According to this site, when you're using the APA reference style, if a source has 3-5 authors, all authors should be mentioned in the first in-text citation, while only the first author need to be mentioned in the subsequent citation. Does "subsequent" applies to the whole work or just the current chapter or section?

I am writing a master thesis.

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    I'm pretty sure you could just look this up in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition, but I don't really want to spend $25 on the ebook version to check. You might be able to find a copy of it in your university's library, though.
    – nick012000
    Jul 2, 2019 at 12:30

2 Answers 2


Though not explicitly stated in the original post, the question pertains to the use of "et al."

This is mostly a nonissue for APA 7th edition because three or more authors are now cited as "et al." from the first mention, whether parenthetical or not, except where it would create ambiguity.


The website seems pretty clearly to refer to "document", not chapter. You should believe them and assume that they probably thought about it and didn't make an exception for a reason.

The intent is to clearly reference back to a particular source without unnecessarily making the document harder to read.


An exception might be assumed if the "thesis" is really just a collection of papers, possibly already published. Then, it might be assumed that "document" and "chapter" are the same thing, rather than "document" and "thesis".

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