Answered By: Maureen Barney
Last Updated: Sep 25, 2014     Views: 111065

Quoting, paraphrasing, and citing secondary sources (an author quoted or cited by the author you are reading) in APA style can be confusing. Here are some possible ways to handle it.

  1. If you are paraphrasing an author who was cited in an article by a second author (this is the article you read), then it would look like this:

George (1990) studied thirty years of library instruction (as cited in Kuhlthau, 2004).

  1. If you are quoting a paraphrase of another article within your article (words of your article’s author), then it would look like this:

“George’s (1990) review of the literature of bibliographic instruction for the prior thirty years disclosed a serious lack of theoretical underpinnings and some strides in acknowledging the necessity for moving in a more theoretical direction” (Kuhlthau, 2004, p. 11).

  1. If you are quoting a quote within the article (not your author’s words), then there are two options:

You quote the quote and your author’s thought about it. Note the single quote marks around the quotation within my quote:

“The underlying concept proposed by the Knapp project centers on ‘the intellectual processes involved in retrieval of information and ideas’ (Lindgren, 1981, p.28)” (Kuhlthau, 2004, p. 10-11).

You only quote the quote:

“We must concentrate on uniting the processes of gathering information with the uses of information” (Lindgren, 1981 as cited in Kuhlthau, 2004, p. 11)

In any case, only the article you read would be listed in the references (in the case of this example, Kuhlthau):

Kuhlthau, C. (1995). The process of learning from information. School Libraries Worldwide, 1(1), 1-12. Retrieved from

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