APA 7th Edition Referencing Guide

American Psychological Association (APA) Referencing Style is based on an author-date system with in-text referencing and a reference list.

In-Text Citation

This guide explains how to create in-text citations in the APA 7th referencing style.


Sometimes a source does not simply have one author. The information below explains how to cite different types of authored sources.

Work by one author

Author (year) Choden (2021)
(Author, year) (Choden, 2021)

Work by Two Authors

Name both authors in the signal phrase or in the brackets each time you cite the work. Use the word "and" between the authors' names within the text and use the ampersand in the brackets.

Example: Research by Dorji and Lhamo (1994) supports ...
(Dorji & Lhamo, 1994)

Work by Three or More Authors

For a work with three or more authors, include only the first author’s surname and “et al.” in all citations unless this creates ambiguity.

(Author 1 et al., year) / Author 1 et al. (year)

(Tobgay et al., 2003)
Tobgay et al. (2003)
In et al., et should not be followed by a full stop.

If citing multiple works with three or more authors shorten to the same in-text citation (same author and year), to avoid ambiguity add extra authors to distinguish the references and abbreviate the remaining names to et al.

(Dorji, Choden, Wangchuk et al., 2019)
(Dorji, Choden, Zangmo et al., 2019)

No Author / Editor

If the work does not have an author, check to see if an organization has acted as the author. If there is no personal and organizations as authors, use the title in place of the author by following the guidelines below:
  1. Shorten the title to the first few words if it is a long title and capitalize the words.
  2. Use double quotation marks around the title of an article, a chapter or a web page.
  3. Italicise the title of a periodical, a book, a brochure or a report.

“Introduction to APA Manual” (2015)
(Successful Academic Reading, 2010)

Organisation as Author

If the author is an organisation or a government agency, mention the organisation in the signal phrase or in the parenthetical citation the first time you cite the source.
Example: According to the Ministry of Health (2017), ...

If the organisation has a well-known abbreviation, include the abbreviation in brackets the first time the source is cited and then use only the abbreviation in later citations.

First citation: (World Health Organization [WHO], 2020)
Subsequent citation: (WHO, 2020)

Two or More Works in the Same Brackets

Order the citation within a parenthesis in alphabetical order as they would appear in the reference list, separated by a semicolon. Works by the same author, place the citations in order of publication date, giving the author once then each citation date.

Example: (Gyaltshen, 2019; Nidup, 2011; Rinzin, 2020)
(Lhaden, 2014; Yangdon, 2009; 2018)

Authors with the Same Last Name

To prevent confusion, use first initials with the last names.

Example: (K. Dorji, 2001; P. Dorji, 2012)

Same Author, Same Year

If you have two sources by the same author in the same year, use lower-case letters (a, b, c) with the year to order the entries in the reference list. Use the lower-case letters with the year in the in-text citation.

Example: Research by Tshering (2009a) illustrated that ...
Research by Tshering (2009b) found that ...

Secondary Source as In-text Citations

Sometimes the source you are using refers to another source, and this is called as a secondary source.

Provide a reference to the secondary source and for in-text citation, identify the primary source then write “as cited in” the secondary source that you used.

Example: Lhamo (2012) argued that ... (as cited in Palden, 2015, p. 102).
(Lhamo, 2012, as cited in Palden, 2015, p. 102).

No Date

If no date of publication is available, use n.d. in place of the year.
Example: Sangay (n.d.) explained that ...

Personal Communication

Works that cannot be recovered by readers are cited in the text as personal communications. Personal communications include emails, text messages, online chats or direct messages, personal interviews, telephone conversations, live speeches, unrecorded classroom lectures, memos, letters, messages from nonarchived discussion groups or online bulletin boards, and so on.

Example: K. Dema (personal communication, April 19, 2021) or
(K. Dema, personal communication, April 19, 2021)

Note: Because readers cannot retrieve the information in personal communications, personal communications are not included in the reference list; they are cited in the text only.


American Psychological Association. (2021). APA style blog. https://apastyle.apa.org/blog

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