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Quick Essay Reference Page Tips

written by: Deidra Alexander • edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom • updated: 3/2/2012

Here is a quick guide to making a reference page in either APA, MLA or Chicago style.

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    Starting with APA

    Though it is a common style that most writing assignments you are given will require, it is still the most difficult for writers to master. Learning APA style in-text citations and reference page guidelines will pay off when it comes to knowing how to make a reference page for an essay.

    In-text citations:

    Noting the difference in the treatment he received from the main characters of his life story with that included his foster family, Fisher reminisced on the bits of affection his foster father fed him (2002), “He was the kind of man, Reverend Pickett, who said a lot without words…From time to time, when no one was looking, he’d give me a nickel. I’d look for a smile but there was never one” (p. 54).

    In-text citations without the author’s name:

    “He was the kind of man, Reverend Pickett, who said a lot without words…From time to time, when no one was looking, he’d give me a nickel. I’d look for a smile but there was never one.” (Fisher, 2002, p. 54)

    For longer quotes, block the text and include citations the same as above. For short paraphrasing, the page number is not needed, only the author name and date of publication.

    The APA advises against using footnotes and end notes. Use them only if necessary where they provide valuable content to the paper and the reader’s knowledge. Refer the Chicago Manual of Style section below for formatting footnotes and end notes.

    Reference page:

    Formatting

    Start on a new page

    Page number: continued from the paper, place your name and page number flush right margin 1-inch from top

    Header: capitalized continued header from paper

    Title: center, “References”

    First entry: double-spaced from title, alphabetical order by authors’ last name

    Indention: Use a hanging indent for each entry (the first line of the entry is flush with the left margin with the second indented five spaces. Each word processor has a special setting for this.)

    Subsequent entries: double-spaced between each entry but all entries are single spaced

    Example:

    PAPER TITLE------------------------------------------------------------------ page number

    ------------------------------------------References

    Author name. (Year). Title with first letter in first word capitalized unless is it a journal.

    Fisher, A. Q. (2002). Finding fish. New York, NY: HarperTorch.

    Thomas, G. E. (1996). Teaching students with mental retardation: A life goal curriculum planning approach.

    Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

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    MLA (Modern Language Association) Style:

    Like APA, in-text citations should directly follow paraphrased material to correspond with the works cited page at the end of the essay. Place source information in parentheses and separate the source name and any other identifying information, which most times pertains to a source page number and date, website page name and date, (if it is an Internet source) or other source with the date and type of source given.

    Works cited page:

    Formatting

    Start on a new page

    Page number: continued from the paper, place your name and page number flush right margin 1-inch from top

    Title: center, "Works Cited"

    First entry: double-spaced from the title, list entries in alphabetical order by authors' last names

    Indention: hanging indention

    Subsequent entries: double-spaced between each entry but all entries are single spaced

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------Your name + Page Number

    -----------------------------------Works Cited

    Fisher, Antone Q. Finding Fish. New York, NY: HarperTorch, 2002. Print.

    Thomas, Glen E. Teaching Students with Mental Retardation: A Life Goal Curriculum Planning Approach.

    Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1996. Print

    Refer to the Chicago Manual of style section for footnotes and end notes style information:

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    Chicago Manual of Style:

    Use this style for history, arts, and social sciences papers as instructed by your teacher.

    Bibliographic notes: these are either footnotes, endnotes, or both included in one essay, depending on teacher preference. Remember, place footnotes at the end of a page with citations and endnotes at the end of an essay on separate page before the bibliography page.

    Footnotes example:

    “He was the kind of man, Reverend Pickett, who said a lot without words…From time to time, when no one was looking, he’d give me a nickel. I’d look for a smile but there was never one.”17

    ______________________________________________________________ (line should be about 40 spaces long)

    Note number. Author name, Title, (Location Published: Publisher name, year), page number.

    17. Antwone Quenton Fisher, Finding Fish, (New York, NY: HarperTorch, 2002), 54.

    You do not need to list the citation multiple times in a footnote if used more than once.

    End notes example:

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------16

    -------------------------------------------------Notes

    17. Antwone Quenton Fisher, Finding Fish, (New York, NY: HarperTorch, 2002), 54.

    Formatting:

    Page number: for end notes

    Note numbering: use superscript to number citations with footnotes

    Indention: hanging indent

    Page numbering: do not include any abbreviations for a page number.

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    Bibliography

    Start on a new page

    Formatting

    Page number: continued from the paper, place your name and page number flush right margin 1-inch from top

    Title: Bibliography centered, one inch from top

    First entry: double-spaced from title. Start in alphabetical order by authors’ first name.

    Indention: Hanging indent

    Subsequent entries: single-spaced.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------your name + page number

    --------------------------------------------Bibliography

    Example:

    Author. Title. location of publication: publisher, year.

    Thomas, Glen, E. Teaching Students with Mental Retardation: A Life Goal Curriculum Planning Approach.

    Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1996.

    Keep in mind these are abbreviated examples and the possibilities of formatting sources change with each style. Find guide books or supplemented material at your school library, in handouts from your teacher, the Purdue Online Writing Lab (Purdue OWL), and at university/college libraries for specific listing styles for current and thorough information on how to make a reference page for an essay.


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