If you need to write an academic paper or any other written work that requires you to use various sources, you should use a reference sheet template. Writers know the value of this document. A reference list is a list that you refer to when writing a professional piece. This is important, especially if your readers want to learn more about the sources you got your ideas from. It also provides you with credence as the writer. Any references that you have cited should appear in your reference list, except for any personal communication.

Reference List Templates

What is a reference list?

A list of references template is a catalog of all the sources that you used while writing your paper. It will include anything that you paraphrase, quote, or summarize in your document. When you use an idea for your research, you make a reference to the source of that idea in your list. Some reasons why this document is important are:

  • To give due credit to the original authors for their contribution to your document.
  • To give credibility to your work by demonstrating that you used reliable sources to support your ideas.
  • To avoid accusations of plagiarism.

Reference lists have the following characteristics:

  • It appears on a separate page at the end of your paper.
  • Each entry should include all essential information so that the readers can retrieve the sources themselves.
  • You organize them alphabetically by the last name of the authors.
  • There are various citation styles to use. The most common styles include APA, MLA, and AMA, to name a few.
  • There are various ways of listing source types you have used. For instance, the rules for adding websites differ from the rules for adding newspaper articles.

Before you can come up with an accurate entry for your reference list, you should decide on the citation style to use, then determine the source type you will work with. It’s critical for you to follow the capitalization, punctuation, font formatting, and order for the source type and style you have chosen.

The citation style to use will depend on the course or program you’re taking and on your assignment. Check with your instructor or professor to find out if they expect a specific style for the reference list.

Reference Sheet Templates

What to include in a reference list?

Referencing and citing information in a professional references template can be a daunting task, especially if it’s your first time to do so. There are many ways to reference. Remember that different departments, lecturers, or institutions may require different styles. If you aren’t sure which style to use, check with your instructor or lecturer. When creating this list, you should include the following elements:

  • Title

The title to use for this page is “References.” It begins with an uppercase letter and it’s centered.

  • Indentation

Use 5 to 7 spaces for the 2nd and the subsequent lines of each of the references.

  • Spaces between the references

In general, use double-space between each of the references.

  • Ampersand

For cases where there are two or more authors, use an ampersand before the name of the last author.

  • One author with two publications

Arrange the references according to the year of publication, from the earliest to the latest.  If both publications have the same year, add ‘a’ and ‘b’ after the year inside the brackets.

  • URLs

Don’t underline URLs so that the readers can see any underscores.

  • Same first author but a different second author

Arrange the references alphabetically according to the subsequent authors.

  • Upper case letters

For journal titles, use a headline style where you capitalize all of the words except for the prepositions and articles. For book or article titles, use a sentence style where you capitalize the first word of the title, the subtitle, and all proper names.

  • Place of publication

USA publishers provide the full name of the city and the state’s abbreviation. Publishers outside the US provide the full name of the city and the full name of the country.

  • Page range

Use an en dash for page ranges instead of a hyphen. Don’t add any spaces between the en dash and page numbers. If your keyboard doesn’t have an en dash, you may use a hyphen.

  • Square brackets

If you will add medium, description, or format information to identify or retrieve a resource, use square brackets after the title before adding this detail.

List Of References Templates

How do you write a reference list?

A references document will provide your readers with the publication details of the sources you have used. Usually, you would list the sources in alphabetical order, unless you use a numbered style. In such a case, you won’t need a separate reference list. Depending on which reference style you use, you can call it “Works Cited,” Bibliography,” or “References.” Since there is a difference between these three items, you should use the reference style your instructor requires, then follow the format of that style.

The three terms – references, works cited, and bibliography – are often used as if they meant the same thing. But there is one significant difference: a bibliography may include works used in the preparation of the document, although you don’t refer to them, while works cited or reference lists only contain sources that you have referred to in your document. The format of these documents may vary between styles but they always contain the same elements, which are:


You can identify the name of a source’s author by their last and first names or using their initials, depending on the reference style you will use. In cases where there are more than one author, you should use a reference style that will provide information to list their names. Some styles require listing all of the authors in last name-first order while others reverse the order after the name of the first author.

Also, you should always list authors in alphabetical order. But sometimes, you can list them according to their level of contribution. In such a case, list the main author’s name first.


