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APA Citation: A Citation & My Own Work

Citing a Citation

Let's say there are results of an original study by Denton et al. that you want to cite, but you read about these study results in a book by Beaujot & Kerr. Ideally, you should try to find the original study by Denton et al. and quote or paraphrase from it directly. However, if it is not possible to find or to read Denton et al.'s, you need to do the following: 

In the reference list, provide the citation of the source YOU are using, i.e. the book by Beaujot & Kerr::


Beaujot, R., & Kerr, D. (Eds.). (2007). The changing face of Canada: Essential readings in population. Canadian Scholars’ Press.


In text citation: name the original source and provide a citation for the source YOU use, for example: 


According to Denton et al., ....... (as cited in Beaujot & Kerr, 2007). 

One study found .... (Denton et al., as cited in Beaujot & Kerr, 2007).

Denton et al. (as cited in Beaujot & Kerr, 2007) found that .... 

A Citation within a Quote

When you are quoting something and the quote contains a citation within the quote, you can just cite as usual. The reason is that it would not really be possible to use the "cited in" structure. Here is an example:

Actors "are encouraged to become immersed in a character's life (Stanislavski, 1950), an activity that calls for absorption" (Panero et al., 2016, p. 234).

In the above example you are quoting the entire portion that is in red, which consists of:

  • what Stanislavski said (and what Panero paraphrased: are encouraged to become immersed in a characters's life)
  • what Panero said (an activity that calls for absorption)

You are taking this quote from your source, which is Panero et al.

However, if you were to only use the first part, i.e. "are encouraged to become immersed in a character's life", then you would use the cited in structure as you would only be citing what Stanislavski said:

According to Stanislavski, actors "are encouraged to become immersed in a character's life" (as cited in Panero et al., 2016, p. 234).

Actors are "encouraged to become immersed in a character's life" (Stanislavski; as cited in Panero et al. 2016, p. 234).

In your reference list, you would again put your source, i.e. Panero et al.

Citing Your Own Previous Work

It is very important that you ALWAYS CHECK WITH YOUR INSTRUCTOR IF YOU ARE ALLOWED TO USE PRIOR COURSE WORK, no matter for which course you did the work previously, or if you took the course at another institution.

Whenever you refer to your own previous work in your new paper, you will need to provide an in-text citation. You must also provide a reference list entry for your prior work, just like you would for any other source you are using.

For example, let's say your name is Mary Smith, and you wrote an essay for your English 1100 class in 2023 with the title "The effect of texting on literary skills". A year later, you want to write an essay for your Sociology class about "Texting and its impact on interpersonal communication". You want to refer to some of your thoughts and conclusions you wrote about in your English 1100 essay, and you also want to reuse an interview you conducted for and cited in your previous work. You talked to your Sociology instructor and have received permission to do so.


In the reference list, you will need to put your previous English 1100 paper as a source, and it would look like this:


Smith, M. (2023). The effect of texting on literary skills [Unpublished paper]. Department of English, Kwantlen Polytechnic University.


In text citations are structured depending on whether they refer to your own previous thoughts or to a citation to another source. Here are some suggested ways of citing these: 


Citing your own previous thoughts: 

Smith (2023) concluded that... 

In a 2023 paper Smith discussed...

In a previous paper I concluded that ... (Smith, 2023), but this view does not hold true in the present context.


Citing data/an interview from your prior work (note that although you conducted the interview yourself for your English essay, you are now reading about it, and thus you are citing a secondary source):

In an interview, Brown said that he was surprised to hear ... (as cited in Smith, 2023) .....

When interviewed, Brown revealed he was "stunned that..." (as cited in Smith, 2023, p. 5)