APA referencing \u2013 developed by the American Psychological Association \u2013 is used to cite sources in academic writing. But how does this system work? In this post, we take a look at APA citations according to the rules set out in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Seventh Edition.\r\n1. Basic APA Citations\r\nAPA uses author\u2013date citations (a form of parenthetical referencing). This means you cite a source by giving the surname of its author and the date of its publication in brackets:\r\nMany people use APA citations (Schreiber, 2001).\r\nAs shown above, APA citations place a comma between the author\u2019s name and the year. If the author is already named in the text, meanwhile, you only need to give the year in brackets:\r\nSchreiber (2001) states that many people use APA citations.\r\nThis is the basic APA citation format for all sources with a single author.\r\n2. Sources with More than One Author\r\nFor sources with two authors, include both surnames in citations. The names should be joined by an ampersand if they are cited in brackets, but not when they appear in the main text:\r\nTwo is company (Schreiber & Harkin, 2011).\r\nAccording to Schreiber and Harkin (2011), two is company.\r\nWhen a source has three or more authors, use the first name plus \u201cet al.\u201d:\r\nThree is a crowd (Schreiber et al., 2014).\r\n\r\nYou would then give the names of all authors in the reference list.\r\n3. Organizational Authors\r\nSome sources, such as the website of a business, won\u2019t have a named individual as an author. When this occurs, you can name a company or organization as the author:\r\nMissing citations can affect your grades (Proofed, 2018).\r\nThis is known as citing an \u201corganizational author.\u201d If there is no organizational author available either, though, you may have to give the title of the source in the citation instead of an author.\r\n4. Quoting Sources\r\nIf you are quoting a source, you need to give a pinpoint citation. This means citing the page number(s) of the quoted passage:\r\nIt is important to \u201cprovide evidence in essays\u201d (Schreiber, 2001, p. 24).\r\nAs shown above, you should give the page number(s) after a comma and \u201cp.\u201d when the author\u2019s name is part of the citation. However, you should cite the page number separately when the author has been named in the text instead:\r\nSchreiber (2001) says we must \u201cprovide evidence in essays\u201d (p. 24).\r\nThe key is that page numbers always appear after the quotation.\r\n5. Audiovisual Sources\r\nIf you want to quote an audiovisual source, you need to cite a timestamp:\r\nThe interviewee claimed that \u201cvideo is the future\u201d (Harkin, 2017, 21:34).\r\nHere, for example, the \u201c21:34\u201d in the citation shows that the quote comes from 21 minutes and 34 seconds into the recording. This replaces the page numbers cited when quoting a print source.\r\n6. Multiple Sources in One Citation\r\nYou can, if required, cite more than one source in a single set of brackets. All you need to do is place a semicolon between the citations, which should be ordered alphabetically by author surname:\r\nThere is strong agreement on this issue among experts (Harkin, 2001; Ptaszynski, 1998; Schreiber, 2010).\r\nCiting more than one source at the same time like this can be useful if you need to show that multiple sources support the same argument.\r\n7. Multiple Sources by the Same Author from the Same Year\r\nFor most sources, the author\u2019s surname and year of publication will be enough for the reader to find it in the reference list. However, if you are citing more than one source by the same author from the same year, you will need to provide extra information to help the reader.\r\n\r\nAPA referencing does this by placing a letter after the year of publication:\r\nPublishing success can vary by year (Harkin, 2001a). Some years may see an author release multiple works, whereas other years may see them publish nothing at all (Harkin, 2001b).\r\nHere, we have two sources by Harkin from 2001. As such, we label these \u201c2001a\u201d and \u201c2001b\u201d in citations and in the reference list so readers can tell which citation points to which source.\r\n\r\nThe letter used depends on the position of the source in the reference list, with sources from the same year ordered alphabetically by title.\r\n\r\nSo, if we have two sources by Harkin from 2001, one called Analyzing APA and another called Myths of Referencing, the former would come first in the reference list and be cited as \u20182001a\u2019, while the latter would come second and be cited as \u201c2001b.\u201d\r\n8. More than One Author with the Same Surname\r\nFinally, if you cite separate sources by two authors who happen to have the same surname, you should add a first initial to citations so that your reader can tell them apart:\r\nSome surnames are very common (A. Smith, 1984). This can lead to confusion between people with the same surname (B. Smith, 2004).\r\nAdding this initial will help readers find the sources in your reference list.