Skip to Main Content

Sociology Class Supplement: Reference Page

Basic Reference Page Formats

When creating your reference page, make sure you do the following:

  • If you only use ONE source, title your page Reference -- no "s" at the end; if you use MORE THAN ONE source, title your page References.
  • Use ONLY those sources you actually cited in your essay.
  • Most titles are italicized; there are some exceptions (song titles within an album, names of software, etc.) See stylebook for exceptions.
  • Only capitalize the first word of a title. 

Each entry should contain the following:

  • Author (last name followed by first and middle initials, if a person)
  • Publication year
  • Title
  • Other publication information (such as edition for book or URL for a website)


The examples on this page do not cover all possible types of sources, but rather act as a general guide to various types of resources. Extensive examples can be found on pp. 313-352 of the APA Publication Manual, 7th Edition.

Reference Components & Abbreviations

Last = Last name of author
A.A, B.B. = First and middle initial of author. If not middle initial is given, simply use the first initial.
pp. = pages. The multiple pages you found the information on. *In a reference list, written as:  43-44
Volume = This is a set of issues of a periodical. The volume number can generally be found on the front of a journal, or near the the publisher's information. (More here on finding the volume number.)
Issue= This is the number of the published periodical within that volume (Vol. 12, issue 2). It may also be called the number (Vol. 12, No.2).
DOI: (Digital Object Identifier) gives a digital article or other digital information a unique number to help in identification. These are present in many, but not all, databases.
Year: The year is written with four digits - 2014. Month or day is not needed unless specifically requested (e.g. newspaper article).
Publisher: What company or organization published the information.


Note: When a citation ends in a web address, there is no final period at the end to avoid confusion over its inclusion in the web address. 


A periodical can be a journal, magazine, newspaper, letter to the editor, or an editorial.

Not all of the following information will be available for every periodical. Omit information, such as issue number or doi, as necessary.

Last, A.A., & Last, B.B. (year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume(issue), pp-pp. doi:###



NOTE: There is NO space between the volume number and issue number. If there is no issue number, simply use the volume number only. An example with 18 being the volume number and 3 being the issue: 18(3)

NOTE: The title of the article includes capitalizing only the first word in the title and the first word after a colon while the publication is capitalized as grammatically correct (all major words).


The book category can include reference books, multi-chapter books, and eBooks - both subscription or free.

Print Book or eBook: Last, A.A. (year). Title of book. Publisher.

Paludi, M. (2012). The psychology of love. Praeger.


Books with Two or More Authors

Books with two or more authors list all the authors, as they appear on the title sheet.

Last, A.A., Last, B.B., Last, C.C., & Last, D.D. (year of publication). Title of Book (# edition). Publisher.


Online Book: Last, A.A. & Last, B.B. (years). Title of book. [eBook edition]. Publisher. URL


Webpage or Piece of Online Content

These rules apply to documents that you find online that are NOT 
journal/magazine/newspaper articles, eBooks, book chapters, or dissertations. Examples include blogs, websites, Youtube videos, press release, etc.

Here is the general format:

Author, A.A., & Author, B.B. (Date of publication). Title of page. Site nameURL

*Include the date of retrieval if the source material is likely to change.


Missing information in web documents is common, but be sure to perform a thorough search of the site to find as much as is available. Always list as much of the information as possible.


Some examples

No Author?   Title of page. (Year, Month Date). Site name. Retrieved Month Date, Year, from URL

No Date?   Author. (n.d.). Title of page. Site name (if applicable). URL

*Include the date of retrieval if the source material is likely to change.


Reports can include government research or organizational reports. Omit the report number, if not applicable.

Last, A.A. (year). Title of report. Organization Name. URL.

Report by a Government Agency or Organization

Organization Name. (year). Title of report.  URL.


Presentation without a URL


Presentation with a URL 

Audiovisual Media

Audiovisual Materials include movies, music, varieties of artwork, and television shows. Remember to include the medium in brackets after the title. For specific reference formats, see pp. 341-347 in the Publication Manual of the APA, 7h Edition.

Motion pictures and videos:

Producer Last, A.A. (Producer), & Director Last, B.B. (Director). (Year). Title of motion picture [Motion Picture]. City or Country of Studio: Studio.


Music Recordings (entire album):

Recording artist (year of release). Title of album [Album]. Record label.

Music Recordings (individual song):

Recording artist. (Year of release). Title of song [Song]. On Title of album [Album]. Record label. 

YouTube Videos:

User or group that uploaded the video. (Date of publication). Title of video [Video]. Website host. URL.

If no author's name is found, use the contributor's screen name in its place.

Government Laws

Unenacted federal bills & resolutions:

Title, bill or resolution number, xx Cong. (year).

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Reauthorization Act of 2013, S. 51, 113 Cong. (2014).


Enacted bills and resolutions:


S. Res. xxx, xxx Cong., Volume Cong. Rec. Page (year) (enacted). URL

House of Representatives

H.R. Res. xxx, xxx Cong., Volume Cong. Rec. Page (year) (enacted). URL

Interviews or Personal Communication

You should never cite an interview in your References list. However, you should cite it parenthetically throughout your paper. To cite an interview in your paper, include the interviewee's name, the phrase "personal communication," and the date of your interview.

(F. Lastname, personal communication, Month DD, YYYY).

Mrs. Smith noted that the war years were particularly difficult for her mother, who worried about her three sons in the military (B. Smith, personal communication, January 11, 1992). 


APA Publication Manual, 6th Edition (2010) was consulted in creating this guide.

APA Style Book (7th Edition)

Reference Page Assistance