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APA Style: Basics

This guide is intended to help you cite sources in APA style, avoid plagiarism, learn what APA style is and includes, find examples of APA style, lead you to campus resources that can help you cite sources in APA, and more.

One or More Authors for the Same Source


See APA manual (6th ed.), p. 177, Table 6.1

One Author Smith (2007)
Subsequent Citations in Text Smith (2007)
Parenthetical Citation (Smith, 2007)
Subsequent Citations (Smith, 2007)
Two Citations by Same Author Published in the Same Year Wienhorst (2010a)
Wienhorst (2010b)
Two Citations by Same Author in the Same Text Citation Wienhorst (2010a, 2010b)
Two Authors Smith and Thomas (2007)
Subsequent Citations in Text Smith and Thomas (2007)
Parenthetical Citation (Smith & Thomas, 2007)
Subsequent Citations (Smith & Thomas, 2007)
Three Authors Smith, Thomas, and Jones (2007)
Subsequent Citations in Text Smith et al. (2007)
Parenthetical Citation (Smith, Thomas, & Jones, 2007)
Subsequent Parenthetical Citations (Smith et al., 2007)
Four Authors Higgins, Chow, Ito, and Kawazaki (2000)
Subsequent Citations in Text Higgins et al. (2000)
Parenthetical Citation (Higgins, Chow, Ito, & Kawazaki, 2000)
Subsequent Parenthetical Citations (Higgins et al., 2000)
Five Authors Schaefer, Ramirez, Lucio, Davidson, and Pastillo (2008)
Subsequent Citations in Text Schaefer et al. (2008)
Parenthetical Citation (Schaefer, Ramriez, Lucio, Davidson, & Pastillo, 2008)
Subsequent Parenthetical Citations (Schaefer et al., 2008)
Six or More Authors Hutchens et al. (2010)
Subsequent Citations in Text Hutchens et al. (2010)
Parenthetical Citation (Hutchens et al., 2010)
Subsequent Parenthetical Citations (Hutchens et al., 2010)
Two References that Have the Same Year & Several of the Same Authors Bischoff, Frey, Hoeferkamp, and Wienhorst (2011)
Bischoff, Frey, Smith, and Holmes (2011)
Subsequent Citations in Text Bischoff, Frey, Hoeferkamp, et al. (2011)
Bischoff, Frey, Smith, et al. (2011)
Parenthetical Citation (Bischoff, Frey, Hoeferkamp, & Wienhorst, 2011)
(Bischoff, Frey, Smith, & Holmes, 2011)
Subsequent Parenthetical Citations (Bischoff, Frey, Hoeferkamp, et al., 2011)
(Bischoff, Frey, Smith, et al., 2011)

See APA manual, p. 175 and APA Style Blog (comments) for more information.

Two Citations with the Same Author & Same Year Stahl (2011a)
Stahl (2011b)
Johnson (in press-a)
Johnson (in press-b)
Parenthetical Citation (Stahl, 2011a)
(Stahl, 2011b)
(Johnson, in press-a)
(Johnson, in press-b)
Two Works Within Same Parentheses (Stahl, 2011a, 2011b)
(Johnson, in press-a, in press-b)
(Johson, in press-a, in press-b; Stahl, 2011a, 2011b)

Note that APA does not use et al. in the reference list, however, when there are more than seven authors, you list the first six authors and the last author with ellipses to indicate that all the names were not included. See APA. p. 198, #2.

For example (indent the second line):

Hutchens, H. M., McKay, J., Alvarado, F., Plath, E., Jordan, A.,  Porter, M., . . . Allsop, S. (2005). The attractions of stupidity. The St. Croix e-Review, 30(2), 6-10.  doi:10.2004/4002/StCeR/24.43

No Authors

See APA (6th ed.), pp. 176-177 for more information.

Example 1: Article, Book Chapter, Web Page, Special Issue of Journal (See APA, p. 176 for more information)

Challenges to the findings ("The Oil Spill," 2010) were made.

"The Oil Spill" (2010) discussed challenges to the findings.

"The Oil Spill" published in 2010 discussed challenges to the findings.

