How to Cite Two Sources by the Same Author

Using citations in your paper will add credibility to your arguments because they show that the paper is well-researched. To quote, paraphrase or summarize information from sources such as books or journals in an academic paper will provide documentation in a bibliography and in-text. Before making citations, determine which style format to use, the most common are APA and MLA. APA and MLA formats use different methods for citing multiple sources by the same author.

American Psychological Association (APA) Style

Order citations on the Reference List page alphabetically. When using two sources by the same author, place the work with the earliest publication year first.

Cite sources by the same author that also have the same publication year by assigning a lowercase "a" to the first source and a "b" to the second source to distinguish the two. For example:

Johnson, B. (1990a). Peer pressure. Educational Psychologist, 21, 10-13. Johnson, B. (1990b). Pressures faced in school. Child Development, 12, 30-35.

Reference two works by the same author, written in the same year in the text of your paper by assigning an "a" and "b" to the years. For example: Johnson's essay (1990a) states that music has a positive effect on student concentration.

Modern Language Association (MLA) Style

List two works by one author in the Works Cited page alphabetically by title. For the second citation, insert three hyphens followed by a period instead of listing the author's name again. For example:

Patterson, James. Cross. New York: Grand Central, 2006. Print. ---. Tick Tock. New York: Little, Brown and Co., 2011. Print.

Distinguish the two works when using in-text citations by placing a shortened version of the work's title in parentheses along with the author's last name and page number. For example:

(Patterson, "Tick" 100).

Exclude the author's name from the parenthetical citation when you include it in your text. For instance:

Patterson ends the book with Bree saying to Alex, "What could be more perfect than this?" ("Cross" 403).


Page numbers are only necessary in MLA in-text citations when quoting directly from the source, not when you are paraphrasing or summarizing.

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