How do I add a reference page as a text file? [duplicate]

I am really struggling with my References / Bibliography page. I will unfortunately be unable to give much of my code, as the contents of the document are unpublished.

The template I was given to use for my code included a refs.txt file that had,

\begin{thebibliography}{}
\bibitem{}

\end{thebibliography}


Unfortunately, I used the APA citation style when manually citing in my document, so I do not want the number in the brackets ( [1] ) before my citation. I have a main.txt file that then includes my other text files,

\include{ch1}
\include{ch2}
\include{ch3}
\include{refs}


I believe it is due to this reason that the \usepackage{natbib} package continues to give me an error. Additionally, I have attempted to forgo the thebibliography aspect of my code and attempt to write a .bib file, but when adding it to my main.txt file, under my \include statements (while removing the \include{refs}, as either \printbibliography or \bibliography{example} it does not include my reference page at all.

Is there anyway to fix this, or do something completely different, or will I have to redo all of my citations?

Edit: I believe I have figured it out on my own.

• @Fran, unfortunately, that does not answer my question, as when I use the options provided, my output does not include a Reference page at all. – Fire Oct 28 '20 at 5:42
• Forget your document for a moment and try to reproduce the examples showed in the answer. If that options work in the examples (and the answer is yes) and not in your document you are doing something wrong, but without showing a minimal working example (MWE) of what you do is impossible to know. That doesn't mean publish here your thesis (or whatever). A "Hello word" text with one fake cite and only the related code is enough but it must be compilable code (i.e., starting with \documentclass{...} and ending with \end{document}). – Fran Oct 28 '20 at 6:43
• @Fran, I believe I have figured it out on my own. However, I would still be unable to give a minimal working example, because the \documentclass{...} is written code that is lengthy. It is not a publicly accessible class such as: article, report, book, etc. – Fire Oct 28 '20 at 6:50
• If you make a MWE with the custom class and that problem persists switching to a standard class, and without adding others, then is recommended post the MWE with the standard class. Otherwise, you must provide the link to the custom class, or include in the preamble of a standard document the relevant code of the custom class ( that related with the bibliography, with natbib or bilatex packages, for instance). – Fran Oct 28 '20 at 7:14
• @Fire If you solved the problem on your own, you can add an answer to help future readers who might encounter the same problem. – Marcel Krüger Oct 28 '20 at 8:18