How to Use an Ampersand in APA Text

APA (the American Psychological Association) requires specific formatting for the use of the ampersand (&) in any APA-style paper. Find specifications for the use of ampersands in citations of sources and in references in "The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association." Writers must cite sources for theories, ideas, and research with or without a direct quote. The Publication Manual provides guidelines for citing books, journal articles, lectures, URLs, websites and other sources.

Ampersand in Citations

Insert citations in your paper as you write it. Provide the last name(s) of the author(s) and the year of publication for articles, books, etc. Provide details about the sources in your references.

Cite every source used in your manuscript: articles, books, lectures, websites and digital object identifiers (DOIs), whether you have a direct quotation or not.

Use the ampersand when you have more than one author in a citation and you set it off parenthetically. For example, some researchers (Campbell, Matthews, & Goodson, 2009) found significant results. Or, the authors (Brown & Craft, 2001) stated... Do not use the ampersand when you write the information in the text, for example, Brown and Craft (2001).

List a number of citations which support the same statement by the surname of the first author, in alphabetical order. For example, most researchers (Brown & Craft, 2001; Gafney, Borris, & Crooks, 2010; Maxwell, 2001) ...


Put quotation marks at the start and finish of material you directly quote.

Insert the page from which you obtained the quotation along with the author(s) last name(s) and year of publication. For example, some researchers (Webb & Brown, 2010, p. 324) state....

Cite work obtained from journals published on the Internet in the way described in Step 2: The most quoted researchers (Douglas & Stevens, 2003, p. 345) state...


List references alphabetically by the last name of the first (or sole) author at the end of the paper on a separate page titled References.

Give authors' surnames followed by the initial of the author's first name, the year in parentheses, the title of the article, and the name of the journal and volume in italics, followed by the pages. For example,

Brown, B., Gafney, G., & Webster, K. (2003). The effect of parenting styles. Journal of Personality, 3,


Note that the second line is indented.

For DOIs give the surname(s) of authors, year, article title, journal name, volume and pages followed by a period. Then put in the DOI number, for example, doi:10.1176/0003-066X.48.1.49.

  • Insert citations as you type your paper.
  • List your references as you type your paper.
  • The ampersand is only used inside parentheses or in the references.
Items you will need
APA Manual
About the Author

Linda Foley has been writing about psychology and the justice system since 1974. Her articles have been published in the "Journal of Forensic Psychology," "Trial Lawyer" and the "Journal of Social Behavior and Personality." Foley holds a Doctor of Philosophy in social psychology from the University of Florida.

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