Reference List: the basics

Virtually every source in your assignment must be included in your Reference List. The only exception is if the information comes from a personal communication like an email message.

  • Begin the Reference List on a new page at the end of your assignment. Centre the title (Reference List), about one inch from the top of the page.
  • Sort your list alphabetically by author or editor. If a source has no author or editor, alphabetise by the first word of the title other than A, An, or The. For example, The design of everyday things would be alphabetized under ‘D’.
  • If your list includes two or more works by the same author, order them by the year of publication, with the most recent one first.
  • Indent all but the first line of each entry by 35mm (or five spaces). This technique highlights the names of the authors, making it easy for readers to scan your list.
  • Capitalise all major words in journal titles. When referring to books, chapters, articles, or web pages, capitalise only the first letter of the first word of a title and subtitle, the first word after a colon or a dash in the title, and proper nouns.
  • Italicise the titles of longer works, such as books, newspapers, or journals. 

Use the other pages in this guide to find out how to write references for books, journal articles, digital sources and images