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APA Citation Style: How often do I need to cite?

Basics

  • Any parenthetical reference that contains the author must also include the year
  • when the author is referred to as part of the sentence (instead of in a parenthetical reference), the date needs to be included after the first reference in a paragraph; you do not need to repeat the date if you cite the author as part of a sentence again in the same paragraph (see example three); however, you DO need to repeat the year if there was a parenthetical reference before (see example two)
  • If pronouns such as he/she/they are used, they must have a clear referent.

How often do I need to cite?

RULE: the APA Publication Manual does not specify how often an author's name must be mentioned when citing a source. The basic rule is that credit must be given for anything that is not one's own thought, idea or creation, and that it must be clear to the reader which of the information is borrowed and which one is not.

EXAMPLE ONE

Here, credit is given for each borrowed sentence in the author-date parenthetical format. Although this is perfectly correct, it is stylistically not the best writing:

     The cross-pollination and fusion of musical genres over the last 2 decades has exposed children to a diversity of musical styles (Viglione, 2010). Technology has also made possible the distribution and sharing of music in exciting new ways (Viglione, 2010). Music is shared through social media sites, analyzed and tailored for the individual listener via sites like Pandora, and simply given away by musicians on their websites (Viglione, 2010). As a result, in the future, children will likely develop eclectic musical tastes early and expect a diversity of musical styles at younger and younger ages (Viglione, 2010).


 

So what could you do differently?

When writing a paragaraph, you can alternate between citing an author parenthetically and using the author's name or a pronoun in the running textBy using these variations, you can avoid redundancy and still make clear throughout the paragraph that the ideas are those you borrowed.

 

EXAMPLE TWO - a bit better

     According to Viglione (2010), the cross-pollination and fusion of musical genres over the last 2 decades has exposed children to a diversity of musical styles. He states that technology has made possible the distribution and sharing of music in exciting new ways. Music is shared through social media sites, analyzed and tailored for the individual listener via sites like Pandora, and simply given away by musicians on their websites (Viglione, 2010)Viglione (2010) believes that as a result, in the future, children will likely develop eclectic musical tastes early and expect a diversity of musical styles at younger and younger ages.

 

EXAMPLE THREE - a bit better

The cross-pollination and fusion of musical genres over the last 2 decades has exposed children to a diversity of musical styles (Viglione, 2010). Viglione (2010) states that technology has made possible the distribution and sharing of music in exciting new ways. He points out that music is shared through social media sites, analyzed and tailored for the individual listener via sites like Pandora, and simply given away by musicians on their websites. Viglione believes that as a result, in the future, children will likely develop eclectic musical tastes early and expect a diversity of musical styles at younger and younger ages.

 

EXAMPLE FOUR - better

According to Viglione (2010), the cross-pollination and fusion of musical genres over the last 2 decades has exposed children to a diversity of musical styles.He states that technology has made possible the distribution and sharing of music in exciting new ways. Viglione also points out that music is shared through social media sites, analyzed and tailored for the individual listener via sites like Pandora, and simply given away by musicians on their websites. He believes that as a result, in the future, children will likely develop eclectic musical tastes early and expect a diversity of musical styles at younger and younger ages.

 

EXAMPLE FIVE - better

According to Viglione (2010), the cross-pollination and fusion of musical genres over the last 2 decades has exposed children to a diversity of musical styles.He states that technology has made possible the distribution and sharing of music in exciting new ways. Viglione also points out that music is shared through social media sites, analyzed and tailored for the individual listener via sites like Pandora, and simply given away by musicians on their websites. As a result, in the future, children will likely develop eclectic musical tastes early and expect a diversity of musical styles at younger and younger ages (Viglione, 2010).

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