By the end of this chapter, you should be able to
- Identify the key questions answered in a reference citation
Let’s begin by discussing what a reference list is. A reference list is placed on a separate page at the end of your academic paper or business report. The list includes a reference citation only for each source you used and cited in your paper or report. The list is arranged in alphabetical order by author.
Each reference citation answers four key questions or Four Ws:
Asking these four questions helps identify the key elements needed for a reference list citation.
You are not expected to memorize APA guidelines. Instead, use available resources (this tutorial guide or Dalhousie’s APA Quickguide) to help guide you. Over time you will become more comfortable with creating citations yourself.
Using APA resources to help create a reference citation is like using a recipe. The ingredients are the key pieces of information about a source (the 4Ws). If you’re missing an ingredient, leave it out or substitute it.
Following a recipe’s directions is like following a citation example. If you follow the directions and add the ingredients at the right point, then your recipe (i.e. your citation) will turn out.