Skip to Main Content

Citations: General Guidelines

General Format Guidelines for Reference Pages


General Format Guidelines for References Page

  1. Center the title References at the top of the page.
  2. Double space between ‘References’ and the first entry.
  3. Each entry should begin flush with the left margin.  If the entry is more than one line, indent the next line or lines one-half inch (or 5 spaces).
  4. Make sure each individual citation is double spaced and that the entire works cited page is uniformly double spaced.
  5. Alphabetize the list.

What is APA Format?

APA stands for American Psychological Association.  APA Style is used to write papers and cite sources in the sciences such as nursing, psychology, and social sciences.
The purpose of citing sources is:

  • To avoid plagiarism
  • To give credit to the original creator of information you used in your research paper
  • To inform readers of the sources you used

If you are asked to use APA format, be sure to consult the APA Publication Manual (6th edition), available at the MPC Library.

Online Access (Spring 2020) to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association!


Many of the MPC databases provide MLA and APA citation formatting, but they are not always formatted correctly.  Also, other online citation makers are not always accurate. It is important to check their accuracy against a citation style guide like this guide.