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APA Style In-Text Citations: Multiple Authors (Examples)

What is an APA in-text citation for multiple authors? The references below use the APA Publication Manual 7 (released on October 2019). Learn how to properly cite a source or reference in APA style format in this full APA format citation guide. Read the other guides to learn how to cite other source types according to research papers, professional papers, scholarly journal’s, and student essays.

Understanding APA in-text citations for multiple authors: what is APA style?

APA is a writing format for academic documents. These documents typically include scholarly journals, books, student essays, and other educational material. For example, in the field of behavioral and social sciences (including sociology, education, health science, criminal justice, and psychology) APA style is used as a standard format for research.

APA stands for the American Psychological Association. The APA became involved in journal publishing in 1923. And in 1929, an APA committee had created a seven-page writer’s guide published in the Psychological Bulletin. Editions of the APA manual have since evolved. With major releases in 1974, 1983, 1994, 2001, 2009, and 2019. Each with their edition titles.

For example, the 2019 edition is referred to as “APA 6” style. Revisions of the APA style guide tend to follow developments of the English language and linguistics as a whole.

APA Style 7th Edition font suggestions

APA Publication Manual 7 requires that chosen fonts be accessible to readers and consistent throughout essays and research papers. The APA Manual does not specify a certain typeface or font for papers. They do recommend the following typefaces with their point sizes as follows:

FontPoint size
Lucida Sans Unicode10-point
Times New Roman12-point
Computer Modern10-point
APA Style font recommendations

What is the APA author-date system?

The APA Publication Manual makes the author-date system for citations fairly straightforward. Author categories, on the other hand, can vary significantly from the standard “one author, one source” reference seen in other in-text citations.

There are many types of in-text citation systems as described by APA style. Some of these include the following scenarios:

  • When citing a work by two authors.
  • When citing a work by three or more authors.
  • When citing a work by an unknown author.
  • When citing an organization as an author.
  • When citing two more works in the same parentheses.
  • When having authors with the same last name and attempting to cite both.
  • When two or more works are by the same author in the same year.
  • When citing in introductions, prefaces, forewords, and afterwords.
  • When citing personal communication.
  • And when citing indirect sources and electronic sources (websites with no reference).

Here is a rule table to help understand in-text citations for multiple authors:

A work by one otherAs Johnson (2019) references.. OR (Johnson, 2019)
A work by two authorsResearch by Smith and Johnson (2012) supports.. OR (Smith & Johnson, 2012)
A work by three or more authors(Smith et al., 2012) OR Smith et al. (2012) suggest…
A work by three or more authorsSmith, Ryan, Johnson, and Kim (2012)
A work by three or more authorsSmith, Ryan, Johnson, et al. (2012)
Citing an unknown authorA similar study was found (“Citations”, 2012)
Citing an anonymous authorA similar study found (Anonymous, 2012)
Citing an organization as an authorAccording to the APA Style (2002)
Citing an organization as an author with an abbreviationAccording to the (APA Style [APA], 2002)
Citing an organization as an author with an abbreviationSecond citation: (APA, 2002)
Two ore more works in the same parentheses(Johnson, 2012; Smith, 2002)
Two ore more works in the same parentheses with no date(Johnson, n.d., 2012; in press)
Authors with the same last name(R. Smith, 2022; E. Smith, 2011)
Two more works by the same author in the same yearResearch found by Smith (2002a) and Smith (2002b)
Introductions, prefaces, forewores, and afterwards(Smith & Kole, 2022)
Personal communication(E. Smith, personal communication, May 22, 2002)
Using a footnote to reference a personal communicationSmith also claimed that many (personal communication, January 4, 2001)
Traditional knowledge of indigenous peopls(Caroline Smith, Cherokee Nation, Oklahoma, personal communication, May 2002)
Citing indirect sourcesBryan argued (as cited in Smith, 2011, p.202)
Electronic sourcesSmith (2022) explained..
Unknown author and unknown dateAnother study found (“Humans,” n.d.)
Sources without page numbersAccording to Bryan (2022)… (Mind over Humans, para. 8)

APA 7th Edition Formatting and Style Guides:

Here are more resources on APA style:


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About the author

Dalia Y.: Dalia is an English Major and linguistics expert with an additional degree in Psychology. Dalia has featured articles on Forbes, Inc, Fast Company, Grammarly, and many more. She covers English, ESL, and all things grammar on GrammarBrain.

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