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APA (6/e) Style Guide

A guide to help users create citations using APA (American Psychological Association) style.

How to Cite More than One Author (pp. 175-7)

When a work has 2 authors, cite both names every time the reference occurs.

          Ex.        as has been shown (Joreskog & Sorbom, 1989)

When a work has 3-5 authors, cite all the names the first time the reference occurs; in subsequent citations, use the surname of the first author followed by et al.

         Ex.        this was found to be true (Wasserstein, Zappulla, Rosen, Gerstman, & Rock, 1994)

         Ex.        The testing was concluded in 1985 (Wasserstein et al., 1994)

When a work has 6 or more authors, use the surname of the first author followed by et al. every time the reference occurs in the text.

          Ex.        Davis et al. (1999) found that… Ex. According to the study (Davis et al., 1999)

Tip: There is a helpful chart on how to cite references with different numbers of authors on page 177 of the APA Manual


chart on how to cite references with different numbers of authors
Basic Citation Styles (Table 6.1) from American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (p. 177). Washington, D.C.: Author.

How to Cite Information If No Page Numbers Are Available (pp.171-172)

If a resource contains no page numbers, as can be the case with electronic sources, then you cannot include a page number in the parentheses. However, if the source indicates paragraph numbers, use the abbreviation “para” and the relevant number in the parentheses. If the paragraph number is not visible, cite the heading and the paragraph number following it.

As Myers (2000, para. 5) aptly phrased it…
(Beutler, 2000, Conclusion, para. 1)

How to Cite Information When You Have Not Seen the Original Source (Secondary Sources) (p.178)

Sometimes an author writes about research that someone else has done, but you are unable to track down the original research report. In this case, because you did not read the original report, you will include only the source you did consult in your References. The words “as cited in” in the parenthetical reference indicate you have not read the original research.

Fong’s 1987 study (as cited in Bertram, 1996) found that older students’ memory can be as good as that of young people, but this depends on how memory is tested. [Do not include Fong (1987) in your References; do include Bertram (1996).]

Citing a Direct Quote

Numbers in parentheses refer to specific pages in the APA 6th Edition manual.

When you incorporate a direct quotation into a sentence, you must cite the source. Fit quotations within your sentences, enclosed in quotation marks, making sure the sentences are grammatically correct.

Gibaldi (2003, p. 109) indicates that, “Quotations are effective in research papers when used selectively.”

Remember that “[q]uotations are effective in research papers when used selectively” (Gibaldi, 2003, p. 109).

In 2003, Gibaldi wrote that, “Quotations are effective in research papers when used selectively” (p. 109).

If a quotation is 40 words or more, omit quotation marks and use a block format in which the quotation is indented about ½ inch (or 5 spaces) from the left margin. Maintain double-spacing within the block quote. Cite the source an parentheses at the end of the block quote, after the final punctuation mark.

Co-presence does not ensure intimate interaction among all group members. Consider large-scale social gatherings in which hundreds or thousands of people gather in a location to perform a ritual or celebrate an event.
     In these instances, participants are able to see the visible manifestation of the group, the physical gathering, yet their ability to make direct, intimate connections with those around them is limited by the sheer magnitude of the assembly. (Purcell, 1997, pp.111-112)

How to Cite When Altering a Direct Quotation (pp. 172-3)

When you need to leave out part of a quotation to make it fit grammatically or because it contains irrelevant/unnecessary information, insert ellipses.
If you must add or slightly change words within a quotation for reasons of grammar or clarity, indicate the change with square brackets.

How to Paraphrase (pp. 170-4)

Even if you put information in your own words by summarizing or paraphrasing, you must cite the original author and the date of publication. You are also encouraged to provide a page or paragraph number (check with your instructor to see if page numbers are required).


Within the research paper, quotations will have more impact when used judiciously (Gibaldi, 2003, p. 109).

When citing more than one article published by an author in the same year, repeat the year but add a suffix to represent each article (Wilbourn, 1988a, 1988b). Suffixes are assigned according to the alphabetical order of the first major word in each title and also appear in the reference list, where the author's name is repeated for each article.

Anonymous Authors

When a work’s author is designated as “Anonymous,” cite in text the word Anonymous followed by a comma and the date:

(Anonymous, 2010)

In the reference list, an anonymous work is alphabetized by the word Anonymous

Anonymous. (2010). Food safety shake-up needed in the USA. The Lancet, 375(9732), 2122. Retrieved from

Citing multiple works

Multiple references

Alphabetize multiple references within parentheses and separate author groups with a semicolon. You may separate a major reference from others by inserting "see also" before remaining references, which appear alphabetically:


(Patel, 1990; see also Arndt, 1986; Turgel, 1992).

When selecting one or more authors to represent the work or findings of a large group of authors, inform the reader by including "e.g." within the citation:


A large number of studies have shown that variations in brain waves are common (e.g., Engle, 1993a; Reuter, 1990, Trautman, 1987).