Secondary Sources | APA In-Text Citations

Sometimes you will be citing a quotation that you found within another source, for example a study that was referred to in one of your sources that was conducted by someone else. This is called a secondary source.

Generally speaking, you should always try to find the original source, for example the original publication of the study mentioned above. But if you cannot, you can cite the source following these directions:

  • Identify the primary source and include “as cited in” the secondary source that you used
  • Include an entry of the secondary source in your references list

For example, if you read a work by Aldrich et al. (2020) in which Sanchez (2010) was cited, and you were unable to read Sanchez’s work yourself, cite Sanchez’s work as the original source, followed by Aldrich et al.’s work as the secondary source. Only Aldrich et al.’s work appears in the reference list.

It was reported that there was “nearly a 100% increase in enrollment in online colleges after 2008” (Sanchez, 2010, as cited in Aldrich et al., 2020).

If the year of the primary source is unknown, omit it from the in-text citation.

Rosenkranz’s diary reveals many of his secrets (as cited in Patel, 2019).

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