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 an alphabetized list located on a separate page at the end of your academic paper or business report. The list includes a reference citation for each source you used in your research.
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 (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.