What does et al. mean and how do I use it in an APA style paper?
The abbreviation et al. means and others. It is most often used when a work you are citing in your paper has multiple authors. Here are the guidelines from the Publication of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.), page 175:
- When a work has two authors, cite both names every time the reference occurs in the text.
- When a work has three, four, or five authors, cite all the authors the first time the reference occurs; in subsequent citations, include only the surname of the first author followed by et al.
- When a work has six or more authors, cite only the surname of the first author followed by et al.
See also APA: The Easy Way! page 13 and Purdue's Online Writing Lab (OWL): APA Formatting and Style Guide: In-text Citations: Author/Authors.