APA tip

It’s that time of year – You’re working on your final projects and assignments and double-checking your citations.

A common APA citation question is: “I have multiple sentences that occur one after the other that contain information from the same source: Do I have to repeat the in-text citation every time?”

The answer is yes….and no.

The overall rule is to “cite the work of those individuals whose ideas, theories, or research have directly influenced your work” (APA, 2009, p. 169).

However, the APA manual does allow for in-text citations to be slightly shortened in very specific circumstances:

Within a paragraph, when the name of the author appears as part of the narrative … you need not include the year in subsequent nonparenthetical references to a study as long as the study cannot be confused with other studies cited in the article . Do include the year in all parenthetical information. (APA, 2009, p. 174)

So what does this mean? It means that you do not have to repeatedly include the year in an in-text citation if:

  • the citations occur in the same paragraph
  • the first time the author’s name is mentioned in the paragraph, it is part of your sentence, and not part of a parenthetical citation. (Example: Smith (2010) stated that one in five subjects responded positively to treatment.)
  • There’s not another source written by Smith, or another Smith, or any other way the reader could confuse the citation with another source.

    So, what would it look like?

    Smith (2010) stated that three in five subjects responded positively to treatment. Smith also stated that those who responded positively found that their symptoms began to lessen after two weeks of treatment. The study also showed that the female subjects demonstrated a higher rate of  recovery (Smith, 2010).

    BUT….if both the name and the year appear in parentheses first, the above rule does NOT apply, and you would create your in-text citations as normal. Example:

    Three in five subjects responded positively to treatment (Smith, 2010). Smith (2010) also stated that those who responded positively found that their symptoms began to lessen after two weeks of treatment. The study also showed that the female subjects demonstrated a higher rate of  recovery (Smith, 2010).

    Hopefully this rule will help you streamline your APA citations. As always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact the Library. You can also visit the Library’s APA guide for more examples.

    References

    American  Psychological Association. (2009). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association. Washington, DC: Author.

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