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APA style

Note! The current APA Citation Guide and all the examples included in it, reflect the 6th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. The guide is scheduled to be updated to reflect the recently published 7th edition later in the year. 

APA citations appear in two places in a research paper: in the body of the paper, as in-text citations, and at the end of the paper, as references to books, articles, or any other type of source you have used in your paper.

Citing in the text

An in-text citation is a brief description, which includes the last name of the author and the publication date of the source. It shows that you are using someone else's ideas or words in your paper. There are two ways to present citations in the text. You can either introduce the last name of the author and the date in the flow of the sentence, or include both of them in parentheses at the end of the sentence. An in-text citation should link your audience to a detailed reference at the end of your paper.

Click on a collapsible panel to see examples based on the special characteristics of the source you are citing, and find out how you should form your in-text citations.

When you cite a work by one author, provide the name of the author and the publication date of the source.
When you cite a work by two authors, provide both names every time the citation occurs in the paper.
When you cite a work by three, four, or five authors, provide all authors' names the first time the citation occurs. In subsequent citations, include only the last name of the first author followed by et al.
When you cite a work by six or more authors, give only the first author's last name followed by et al. and the date of publication. Do this for the first and all subsequent citations.
When you cite a work by a group author, it is preferable to provide the full name, and not the abbreviation of the group's name, every single time this appears in a text citation. If you need to use an abbreviation, add it in parentheses next to the full name the first time it appears in the text and use only the abbreviation in all subsequent citations.

In subsequent citations, abbreviate the name of the group if it is long and the abbreviation is familiar or easily recognizable. However, when the name is short or not obvious to understand, write it out every time it occurs.

Groups that serve as authors can be corporations, government agencies, associations, and study groups.

When you cite a work with no identified author, provide the first few words of the reference list entry. Enclose the title of an article, chapter, or web page in quotation marks. Italicize the title of a periodical, book, brochure, or report.

When the work's author is designated as anonymous, use the word Anonymous instead of a name, followed by a comma and the date of publication. E.g., (Anonymous, 2008).

When you cite a direct quotation, indicate the page number of the source, where the quotation appears.
When you cite a specific part of a source, indicate the page, chapter, figure, table, or equation at the appropriate point in the text.

The word page is always abbreviated (i.e., p.), but the word chapter is not.

Different authors

When you cite two or more works by different authors in a single parenthetical reference, give each work as you would normally. Arrange the works alphabetically by author and separate them with semicolons.

Same authors

When you cite two or more works by the same author in a single parenthetical reference, give the author's last name followed by the years of publication of the different sources (from the oldest to the most recent).

Same authors, same publication date

When you cite two or more works by the same author and the same publication date in a single parenthetical reference, identify each work by adding the suffixes a, b, c, and so forth. The suffixes should, first, be assigned in the list of references after placing the sources in alphabetical order by title.
When you want to cite a secondary source, name the original work and provide a parenthetical citation for the secondary source. Begin the parenthetical citation with the phrase "as cited in" followed by the author's last name, a comma and the year of publication.

In the reference list, provide the bibliographic information of the secondary source.

 

A personal interview conducted by the researcher is a personal communication. It is cited only in the body of the paper. You do not have to include any information in the reference list.