Nontraditional Sources: Multiple Works in a Citation
Last updated 5/6/2020
Visual: Screen opens to a background image with a person typing on a laptop and a notebook and pencil, along with the Walden University Writing Center logo. The title Walden University Writing Center and tagline “Your writing, grammar, and APA experts” appears on the screen. The screen changes to show the series title “Nontraditional Sources” and the video title “Multiple Works in a Citation.”
Audio: Guitar music
Visual: A slide appears with the heading, “Multiple Works in a Citation.” The slide reads as follows:
Include relevant citations in the same parenthetical citation:
- Several studies have linked reading comprehension skills to strong writing skills (Cappell, 2012; Lenard & Swann, 2009; Richardson, 2012).
- Cappell (2012), Lenard and Swann (2009), and Richardson (2012) linked reading comprehension skills to strong writing skills.
Audio: As you are writing, you might come across the same information in multiple sources. This might be the case when multiple studies are finding the same result or when multiple authors are discussing foundational knowledge in your field. In these cases, you may want to cite multiple works in one citation to show the various sources that have the information you’re citing.
One option is to list these sources in a parenthetical citation. This approach can be helpful so that the citation doesn’t become distracting in the sentence. To cite multiple works in a parenthetical citation, you will list each source alphabetically by their first author, which is the same order the sources appear in your reference list. The citations themselves are created the same way you would normally, with the author and year, but are separated with a semicolon.
The other option is to list these sources in narrative citations in the text of your sentence. In this approach, you’ll list each source individually, punctuating it like any other list in your writing. With a narrative citation you can list the sources in alphabetical order, but APA allows for some discretion here, so you can list the authors in whichever order you prefer.
When citing multiple works in a citation, the one caution we’d provide is that you want to be careful to avoid including too many sources in the citation. Including too many sources in one citation can be distracting or even difficult to follow, so only include the citations that are directly relevant to the immediate point you’re citing. Other than that, you’re now ready to cite multiple works in a citation!
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