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How to Display Multiple Authors in APA Format

by Petra Wakefield, Demand Media

    As you construct the reference list for an APA-format paper, you may run across an article with 10 authors and wonder whether you have to type out every name in your citation. The answer is no, according to the sixth edition of the "Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association," which provides guidelines for citing any number of authors. The guidelines differ slightly for the reference list and the in-text citations.

    In the Reference List

    Step 1

    Separate the names with a comma and an ampersand if there are two authors. For example, "Jones, A. W., & Smith, J."

    Step 2

    Use commas between the names for three to seven authors and include an ampersand between the last two names. For example, "Jones, A. W., Smith, J., White, E. E., & Black, T."

    Step 3

    List the first six names, then three ellipses, then the last name if there are eight or more authors. Include a comma after the sixth name, but use neither a comma nor an ampersand after the ellipses. For example, "Jones, A. W., Smith, J., White, E. E., Black, T., Fort, W., Aaron, P. B., . . . Brown, K."

    In In-text Citations

    Step 1

    Use an ampersand between the names of two authors in a parenthetical citation; for example, "(Jones & Smith, 2010)." Use the word "and" if you list the authors in the text. For example, "According to Jones and Smith (2010)."

    Step 2

    List all the authors' names the first time you cite a reference with three to five authors. For example, "(Jones, Smith, & White, 2010)" or "According to Jones, Smith, and White (2010)." Include only the first author's name followed by "et al." for subsequent citations of the same reference: "(Jones et al., 2010)" or "According to Jones et al. (2010)."

    Step 3

    Use the first author's name and "et al." for every citation of references with six or more authors. For example, "(Smith et al., 2010)" or "According to Smith et al. (2010)."

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    Tips

    • Leave a space between the first and middle initials when listing authors in the reference list.
    • Use only last names for in-text citations; no initials.

    About the Author

    Petra Wakefield is a writing professional whose work appears on various websites, focusing primarily on topics about science, fitness and outdoor activities. She holds a Master of Science in agricultural engineering from Texas A&M University.

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