Reference styles have different ways of presenting the title, specifically article titles. With journals and books, you would generally use capital letters for the titles and italicize them. With article titles, listing them varies. Some styles require that you should capitalize article titles and add quotation marks. But other styles recommend non-capitalization without quotation marks.

Volume or issue number

Periodical publications like scholarly journals that get published regularly in installments are issues. The issues published in the same year are collectively called a volume. When compiling your reference list, take note of the format to use. Remember that most reference styles require the title of the article and the issue or volume number of the journal too.

Place of publication

If you include any book entries in your reference list, some reference styles will require that you include the place of publication, which is usually the city. For publications done in the US, a 2-letter abbreviation of the state’s name is often included after the complete name of the city. There are also some publishers in the US who recommend that you also include the name of the country if the place of publication is outside the US.


Also, if you include any books in your reference list, make sure to include the name of the publishing company after the place of publication. If the publishing company is a university press, you may use the abbreviation UP to indicate this. But if you will use any journal articles, you don’t need to mention the publisher.


If you can find your source within an edited volume, like a chapter in a volume of a book, you should list this under the name of the author of the text, not under the editor’s name. But if you will create a bibliography, then you need to include the name of the editor.

Publication date

You should include the year of publication when creating a bibliography, whether your reference is an article or a book. In cases where the book has several prints and editions, include the year of the source you have referred to in your document. For reference lists, there are some reference styles that require information about the edition of the book.

For instance, you would include information like “2nd ed.” If you cite a journal article, you should include the volume number and sometimes the issue number too. You can write this information in different ways, depending on the style you will use. Some reference styles provide the volume number in bold, others use italics, and others don’t emphasize this information at all.


These days, you can retrieve many sources electronically. In such cases, some reference styles will require the URL or internet address from where you retrieved the source. To avoid using complex internet addresses, you may use a Document Object Identifier or DOI, if you can find one in the source.

Professional References Templates

How do you format a reference list?

A reference list usually appears at the end of the paper. Its purpose is to provide the required information for readers to retrieve or find any source that you have cited in your paper. Each of the sources you have cited should appear in the reference list. Likewise, you must cite each entry in the reference list in your text.

References should be on a page separate from the rest of your paper. You should boldly label the page with the word “References” at the top center. For the title, don’t use quotation marks or an underline. Make sure to double-space all text. Here are other basic formatting rules to follow:

  • If the author doesn’t have a middle name, initialize the first name of the author.
  • Include the last name and first or middle initials for all of the authors of a course to include up to 20 authors. This is a new rule since APA 6 only required the first six authors.
  • Separate each of the initials of the authors in the list using a comma. Use an ampersand before the name of the last author. In cases where there are 21 or more authors, use an ellipsis after the 19th author, then add the name of the last author.
  • Alphabetize all of the reference list entries by the last name of the first author of each work.
  • For different articles written by a single author or authors arranged in the same order, list the entries chronologically, from the earliest to the most recent.
  • When referencing the titles of chapters, books, articles, webpages, reports, or other sources, only capitalize the first letter of the first word of the title and the subtitle, the first word after a dash or colon, and all proper nouns.
  • Italicize the titles of longer works like edited collections, books, newspapers, and more.
  • Do not underline, put quotes around, or italicize the titles of short works like book chapters or edited essays collections.

When referencing academic journals, the basic formatting rules are:

  • Present the complete titles of the journals.
  • Italicize the titles of the journal.
  • Maintain any nonstandard capitalization and punctuation used in the journal’s title.
  • Capitalize all of the main words in the journal titles. Remember that this varies from the rule for adding the titles of common sources like reports, books, webpages, and more.
  • You would base this distinction on the type of source you will cite. Titles of academic journals have all of the main words capitalized, while the titles of other sources do not.
  • Capitalize the first word of the titles and subtitles when referencing journal articles. Also, capitalize the first word after a dash or colon in the title along with any proper nouns.
  • Don’t underline or italicize the title of the journal article.
  • Don’t enclose the title of the journal article in quotes.
  • Any lines after the first line of each reference entry should have a half-inch indentation from the margin on the left.
  • You should invert all the names of the authors so that the last name comes first.
  • Write the first and middle names of the authors as initials.