How to Cite a Lecture in APA Style

The American Psychological Association publishes style and grammar guidelines, designed to assist psychology professionals, academics, and students with formal writing. The most up-to-date version of the style guide, the APA 7th edition, offers writers plenty of advice for how best to cite sources. APA citation format differs from the formatting recommended by other style guides, which include the Modern Language Association (MLA), the Associated Press (AP), and the Chicago Manual of Style. In this article, we’ll review the correct way to cite lectures, personal communication, and lecture notes in APA style.

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In-Text Citations

To begin, immediately following a quotation or a paraphrase, APA citation style requires an in-text citation. Typically, these in-text references include the author’s last name, followed by a comma and the year. 

(Author’s last name, year) 

2-7 Authors

In the event that the lecture credits between two and seven authors, all names should be listed in the in-text citation.

(Last name #1, Last name #2, & Last name #3, year)

7+ Authors

When a lecture has more than seven authors, the authors names should be summarized with the Latin abbreviation et al. 

(Last name #1 et al., year) 

No Author

If the lecture does not have a listed author, the title of the lecture should be used in the in-text citation. For long titles, the first few words of the title will suffice. 

(“Title of lecture,” year)

Personal Notes

For personal notes from a lecture, the in-text citation formatting varies significantly. Notably, the name and date are both presented differently, and the phrase “personal communication” must be added to distinguish the personal notes from written content

(Author’s first initial. Middle initial. Last name, personal communication, Month Day, Year) 

Reference List

In addition to the short-form citation, APA format also requires a list of references at the end of the paper. This section provides all of the information necessary to locate the original source material, if possible. 

Online Lecture Notes

Author’s last name, First initial. (Year). Title of Lecture [Description of form.] Retrieved from url. 

Printed Lecture Notes

Author’s last name, First initial. (Year). Title of Lecture [Description of form.] Department, University, City, State or Country. 

Archival Lecture

Author’s last name, First initial. (Year, Month Day). Title of Lecture [Description of form.] Name of Collection, Name of Repository, Location. 

Lecture from a Conference, Symposium, or Meeting

Author’s last name, First initial. (Year, Month). Title of Lecture. In First initial. Last name of organizer. (Contribution of organizer). Title of Event. Lecture conducted from Sponsor, City, State or Country.

Additional Tips

  • When you don’t know the date of a lecture, write “n.d.” in the place of the date of publication. 
  • For in-text citations, any information that’s included in the text does not need to be repeated inside the parentheses.
  • Personal notes from a lecture require an in-text citation, but they should not be added to the reference list. 
  • Some descriptions of form include print page, web page, presentation slides, class handout, or file format (e.g., Powerpoint, Word Document). 
  • When citing a lecture from an event, the title of the event is italicized rather than the title of the lecture. 
  • For conferences, symposiums, and meetings, the event organizer’s name and role should be written like this: In J. Franklin. (President.)