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CDU APA Referencing: Reference List Checklist

A guide to help you better understand CDU APA 7th Referencing

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# Checklist item Further information
1 Have you checked if your lecturer has any special referencing requirements, for example page numbers for all citations or no hyperlinks? If your lecturer states specific requirements for referencing, these override APA style, and you must incorporate them in your assignment. Check in your Learnline unit information, or with your lecturer directly.
2 Do your references appear at the end of your document, on a new page? References are listed at the end of your document. Insert a page break to start the references on a new page.
3 Are your references headed by the title References, centred and bold? This is the exact formatting required.
4 Are your references in alphabetical order by first named author, or title if there is no author (Listed sequentially – top to bottom)? Ignore the words ‘A’, ‘An’, and ‘The’ when alphabetising by title.
5 Are your references double spaced? Regardless of spacing required for assignments, your reference list must be double-spaced.
6 Are your references left aligned? Regardless of alignment required for assignments, you must left align the references.
7 Do your references have a hanging indent of 5-7 spaces?

FAQ What is a hanging indent?

FAQ How to create a hanging indent?

8 Have you followed the APA examples in this guide, including punctuation, spaces, italics, parenthesis etc.? Video – Punctuation Pitfalls:
9 Have you cited and referenced all resources used?

Whenever you use information from a resource in your text, an in-text citation is needed to show your reader where you found the information.

An in-text citation consists of author family name/organisation name and year, while the reference added at the end of your document includes full details of the resource.

10 Do all your references have a matching in-text citation and vice versa?

References cited in text must appear in the reference list and vice versa. The only exceptions to this rule are ‘Personal communication’ and ‘Traditional knowledge’.

11 Are your URLs and DOIs hyperlinked?

All URLs and DOIs should be hyperlinked eg.

12 Have you shortened URLs that are longer than two lines, using a URL shortening service?

URL shortening service:

Reminder: check ALL URLs work before submitting


Have you followed the rule of capitalisation for your titles and journal titles?

Video – A capital idea:

Capitalisation in APA style is very specific:

- In titles and subtitles of articles, chapters, books, reports and webpage titles, capitalise only the first letter of the first word of the title, the subtitle and any proper nouns.

- For journal titles you must capitalise the first letter of every word (except for words like ‘in’, ‘at’, ‘of’, ‘the’, ‘and’).


Where you have an author with multiple middle names, only include the first two initials of an author’s first names.


Robert Mark Smith: Smith, R. M.

Roberta Mary Cordelia Sanderson: Sanderson, R. M.


If your resource did not have a date, did you use n.d. (no date)?

Example of reference:

Author. (n.d.). Title. Publisher. DOI/URL

Example of in-text citation:

(Author, n.d.)


If you have resources with the same author, but different dates, have you listed the references in chronological order (oldest first)?

Example of reference list entry:

Jones, J. (2012). Travel tips. Publisher.

Jones, J. (2016). Worst holidays ever. Publisher.

Example of in-text citation:

Jones (2012) stated that…


If you have resources with the same author and the same date, have you added a letter after the date?

Have you added the same letter after the date in the matching in-text citation?

Example of reference:

Smith, J. (2014a). Best food ever. Publisher.

Smith, J. (2014b). Chocolate is great. Publisher.

Example of in-text citation:

(Smith, 2014a)


If you have resources with the same author and no date, have you added a hyphen and a letter after n.d.?

Have you added the same letter after the date in the in-text citation?

Example of reference:

St John. (n.d.-a). Burns. URL

St John. (n.d.-b). Scalds. URL

Example of in-text citation:

(St John, n.d.-a)


Have you explained all your abbreviations before using them?

It is possible to use an abbreviated version of an organisational author in text, but you must use it in full the first time.

In-text example: (World Health Organization [WHO], 2014). Use square brackets if it is within parentheses. Show subsequent citations as (WHO, 2014). In your reference list use the full name of the author.


Have you provided a DOI or URL wherever required for your electronic resources?

If your electronic resource has a DOI, add the DOI to your reference.

A DOI (Digital Object Identifier) is a series of numbers, letters, and symbols, used to uniquely identify a resource and provide a permanent address. Format:

If your electronic resource was accessed through Library Search or a CDU Library database and does NOT have a DOI, do NOT add a URL to your reference.

If your electronic resource was accessed through a search engine like Google, add the resource URL to your reference.

FAQ: What is a DOI and where can I find it


Have you changed all your DOIs to the correct format?

DOIs should be in link form and clickable.

Examples of changes:

DOI on article: doi:10.1037/arc0000014

DOI changed to:

Charles Darwin University acknowledges the traditional custodians across the lands on which we live and work, and we pay our respects to Elders both past and present.
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