  • Use double quotes around the title or the first few words in the title.
  • The comma goes inside the double quotes.
  • You can use the first few words of the title if the entire is too long. For example:  ("Rewriting the long 18th century," 2008)
  • The important words in the article title are capitalized in the text of the paper, but only the first word is capitalized in the reference citation at the end of the paper.

Example 2: Periodical, Book, Report, or Brochure Title    (See APA, p. 176 for more information)

The report (Remediation in Higher Education, 2005) stated 

Remediation in Higher Education (2005) stated

In 2005, Remediation in Higher Education stated

  • Italicize the title
  • If the entire title is too long, use the first few words in the title.
  • The important words in the title of the report are capitalized in the text of the paper, but only the first word is capitalized in the reference citation at the end of the paper.

Check out the OWL at Purdue website or Nova Southeastern University's APA guide for more examples of APA style formatting.

 

One or More Authors for the Same Source


See APA manual (6th ed.), p. 177, Table 6.1

 

Examples: One author

First time used in text: Smith (2007)

Subsequent citations in text: Smith (2007)

Parenthetical citation: (Smith, 2007)

Subsequent parenthetical citations: (Smith, 2007)

Two citations by the same author published in the same year: Wienhorst (2010a), Wienshorst (2010b)

Two citations by the same author in the same text citation: Wienhorst (2010a, 2010b)

 

Examples: Two authors

First time used in text: Smith and Thomas (2007)

Subsequent citations in text: Smith and Thomas (2007)

Parenthetical citation: (Smith & Thomas, 2007)

Subsequent parenthetical citations: (Smith & Thomas, 2007)

 

Examples: Three authors

First time used in text: Smith, Thomas, and Jones (2007)

Subsequent citations in text: Smith et al. (2007)

Parenthetical citation: (Smith, Thomas, & Jones, 2007)

Subsequent parenthetical citations: (Smith et al., 2007)

 

Examples: Four authors

First time used in text: Higgins, Chow, Ito, and Kawazaki (2000)

Subsequent citations in text: Higgins et al. (2000)

Parenthetical citation: (Higgins, Chow, Ito, & Kawazaki, 2000)

Subsequent parenthetical citations: (Higgins et al., 2000)

 

Examples: Five authors

First time used in text: Schaefer, Ramirez, Lucio, Davidson, and Pastillo (2008)

Subsequent citations in text: Schaefer et al. (2008)

Parenthetical citation: (Schaefer, Ramirez, Lucio, Davidson, & Pastillo, 2008)

Subsequent parenthetical citations: (Schaefer et al., 2008)

 

Examples: Six or more authors

First time used in text: Hutchens et al. (2010)

Subsequent citations in text: Hutchens et al. (2010)

Parenthetical citation: (Hutchens et al., 2010)

Subsequent parenthetical citation: (Hutchens et al., 2010)

 

Two references with the same year and several of the same authors

First time used in text: Bischoff, Frey, Hoeferkamp, and Wienhorst (2011), and Bischoff, Frey, Smith, and Holmes (2011)

Subsequent citations in text: Bischoff, Frey, Hoeferkamp, et al. (2011), and Bischoff, Frey, Smith, et al. (2011)

Parenthetical citation: (Bischoff, Frey, Hoeferkamp, & Wienhorst, 2011), and (Bischoff, Frey, Smith, & Holmes, 2011)

Subsequent parenthetical citation: (Bischoff, Frey, Hoeferkamp, et al., 2011), and (Bischoff, Frey, Smith, et al., 2011)

(See the APA Manual, p. 175 and the APA Style Blog comments section for more information)

 

Two citations with the same author and same year

First time used in text: Stahl (2011a), and Stahl (21011b) OR Johnson (in press-a), and Johnson (in press-b)

Parenthetical citations: (Stahl, 2011a) and (Stahl, 2011b) OR (Johnson, in press-a) and (Johnson, in press-b)

 

Two works within the same parentheses

(Stahl, 2011a, 2011b)

(Johnson, in press-a, in press-b)

(Johnson, in press-a, in press-b; Stahl, 2011a, 2011b)