidelines to keep in mind, formatting your paper in APA design are tricky. Nonetheless, with a patience that is little experience you’ll quickly grasp the fundamental guidelines. In the APA style Q&A section of our website if you ever need help with an APA style question, you can always ask it.


I’d like to thank the JEPS associates, and particularly Ezra Bottequin, whom assisted me gather the info for 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 really a final year undergraduate student of Psychology in the University of Sofia, Bulgaria, plus the writer of a few of the most popular articles on JEPS Bulletin (see as an example, their post in the most frequent errors in APA style ended up being the absolute most read within the JEPS Bulletin in 2013 and their post on composing literary works reviews, that was reprinted within the MBA Edge, a mag for potential postgraduate pupils in Malaysia)