Things To Know About The Usage Of Et Alia (Et Al.) In Research Writing

Usage Of Et Alia


Did you ever think what "et al." means in citations of academic or scientific writing? The use of abbreviations like "et al.", "e.g.", "etc.", "i.e.", and "ibid" is common in writings. But many people still don't know what they mean. Still, many authors don't know how to use them correctly. Hence, in this article, we will focus on "et al." to learn its meaning. How to use this abbreviation in academic or scientific writings?

What does "et al." Mean?

If you say that the term "et al." doesn't even sound like English. Then you are right. It's not English, but Latin. Latin terms are often used in the English language, and "et al." is one of them. You can see these terms in academic writings. So, what does it mean? "et al." is an abbreviation of the Latin phrase "et alia", which means "and others" in Latin literature. People use the term "et al." if the cited work is from many authors.

"et al." also has some similarities with other Latin phrases. For example, "etc." which also means "and others" in the Latin language. Sometimes, confusion may arise in the usage of both terms. But English writers of PhD dissertation writing services company said, distinguish both terms' et al." and "etc." utilizing a simple rule. Simple rule is, "et al." is utilized for people, whereas authors use "etc." for things or animals. For example, "Arslan et al. went to store to buy some milk, cookies etc.". from this example, we can infer that there were other people too with Arslan.

And the use of "etc." lets us know that they bought other items besides milk and cookies. The use of "etc." in both formal and informal writing is wide. But, authors use "et al.," only for academic writings.

There is a lesser-kenned utilization of the abbreviation "et al.", which is "et alibi." "Et alibi" refers to "and elsewhere". It betokens locations in academic writing. For example, "Mangoes of Multan are famous in Europe, Asia, et alibi."

We will focus on using "et al." in different citation styles for the rest of the article.
How to Use "et al." in APA Style?

The use of "et al." is a bit different in each style of citation. In the 7th edition of APA style, any work having one or two authors should use full names in the in-text citation. For example, an article written by Abdullah and Arslan in 2018 would be cited as: (Abdullah & Arslan, 2018).

If any work has three or more authors, the use of "et al." becomes necessary. In this case, for citation purposes, "et al." is used after the first author's last name. For example, Shazab Ali, Aitezaz Ali and Afaq Ahmed wrote an article in 2019. The citation pattern will be as follows: (Ali et al., 2019). The last name of the first author will come before "et al.".

APA does not recommend using "et al." in references at the end of the article. You can write up to 20 writers with their full names in the section of references. If an article has 20 authors, list the first 19 with their full names, and before writing the 20th author name, use an "ellipsis(…)".

These rules are for the 7th edition of APA style; rules of the 6th edition are a bit different from above.
How to Use "et al." in MLA Style?

Like APA, we can also use MLA in-text citations. There lies a minor difference in "et al." in APA and MLA citation styles. That minor difference is that in MLA style, "et al." is utilized the same way as in APA, i.e. for three or more authors, but "et al." is additionally utilized in references, unlike APA, which uses full names of authors.

For example, McDonell, Smith and Davis wrote an article, the in-text citation pattern and reference pattern will be (McDonell et al.) and (McDonel, Smith et al.) respectively.
How to Use "et al." in Chicago Style?

Authors utilize two different approaches for citation in Chicago style author-date and footnotes. However, the utilization of "et al." would not transmute whether we utilize author-date or footnotes citation style. This rule is also the same for references or bibliographies.

In this style, "et al." is only used when there are four or more authors. List the first author's name and then "et al.". let's suppose n article written by three authors McDowell, Smith and Davis, in 2020. The citation for this will be as follows:

Footnotes: (Nick McDowell, Hill Smith, and James Davis…

The citation of an article with four or more authors like McDowell, Smith, Davis, John in 2019 will be as follows:

Footnotes: (Nick McDowell et al., 2019)

If an article consists of 10 authors for the bibliography section, then list all authors' denominations. But if the sources are less than ten, inscribe the designation of the first seven and then use "et al.".

How to Use "et al." in Harvard Style?

Harvard style can be subject to transmute predicated on the guidelines of your school. But it is more homogeneous to APA style. If the authors of a particular article are one or two, then the citation will be as follows: (McDowell & Smith, 2019).

But if authors are three or more than three, then "et al." would be used after the first author's last name. It is worthy to note that only the first author's last name should be used, followed by "et al.".
Common Mistakes

The search work of PhD dissertation writing service firm, the most common mistake in the use of "et al." besides citation style is punctuation. There is a period only after "al." and the comma should follow as additional punctuation. There is no period after "et".

Et al (wrong)
Et. al. (wrong)
Et. al (wrong)
Et al. (Right)

This way, the utilization of "et al." is covered in virtually every mundane citation style. You won't be clueless again.


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