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APA Style: Citing in the Text

A guide to APA referencing style for Khalifa University students and staff

Citing Examples

Single author

  • The short references within the text are given wholly or partly in round brackets.
  • Use only the surname of the author followed by a comma and the year of publication
    (Matthews, 1999)
  • Include page, chapter or section numbers if you need to be specific. The abbreviation for page is p. and the abbreviation for pages is pp.
    Matthews discusses the role of drawings in the psychological evaluation of children (1979, pp. 34-35).
    ... in the psychological evaluation of children has been studied elsewhere (Matthews, 1979, pp. 34-35).

Two authors

  • Cite both authors every time you cite within the text.
  • Separate the the authors name in the citation with an "&":
    (Lawson & Green, 1997, pp. 34-35)

  • When the authors names are incorporated into the text the "&" is replaced with "and". Always cite both names every time the reference occurs in the text:
    Lawson and Green (1997, pp. 34-35) were unable ...

Three or more authors
  • The first citation in the text of a work with three, four or five authors gives the surnames of all the authors:
    Wasserstein, Zappulla, Rosen, Gerstman and Rock (2004, p. 301) have found ...
    ... as has been found in a previous study (Wasserstein, Zappulla, Rosen, Gerstman & Rock, 2004, p. 301).

  • In subsequent citations in the text, only the surname of the first listed author is used, followed by the expression "et al." which means "and others":
    Wasserstein et al. (2004, p. 301) have found...

  • If there are more than six authors, only the surname of the first author is used, followed by et al.:
    Littlewood et al. (1997) have found ...
    ... as has been previously demonstated (Littlewood et al., 1997).

Volume numbers included

  • Include volume numbers within the citation between the year and the page numbers.
  • If more than one volume is given separate with a ";":
    This theory is dealt with in detail by Brysen (2003, vol. 2, p. 23; vol. 3, pp. 17-36).

Authors with the same surname

  • Make a distinction between authors with the same surname by including the author's initials.
  • If the author's surname is incorporated in the text place the initials before the surname; if it is a citation within brackets the initials follow the surname:
    The theory was propounded in 1970 (Larsen A.E., 2001) ...
    M.K. Larsen (2003) is among those ...

Multiple works by the same author in the same year

  • A distinction is made by adding lower case letters, a, b, c, etc. to the date.
  • These letters are also included in the full reference in the reference list to distinguish between the two documents.
    Bursch (2005a) described how the yak made transport possible in the high mountains of Inner Asia, as did the llama in the Andes of South America (Bursch, 2005b).

Corporate author

  • These are works without a personal author.
  • Corporate authors may be associations, agencies like government departments, corporations or organisations.
  • Names of organisations should be given in full the first time they are cited within the text.
  • In subsequent citations, these names may be abbreviated in the text if the abbreviation is meaningful or well known:
    (CSIRO, 1999) ...
    As predicted by the Centre of Independent Studies (1997) ...

More than one work cited

  • List all sources of information either in the text or within the citation separated by a semicolon (;):
    (Haddon, 1999; Larsen, 1991) ...
    Haddon (1999) and Larsen (1991) demonstrated that ...
    (Haddon, 1999, vol. 3, p. 734; Larsen, 1991, p. 11)

No author

  • When a work has no author or the author is anonymous, cite in the text the first few words of the reference list entry (usually the title) and the year.
  • Use italics for the title:
    This was apparently not the case in seventeenth-century England (On Travelling to London, 1683) ...
    On Travelling to London (1683) reveals that this was not true.

No date of publication

  • Use the abbreviation n.d. to indicate that no date of publication is given:
    Carruthers (n.d.) has suggested ...
    (Carruthers, n.d.)


  • If the author of the article is named, cite in the normal way with the author and date. If there is no author given, cite the newspaper title in italics.
  • Include the specific date as well as year and page or section numbers if appropriate:
    (Canberra Times, 24 Jan. 1997, p. B6) ...
    The Weekend Australian (24-25 Jan. 1997, p. 19) reported ...