Answered By: Gabe Gossett
Last Updated: Jan 14, 2016     Views: 3467

APA style uses the author-date in-text method of citation: the last name of the author and the year of publication are inserted in the text. There are generally two ways in which this might be done, depending on how you are referring to the source. If you use the name of the author in your sentence you should refer to them by last name or names only, immediately followed by the year and possibly a page number in parentheses. Otherwise you should list the author last name or names, comma, year, and possibly the page number within parentheses.

Examples

One author: A single gene controls the restriction of the compound to the leaves and stems (Barham, 1953). OR According to Barham (1953), a single gene controls the restriction of the compound to the leaves and stems.

Two authors (cite both names every time): Brabant and Mooney (1986) have used the comic strip to examine evidence of sex role stereotyping. OR The comic strip has been used to examine evidence of sex role stereotyping (Brabant & Mooney, 1986).

Three, four, or five authors (List every author the first time. After that, cite only the last name of the first author followed by "et al."): Example of a first citation: Cramer, Jackson, Smith, and Jones (1992) found evidence that ... For subsequent citations: Cramer et al. (1992) found evidence that ...
NOTE: Et al. is Latin for and others; “et” is a full word, but “al.” is an abbreviation and therefore needs to be followed by a period.

Six or more authors: Cite only the surname of the first author followed by "et al."

No author: Cite the first few words of the reference entry (usually the title) and the year. Use double quotation marks around the title of an article or chapter, and italicize the title of a periodical, book, brochure, or report. Examples: From the book Study Guide (2000) ... or ("Reading," 1999).

For more information see the APA Manual pages 174-179.