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AMA Style: The Basics for Pharmacy Writing: Step 2: Creating Your Reference List

Reference List

The AMA Manual of Style requires that your reference list must be in numerical order to reflect the order of your in-text citations.

  • This means your reference list is not alphabetical!
  • Page 832 of the AMA Manual of Style, 11th edition (2020) gives a great sample reference list
  • If the type of information you need to include in your reference list isn't included as an example on this page, consult Chapter 3 of the AMA Manual of Style, 11th edition (2020)


  • Numbering: your reference list MUST use regular numbers (not superscripts!)
  • Left justified: items in your reference list MUST be left justified (flush left)
  • Spacing: each item listed in your reference list MUST be single spaced (no spaces between lines)


Questions about the AMA Manual of Style? 

Contact your pharmacy liaison librarian, Caitlin Carter, x21313, PHR 4009.

Example Reference List

Do not double-space the items in your reference list. Here is what a properly formatted reference list would look like in your paper: 


  1. Fischer MA, Stedman MS, Lii J, et al. Primary medication non-adherence: analysis of 195,930 electronic prescriptions. J Gen Intern Med. 2010;25(4):284–290. doi:10.1007/s11606-010-1253-9
  2. Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction. Case studies from four Canadian clinics. Published June 2020. Accessed November 23, 2020.
  3. Schumock GT, Donnelly A. Business planning for pharmacy programs. In: Zgarrick DP, Desselle SP, Moczygemba LR, Alston G, eds. Pharmacy Management: Essentials for all Pharmacy Practice Settings. 5th ed.  McGraw-Hill; 2020:chap 7.  Accessed November 25, 2020.
  4. Dash D.  Young Adult Experiences with a Mobile Smoking Cessation Application: A Qualitative Evaluation of Crush the Crave. Master's thesis. University of Waterloo; 2016. Accessed November 23, 2020.

Citing Different Types of Sources

Click on the hyperlinked text below to view an example of a citation for each type of source.

Can't find what you need?

If you need an example of how to reference a type of information that isn't included in this guide, consult Chapter 3 of the AMA Manual of Style.