Paraphrase with Multiple Authors: A Guide to APA Citations

Sometimes, you may paraphrase by combining a range of views and perspectives from multiple authors that discuss the same idea or concept. Regardless of how well you paraphrase, you must credit all the authors through in-text citations. How to paraphrase with multiple authors? This article is all you need to get started.

Paraphrasing and Citations: An Overview

Paraphrasing is the process of rewriting the original to produce another version that is accurate. The ability to paraphrase effectively is vital for writers, students, and researchers.

An in-text citation is a way of giving credit to sources or authors whose work you have used. Most used APA in-text citations are parenthetical and narrative citations.

The parenthetical citation provides information on the source by placing the author’s name and date in a parenthesis, at the end of the paraphrase. The narrative form of citation includes the author’s name as a part of the paraphrase, while the Year of Publication comes in a bracket. This form of citation is common at the beginning or the middle of the statement.

How to Paraphrase with Multiple Authors

In cases where you paraphrase from a source written by multiple authors, it is crucial to cite all the authors. It is not enough to mention one author and disregard the others. You’re stealing an author’s work if you don’t acknowledge them. Plagiarism comes with severe consequences, and you wouldn’t want to be guilty of such an unethical act. The tips below will guide you on acknowledging multiple authors.  

1. Two Authors

In citing two authors in a parenthetical citation, the authors’ last names should be separated by the ampersand symbol (&), followed by year of publication. For example:

… overreliance on detailed rules (Pierre & Frank, 2007).

For the narrative citation, the last names of the two authors should be separated by ‘and.’ The year of publication should follow in a bracket. For instance:

McCarthy and Nash (2004) describe outsourcing as using external suppliers to achieve efficiency.

2. Three to Five Authors

First In-text Citation

When citing 3-5 authors in a parenthetical citation, include the last names of the authors, separated by the symbol (&) and year of publication.


… specified locations (Sharma, Saldana, & Katherine, 2012).

For narrative citation, the last names of the authors, separated by ‘and,’ should come first, followed by the year of publication in a bracket.

Sharma, Saldana, and Katherine (2012) described franchising as…

Subsequent citations

When citing various sources subsequently, include only the first author’s last name, followed by the abbreviation ‘et al.,’ and the year of publication.


James et al. (2012) view education as…

… society they live in (James et al., 2012).

3. Six or More Authors.

To cite six or more authors, provide the last name of the first author with “et al.,” and the year of publication. This should be done for the first and subsequent citations.


Raphael et al. (2007) described the effect…

… as harmful (Raphael et al., 2007).

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Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

To Wrap Up

When you paraphrase from a work written by multiple authors, it is vital to adequately and appropriately cite all the authors. This article is a guide on how to paraphrase with multiple authors successfully, so your piece doesn’t pass off as plagiarized work.

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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