Clancy: Hi! I’m Clancy Clawson with the University of Maryland, Baltimore Writing Center, and today we’re gonna talk about handling secondary sources, according to the style guidelines of the
American Psychological Association, or APA. As always our style advice comes from the sixth edition of the APA manual– the blue one. If you don’t have an APA manual please download our APA citations handout and follow along.
Purple Man: So I got like this source within a source. It’s like Inception but really boring. Clancy: Now, you’ll want to work with original or primary sources as much as you can, but sometimes that’s just not possible. Sometimes all you have of the original is what’s included in another source– the secondary source. When using this secondary source, the author of the primary or original source goes in the signal phrase, and all the information from the secondary source, the source that you read, goes in the parenthetical. Let’s say that the Jedi Master Yoda wrote a book, and then Luke Skywalker wrote a book and included some of the things that Yoda said, and then for whatever reason, Yoda’s book is destroyed. All that we have is what Luke Skywalker told us that Yoda said. Luke is a secondary source. Yoda is the primary source. Since Yoda is the primary source, he goes in a signal phrase. Luke Skywalker is the secondary source because he’s telling us what Yoda wrote. His information goes in the parenthetical. Notice how it says, “as cited in”; this means Yoda, as cited in Skywalker. Luke Skywalker’s book is also the one that we include in the reference list since it’s the one that we actually read. So there you have it. That’s how you handle secondary sources. I’m Clancy Clawson. Stay tuned because we have more APA videos on the way.