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APA – Citing Sources

The order of the reference list entries

The references in the reference list are ordered in alphabetical order by their entries, i.e., the author(s) or the organization. Examples:

  • Anderson, D., Wall, B., & James, S. (2010). 
  • Phillips, H., & Anderson, T. (2015).
  • World Health Organization. (2012).


Two-party surnames with for example "de" or "von" is in the reference list alphabetized by the first letter: de Beauvoir goes under D.   

The non-significant words "a", "an" and "the" are ignored at the beginning of an author name for the purposes of alphabetizing: The Center for Autism is for example alphabetized under C in the reference list. 

Several works of the same author

If the same author(s) has several publications in the reference list, they are sorted by year in ascending order, i.e., the earliest year first:

  • Phillips, H., & Anderson, T. (2015).
  • Phillips, H., & Anderson, T. (2017).

Several works of the same author with the same year

If the same author(s) has several publications in the reference list, with the same year, they are sorted alphabetically by their titles. To be able to distinguish them when you cite them in the text, where you only use author and year, you add a letter after the year as well. Add a, b, and c etc. in the order they appear in the reference list:

  • Phillips, H., & Anderson, T. (2018a). Algebra: an introduction. Cambridge University Press.
  • Phillips, H., & Anderson, T. (2018b). Mathematical problems for everyone. Cambridge University Press.
  • Phillips, H., & Anderson, T. (2018c). String theory explained. Cambridge University Press.


This also applies if the sources have no year. Please note that there is a hyphen between n.d. and the letter:

  • Anderson, T. (n.d.-a). Algebra from the past. Cambridge University Press.
  • Anderson, T. (n.d.-b). Mathematical journeys through time. Cambridge University Press

Several works with the same first author and the same date

If you want to refer to several works that have the same first author and year, you need to separate these references in the in-text citations. You then need to write out as many authors as necessary to separate the references.


  • Kapoor, Bloom, Montez, et al. (2017)
  • Kapoor, Bloom, Zucker, et al. (2017)

If only the last author separates the references, do not write et al. after:

  • Hasan, Liang, Kahn, and Jones-Miller (2015)
  • Hasan, Liang, Kahn, and Weintraub (2015)

APA Style: Citing Multiple Works With Three or More Authors and the Same Date

Reference starting with numerals

If the reference entry begins with numerals, alphabetize it as though it was spelt out. Thus, "700 years" precedes "Turner", because when spelt out, "Seven hundred" appears alphabetically before "Turner".