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Archived - APA 6th Edition - SCU Referencing Guide

Citing in the text - author variations

Sources with no author

When a work has no author, cite in the text the first few words of the reference list entry, usually the title and the year. Use double quotation marks around the title of an article or chapter, and italicise the title of a periodical, book, brochure or report.

For example:

On free care ("Study finds," 2007) ...

Different number of authors

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

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.

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

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

Organisational authors

When it is readily identifiable through abbreviation, for the first citation in text:

 The National Institute of Mental Health began this study (NIMH, 2003) …


As found in this study (National Institute of Mental Health [NIMH], 2003) …

 For subsequent citations:          NIMH (2003)

 Note: When the organisation does not have an abbreviation, write the name in full.

Anonymous authors

When a work's author is designated as "Anonymous", cite in the text the word Anonymous followed by a comma and the date.

For example:

(Anonymous, 2006)

Multiple works by same author

Where there are two or more works by the same author cited in the same parentheses, the author/s name appears once, followed by the publication years of the works, oldest to most recent.

For example: his work on rock art (Bednarik, 2001, 2003a).

Multiple works by same author in same year

Identify works by the same author and the same publication year by adding the suffixes a, b, c, after the year. The suffixes are assigned in the reference list, ordered alphabetically by title (ignoring "A" or "The").

For example:

...varied interests (Bednarik, 2003a, 2003b, 2003c).

Citing two or more sources within same parantheses

Order the citations of two or more works by different authors within the same parentheses alphabetically in the same order in which they appear in the reference list (including citations that would otherwise shorten to et al.). Separate the citations with semicolons.

For example:

Several studies (Miller, 1999; Shafranske & Mahoney, 1998) show that ...

You may separate a major citation from other citations within parentheses by inserting a phrase, such as see also, before the first of the remaining citations, which should be alphabetical order.

For example:

(Minor, 2001; see also Adams, 1999; Storandt, 2007)

Citing in text - direct quotes and paraphrases

Citing a direct quote

For further help in how to include direct quotations in your work, refer to this Learning Zone (Academic Skills) guide.

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

In the first example below, the direct quote appears at the end of a sentence. The second example is taken from p. 171 of the Publication Manual, and refers to when the quote appears in mid-sentence:

Issues surround the imitation of real world buildings as whilst they “serve the important function of grounding users’ expectations and providing affordances for them to effectively move through space, they can also be limiting” (Ball & Bainbridge, 2008, p. 118).

Interpreting these results, Robbins et al. (2003) suggested that the "therapists in dropout cases may have inadvertently validated parental negativity about the adolescent without adequately responding to the adolescent's needs or concerns" (p. 541), contributing to an overall climate of negativity.

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. Double-space the entire quotation. At the end of the block quotation, cite the source and page or paragraph number in parentheses after the final punctuation mark.

Citing a summary or paraphrase

For further help in how to use paraphrases in your work, refer to this Learning Zone (Academic Skills) guide.

Even if you put information or an idea into your own words by summarizing or paraphrasing, you must cite the original author or researcher and the date of publication. Page numbers are not normally included when paraphrasing, although they may be included when it would help an interested reader locate the relevant passage in a long or complex text. Given that there is not a definite APA rule, it is recommend you check this requirement with your lecturer.


Citing a work with no page numbers

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.

For example:

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

[Tip: if your resource is a journal article in html format (and therefore with no page numbers), check to see if the article is available elsewhere as a pdf. Usually, pdfs include page numbers.]

Citing a work discussed in a secondary source

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 citation and References. The words “as cited in” in the parenthetical reference indicate you have not read the original research. If you include a direct quote from the secondary source, include the relevant page number/s, as per the example below.

For example, if Miller’s work (in this case, a direct quote) is cited in Lister and you did not read Miller’s work, you would provide Lister’s details in the reference list. In the text use this citation:

Miller’s definition of social justice (as cited in Lister, 2007, p. 12) …     or

One definition of social justice (Miller, as cited in Lister, 2007, p. 12) ...

Citing when you are altering a direct quote

Slight changes like changing the case of the first letter of the first word, or changing the punctuation mark at the end of the sentence to fit the syntax, do not require explanations in the quotation.

When you need to omit part of a sentence within a quotation to make it fit grammatically or because it contains irrelevant/unnecessary information, insert three spaced ellipses (. . .).

If you want to emphasise a word or words in a quotation, italicise the word or words, and insert the following  immediately after the word/s: [emphasis added].

If any incorrect spelling, punctuation, or grammar in the source might confuse readers, insert the word sic, in italics and brackets, immediately after the error in the quotation.