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APA Style Guide: Secondary sources

This guide explains how to use the APA Style. It includes a short tutorial.

Secondary sources

The American Psychological Association recommends using secondary sources only when the original title is out of print, unavailable through original sources, or not available in English (American Psychological Association 2010).

When referring to the work of an author whom you have read in another source, but not read directly yourself, list the full details of the secondary source in the reference listing; the in-text citation should name the original work and give a citation for the secondary source. In the reference list format the secondary reference as you would any reference of that type. For example a journal article below is shown.

Reference: Secondary source Author Last name, Initials. (Year) 'Article title', Journal Title, Volume(Issue), pp. page numbers.  


Seeberg, P. (2013) 'The Arab Uprisings and the EU's migration policies - the cases of Egypt, Libya, and Syria', Democracy and Security, 9(1-2), pp. 157-176.


  • Original Author Last name (Year, as cited in Secondary Author Last name, Year, Page no.)
  • (Original Author Last name, Year, as cited in Secondary Author Last name, Year, Page no.)


  • Geddes' work on the changing views on migration in Europe (2005, as cited in Seeberg, 2013 p.160)... 
  • Theories of migration have evolved in recent years (Geddes, 2005, as cited in Seeberg, 2013, p. 160)...


Still unsure what in-text citation and referencing mean? Check here.

Still unsure why you need to reference all this information? Check here.

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