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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.

Citing Secondary Sources


According to the APA manual it is best to "cite secondary sources sparingly--for instance, when the original work is out of print, unavailable, or available only in a language that you do not understand. If possible, as a matter of good scholarly practice, find the primary source, read it, and cite it directly rather than citing a secondary source” (American Psychological Association [APA], 2020, p. 258).

Example of a Quote by One Author Used in the Text of Another Book, Within the Text

In your in-text citation identify the primary source, and include in parentheses "(as cited in Author, Date)". The reference list will only list the secondary source. In the examples below, Smith's study is the primary source and Queenan et al. is the secondary ("as cited in") source.

Smith's 2008 study (as cited in Queenan et al., 2016) found that...

Queenan, H. R., Johnson, F. W., Yili, T. S., Sannefort, M. R, & Langman, R. C. (2017). Cyberbullying in American youth. Oxford University Press.