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APA Citation Style_OLD: Citing a Citation

Secondary Sources

Let's say there is an original study by Denton et al., but you read about it in a book by Beaujot & Kerr. 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. Toronto, Canada: Canadian Scholars’ Press.


  • In the text 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).

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 (see examples on the right). 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 2012 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 your reference list, you will need to put your previous English 1100 paper as a source, and it would look like this:


Smith, M. (2012). The effect of texting on literary skills (Unpublished paper). Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Surrey, Canada.


  • Suggested in text citation examples:                            

    • Citing your own previous thoughts:
      • Smith (2012) concluded that...
      • In a 2012 paper Smith discussed...
      • In a previous paper I concluded that ... (Smith, 2012), but this view does not hold true in the present context.

    • Citing a citation 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, 2012)
      • When interviewed, Brown revealed he was "stunned that..." (as cited in Smith, 2012, p. 5)