How to cite using APA referencing

This page outlines how to complete various kinds of citations and author variations using the APA Referencing method.

Quotations, paraphrases and summaries

Quotation (exact words from the source)

Reproduce the text word for word and place quotation marks at the beginning and end of the quotation. The author, date and page number should be included.

For a citation where the author is named in the text, include the author and year in the sentence and then place the page number or other location information in parentheses after the quotation:

Broudy (1998) argues that "on the common criteria for schooling, our sample citizen has failed because he cannot replicate the necessary skill or apply the relevant principles." (p. 8)

If the author is not named, include all the citation information in parenthesis at the end of the quotation:

It is then apparent that in this shared educational standard "our sample citizen has failed because he cannot replicate the necessary skill or apply the relevant principles." (Broudy, 1998, p. 8)

A paraphrase of an author's words or ideas

Restate the original in your own words. The author and date must be included. It can also be helpful to provide page or paragraph numbers, particularly if you are citing a longer work. The APA publications manual 6th edn (p. 171) encourages you to provide page numbers to help your reader locate the information.

Encouraging students to memorise information and then testing their memory has been a constant criterion of pedagogy (Broudy, 1998).

Broudy (1998, p. 8) argues that memorisation does not result in an ability to solve problems.

To reference the overall content of a work

No need to include page numbers because it is the entire work you are referring to:

Larsen and Greene (1989) studied the effects of pollution in three major citiies...

A secondary source i.e. a source referred to in another publication

Secondary sources should be used sparingly, such as when the primary work is unavailable.

In-text citations

Acknowledge both sources. In the text, name the primary source and cite the secondary source. Include the words “as cited in” before the secondary source:

Gibbs suggests that “because students are aware of their tutor’s mastery of the subject matter, it is common for them to assume that their reader has no needs at all” (as cited in Bowden & Marton, 1998, p. 35).


Gibbs' study (as cited in as cited in Bowden & Marton, 1998) discusses the assumptions students hold concerning the expertise of ...


Only include the details of the source you actually read, which is the secondary source:

Bowden, J. & Marton, F. (1998). The university of learning. London, England: Kogan Page.

Multiple authors

One to three authors:

In-text citations

Always include both authors in the order in which they appear. Separate names by using ‘and’ in running text use ‘and’; within parentheses, use an ampersand (&):

(Gerster & Basset, 1987) or:

Gerster and Basset (1987) assert that ...


Gerster, R. & Bassett, J. (1991). Seizures of youth: The sixties and Australia. Melbourne, Australia: Hyland House.


More than three authors:

In-text citations

State all authors when first mentioning the source. Subsequent references to the source are shortened to the first surname followed by ‘et al.’ (et al. = and others):

First entry: Leeder, Dobson, Patel, Mathews and Marriot (1996, p. 78)

Subsequent entries: Leeder et al. (1996, p. 78) 


Don’t use et al. in the references. List all authors in the order in which they appear on the title page.

Leeder, S. R., Dobson, A. J., Patel, N. K., Mathews, P. S. & Mariot, D. L. (1996). The Australian film industry, Adelaide, Australia: Dominion Press.


More than one work in the same citation

 In-text citations

Arrange alphabetically, separated by semicolons:

(Entwistle, 1977; Haddon, 1969) 


Each source requires a separate reference list entry. 

An author who published more than one work in the same year

In-text citations

Attach an a, b, c, d etc. after the year:

Karskens  (2003a, 2003b) examines the archeology of ... 


Each source will require a separate reference list entry. Order them alphabetically by title.

Karskens, G. (2003a). Revisiting the worldview: The archaeology of convict households in Sydney's rocks neighbourhood. Historical Archaeology, 37(1), 34-55. Retrieved from

Karskens, G. (2003b). Tourists and pilgrims: (Re)visiting the rocks. Journal of Australian Studies, 27(79), 29-38. doi:10.1080/14443050309387885

Multiple works by the same author

In-text citations

Use the author name and the dates in chronological order:

In both studies, Entwistle (2007, 2010) examined ...


Each source requires a separate reference list entry.

A book with no author

In-text citations

Use the title (if it is short) in place of an author name in the citation. If the title is long, use a short version:

(Oxford collocations dictionary, 2009)


Place the title in the author position.

Oxford collocations dictionary for students of English (2nd ed.). (2009). Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.

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