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APA citation style - 6th edition


One author
  • In most cases, providing the author's last name and the publication year are sufficient:
    Smith (1997) compared reaction times...

    Within a paragraph, you need not include the year in subsequent references.

    Smith (1997) compared reaction times. Smith also found that...
Two authors
  • If there are two authors, include the last name of each and the publication year:
    ...as James and Ryerson (1999) demonstrated...
    ...as has been shown (James & Ryerson, 1999)...
3 - 5 authors
  • If there are three to five authors, cite all authors the first time; in subsequent citations, include only the last name of the first author followed by "et al." and the year:
    Williams, Jones, Smith, Bradner, and Torrington (1983) found...
    Williams et al. (1983) also noticed that...
Corporate authors
  • The names of groups that serve as authors (e.g. corporations, associations, government agencies, and study groups) are usually spelled out each time they appear in a text citation. If it will not cause confusion for the reader, names may be abbreviated thereafter:
    First citation: (National Institute of Mental Health [NIMH], 1999)
    Subsequent citations: (NIMH, 1999)
Updated: Monday 22 June 2020
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