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.
To see some examples, visit the APA Help guide. Click the drop down arrow by Books and choose 3 to 7 authors.
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.